Feeds

Ubuntu 13.10 lands on desktops, servers and (er, some) phones

Release hailed as 'milestone in computing history'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

As had been foretold, Canonical on Thursday announced the release of Ubuntu 13.10 in flavors for desktop PCs, servers, and mobile devices, going as far as to describe the new version as "a milestone in computing history."

"The exact same Ubuntu OS runs on ARM phones and modern HP Moonshot ARM servers, and provides exactly the same capability as x86 platforms," Canonical consumer engineering head Rick Spencer gushed in a canned statement. "Ubuntu 13.10 is a full server-grade OS that offers a mobile experience and is lean enough to support mobile devices, kicking off a new era in mobile security and computing convergence."

In truth, that might be over-egging the pudding a bit. In an email to The Reg, a Canonical spokesman stressed that we shouldn't think of Ubuntu 13.10 as a consumer-ready mobile OS, but rather "the first stepping stone on that journey which is aimed at developers, OEMs, silicon vendors, carriers and more technically-minded enthusiasts."

Canonical has been working with hardware makers, carriers, and developers to bring Ubuntu-based smartphones to market in 2014, and it says it's still on track with that plan, but so far what Ubuntu has to offer on mobile devices is pretty bare-bones.

At present, it's only officially supported on unlocked Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Google/LG Nexus 4 phones, and even then, Canonicals's website says it's for evaluation purposes only and "can potentially brick your device."

Still, Ubuntu 13.10 does include the first batch of Ubuntu community-built mobile core apps, and it's the first release to ship with the full Ubuntu SDK, which includes tools for building mobile apps using either HTML5 or native code.

It also comes with Mir, Canonical's replacement for the hoary X Windows System graphics layer, that's meant to unify Ubuntu's user interface across desktops and touch-centric devices. But it's only installed by default on mobile devices, after the Ubuntu engineers determined that it didn't meet the "current quality feature set" they had defined for the desktop.

Otherwise, Ubuntu 13.10 brings the usual raft of fixes, updates, and minor new features that you'd expect of a new Ubuntu version. On the desktop side, beyond the typical under-the-hood updates, that mainly means it includes a few more "Smart Scopes," Canonical's name for the search widgets that plug into the Ubuntu Dash.

On the server front, Ubuntu 13.10 includes the newest version of Canonical's Juju tool, which now allows admins to create Ubuntu instances in Microsoft's Azure cloud and to manage LXC containers. It also updates Ubuntu's bundled OpenStack distribution to "Havana," the latest version, and introduces integrated orchestration of OpenStack alongside VMware vSphere.

Per usual, the Desktop, Server, and Cloud versions of Ubuntu 13.10 are available from Canonical's download site beginning on Thursday. To install Ubuntu on a mobile device, you'll want to follow the detailed instructions here (and if you don't know what you're doing, you'll realize it right away).

If you're thinking of deploying Ubuntu in a production setting, however, you might want to wait until the next release, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, due in April 2014. Unlike Ubuntu 13.10, that version will be a Long Term Support release, which means Canonical promises to support it for three years on the desktop and for five years on servers. Leave the "milestones in computing history" to the hackers. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.