Ubuntu 8.10 beta goes live
The Inptrepid beta includes a number of new core technologies including Gnome 2.24, which was released just a week ago, X,org 7.4, also a new release, as well as built-in 3G support in the network manager.
With portability and the increase in mobile broadband in mind, 8.10 beta includes support for GSM/CDMA 3G connections in the revamped Network Manager 0.7. Users can choose between normal PPP/PPPoE connections and mobile 3G ones.
On the desktop front, Intrepid beta includes the recently-released, Gnome 2.24 desktop which includes a number of new features including Ekiga 3.0 for VoIP, tabbed file management and Empathy. (See here for more Gnome details).
The beta also includes X.Org 7.4, also a new release, which includes much better support for hot-pluggable input devices such as tablets, keyboards, and mice.
A quirky new feature included in this release is a new addition to the User Switcher panel applet. It allows a user to start a new temporary guest session which has no password but restricted access. The intention is that users can temporarily allow others to use their machine without compromising their own session.
The release uses the Linux kernel 2.6.27 which suffered a significant bug a week ago. The bug affected some Intel networking hardware and damaged them. Users of hardware with that particular line of networking hardware will not be able to use their network using this beta release as Ubuntu has disabled the kernel module until a fix is in place. Future releases will include support for that hardware again.
Other features included in Ubuntu 8.10 beta include encrypted private directories, better virtualisation, a completely free Java stack including OpenJDK and Apache Tomcat 6.0.
The Kubuntu beta includes KDE 4.1.2, the latest release of the KDE desktop, version 3.0 of the Adept package manager and much-improved support for multimedia keyboards in KMix.
Downloads of Ubuntu 8.10 beta can be found on the Intrepid Beta website.