Alliterative Linux

Alliterative Linux

The Ubuntu Linux distribution is well known for its use of alliteration in the naming its releases.

This convention dates back to the release of version 5.04 which bore the name “Hoary Hedgehog“.

The latest in the series has just been announced: Softpedia reported yesterday that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will be named Xenial Xerus.

What’s a Xerus and how is it xenial?

a family group of xerus inaurisWikipedia informs us that the genus Xerus is better known as African ground squirrels. These squirrels form a taxon of squirrels under the subfamily Xerinae and are only found in Africa. A family group of 3 Xerus inauris or Cape Ground Squirrel is shown to the left of this paragraph.

There are four species of African ground squirrels divided into three subgenera.

The subgenus Euxerus is made up of the Striped Ground Squirrel, Xerus erythropus, which lives in south-western Morocco, southern Mauritania and Senegal.

The subgenus Geosciurus consists of 2 species:

  1. Cape Ground Squirrel, Xerus inauris (also called South African Ground Squirrel), native to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa; and
  2. Damara Ground Squirrel, Xerus princeps, native to south-western Angola and Namibia.

The subgenus Xerus also consists of just one species, the Unstriped Ground Squirrel, Xerus rutilus, whose home range is from north-eastern Sudan to north-eastern Tanzania.

As for xenial, that’s a great word whose definition is:

1. Hospitable, especially to visiting strangers or foreigners.
2. Of the relation between a host and guest; friendly.

In addition, informs us that the word originates from the Greek xenĂ­a, meaning hospitality.

However, if you want your computing to be powered by a hospitable African ground squirrel, you’ll have to wait until next April!

Author: Steve Woods

Generic carbon-based humanoid life form.