Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to be supported for 10 years (instead of 5!)
According to ZDNet Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, codename Bionic Beaver will be supported for 10 years instead of the usual 5. This news comes directly from Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth during OpenStack Summit in Berlin, and it has no precedents. Or should I say, it has almost no precedents? In the past Canonical extended support for Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 14.04, two of the most used Ubuntu server versions that you occasionally see popping out of nowhere, for paying customers. Now let’s talk about the reasons behind this move.
Ubuntu is everywhere in the Cloud and it aims to IoT
I’m delighted to announce that Ubuntu 18.04 will be supported for a full 10 years … In part because of the very long time horizons in some of industries like financial services and telecommunications but also from IoT where manufacturing lines for example are being deployed that will be in production for at least a decade.
– Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical CEO
Although Ubuntu’s motto is “Linux for Human beings”, it seems to be getting more love from machines rather than humans these days. According to the cloud market, Ubuntu dominates the scene in cloud instances. Shuttleworth is extending Ubuntu 18.04 lifespan to allow industries that require more stability over time to adopt Ubuntu rather than RHEL or SLES. Although Ubuntu already has a solid foot in IoT, this move will further extend its domain.
Extending the Bionic Beaver lifespan will also benefit OpenStack. Canonical provides one of the most popular, complete, OpenStack distributions based on its Ubuntu operating system. When it comes to support, Canonical still supports OpenStack IceHouse (2014) which is a very old release considering OpenStack versions are released every six months.
What does Shuttleworth think about Red Hat and IBM?
We’re neutral on the public cloud. We work at arm’s length with AWS, Azure, and Google. We provide a common currency across different environment. But, we’re not the lowest common denominator. We want to be the best operating system on Azure for Azure, AWS for AWS, and so on.
– Mark Shuttlworth, Canonical CEO
Shuttleworth has been quite optimistic about Canonical ever since the news of IBM acquiring Red Hat came out. Red Hat is still the preferred solution in enterprise environments, and Ubuntu doesn’t stand a chance as it is. With IBM buying Red Hat, Red Hat customers might get scared because Red Hat may cease to be platform-agnostic (although that’s speculation). This would ultimately benefit Ubuntu, leaving only SUSE and Canonical standing.
After the Red Hat acquisition there have been rumors about Canonical being acquired by some huge company like Microsoft, but there’s nothing written yet and Shuttleworth revealed that Canonical is still aiming at an IPO in early 2019.