A Look at What's Next for Ubuntu Linux in 2017

What's Next for Ubuntu Linux

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, what's on deck for his Linux distribution in 2017.

[VIDEO] Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu discusses some of the areas of focus for his Linux distribution in 2017, including coming up with a name for Ubuntu 17.10 in October.

Mark Shuttleworth's company Canonical has been developing Ubuntu Linux for more than a decade, with two new major milestone releases debuting every year. In 2017, the first release will be Ubuntu 17.04, codenamed the 'Zesty Zapus' set to debut in April. The big question that Ubuntu Linux fans have though is what the Ubuntu 17.10 release will be called, when it is released in October.

In a video interview, Shuttleworth provides some insight into how he will handle naming for Ubuntu, after the 17.04 release and the end of the alphabet with the letter Z. Ubuntu has been following a logical alphabetical progression for code names and with the 17.04 Zesty Zapus release, a new approach will be needed.

Beyond just the somewhat trivial nature of what the Ubuntu 17.10 release will be named, Shuttleworth also provided some direction on how the Ubuntu Linux distribution will evolve and progress over the course of 2017. One area where he expects Ubuntu to continue to grow is with the emerging internet of things (IoT) world.

"There is a lot of engagement around things people want to do with Ubuntu Core and Snappy, across a huge diversity of stuff," Shuttleworth said. "It's super fun and it's super interesting."

Ubuntu Core is a version of Ubuntu that has been optimized for small form factor and embedded device deployments, while Snappy is an open-source packaging approach that helps to enable rapid updates. The security elements of IoT are a primary concern to Shuttleworth and it's an area where he sees Snappy playing a role in keeping devices and users safe.

The other area that Ubuntu continues to work on is its LXD hypervisor for enabling increased container density and security. The LXD effort was first announced in November 2014 and has been steadily improving ever since.

Shuttleworth is also optimistic about the continued evolution of the Ubuntu desktop with the Unity 8 desktop environment that is currently in development.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.