Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (aka Xenial Xerus) What’s In The Bits and Bytes?
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (aka Xenial Xerus) was recently released (you can get the bits or software download here). Ubuntu is available in various distributions including as a server, workstation or desktop among others that can run bare metal on a physical machine (PM), virtual machine (VM) or as a cloud instance via services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) as well as Microsoft Azure among others.
Refresh, What is Ubuntu
For those not familiar or who need a refresh, Ubuntu is an open source Linux distribution with the company behind it called Canonical. The Ubuntu software is a Debian based Linux distribution with Unity (user interface). Ubuntu is available across different platform architecture from industry standard Intel and AMD x86 32bit and 64bit to ARM processors and even the venerable IBM zSeriues (aka zed) mainframe as part of LinuxOne.
As a desktop, some see or use Ubuntu as an open source alternative to desktop interfaces based on those from Microsoft such as Windows or Apple.
As a server Ubuntu can be deployed from traditional applications to cloud, converged and many others including as a docker container, Ceph or OpenStack deployment platform. Speaking of Microsoft and Windows, if you are a *nix bash type person yet need (or have) to work with Windows, bash (and more) are coming to Windows 10. Ubuntu desktop GUI or User Interface options include Unity along with tools such as Compiz and LibreOffice (an alternative to Microsoft Office).
What’s New In the Bits and Bytes (e.g. Software)
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is based on the Linux 4.4 kernel, that also includes Python 3, Ceph Jewel (block, file and object storage) and OpenStack Mitaka among other enhancements. These and other fixes as well as enhancements include:
- Libvirt 1.3.1
- Qemu 2.5
- Open vSwitch 2.5.0
- NginxLX2 2.0
- Docker 1.10
- PHP 7.9
- MySQL 7.0
- Juju 2.0
- Golang 1.6 toolchain
- OpenSSH 7.2p2 with legacy support along with cipher improvements, including 1024 bit diffie-hellman-group1-sha1 key exchange, ssh-dss, ssh-dss-cert
- GNU toolchain
- Apt 1.2
What About Ubuntu for IBM zSeries Mainframe
Ubuntu runs on 64 bit zSeries architecture with about 95% binary compatibility. If you look at the release notes, there are still a few things being worked out among known issues. However (read the release notes), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS has OpenStack and Ceph, means that those capabilities could be deployed on a zSeries.
Now some of you might think wait, how can Linux and Ceph among others work on a FICON based mainframe?
No worries, keep in mind that FICON the IBM zSeries server storage I/O protocol that co-exists on Fibre Channel along with SCSI_FCP (e.g. FCP) aka what most Open Systems people simply refer to as Fibre Channel (FC) works with the zOS and other operating systems. In the case of native Linux on zSeries, those systems can in fact use SCSI mode for accessing shared storage. In addition to the IBM LinuxOne site, you can learn more about Ubuntu running native on zSeries here on the Ubuntu site.
Where To Learn More
- Installing OpenStack on Ubuntu
- Ubuntu for Hyperscale and Arm
- Ubuntu OpenStack install with autopilot
- Ubuntu Metal as a Service (MaaS)
- Ubuntu 16.04 LTS download
What This All Means
Ubuntu as a Linux distribution continues to evolve and increase in deployment across different environments. Some still view Ubuntu as the low-end Linux for home, hobbyist or those looking for a alternative desktop to Microsoft Windows among others. However Ubuntu is also increasingly being used in roles where other Linux distribution such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), SUSE and Centos among others have gained prior popularity.
In someway’s you can view RHEL as the first generation Linux distribution that gained popular in the enterprise with early adopters, followed by a second wave or generation of those who favored Centos among others such as the cloud crowd. Then there is the Ubuntu wave which is expanding in many areas along with others such as CoreOS. Granted with some people the preference between one Linux distribution vs. another can be as polarizing as Linux vs. Windows, OpenSystems vs. Mainframe vs. Cloud among others.
Having various Ubuntu distributions installed across different servers (in addition to Centos, Suse and others), I found the install and new capabilities of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS interesting and continue to explore the many new features, while upgrading some of my older systems.
Get the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS bits here to give a try or upgrade your existing systems.
Ok, nuff said
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