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Canonical releases first alpha of Ubuntu 12.04

‘Precise Pangolin’ has a way to go

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Canonical has released the first alpha build of Ubuntu 12.04, dubbed “Precise Pangolin,” and the organization said that the latest version would be a long term support (LTS) release.

Version 12.04, available for x86 and 64-bit platforms, is based around the Linux kernel 3.2 release, and a lot of work has gone into bugfixing around this for Ubuntu’s code, including problems with how it interacts with Intel’s Sandy Bridge and Centrino hardware. The code also includes version 9 of both Firefox and Thunderbird from Mozilla.

“Pre-releases of Precise Pangolin are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage," said Kate Stewart, Ubuntu release manager, in a message board posting. "They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu developers and those who want to help in testing, reporting, and fixing bugs as we work towards getting this LTS release ready.”

There is still a mountain to climb, however. At the start of this build, the team identified 2237 work items, of which 339 have been completed and 41 postponed, leaving a massive job of work to do before the expected release of the final build next spring.

So far the new version for ARM processors isn’t available as yet, but one is in the cards and the team is ironing out problems with the new architecture. In a blog post last month Canonical boss Mark Shuttleworth promised Ubuntu would support ARM for the first time with the Pangolin release, and that the new operating system would be much more focused on cloud systems.

“Ubuntu is the #1 OS for cloud computing, whether you measure it by the number of instances running on all the major public clouds, the number of Ubuntu-based cloud appliances, the number of public and private clouds running on Ubuntu host OS,” he wrote. “The extraordinary diversity of the Ubuntu community, the calibre of collaboration between Ubuntu and OpenStack, and the focused efforts of Canonical to make Ubuntu useful in the cloud have all contributed to that position.” ®

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