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Next Release of Ubuntu LTS Announced

Jul 22, 2007, 16:45 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

By Brian Proffitt
Managing Editor

(Portland, Oregon) -- In this morning's first keynote of the Ubuntu Live conference here, Canonical Ltd. founder Mark Shuttleworth announced the next Long Term Support release of Ubuntu.

According to Shuttleworth, addressing a crowd of approximately 300 developers and vendors, the next LTS release for the popular Linux distribution will be Ubuntu 8.04, scheduled for release in April 2008.

The LTS versions of Ubuntu differ from the regular six-month releases in that they carry a longer term of support than the standard releases, a feature that makes Ubuntu more attractive to enterprise customers.

The first LTS release was Ubuntu 6.06. Shuttleworth said that it is the company's hope to continue releasing the LTS versions "approximately every two years." If the next LTS release happens on schedule, it will follow this goal. (The 6.06 release was two months late to prepare it for LTS status). This regular two-year cycle should help establish Ubuntu as more of an enterprise play.

Shuttleworth also repeated his call for other open source and free software projects to move to a regular cycle of releases, similar to Ubuntu and the GNOME Project. Shuttleworth made this call initially at the recent Linux Kernel Summit, citing that regular predictable cycles will make open software applications more palatable to customers and outside software vendors.

The theme of the talk was a bit of a "state of the nation," citing where Ubuntu is now and where Canonical sees it going, both as a commercial vendor and as a even more open developer platform.

Of course, the Canonical chief held some things close to his vest. During the question and answer period following his talk, Shuttleworth was asked about the other PC vendor partnerships like the one Canonical currently has with Dell, which is now releasing pre-loaded Ubuntu machines in the US. As he has done in the past, he indicated that Canonical was working on further deals, but declined to give out more specifics.

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