The open source operating system makes it easier to configure, update, and run in both development and deployment environments of public clouds, according to Canonical.
Already one of the most popular operating systems on Amazon EC 2, Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition features kernel upgrades, more configuration options at boot time, and can run the Amazon Machine Image (AMI) offline on a KVM-virtualized machine, Canonical said. This allows users to test and develop on local servers before pushing to the public cloud for true hybrid cloud computing.
"With Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition we continue to make Ubuntu the default open source choice for cloud computing," said Neil Levine, VP of corporate services at Canonical. "We are adding features and functions that extend our lead in the public cloud and bridge the gap to hybrid and local computing environments. The infrastructure layer is the enabler of cloud computing and Ubuntu 10.10 is leading the way to put open source at the heart of those efforts."
In addition, Ubuntu 10.10 extends CloudInit, a configuration tool that allows users of Ubuntu on the cloud to set a default locale, create the hostname, generate and set up SSH private keys, and generate mount points. Users also can run custom commands and scripts on initial startup or on each reboot.
Canonical launched the Ubuntu Server on Cloud 10 program, which lets users try out Ubuntu 10.10 Server on Amazon EC2 at no cost for one hour. Other new server features include a new interface for administrators; simplified deployment for developers, and the ability to run Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) from a USB stick. Canonical included Eucalyptus 2.0, the latest version of UEC's core cloud technology, in Ubuntu 10.10, and integrated GlusterFS and Ceph into the core product.
The desktop and netbook version of Ubuntu 10.10 primarily target home and mobile computing users, and include both online and offline applications. Netbook users now have access to Unity, a new desktop interface designed specifically for smaller screens and mobile computing with larger icons and a more touch-intuitive interface, according to Canonical. The operating system interoperates with other operating systems such as Google's Android, Apple's iPhone, and Microsoft Windows.
Users can access thousands of applications, games, and tools via the Ubuntu Software Centre. The Ubuntu community now also aims to attract application developers and software publishers, and commercial applications are available to users through the software portal.
"Ubuntu 10.10 for desktops and netbooks is our most consumer-friendly release yet," said Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical. "Ubuntu One's personal cloud services will put Ubuntu at the heart of many users' computing worlds, even when they need or prefer to use other platforms. Unity has the opportunity to change how we think about our use of computers and the Software Centre will bridge Ubuntu with the applications users need to switch to the world's best OS."
The free Ubuntu One Basic service includes a personal cloud for sharing and syncing files, contacts, notes, and bookmarks, as well as 2 GB of free storage, access to music from the integrated store, and a beta client for Windows that lets users integrate Windows and Ubuntu.
Users can opt to pay for the Ubuntu One Mobile service, which offers applications for Android and iPhone so they can stream music from their personal clouds to their mobile devices and synchronize contacts. Additional 20-GB blocks of storage can be purchased on demand.