New Features in Ubuntu Server

The 12.04 (codenamed, Precise Pangolin) cycle has focussed on deployment, stability and quality.

Ubuntu 12.04 ships the latest OpenStack release, codenamed Essex, and a new feature called MAAS. In addition the CharmStore was made available making deployment of centralised charm with Juju easier. A new technology which is available for testing (via a PPA) is AWSOME.

These technologies further position Ubuntu Server as the best OS for scale-out computing. Quality also had a strong focus with continuous integration, deployment and testing of upstream OpenStack commits and automated testing of all Amazon ec2 AMI's from Lucid to Precise.


  • OpenStack projects have been updated to the Essex final release.

    • /bin/false is now the default for the nova user (upgrade transition handled).
    • New binary package, nova-cert is now needed to decrypt images which removes M2Crypto as a requirement.

    • Quantum has been divided into quantum and quantum client packages.
    • Glance has new configuration file structure.
    • nova uses nova-rootwrap by default, which provides a more fine grained security layer.
    • openstackx has been removed from horizon.
    • ajaxconsole has been dropped, in favour of a VNC based solution.
    • ec2 admin api removed.
    • Quantum, Melange, and Nova network models have been merged.
    • Many OSAPI extenstions have been added.
    • euca-upload-bundle now works with keystone.
  • OpenStack components are deployable via Juju Charms.

  • Keystone has been updated to Keystone-light (redux branch). Keystone-light is a new, from scratch rewrite this cycle, replacing the existing upstream source from Oneiric / 11.10.

  • Glance now requires a manual database migration after upgrade.
  • The default install of Openstack should be used on a protected network, as many components use http (non-SSL) as a transport, and therefore subject to security concerns. This can be mitigated by post install customisations.


  • Metal as a Service brings the language of the cloud to physical servers. It makes it easy to set up the hardware on which to deploy any service that needs to scale up and down dynamically.


  • AWSOME (“Any Web Service over Me”) provides IAAS API’s for OpenStack which are also implemented by Amazon EC2, making it easy to deploy and manage cloud services across both Amazon and OpenStack clouds.


  • Juju CharmStore now available allowing for deployment of all available charmed services without needing charms local to the environment.

  • Subordinate Services added allowing for units of different services to be deployed into the same container and to have knowledge of each other.

  • Machine Constraints added offering users the ability to pick the hardware to which their services will be deployed.


  • Apache Tomcat 7.0.26 is available in Universe alongside version 6.0.35 which continues to be the supported version for Ubuntu 12.04.

    • Please note that Tomcat 7 will replace Tomcat 6 as the supported version of Apache Tomcat in Ubuntu 12.10.
  • Apache ActiveMQ 5.5.0 is available in Universe.

  • Jenkins 1.424.6 LTS is available in Universe.

  • OpenJDK 7 (closely aligned to Oracle Java 7) is available in Universe.

    • Please note that OpenJDK 7 will become the default Java implementation in Ubuntu 12.10.
  • Groovy 1.8.6 is available in Universe.

  • Scala 2.9.1 is available in Universe.

  • Clojure 1.1.0 is available in Universe.


  • Xen is now included and officially supported:

    • Provides the facility to run Ubuntu as a Xen virtualisation host (dom0)
    • Libvirt integration/Xen domains manageable through libvirt or any frontend that uses libvirt.

    • Guest installations in HVM mode will use optimized paravirt drivers out of the box.
  • LXC improvements include:

    • The ability for stock 12.04 images to boot in a container
    • Apparmor protection to increase security
    • Support for lvm- and btrfs-backed containers
    • New ubuntu-cloud template for simple creation of containers based on published Ubuntu Cloud images.
  • KVM (version 1.0) and Libvirt improvements include:

    • QED (Qemu enhanced disk format) support
    • AHCI protocol support
    • Nested guest support for Intel processors (in addition to AMD support)
    • Public API to invoke suspend/resume on the host from libvirt
    • STP and VLAN filtering from libvirt
    • Bandwidth QoS control in libvirt
    • CPU bandwidth limits support

File System

  • CEPH client libraries, librbd and librados, have been added to main supporting use with KVM.

  • CIFS now has file system cache support to improve performance.
  • Software RAID now supports bad block management (MD).

ARM Support

  • OpenMPI 1.5 for ARM available in Universe. (889644)

    • openmpi 1.5 provides improved ARM support. As this is an upstream beta we have not transitioned openmpi in the archive, but instead added a separate openmpi1.5 package for those who wish to use it.


  • Query2, a new meta-data service for describing the Ubuntu Cloud Images and their availability, has been introduced. This new meta-data service provides a verbose, machine-readable JSON formatted file that exhaustively describes the currently available Ubuntu Cloud Images hosted on cloud-images.ubuntu.com and official Ubuntu images in public clouds (currently limited to Amazon ec2).

  • New Zentyal packages available in Universe.

    • These packages are a rename of the existing ebox packages along with a new upstream release fixing known issues in the current ebox packages in Ubuntu 11.10.

  • Resara, an open source Linux Domain controller and file server based on Samba4, has been added to Universe.

  • acpid introduced to both Server and Cloud images by default.
  • Chef 0.8.16 (948437) and corresponding Ohai packages (948438) removed from precise at the request of OpsCode.

  • Eucalyptus 2.0.1 (953405) removed from precise at the request of Eucalyptus.

Common Infrastructure

  • Up until Ubuntu 11.10, administrator access using the sudo tool was granted via the "admin" Unix group. In Ubuntu 12.04, administrator access will be granted via the "sudo" group. This makes Ubuntu more consistent with the upstream implementation and Debian. For compatibility purposes, the "admin" group will continue to provide sudo/administrator access in 12.04.
  • Hibernate (suspend to disk) has been disabled by default, as it was found to be unreliable, very slow and confusing to have two suspend modes. See bug 812394 for details. If you want to re-enable it, please follow this recipe.

  • pm-utils now has two new scripts to power down USB and various PCI devices in battery mode. A number of desktop packages were fixed to wake up less often. Both of these reduce power consumption and thus improve battery lifetime.
  • resolvconf is now used to manage /etc/resolv.conf on all Ubuntu systems. You can learn more here

  • Backports are now more easily accessible -- to enable users to more easily receive new versions of software, the Ubuntu Backports repository is now enabled by default. Packages from backports will not be installed by default — they must explicitly be selected in package management software. However, once installed, packages from backports will automatically be upgraded to newer versions.
  • DVD Images -- the DVD images have been cleaned up significantly reducing their size to around 1.5GB to ease consumption. The remaining software remains available via download.

Linux v3.2.14 Kernel

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS ships with an updated kernel moving from the mainline v3.0 series to the mainline v3.2 series. At release we are shipping with the Ubuntu 3.2.0-23.36 kernel which is based on the v3.2.14 upstream stable Linux kernel. The mainline v3.0 to v3.2 stable series update brings a number of new features. Some highlights include:

  • ext4 gains support for larger base block sizes
  • btrfs has more work addressing data integrity issues
  • device mapper gains thin provisioning and recursive snapshots
  • more work to improve performance under high writeback load
  • networking improvements for congested networks
  • ext3 moves to using filesystem barriers
  • memory allocator improvements
  • VFS scalability improvements
  • a new iSCSI implementation
  • software wait gains bad block management

Key changes in the Ubuntu kernel since the 3.0.0-12.20 Ubuntu kernel as shipped in the 11.10 Ubuntu release include:

Upstart 1.5

Upstart has been updated to version 1.5. More details are available in the Upstart Technical Overview.

GNU Toolchain

Ubuntu 12.04 is distributed with a default toolchain that includes: GCC 4.6.3 (and changes from Linaro GCC 4.6-2012.02), binutils 2.22, eglibc 2.15, and Linaro gdb 7.4-2012.04.

Compared to the 11.10 release the toolchain did see only incremental changes and bug fixes; comparing to the 10.04 LTS release, GCC updates include

  • Updated frontends for better standards support (Ada 2012, Objective-C 2.0, improved experimental support for the upcoming C++0x ISO C++ standard, Fortran 2003 and 2008 improvements, new Go frontend)
  • Improved optimizations, including better inter-procedural optimizations, and link time optimization (LTO).

Further information can be found upstream (GCC-4.6, GCC-4.5, binutils, gas, ld, gdb).

Python Toolchain

  • Ubuntu 12.04 includes Python 2.7.3 and Python 3.2.3 Python 2.6 is no longer available for install.

  • There is expanded support for Python 3 in this release, with Python 3 ports of python-dbus, python-feedparser, germinate, lazr.ui, wadllib, python-defer, python-keyring, and python-qt4 now included, among others.

Java Toolchain

The default run time for Java is OpenJDK 6b24 (IcedTea 1.11.1). OpenJDK 7u3 (IcedTea 2.1) is available in the archive as well.



Preparing your computer for Ubuntu is now much simpler, with a wider range of disk setup options. Each of these are detailed at length to provide you with a clear understanding of the actions that will take place with your selection.


Ubuntu Server 12.04 images can be downloaded from a location near you:

The images can also be found at:

System Requirements

  • The minimum memory requirement for Ubuntu Server 12.04 is 128 MB of memory.
  • The i386 image has a recommended maximum of 16GB of RAM, and a maximum of 8 CPU cores are exposed.

Netboot ARM Server Images

The ARM Netboot images allow you to bootstrap Ubuntu Server on supported hardware. There are three images available, each for a different type of computer:

  • Marvell Armada-XP (Hard-Float) netboot server image
  • Texas Instruments OMAP3 (Hard-Float) netboot server image
  • Texas Instruments OMAP4 (Hard-Float) netboot server image

Detailed installations instructions for the 3 above platforms can be found here.


From 11.10 to 12.04

To upgrade from Ubuntu 11.10 on a server system, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Install the update-manager-core package (if it is not already installed).

  2. Run sudo do-release-upgrade to launch the upgrade tool.

  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Note that the server upgrade is now more robust and will utilize GNU screen and automatically re-attach in case of dropped connection problems, for example.

From 10.04 to 12.04

It is generally recommended that users of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS wait until the first point release, due in July, before upgrading.

To upgrade from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on a server system before then, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Ensure you're up to date with latest updates for Ubuntu 10.04:
    1.  sudo apt-get update 

    2.  sudo apt-get upgrade 

  2. Install update-manager-core if it is not already installed:
    1.  sudo apt-get install update-manager-core 

  3. Edit /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades and set Prompt=lts. Note: The minumum contents of /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades should be:

  1. Launch the upgrade tool:
    1.  sudo do-release-upgrade -d 

    2. Follow the on-screen instructions.

At the end of the upgrade process you will be required to restart the server in order to boot into the new kernel. If you do not have access to the console of the system you are upgrading, you may need to edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and change the default boot kernel to the newly installed 12.04 kernel. If this step is not performed your server may attempt to boot into the 10.04 LTS kernel and will hang.

NOTE: Upgrading Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, featuring Eucalyptus from 10.04 to this release is discouraged as 12.04 doesn't include eucalyptus, meaning there is not a valid upgrade path. It is recommended to continue with the supported 10.04 release, or convert to Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure, featuring OpenStack.

From other release

Users of other Ubuntu releases need to upgrade first to 11.10, and then to 12.04.

For further information on upgrading to 12.04, please see the Precise upgrade instructions.

Known Issues

Boot, Installation and Post-Installation

  • [Dell Studio XPS 1340,Alienware m17x] Kernel panic and hang on boot due to the ite-cir driver. A patch has been sent upstream and a test kernel is referenced in the bug report. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (984387)

  • When closing the lid on a Unibody Macbook, the screen interacts with the touchpad. This can cause spurious gestures and clicks, and potentially lead to corrupted input driver state if the laptop suspends. To work around the issue, remove and reload the kernel module after resume by running:
    $ sudo rmmod bcm5974
    $ sudo modprobe bcm5974

    Note that this may disable some touchpad options, for example horizontal scrolling. These options can be re-enabled by visiting the Mouse and Touchpad settings. This is planned to be fixed in a post-release update (968845).

  • Importing of existing Windows user accounts fails in some cases. (987902)

  • Wubi (the Ubuntu installer for Windows) is not available as an option on the Ubuntu Desktop/DVD any more. Instead, it is now a separate download.


  • Aptitude does not work on 64-bit systems without disabling multiarch in /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/multiarch . (831768)

  • If you have i386 packages installed on an amd64 system in Ubuntu 11.10, it is strongly recommended that you install the versions of apt and dpkg from oneiric-updates before upgrading. A number of multiarch-affecting upgrade issues have been fixed in those versions. (850264, 902603)

  • In some cases update-manager might appear to hang indefinitely. In that case, open the expander at the bottom and check if there is a debconf question which needs to be answered. (979661)

  • Upgrades from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS do not work using the alternate CD or the server CD as a package repository. It is recommended that users running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS wait for the 12.04.1 LTS point release, scheduled for July, before upgrading. (988941)

  • If you are running a KVM host with libvirt and are upgrading from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS you may find that some existing virtual machines are no longer recognized (virsh list --all). A change to each guest's XML file may be in order that is related to how console and serial devices are now configured. (931350)


  • On ARM omap images, the networking support for the Beagle XM board is broken (838200)

  • [Dell Studio XPS 1340,Alienware m17x] Kernel panic and hang on boot due to the ite-cir driver. A patch has been sent upstream and a test kernel is referenced in the bug report. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (984387)

  • Missing support for Sentelic touchpad in Asus K53U notebook. Patches have been backported and will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (969334)

  • Missing support for BCM20702A0 Broadcom bluetooth device [0489:e042]. A patch has been sent upstream. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (980965)

  • Buffer overflows in comedi driver. Patches have been backported from upstream and a test kernel is referenced in the bug report. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (981234)

  • Intel gma 4500mhd external monitor suffers from a scrambled picture. A patches has been backported from upstream. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (796030)

  • Kernel Oops - BUG: unable to handle kernel paging request; RIP: nfs_have_delegation+0x9/0x40 [nfs]. Some users attempting to run NFS clients on 12.04 appear to be affected. A test kernel is referenced from the bug report. Patches have been backported from upstream and will be immediately available in a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (974664)

  • Patches from upstream stable v3.2.15 and v3.2.16 will undergo a baking period in the precise-proposed pocket during the first kernel SRU cycle. They will then be released as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket approximately 3 weeks after 12.04 releases. (981162, 987337)

  • hid-logitech-dj driver missing from the installer. It has been added to the d-i input-modules udeb and will be included in the 12.04.1 point release. (975198)

  • rtl8187 driver missing from the installer. It has been added to the d-i nic-usb-modules udeb and will be included in the 12.04.1 point release. (971719)

  • eGalaxis Touchscreen Driver does not work. Patches have been backported from upstream and will be immediately available in a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (913164)

  • ATI/radeon framebuffers on PowerPC only enabled as modules and not built in. This results in issues such as booting to a command prompt, loss of tty consoles, and loss of suspend. A patch to build these in have been applied and will be immediately available in a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (949288)

  • On systems with an ATI Radeon 9200 graphics card the system will boot to a black screen. As a work around edit the kernel command line in the boot loader and add "nomodeset". (725580)

  • Fujitsu Siemens Amilo M 7400 and Maxdata 7000DX wireless RF kill handling triggers a kernel panic preventing wireless from operating correctly. This may be worked around by editing your kernel command line and adding "noexec=off". (979253)

  • Beagle XM systems which are capable of running at 1GHZ will be initialised at 800MHZ leading to slower than optimal performance. (771537)

  • Some EFI systems fail to boot in EFI mode, BIOS mode is advised in these situations. (721576)


  • OpenStack: Nova API does not listen on IPv6 (850443)

  • Squid: squid (v2) has been deprecated in favor of squid3. The existing squid package provides a transitional package that will upgrade to squid3. Some config options may not be supported and manual migration of configuration is required. Previous squid.conf is preserved at /etc/squid/squid.conf after upgrade. See the squid 3.1.19 release notes for more information about supported options and syntax:
  • Users who are using bonded network interfaces may experience a race condition on upgrade which can stop the bonded interface coming up on boot. This may cause problems for those performing remote upgrades. (974218)

Support Terms

  • 5 years, Long Term Support.

PrecisePangolin/ReleaseNotes/UbuntuServer/UbuntuServer-12.04 (last edited 2012-08-02 22:40:04 by kate.stewart)