Ubuntu 12.04 code named Precise Pangolin is out today. This new release brings lots of bug fixes and performance improvements to system in general and unity in particular. Some of the changes/additions include:
Banshee music player has been replaced by Rhythmbox. Back to square one. Ubuntu team should stop changing the default applications quite often or don’t favor any specific application as default. Leave it to the users.
The latest versions of LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Instant Messenger Empathy are all included,
A revamped Ubuntu One client.
Shotwell photo editor is part of the default install.
There are new lenses and some minor new features like the new searching tool ‘HUD’. By clicking the ‘Alt’ key, you can pop up the search box and search the entire application menus of the ‘in focus’ app and also access to the features like networking, messaging, etc.
The Home button (Ubuntu logo) will now show you most recently used apps, files, etc. You can change what is shown by adjusting the new Privacy settings in System Settings.
You can resize the launcher in the Systems Settings – Appearance.
This is a LTS (long term support) release, so it should be more stable. Click the link below to grab a copy.
Ubuntu team has released Ubuntu 11.10 today. Unity is more polished in this release. In my opinion, this should have been Ubuntu 11.04. Here are the list of enhancement in Ubuntu 11.10.
Unity Dash is now opened by the launcher icon at the top rather than clicking the top left toolbar.
Lenses is integrated into Dash, with new filtering options by introducing music lens, file lens, application lens etc. at the bottom of the filter window.
Default themes are more polished now.
LightDM is used for login window. Depending on your taste, it might look better or bad.
Firefox 7 is the default browser.
Thunderbird is the default email client, replacing Evolution.
Gwibber – the social networking client has undergone a major revamp.
Deja Dup is the default backup tool
Ubuntu Software Center looks more polished and nice. Navigation, layout, filtering etc. are revamped.
User and power indicator menus are changed.
Ubuntu 11.10 provides multiarch support that allows 64bit Ubuntu users to install 32bit applications and utilities on their systems
OneConf lets you sync installed applications across multiple computers. To enable, open Ubuntu Software center and click File – Sync between computers.
Ubunut kernel is based on V3.x stable kernel
Ubuntu’s online tour helps you explore the system in the browser without installing Ubuntu first. You can self explore or take guided tour. It’s pretty neat and gives you an idea on Ubuntu 11.10. Click here to try it.
Upgraded my system from Ubuntu 11.04 to Ubuntu 11.10 and used it for couple of days. Ubuntu 11.10 looks more polished (has some bugs which I hope would be fixed before the final release). Ubuntu 11.10 should have been Ubuntu 11.04. It’s getting better and better.
Good news for Linux users including me. Netflix is ready to release a plugin for Chrome browser and Chrome OS. The plugin will enable streaming of Netflix via HTML5 technology rather than using Microsoft’s crappy Silverlight plugin. Hooray!!!
Ubuntu team has released their latest OS, Ubuntu 11.04 code named Natty Narwhal. This version of Ubuntu brings a new desktop interface named Unity. Unity brings a whole new interface to Ubuntu 11.04, but you can always go back to GNOME if you don’t like it. I would say get used to it since GNOME may not be one of the options in Ubuntu 11.10. Here are some new features and applications in Ubuntu 11.04.
Launcher provides an easy access to the tools and applications you most frequently use. You can add and remove apps and keep track of your open windows.
Dash offers a great way to get to your shortcuts and search for more apps and programs.
workspaces tool gives you a really easy way to view and move between multiple windows and applications.
Ubuntu 11.04 comes with Firefox 4.
Comes with the latest version of Libre office.
Access and update your Facebook and Twitter accounts straight from the desktop with Ubuntu’s Me Menu. You can connect to all your favourite chat channels and make updates through a single window.
With Gwibber, you can see all your microblogging feeds in one place.
Banshee is the default music player in Ubuntu now.
Sync your music with Ubuntu One and stream your entire collection to your iPhone, Android or Windows mobile. (Paid version)
Ubuntu One Music Store to buy songs.
You can control the music player directly from the sound menu.
Shotwell is the default photo organizer.
Pitivi is the default video editor.
Ubuntu software center is fine tuned to include ratings, user comments etc.
Skype has released Skype 2.2 beta for Linux. There is no huge functionality change or new features with this release. Skype 2.2 beta adds the following:
Skype Access – Skype Access lets you connect to paid WiFi hotspots around the globe easily and to pay for them with Skype credits.
Support for call waiting and holding
Improved audio/video quality in calls
In addition to those minor features, there are some bug fixes and improvements. If you are planning to install this in the new Ubuntu 11.04 beta, you may be out of luck. Skype failed to install for some in the new beta and a bug is logged. You can check the status of the bug and for a workaround here. You can download Skype 2.2 beta from here.
There are some known issues with this release. To get a list and how to fix them, check here.
It’s quite disappointing that they took so long to add these minor features and not trying to get this on par with Windows and Mac versions. Linux fragmentation is partly to blame and Skype doesn’t want to invest a lot into Linux development due to low percentage of users using Linux.
You cannot upgrade if wubi is installed to a partition other than Windows. (610898)
On amd64 platforms iscsi root with or without auth fails to boot (728088)
There is a problem creating a bootable 10.04.2 or earlier USB image from Ubuntu 10.10 or 11.04 system. Booting from the USB can be made to work, but using the workaround of typing “help” and pressing Return. (645818)
The swap partition appears become unusable during some installations (UUID not set). This issue is under investigation. (709363)
The return_to_partitioning function executes and returns as normal, but seemingly fails to properly clean up after partman-commit and initialize partman. (740903)
In order to run ubuntu-bug for ubiquity, you currently need to run ubuntu-bug as root, ie. sudo ubuntu-bug ubiquity. (745455)
On some systems, starting a live session from a USB key is taking a very long time to start (40 mins). (739774)
Ubuntu installs on some amd64/i386 systems fail after menu selection in gfxboot when using ESXi 4.1update1 (with 4mb video or auto video ram options), due to the linux kernel lacks video output). (745947)
During installation os-prober may fail to find OSes on uncleanly-unmounted filesystems. (683355)
On Mac/amd64 systems, appear to not be able to boot grub after installing an encrypted LVM. (745960)
During boot, on the cryptsetup passphrase prompt, every character typed causes a repeat of the prompt. (566818)
When making the keyboard layout selection from Ubiquity, cannot get the right selection. (656777, 711926, 745635)
After selecting “Continue testing” rather than “restart now” there is no GUI option to do the restart. (657086)
When you go to advanced partitioning, then go back to review what was proposed, then trying to get back in advanced partitioning gives an error about no root defined. Workaround is cancel my install and restart from the beginning. (744938)
When installing oem-config, language packs are not being installed for selected languages (741304)
More than the 2.6GB displayed is required by ubiquity if space has been allocated to a swap partition. (745148)
Ubiquity’s partitioning options is does not have translations coming up. (745924)
Ubiquity will crash if Debconf database is locked. Please make sure no package management program is running. (746020)
I was planning to write in the last couple of days that Ubuntu and other Linuz distributions can’t improve their market share by trying to catch up with Windows and Mac regarding features, usability etc. To attract more users towards Linux, Linux distributions should innovate and offer features that Windows or OS X doesn’t have. Apart from making Linux more user friendly, they have to come up with new ideas that can make people take a look at Linux and try it.
I was happy when I saw this news in PC World yesterday. According to PC World, Canonical is experimenting with context aware technology that could let users control Ubuntu by body movements instead of using input devices like pen or keyboard etc. Ubuntu will utilize hardware sensors using cameras to respond to the body movement.
A gesture from the user, meanwhile, could affect the launcher appearance or even launch applications through a “windows parallax” mode, which would make the desktop appear three-dimensional. In such a case, users could lean to one side to see what’s behind the window in the foreground, for example. As an alternative to cameras, proximity could also be detected with infrared or ultrasound sensors.