Ubuntu Server 12.04 will be released on 26 April 2012. Ubuntu 12.04 is supported with security updates until 2017 which makes Ubuntu LTS an attractive choice for use as a server.
At the time of this blog post, 12.04 is still in Alpha 1 so many changes are still occurring. However, I will give you the scottlinux quick peek to see what you can expect with this upcoming release!
Daily live isos of Ubuntu Server can be found here:
With the exception being the Linux kernel, Ubuntu pulls packages from Debian unstable.
Package version highlights for 12.04 server:
Linux kernel 184.108.40.206.7 (i386 server install defaults to PAE kernel)
mysql-server (5.5.17-4ubuntu6) MySQL database server
python (2.7.2-9ubuntu2) default
ruby (4.8) Transitional package for ruby1.8 (why so old)
Default Open Port Configuration
Ubuntu (both server and desktop) has a no open ports policy by default.
Optionally, during the server install you can manually choose which services you want installed. Note that installing these will then enable those services running by default.
Ex. if you choose to install OpenSSH during the install, port 22 will be open for ssh on the first reboot:
$ nc 10.112.12.40 22 SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_5.9p1 Debian-2ubuntu1
Significant networking changes are in Ubuntu 12.04, especially for more complex situations.
The best resource is this blog post which outlines some of the features:
Also good to note is that IPv6 is enabled by default in a large part to be forward-thinking for the next five years of this release.
The default file system for Ubuntu 12.04 is Ext4.
(Read about file system changes in Linux 3.2 here.)
Available file systems from the partitioner include:
Ext4 Ext3 ReiserFS btrfs JFS XFS FAT16 FAT32
So Yay or meh?
Ubuntu Server 12.04 is definitely a yay. The updated 3.2 Linux kernel with improved file system and virtualization support as well as a substantial jump in package versions for the server make this one a go. MySQL 5.5 has some welcomed new features as well the fancy new Samba4 if you use Ubuntu as a file server.
Ubuntu 12.04 is of course still alpha at this point so it is not for production. Also there is no rush to get off of existing 10.04 deployments as 10.04 is supported until April 2015. However if you are looking to upgrade to the newer packages or looking to make new Ubuntu server deployments in the near future, it is well worth it to test ahead with 12.04 which looks to be a solid release.