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Article from ADMIN 14/2013
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openSUSE 12.3

The openSUSE project is rolling out another release of their community-based, Novell-backed, multipurpose Linux. SUSE has a long history of operating in a professional setting, and Novell has tooled it for interoperability with Microsoft systems and compatibility with Novell's own collection of networking and system management tools.

Under the hood is Linux kernel 3.7, along with support for the controversial UEFI Secure Boot process required for many contemporary computer systems. OpenSUSE 12.3 completes the integration with the systemd service manager. The latest version also includes the complete OpenStack Folsom cloud platform, as well as a number of improvements to developer tools such as KDevelop, QtCreator, and the Glade Gnome/Gtk user interface development tool.

Like many other Linux distros, openSUSE has changed their database default from the Oracle-controlled MySQL to MariaDB.

Ubuntu to Reduce Non-LTS Support

The Ubuntu Technical board has voted to change the support period for non-LTS releases from 18 months to 9. Ubuntu developed the concept of LTS (Long-Term Services) releases to extend support for enterprise customers who were more interested in stability and continuity than in chasing the latest new release. An LTS version appears every two years and is supported for five years. The current LTS version is Ubuntu 12.04. The change affects all releases that aren't LTS releases, which the Ubuntu community now refers to as "standard" releases. Since standard releases appear every six months, the nine-month support window provides continuous support until the next standard version appears and gives the user three months to upgrade.

The Ubuntu community has gone through an active discussion for the last few months about possible changes to the release schedule. Ubuntu VP Rick Spencer suggested a rolling release schedule, which would basically eliminate the need for a standard release entirely, but founder Mark Shuttleworth was ultimately unwilling to take this extreme step. The compromise developed by the Ubuntu Technical board affirms the importance of standard releases but minimizes redundant maintenance efforts and provides a greater share of resources for maintaining the LTS versions.

The board also offer to devise a way for users or developers to "track the tip of development" without waiting for a full release. This concept is similar to what Spencer originally proposed as a "rolling release." According to the Ubuntu website, "The general idea is that a user could opt for continuous upgrades on what is essentially the development release." They agreed to implement this change effective with version 13.04 and later. The LTS releases will continue to be supported for the full five years. You can read the IRC log of the meeting online at: http://irclogs.ubuntu.com/2013/03/18/%23ubuntu-meeting.html#t21:00.

Microsoft Blue

Rumors have emerged about a new Windows release coming sometime later this year. Worldwide concerns about the problems with Windows 8 had already caused many Redmond watchers to speculate that a change might be on the way, and when the news leaked to the press about a new release known as Windows Blue, word traveled quickly across the Internet.

Microsoft eventually announced that they were working on something new, but as the details emerged, Windows Blue began to look more like a significant update to Windows 8 rather than an entirely new system. An early build of Windows Blue also leaked into the wild. So far, most reviews have focused on mobile and desktop features, with few details so far on possible changes to the server side of the release.

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