The Ubuntu team recently announced the release of what is only the fifth long-term support (LTS) version of the popular Linux distro. In keeping with the current Ubuntu release cycle , this latest LTS release, dubbed Ubuntu 14.04 “Trusty Tahr”, comes two years after the last one.
One look at the accompanying
is all it takes for one to realize that Trusty Tahr is as much about burnishing existing functionality as it is about paving the way for, as Canonical put it in its
, “true convergence across desktop, phone and tablet.” Although Ubuntu Touch 14.04, notable for being the first to support the tablet form-factor, is still not a supported release and only available as a separate download from the desktop flavor, Canonical’s ultimate aim is to combine the two.
"Full convergence means that the same code for operating systems and applications will be running on all types of devices, from phones to tablets to desktops, and even both smaller and larger devices," Ubuntu’s engineering VP Rick Spencer told ArsTechnica in a statement. "Convergence is still a work in progress, and we will continue to move the code to the desktop as it is ready in each release."
According to the company, the first commercially available Ubuntu tablets, whenever they become available, will be based on 14.04 LTS. As for those of you who just can’t wait any longer, you’ll be happy to note that you can install the latest version of Ubuntu Touch on the Nexus 10, Nexus 7 (2013) and Nexus 4 right now.
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, which includes version 3.13 of the Linux kernel, also packs a number of improvements on the desktop front, including support for high-DPI screens, the option to choose the application menu position, a redesigned application spread, and some new window decorations.
All in all, Canonical feels, 14.04 LTS has enough to be a good replacement for Windows XP. Here’s what Canonical CEO Jane Silber said in a press release: “The 14.04 LTS release offers a solid, intuitive experience which is easy to manage. It is a viable and affordable alternative for those organisations considering a switch from Microsoft, and specifically those replacing XP or Windows 7 as they come to the end of life.”
“Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is the first long-term support release with support for the new 'arm64' architecture for 64-bit ARM systems, as well as the 'ppc64el' architecture for little-endian 64-bit POWER systems. This release also includes several subtle but welcome improvements to Unity, AppArmor, and a host of other great software,” the Ubuntu team wrote in a recent blog post.
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