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on 17 April 2014

What’s new in Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS?

Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS, which goes live today, is the third Ubuntu LTS release designed for cloud. After more than four years, we finally see the cloud coming of age, with OpenStack at its heart. Ubuntu has for a long time been the platform of choice for running enterprise workloads such as web infrastructure. Today, Ubuntu OpenStack sits at the heart of cloud infrastructure at some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies, some of which were mentioned in our press release. In fact, we are so confident of the maturity of OpenStack, that we’ve decided to support the Icehouse release for five years, just like the Ubuntu Server release it comes with. So, 14.04 is effectively both Ubuntu LTS and OpenStack LTS together.

14.04 is more than Ubuntu OpenStack. Docker, arguably the hottest cloud infrastructure technology around today, is included in this release. Ubuntu has always been the preferred platform for Docker users, and now support for Docker is included in the Ubuntu Advantage support packages offered by Canonical. Docker’s image repository includes official Ubuntu images, including 14.04, and Docker is available to Ubuntu users via apt-get. This release also includes quite a few package updates, including Tomcat 7, Postgresql 9.3, Libvirt 1.2, Puppet 3.0 and others.

The cross-platform nature of Ubuntu continues in full force, with ARM64, IBM POWER, and Intel Avoton being added to the long list of supported hardware architectures. And on the public cloud front, we have official 14.04 images available for AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM SmartCloud, Joyent, and HP Cloud, and we’re extending our Public Cloud Programme to include more niche players, allowing them to offer their customers the same reliable and consistent Ubuntu experience as larger cloud providers.

Ubuntu’s cloud tools, MAAS for hardware provisioning and Juju for service orchestration, continue to get better. A few weeks ago, we announced Juju bundles and Quickstart, and today we integrate them into the LTS release, the first one to also include the Juju GUI. Manual and local providers for Juju allow a quick and easy development and testing experience, in which you can even replicate your cloud environment locally to ensure a seamless deployment. MAAS now has a new installer that offers a dramatic improvement in speed of install, and a very convenient tool called maas-test, which allows you to test your hardware’s compatibility with MAAS without having to go through the whole installation and provisioning process. You can even report your test results back to us to help us decide on future plans for MAAS compatibility.

As we’ve said before, it’s not how you build your cloud, it’s what you run on it. Our goal therefore is to provide a solution that allows you to deploy any workload, on any substrate, be it OpenStack, MAAS, public cloud, or even your own hardware. We believe that with 14.04 LTS we are taking a significant step towards this goal.

For a full list and explanation of new features in 14.04 (especially those introduced since 12.04 LTS), take a look at this brochure.

For even more technical details, you can consult our release notes. We hope you are as excited about Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS as we are. But the innovation doesn’t stop, so look forward to even more exciting announcements at the OpenStack Summit this May!

Download Whitepaper

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