MuleSoft Helps Canonical Compete in the Linux Enterprise Server Space

New Tomcat code makes it easier for developers. A new Ubuntu LTS version seem to clearly be aimed at the enterprise server market. Can Canonical focus on both servers and desktops and do them both right?

I had so much fun writing about Ubuntu last week, I thought I would return to the topic with some new Ubuntu news and analysis. Two pieces of news on Ubuntu today. First of all they announced the imminent release of the LTS Server edition 10.4. In a related announcement MuleSoft and Canonical announced a partnership in releasing an updated Tomcat package for Debian and Ubuntu that makes it easier for developers to use. 

On the MuleSoft announcement I had a chance to speak with Jason Brittain, a software architect and Tomcat expert from MuleSoft.  My impression from Jason was he and his team did a lot of the coding on the Tomcat improvements.  All of the code developed has been given back to the community as open source.  The improvements to Tomcat include:

1. Makes it much easier to restart Tomcat more reliably (from first hand knowledge, I know that used to be a problem)

2. Allows non-root users to safely bind to ports

3. The security manager is turned off by default. I have to say that I am not sure I agree with this one. Jason says that the security manager is overkill for most Tomcat installs and can still be turned on if you want to use its fine grained controls. I am from the school of you can never have enough security, so will withhold judgement on that one.

While Jason informed me that having the security turned off by default is especially helpful to developers working with Ubuntu on their desktop machines, most of this to me is clearly aimed at the server market, not the desktop.

The announcement from Canonical on the imminent 10.4 server release is certainly not aimed for the desktop. This release will have Eucalyptus support built in, as well as new versions of Puppet, Django and CouchDB.

As an LTS release, Canonical is committing to supporting it for 5 years with free maintenance and updates. Great news!

So clearly Canonical has their sights set on the server enterprise market. Do they have enough breath and focus to do that and do right by the desktop market? To my post last week, should another standard bearer step up that is solely focused on the desktop Linux market? Can Canonical serve two masters?

I am interested in the communities thoughts on this (without name calling please)

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