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Ubuntu 13.04 'Raring Ringtail' debuts, to be followed by 'Saucy Salamander'

The latest desktop version of this popular Linux distribution focuses on performance.

Canonical on Thursday announced the final release of Ubuntu Linux 13.04 "Raring Ringtail" for both desktop PCs and servers.

On the desktop side, this new release delivers performance and quality improvements that make it the "fastest and most visually polished Ubuntu experience" to date, Canonical said. Ubuntu Server 13.04, meanwhile, offers OpenStack with high availability as a standard feature along with scalable storage and big data deployment capabilities."

Both versions of the free and open source Linux distribution are now available for download from the Ubuntu project site. In the meantime, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth today also named the next version of the software: Ubuntu 13.10, due in October, will be nicknamed "Saucy Salamander."

No 'smart scopes' yet

Development on Ubuntu 13.04 has focused less on adding new features and more on performance, Canonical said.

In particular, performance on lightweight systems was a key area of emphasis as part of polishing Ubuntu for use on mobile devices, the company said. Accordingly, version 13.04 aims to deliver not just significantly faster response times in casual use, but also a reduced memory footprint.

As far as actual new features to report, however, there are really not very many. In fact, the release is particularly notable for the absence of some key features that had been scheduled to appear, such as the "smart scopes" feature that was to rank and refine online search results and the improved privacy settings that were supposed to address user concerns over Ubuntu's integration of Amazon search results.

Nine months of support

Those two features are now expected in a later release. The new Mir display server, meanwhile, is also not yet part of the picture.

Finally, Linux 3.8.8, Unity 7, Upstart 1.8, Python 3.3, and LibreOffice 4.0 are among the updated packages in this new release, which will be supported for the newly shortened period of just nine months. As promised, the Wubi installer is not included.

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