Ubuntu 12.04 LTS now available on City Cloud!

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From time to time, we get excited due to a big launch regarding base operating systems. This time is the turn of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which is a great step forward for anyone using Linux.

It comes packed with the latest bells and whistles, so read on to know more about it.

And if you are impatient enough, well, the image is readily available on the App Center for you to start using it.

What is LTS exactly?

LTS stands for Long Term Support. This basically means that LTS versions are maintained for a given period of time, with security and important updates.

The server version (and starting with 12.04, the desktop version as well) has 5 years of support from the release date, which was just recently in April 2012.

This is ideal for a production server, where we want the latest stable version of everything. Of course, keeping the software up-to-date is still your responsibility but it’s better go to sleep knowing that there is somebody behind the distribution, making sure everything is top notch.

For a detailed view of LTS, you can go to the official Ubuntu Wiki

Tell me about the good stuff

It’s been two years since the previous LTS release, and we already know what that implies in the technology landscape. Yes, a swarm of changes and improvements.

And Canonical, the creators of Ubuntu, has been hard at work on several fronts. Let’s get to the nitty-gritty:

The little UI that could

Despite strong opposition at the beginning, Canonical sailed through the winds and came up standing. We are talking about the new user interface that replaced Gnome, Unity.

The improvements to the interface are quite noticeable, both in terms of usability and functionality. Whether you like it or not, one has to respect Canonical sticking to its long term vision. And it comes in a moment where there is a fundamental shift in interface design, judging from Windows 8, tablets, cellphones and all kind of gadgets that are aimed towards touch and easily distinguishable elements, not to mention, pretty and minimalistic.

But hey, this is Linux we are talking about. You don’t like Unity? You can install other ones, and there are special bundles that come from the ground up with another interface (i.e. Kubuntu comes with KDE by default).

Getting back to what pertains to us, Unity is not available on the server edition (although one can choose to have it during the installation). Nonetheless, if you so desire, you can still install it after provisioning the server.

Latest Kernel

The Linux Kernel is the heart of GNU/Linux, it contains the blood of our server and filters it through all of our applications. While the Kernel can be updated, it’s a tedious process for those who don’t do it frequently.

But not to fear, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS comes with a very modern Kernel, version:  3.2.0-23.

Up-to-date official repositories

The Kernel is one thing, but we end up using the applications. So, it’s imperative that we have access to the latest versions, that may contain fixes and enhancements. Compiling is always an option, but it’s recommended that one source is kept to ensure ease of use when it comes to upgrading our server.

Thanks to Apt and Synaptic (excellent package manager from Debian), we can easily keep our servers tidy and up-to-date.

Improvements all over the place

Last but not least, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS comes with improvements on all areas. Be that file systems, scheduling, and most importantly for us, a great deal of enhancements for servers that run in the cloud.

The list goes on and on, so we suggest that you check the official Ubuntu website.

Time to get our hands dirty

Where do you get it? Simple, if you have a City Cloud account already, just log into your control panel and go to the App Center. You will find it right there.

If you don’t have an account, it’s easy, go here to get started.

In a matter of minutes you will have a brand new Ubuntu Server 12.04 64-bit ready to be used for whatever you need.