It's a busy news day for Linux.
Thanks to digg, I ended-up reading this very impressive hands-on look at the latest beta release of Feisty Fawn (a.k.a. Ubuntu Linux 7.04). A stable release of Ubuntu Linux 7.04 is set for release in April 2007. According to Eugenia Loli-Queru who wrote the piece for OS News (she's the former editor-in-chief):
I've been an Arch/Slackware Linux user for the last 3 years, but Ubuntu has won me the last few days because of the conveniences it brings. The point of the matter is, I am now older. I am 33 years old and I just don't have the same energy as I used to to deal with stupid issues that they should not be there, or with removal or non-development of conveniences for no good reason. Ubuntu is a distro that obviously has paid attention to detail (and everyone who knows me from my past writings knows how much I can bitch about "defaults" and "details") and has found a good middle ground between hard core Linux users and new users from the Windows/OSX land. I am looking forward for the final version of Feisty Fawn in April and you should do too.
Switching from Slackware? Considering the types of Linux users that live and swear by Slackware, that's a pretty ringing endorsement. Anyway, I won't steal any more of Eugenia's thunder. You can read the review in one of two ways; Either "Wow, this desktop Linux thing has come a long way and is inching up on Windows while requiring fewer system resources to boot (literally, figuratively)" or "Damn if you don't have to be a guru to really get things dialed-in on desktop Linux." I read it both ways and had to laugh at Eugenia's comment about how much energy she has for dealing with stupid issues. The question for Windows users may be "How much energy do you have for non-stupid issues?" Read the review and you'll see what I mean.
<sidebar>One really important issue for desktop Linux to succeed will be hardware support from system manufacturers. Although I haven't checked very recently, the last time I asked Lenovo which of the Thinkpads was officially supported (for Linux), the answer was "1." The Lenovo X60 Thinkpad that I'm currently testing is not one of them (*sigh*) which is why I'm not going to endanger its current configuration (or use up its limited hard drive space) with something like Ubuntu or Xandros.</sidebar>
Elsewhere in Linux news, Sun chief open source officer Simon Phipps writes:
I'm delighted to be able to welcome a new colleague who's starting with Sun today. He is starting a newly-defined role as Chief Operating Platforms Officer at Sun, and is responsible for building a new strategy to evolve both Sun's Solaris and GNU/Linux strategies. The appointment is at the same time both brilliant and controversial, but is the logical next step as far as I am concerned.....Today my new colleague is here to perhaps guide the combination of the brilliance of Solaris and the pervasive and seductive character of GNU/Linux to start the next wave. Please welcome the founder of Debian GNU/Linux, chair of the Linux Standards Base and outgoing CTO of the Linux Foundation, Ian Murdock...
Phipps refers to the new hire as "Charting the next 25 years." Given the comings and goings in this business, that headline may be a little over done. But I do kind of like how Murdock obsesses about bread and butter stuff like backward compatibility in platforms. More here too. That sort of discipline makes him fit right in at Sun where backwards compatibility (particularly with respect to Solaris an SPARC) is one of the oft-untold stories. Even so, the founder of Debian now at Sun? That's big.
Finally, flush with experience in building a distro of Linux that can practically run on an AM radio (I'm referring to the distro running on the One Laptop Per Child), does Red Hat believe that once it builds a Linux for a gazillion children, it can build one for the masses next. OK, maybe not the masses. Reports Peter Galli:
Red Hat is planning a packaged Linux desktop solution that it hopes will push its Linux desktop offering to a far broader audience than exists for its current client solution....The move is designed in part to compete with Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform, which includes SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, which were released in July 2006.
But what's best about Galli's report is how he captures Novell and Red Hat trading jabs with each other over desktop Linux. It borderlines schoolyard "I'm gonna scratch your eyes out" kinda stuff (he he).