The newest release of Ubuntu, dubbed Saucy Salamander, doesn't offer much in the way of new features – except for the introduction of Ubuntu Touch for mobile platforms.
Of course there are other independent derivatives of Ubuntu — ones that use Enlightenment, KDE, etc. Those too are needed to ensure diversity and suitability to more potential audiences.
The number one distribution was, as usual Ubuntu. But, Ubuntu only got 16 percent, with Debian coming in second at 14.1 percent. So, one could say that Debian is strong since Ubuntu is based on Debian. One could also say that Ubuntu is surprisingly weak. One would think it would be higher. One possibility is that Linux Journal readers are pretty hard core, and might often eschew Ubuntu for other distributions that cause more pain. Face it. Real Linux users like to wear hair shirts.
Ubuntu users will soon be able to ‘search’ for torrents from sites like The Pirate Bay right from Unity Dash. A torrent lens created by developer David Calle will be available by default on Ubuntu.
Once again, Canonical does a good job at protecting its supported Ubuntu Linux distributions by releasing security updates from time to time. On December 3, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS received a major kernel upgrade that fixed twelve vulnerabilities discovered in the upstream Linux 3.2 kernel by various developers (eight of them were discovered by Kees Cook).
This news is significant for the open source portion of the channel for two main reasons. First, it creates greater divergence between Ubuntu and other mainstream Linux distributions, such as those from Red Hat (RHT), SUSE and the Fedora Project, all of which have given no indication of plans to adopt Mir anytime soon. As a result, ISVs and other partners potentially will have to make a choice about which Linux distributions they choose to work with, since changes to the display server could require adaptations to third-party software solutions.
For Ubuntu 14.04 – a Long Term Support (LTS) release – the onus is on stability, dependability and performance. All are key. To this end Unity 7 is to remain the default desktop, and will gain few (if any) substantial new features.
But it will continue to benefit from subtle refinements under the hood.