GNOME 2.14 targets corporate desktops

New lock-down tools for administrators is one of the 'shiny features' being 'pimped' in the upcoming version of the Linux desktop environment

The next version of GNOME will include a number of tools aimed at making it easier for administrators to deploy the Linux desktop environment in enterprises.

GNOME 2.14, which is due for release on 15 March, will include new administrator tools such as a profile manager and an editor to lock down PC functionality, according to GNOME developer Davyd Madeley in an article posted on the project Web site at the end of last week.

Madeley wrote on his blog that he wrote the article to "pimp the shiny features" in GNOME 2.14, although he cautioned that the details of what is included in the final version of 2.14 may change.

The profile manager, called Sabayon, allows administrators to create profiles for groups of users and set default and mandatory settings for these groups. The lock-down editor, called Pessulus, allows administrators to disable certain functionality in the GNOME desktop, according to Madeley.

"This feature is useful in corporate environments and Internet cafés where users should not be allowed to edit panels, use the command line, etc," he said.

GNOME 2.14 should also offer "significant" performance increases due to a new memory allocator. The new memory allocator takes only 2s to perform an operation that took the previous memory allocator 26s, claimed Madeley.

Although GNOME has a devoted following among the technical community, Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux, is not a fan of the desktop environment. Last year, Torvalds claimed that GNOME has been developed by "interface Nazis", and recommended that users switch to the rival desktop environment KDE.