April 12, 2007

ChangeLog: Ubuntu announces schedule and plans for Gutsy Gibbon

Author: Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier

Ubuntu's Feisty Fawn release is still scheduled for April 19, but the Ubuntu folks are already looking ahead to the version after Feisty. Mark Shuttleworth announced a few tentative plans for the October release, dubbed Gutsy Gibbon. Shuttleworth says that Gutsy will have an "ultra-orthodox" flavor alongside the regular Ubuntu release that has no unfree software or content, developed in collaboration with the gNewSense project.

It will, he says, have "no firmware, drivers, imagery, sounds, applications, or other content which do not include full source materials and come with full rights of modification, remixing and redistribution. There should be no more conservative home, for those who demand a super-strict interpretation of the 'free' in free software. This work will be done in collaboration with the folks behind Gnewsense."

In Shuttleworth's email, he says that the release was almost called "Glossy Gnu" to celebrate the GNU Project, but Gutsy Gibbon won out. Shuttleworth also says he hopes that the third time will be the charm for desktop effects in Gutsy:

On a personal note, the monkey on my back has been composite-by-default, which I had hoped would happen in Edgy, then Feisty. I'm nervous to predict it now for Gutsy, for fear of a third strike, but I'm told that great work is being done in the Compiz/Beryl community and upstream in X. There's a reasonable chance that Gutsy will deliver where those others have not. I remain convinced that malleable, transparent and extra-dimensional GUIs are a real opportunity for the free software community to take a lead in the field of desktop innovation, and am keen to see the underlying technologies land in Ubuntu, but we have to balance that enthusiasm with the Technical Board's judgment of the stability and maturity of those fundamental layers.

He says that Gutsy will not be a Long Term Support (LTS) release, "but it will nonetheless see a lot of server work and be useful for fast-moving server deployments." Shuttleworth also says that the October release will include integrated management features on the server side, and "an unattended-installation infrastructure in Ubiquity [the Ubuntu installer] that makes it trivial to roll out Ubuntu desktops across an organization while getting on with other, more complicated stuff such as Windows service pack installations on legacy desktops."

Ubuntu has a long history of alliterative animal names for its releases:

  • October 2004: Warty Warthog
  • April 2005: Hoary Hedgehog
  • October 2005: Breezy Badger
  • June 2006: Dapper Drake (LTS release)
  • October, 2006: Edgy Eft
  • April 2007: Feisty Fawn (not yet released)
  • October 2007: Gutsy Gibbon (not yet released)

Scott James Remnant, the Ubuntu development manager, also posted a tentative development schedule for Gutsy, with six milestone releases, a beta release after the next GNOME release, and a final release three weeks after the beta.

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