Yes, you can install this release on your computers and servers safely in the knowledge that you’ll be getting critical security updates and patches as and when they’re issued. Plus, every so often, a new Hardware Enablement Stack (read: Linux kernel supporting new hardware) will be issued to let you get the most our of your hardware and accessories.
Ubuntu 14.04 seems to be all about refining the Ubuntu desktop. While there are not a lot of amazing new features in this release, there are quite a few very useful and needed tweaks that add up to a much better desktop experience. Canonical’s designers seem to be listening to Ubuntu users again, and they seem willing to make the changes necessary to give the users what they want. That may be the single most important thing about Ubuntu 14.04. It could be an indication of a sea change in Canonical’s attitude toward Ubuntu users.
Long Term Support (LTS) releases, such as Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 'Trusty Tahr', are not expected to present radical changes, as these should be made in the interim releases. Instead, an LTS release should add stability and polish to interim changes. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was suggested almost three years ago by Mark Shuttleworth as the release that would see convergence across all hardware formats. In retrospect, this goal could only have been reached if the elements required for convergence — Mir and Unity 8 — had been successfully introduced in earlier releases. Although Canonical made some effort to do this, development was eventually refocused on Ubuntu for phones and tablets and convergence is now unlikely to happen until 2015. As it stands, Ubuntu 14.04 is left running X window server and the Unity 7 shell.
Ubuntu 14.04 was released today, so let's take a look at the most important new features and changes in this LTS release.
Ken Miller, Makulu forum moderator, wrote this weekend to announce the release of MakuluLinx 6 MATE. This release, based on Debian Testing, features MATE 1.8, Linux 3.13.7 PAE, and systemd support. MakuluLinux 6 also introduced a new installer that Jamie Watson calls much improved.
MakuluLinux Mate Imperium Edition has been released a few hours ago, and being based on Debian Testing, I took it for a test drive. This is a good opportunity to have a look at the latest MATE 1.8, since Ubuntu Trusty only includes the 1.6 version in the repositories, and for the Mint release we’ll probably have to wait for about another month.
But except for MATE, some very interesting choices make MakuluLinux Imperium Edition stand out: it comes by default with applications like Steam, Wine, PlayOnLinux and even the Kingsoft Office suite instead of LibreOffice. Upon installing MakuluLinux, you have the possibility to choose which components will be installed and which not.
The MATE Live desktop is shown below, it is exactly what I expect from Makulu — beautiful wallpaper, bright colourful icons, and lots of interesting-looking additions scattered around the screen. The Installer icon and an Installation Guide are on the upper left corner of the screen.
The previous version of Ultimate Edition was a more down-to-earth variant that came up with some interesting features. It was one of the few distros out there that chose to keep Unity as a desktop environment, but the current version is a complete mess.