• Distro watch for Ubuntu lovers: What's ahead in Linux land

    With the death of Unity, Canonical will focus more attention on Ubuntu servers, Ubuntu in the cloud and Ubuntu in the so-called Internet of Things.

    Even if you give Canonical the benefit of the doubt - that it will continue working on desktop Ubuntu - at the very least, desktop Ubuntu's future looks uncertain.

    Post Unity, how will the transition to GNOME work? Will existing Unity users be "upgraded" to GNOME with 17.10? Canonical is reportedly plotting out solutions to much of this uncertainty right now, but for users, the uncertainty rules the day.

    As I've already argued, Canonical appears to be following in the footsteps of Red Hat and SUSE Linux. In 2003, Red Hat dropped its desktop, then called Red Hat Linux, and started up Red Hat Enterprise Linux, eventually becoming the enterprise-focused company it is today. Something similar happened to SUSE, though the process was different. Novell bought SUSE in 2003 and immediately rebranded it SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

    I believe Canonical will follow in the footsteps of Red Hat and SuSE. But there's an upside: out of Red Hat came Fedora and out SuSE came openSUSE. In the end, for Linux distros, community matters. Enterprise customers may pay the bills but without community Linux distros seem to fade away into the ether.

    In light of that, it's worth taking a look at where the various distros are, what their plans for the future are and why you might prefer them over Ubuntu.

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