If you heard about Ubuntu 12.04 but had no idea what a pangolin was, then you’re in for some more time on Wikipedia with Ubuntu’s next release. Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth has announced on his blog that Ubuntu 12.10 will be known as “Quantal Quetzal”.
The quetzal is a colorful bird, and perhaps more importantly, is one of a select number of animals that begins with the letter “Q”. Wikipedia notes that quetzals live in western Mexico and prefer humid highlands (who doesn’t?).
In his blog post Shuttleworth noted:
No, the quintessential stories of Q will be all about style on the client, with a refresh of our theme and typography, a start on new iconography and perhaps even a new form factor taking flight. So brown is out and something colourful and light is called for…Ubuntu has had a famously brown color palette, but that’s started to change with recent versions. It seems that the quetzal, an extremely colorful bird, might be more than just a convenient “Q” animal — it’s also a reference to sweeping design changes for Ubuntu. Shuttleworth specifically notes the style, theme, and iconography, all of which will get a fresh coat of paint as Ubuntu competes against increasingly vibrant operating systems.
But that’s not the only important part of the name. “Quantal” means “of or having to do with something that is quantum or quantized in nature”, and also isn’t a word most of us encounter every day. In this case it seems to have been chosen because Ubuntu 12.10 will include Quantum, a “virtual network stack for OpenStack“.
Ubuntu 12.10 is set to be released in October of this year. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin will be available on April 26, just three days from now.