Ubuntu Hardy beta released
The Ubuntu team released Ubuntu 8.04 LTS beta. Codenamed “Hardy Heron”, Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Desktop Edition features incremental improvements to familiar applications, with an emphasis on stability for this second Ubuntu long-term support release, and is easier than ever to try out with the new Wubi installer, the team said in a release.
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS server follows in the footsteps of Ubuntu 7.10 with even more virtualisation support and security enhancements – enabling AppArmor for more applications by default, improving protection of kernel memory against attacks, and supporting KVM and iSCSI technologies out of the box.
The Ubuntu 8.04 family of variants, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, UbuntuStudio, and Mythbuntu, also reach beta status today.
Improved application selection: the GNOME desktop sports a number of improvements to the default applications, including more feature-full clients for BitTorrent and VNC, as well as an advanced UI for mastering CDs and DVDs.
File browsing: an enhanced filesystem layer brings greater performance and flexibility to Nautilus, the GNOME file browser.
Pluggable audio and video output: the PulseAudio sound server is integrated in the GNOME desktop for more flexible sound output, and a new Screen Resolution utility allows easier configuration of multiple video displays.
Wubi installer: a new Windows-based installer option makes it easier than ever to try out Ubuntu, letting users install a full desktop on Windows systems without needing to partition their hard drive.
Please see http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/hardy/beta for details.
AppArmor profiles: a greater number of server applications are now protected by default with AppArmor, a kernel technology that limits the resources an application is allowed to access, providing added protection against undiscovered security vulnerabilities.
Memory protection: additional protection now prevents direct access to system memory through /dev/mem and /dev/kmem, and the lower 64K of system memory is no longer addressable by default, changes which help to defend against malicious code. Many applications are also now built as Position Independent Executables, making it harder for application security
vulnerabilities to be exploited.
Virtualization and iSCSI: KVM is now part of the official Ubuntu Kernel, which, combined with libvirt, allows for simple and efficient virtualization on hardware that support virtualization extensions (AMD-V or Intel-VT). Mounting iSCSI targets is now supported (including in the installer), allowing Ubuntu to interoperate with this class of cost-efficient Storage Area Network.
Ubuntu Education Edition
Add-on configuration: Edubuntu is now provided as an add-on to Ubuntu instead of as a separate stand-alone flavour, permitting even greater reuse of Ubuntu technologies.
The final version of Ubuntu 8.04 is expected to be released in April 2008.