Canonical has announced the upcoming availability of Ubuntu 8.10 Server Edition for free download on 30 October. Ubuntu 8.10 Server Edition will be maintained for 18 months and adds significant enhancements in virtualisation, Java development and system management.
“Ubuntu 8.10 Server Edition is a terrific milestone that underlines the value in our twin track release strategy,” said Jane Silber, COO of Canonical. “The server edition embraces cloud computing, virtualisation, mail server enhancements, Java development and deployment as well as a range of services to help system admininstrators and developers. Our six-monthly release cycle allows us to get these features in front of users faster continuing to make Ubuntu the best option for innovative organisations.”
Ubuntu’s built-in support for Tomcat is good news for Java folk wanting to make Ubuntu their primary work & deployment OS. Tomcat however only offers a servlet container and not the entire JavaEE stack. Support for the entire stack with a JavaEE application server is expected in an Ubuntu version in the near future. Glassfish is widely expected to be the server to be included, however there’s no official word as yet.
New to Ubuntu 8.10 Server Edition
Complete Java Stack
Apache Tomcat 6.0 and OpenJDK are now fully supported options that make Ubuntu a great choice for developing and deploying Java applications in production environments.
Building on the Just Enough Operating System (JeOS) version launched last year, Ubuntu 8.10 ships with a Virtual Machine builder. It allows complete Virtual Machines to be built from the command line in less than five minutes. Developers and system administrators can script the creation of custom virtual images. Vm-builder provides a key component to a dynamic provisioning process for businesses using virtualisation environments.
JeOS has been merged into the Server CD and is now available as an option at installation time. Ubuntu 8.10 officially supports running as a paravirtualized guest on Xen hypervisors. KVM has also been updated to allow more flexible memory management. Administrators can reduce or increase the memory allocated to any virtual machine without having to reboot it.
Enhanced Mail Server Capabilities
ClamAV and SpamAssassin are now available from the main repository providing a supported solution for spam detection and virus filtering for mail infrastructures built on Ubuntu Server.
Improved RAID Support
Ubuntu 8.10 provides support for SATA “software” RAID controllers via DMRaid. Booting from a degraded RAID array is now configurable by the system administrator.
Encrypted Private Directory
Administrators can now easily set-up an Ubuntu system to provide encrypted private directories which are automatically mounted when users login locally or via ssh. Sensitive data is kept secure even if the system is stolen.
Hardening the Packages
The tool chain used to compile Ubuntu has been updated to include even more security features such as glibc function call fortification. Bugs in applications are even harder to be turned into exploitable vulnerabilities.
Uncomplicated Firewall is Getting Even Simpler
The Uncomplicated Firewall makes it easier to manage a host firewall thanks to the addition of application profiles. Common services such as apache, bind9, cups, dovecot, openssh, postfix or samba declare which ports they use so that the administrator only enables a network service rather than a set of ports.
Landscape Client Bundled within Ubuntu
Landscape client provides a free reporting function at each login. Key information such as system statistics is added to the “message of the day” that is displayed at login (motd). Any type of metric can be gathered simply by writing plugins for Landscape client.
Landscape is Canonical’s lightweight system management tool for Ubuntu systems that allows automated deployment and monitoring. Full activation of the client for landscape customers is now available within the installer.
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