Ubuntu’s Mark Shuttleworth Interview with Linux-Magazine Italia

Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, and Canonical Ltd., recently did an interview with Linux-Magazine Italia and he was kind enough to translate the Italian version to English and post it on his blog.

Here is a great question and answer from the interview:

3) Ok, let’s talk about the latest Ubuntu 8.04. In an interview you said that “Hardy Heron is your most significant release ever”. Well, can you talk about the main improvements of this release?
First, this is an LTS (“Long Term Support”) release that was delivered on a very precise schedule. Six months ago we committed to shipping 8.04 LTS on April 24th, and we did exactly that. As far as I know, nobody has ever shipped an “enterprise class” OS release on a schedule that precise. And not only did we do that, but we have now committed to ship the next LTS in April 2010, it will be 10.04 LTS, and we’ll set the exact date six months in advance like we did with this one. It is thanks to Debian and the free software community that it is possible for us to do this. So 8.04 LTS has proven our ability to deliver not just 18-month-supported releases on time, but also LTS releases on time. We very much hope that other distributions will follow our lead on the LTS cycle with their enterprise releases, because that will make it easier for us all to collaborate, and make all the major Linux distributions better.

Second, there are very significant new developments for Ubuntu itself. On the server, we worked with HP on their Proliant range, and with Dell on their PowerEdge range, to ensure that 8.04 LTS will be compatible with their popular x86 servers. We’re not yet certified, but we are sure that it will “Just Work”. Sun Microsystems has gone further, and has actually certified 8.04 LTS on a range of their x86 servers. This is a major step forward for Ubuntu on the server. We see an amazing amount of usage now for Ubuntu on the server – it’s the most popular server platform for several ISV’s. So it’s important that we work with server vendors, and server solution vendors. We’ve also put a lot of work into the use of KVM and VMWare virtualisation, because we see people building hundreds of virtual appliances on Ubuntu.

On the desktop, we have focused on making it easier to install Ubuntu, especially on a machine which already has Windows, where you can now install Ubuntu into a file on the Windows partition instead of having to resize your Windows partition to make a new partition for Ubuntu. That makes it much easier for people to test out Ubuntu, and hence to get a taste of free software. We have also worked on many of the common things that people want to do with their PC, such as work with photos and music, and started to improve the user experience there.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Where Linux is headed in 2008

InformationWeek has an e-mail interview with the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds to get some perspective on what lies ahead for Linux in 2008.

The creator of Linux is excited about solid-state drives, expects progress in graphics and wireless networking, and says the operating system is strong in virtualization despite his personal lack of interest in the area.

Heres one of the questions:

InformationWeek: Where will the Linux kernel gain added strengths in 2008?

Torvalds: We really are pretty much all over the map. One of the fun things about Linux, and certainly the thing that has kept it interesting over almost two decades now, is how different people have different goals and the hardware keeps changing under us too.

So a lot of the effort ends up being hardware-related. Both in terms of peripheral drivers and simply in platform changes. The bulk of the kernel really is about hardware support, and that alone keeps us busy. The situation in graphics and wireless networking devices — both of which have been somewhat weak spots — is changing, and I suspect that will be a large part of what continues to happen during 2008 too.

One of the things I personally am really interested in is the move over to SSD [solid-state drives] disks. I’m a huge believer in [reducing] latency, and some of the better SSDs are changing the whole game when it comes to access latency, which in turn has potentially big impacts on the kernel — and while they are currently expensive enough to be a pretty minor player, that is certainly looking to change in 2008 and later.

And you already mentioned virtualization. It may not be my favorite area, but it’s certainly a happening one ;)

But in the end, a lot of this is just a huge amount of individually small changes that may not be even interesting on their own – what is then really stunning is how big a difference all those small not-so-interesting changes make when you put them all together.

In other words, I’m a huge believer in the “99 % perspiration, 1% inspiration” rule. It’s a lot of hard — but happily, mostly interesting — work, and there is seldom, if ever, any single big silver bullet. So 99 % of all the real work that will go on during 2008 is just more of the same, and that’s really the important part!

Read the rest of the interview..

Slackware: Interview with Patrick Volkerding

The Linux Link Tech Show had the excellent opportunity to interview a legend in my eyes. Patrick Volkerding, the founder and maintainer of Slackware Linux. Slackware is known to most as the oldest maintained Linux distribution still alive. Started in 1993, Slackware has continued it’s reputation as the most “UNIX-Like” Linux distribution around. I give many thanks to Mr. Volkerding for keeping Slackware’s philosophy the same throughout the years, which is simplicity and stability. The guys at TLLTS spend a great deal of time speaking with Patrick on various items, including asking questions from the community. It’s a must listen for the true Linux geeks out there.

Click here to download the MP3.
Click here to download the OGG.