We saw some interesting Linux distributions make their presence felt in 2014. A few more are scheduled for a stable release in 2015. Let’s take a look at four of them.
Ubuntu is a popular and well-supported Linux operating system. It has a little something for everyone, and is considered a safe bet if you’re new to Linux. The next stable release of Ubuntu, codenamed Vivid Vervet, is scheduled for April 23, 2015. It will come with a new Linux kernel and an updated version of GNOME. Alpha versions of a handful of Ubuntu flavors, including Kubuntu and Lubuntu, are now available.
With work on the Mir display server and the Unity 8 desktop environment (try it now) coming along well, these two elements could be a part of the April release. But they probably won’t be pushed out as default options until Ubuntu 15.10 comes along. In any case, not all of the Ubuntu flavors will be joining the Mir bandwagon. They might stick with the Wayland display server.
If you’re wondering what a display server is, how it affects your Linux distribution, and how Mir is different from Wayland, Danny’s article on trying Wayland will bring you up to speed.
An intermediate Linux Mint update is likely to follow the Ubuntu update, but unlike previous years, it will be based on the existing LTS version (Ubuntu 14.04 / Trusty Tahr) instead of the latest release (Ubuntu 15.04 / Vivid Vervet). Linux Mint 18 will come post the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS release. If you’re interested in Ubuntu’s cloud platform, you’ll want to know more about Snappy Ubuntu Core.
Now stepping up the excitement is the latest flavor, Freya, the third iteration of the OS. It brings a newer kernel, updated packages and applications drawing from the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release, and a more polished interface overall. Online accounts along the lines of Ubuntu online accounts are also lined up. Instead of introducing drastic changes, Freya focuses on smoothening the rough edges of Luna and presenting a more mature version of the OS.
If you’re a Linux newbie or just prefer a simple, fuss-free OS, do keep an eye out for Freya. While it is slated for a 2015 release, the exact date is not known. In the meantime, you can drool over the beta version. And it seems Freya beta is surprisingly stable.
Have you heard of Numix Project? It brings a selection of wallpapers and icon themes to make your Linux desktop stylish and inviting. We featured it as part of a roundup of alternatives to the default Linux icon sets. Now the team behind Numix Project has joined hands with Nitrux S. A. to work on a Linux distribution called Ozon.
Ready. Set. Game. goes the tagline of this Fedora-based, optimized-for-gaming distribution. It comes with an installation of Steam and uses the GNOME shell. You can expect a beautiful interface if existing Numix artwork is anything to go by.
An alpha version of Ozon is already out. The beta version, likely to be more exciting, will be based on Fedora 21, which was released in December 2014. If all goes as planned, you can expect the final version, codenamed Hydrogen, in the first quarter of 2015. To get regular updates on the development of this modern, minimalistic OS, head to Ozon OS’s Google+ profile.
If you ever wished Chrome OS wasn’t just for Chromebook users, the upcoming openSUSE-based Evolve OS might have a solution for you. It combines the functionality of a Linux desktop with the look and feel of the increasingly popular Chrome OS.
It’s hard to tell for sure if Evolve OS will be released in 2015. A lot depends on whether its developers will be able to raise enough funds to keep the development going at a steady pace. A few alpha versions of the distribution have been released, but so far, a beta version is nowhere in sight. Nevertheless, we think Evolve OS looks quite promising.
For now, you can get the sleek and minimal look of Chrome OS for your current Linux distribution by installing the Budgie desktop, which is being developed as part of Evolve OS. If you want to contribute to the work on this distribution, click the “Donate” button on the Evolve OS homepage.
More Linux On Your Radar?
Many of you have opted for Linux as your primary OS, Linux myths notwithstanding. Given the sheer number of Linux distributions and their flavors available, it’s hard to keep track of all of them. Some distros seem to be more awaited than most, such as the ones listed above.
If you’re not a Linux expert, it’s best to steer clear of alpha versions because they’re bound to be buggy and unstable, and they will undergo major changes when they move into beta. Until you can get your hands on one of the stable releases, take the beta for a test drive. It will help you pick a decent Linux distribution for yourself.
Have you spotted a Linux distro that is worth watching out for in 2015? Let us know in the comments.
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