Ubuntu Linux Has What It Takes to Challenge Windows on the Desktop
A new Long Term Support release of Ubuntu Linux, code-named "Trusty Tahr," arrives just as Microsoft ends support on Windows XP. A Canonical vice president believes it's a great alternative to replace XP.The Ubuntu 14.04 release, dubbed the "Trusty Tahr," is now available, providing users with a Linux desktop that will be supported for the next five years. The new Linux distribution comes at a very opportune time, given Microsoft's recent end of life for support on Windows XP. Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions in use today and is commercially backed by Canonical. The new Ubuntu 14.04 release is what is known as a Long Term Support (LTS) release and provides users with five years of support. In contrast, the Ubuntu 13.10 release was a non-LTS update and only carried nine months of support. Canonical issues new LTS releases every two years. Ubuntu is a great alternative to replace Windows XP, according to Rick Spencer, vice president of Ubuntu Engineering at Canonical. Spencer told eWEEK that it is Canonical's expectation that Ubuntu 13.10 users will migrate to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to continue to receive security support and bug fixes. Ubuntu 13.10 was released in October 2013. The Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will also be a key migration target for users of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which was released in April 2012. "The most important features for people upgrading from 12.04 LTS is that full disk encryption is now offered as part of the default installation and that AppArmor has much improved mediation of various forms of inter-process communication," Spencer said. AppArmor, which was first included by Canonical in the Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" release in October 2007, is a mandatory access control (MAC) open-source security technology that is integrated with Ubuntu.
Unlike Microsoft's Windows operating system, where there is typically only one desktop user interface, with Linux there are multiple choices. For Ubuntu 14.04, Spencer expects the vast majority of users will be running the Unity 7 desktop that comes with it.