The “Wily Werewolf” joins the ranks of the Utopic Unicorn, the Jaunty Jackalope, and other more conventional adjective + animal pairings in becoming the release codename of an upcoming version of Ubuntu, the Debian-based Linux operating system.
Every Ubuntu release since 2004 has had a codename that combines a quirky adjective with an exotic or whimsical animal. For some reason I find this practice intensely irritating, but I have to admit the resulting names are much more distinctive than Microsoft’s “Windows + random string” method or Apple’s “giant cat” technique (recently replaced by “California tourist destinations”).
Ubuntu 15.10’s “Wily Werewolf” won out over such community-suggested contenders as “Whacky Worm”, “Wondrous Wombat” and “Wise Whippet”. Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth made the announcement yesterday at the end of a video keynote that I definitely didn’t watch, and followed it up on his blog in a “w”-laden post that was probably a lot more fun to write than it was to read.
If you’re noticing a tone in this post, a certain defensive aloofness, you’re detecting the manifestation of an inferiority complex. I’m surrounded by Linux pros at work, and when the rare occasion requires me to do anything more daunting with CentOS or Mint than “yum update”, I feel like a sloth trying to master a Rubik’s Cube. I’m a web developer, come on, I know technology, I use Terminal in OS X all day, leave me alone
The only reason I know any of this is because I was listening to episode 41 of The Dan Benjamin Hour yesterday. Dan’s someone who probably knows a lot more about Linux than I do, and his coverage was just about as enthusiastic as mine (I wouldn’t say no to that cookie dough yogurt, though). DBH rules – I recommend you watch or listen!
Wily Werewolf is slated for release in October – the current version, 15.04 “Vivid Vervet”, just came out, and is causing a fuss with its inclusion of something called systemd. I think I know what that is, and it’s not about werewolves, so let’s leave it alone.