Ubuntu Linux's next release will appear on Thursday, sporting fresh virtualization features and installation management tools, according to project sponsor Canonical. The release supports kernel-based virtual machine, a relatively new virtualization technique that allows certain systems to virtualize unmodified Linux instances in virtual machines but will only function with the hardware-based virtualization support built into newer Intel and AMD chips. It is also the first Linux distribution to support Virtual Machine Interface and Para-Ops, which optimizes performance under VMware. VMI is a standard proposed by VMware for describing the protocol that guest operating systems can use to communicate with the hypervisor.
The new management tool allows administrators to upgrade servers in a simple, automated way, Canonical said. It gives administrators control over the upgrade process, letting them override decisions where required, and provides dependency checking and task upgrades. For thin clients the release adds Jetpipe, which improves print and sound support, an improved printing architecture and sound server. Other tweaks include performance improvements, secure remote network installation, UltraSparc installer changes and an updated LAMP stack.
Last week Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said Feisty Fawn's successor will be Gutsy Gibbon and will appear in October 2007. That release will include a version without any proprietary software, Shuttleworth said. Competitors such as Red Hat and Suse Linux have focused their virtualization support on Xen, which Feisty Fawn also supports. Ubuntu is based on Debian, which reached a major release last week, after months of delays.
News source: PC World