Ubuntu Jaunty beta makes it out the door
Faster boot times, a better notification system and Gnome 2.26 are the standout features of the beta release of Jaunty Jackalope (Ubuntu 9.04) made available by the Ubuntu team this morning. On the server side Jaunty moves steadily into the cloud with Eucalyptus for home-grown cloud services as well as the start of Amazon EC2 services.
On the desktop, Ubuntu 9.04 sports a set of new graphics, including a new login screen and a new notification system and desktop background. The login screen is a little more contemporary looking than previous versions and the notification system is significantly more elegant than previously. The notifications – such as incoming IM messages, system messages – will better integrate into the desktop than previously and have been designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. Users are also able to choose where the notifications appear.
In fact, the desktop as a whole, looks a lot better on most platforms, in particular because the fonts are better optimised for individual monitors. Instead of the default 96dpi setting for all fonts, the system will detect the monitor and resolution being used and alter fonts accordingly.
The default Ubuntu desktop includes the newly-released Gnome 2.26 which brings with it a few new changes. Gnome 2.26 is not exactly packed with major changes from 2.24 but does include better support for file sharing and multimedia. Gnome Media Player can now browse and play UPnP & DLNA protocols there is a new plugin that lets users share files over WebDAV, HTTP and Bluetooth.
Gnome 2.26 also includes better support for local languages such as Afrikaans.
One of the more noticeable changes to Gnome 2.26 is the inclusion of Brasero as the default CD/DVD burning tool, which replaces Gnome CD-Burner. Brasero is already included as the default Ubuntu CD burner. Although there have been users who have wondered why Brasero was included as the Ubuntu default the application is very capable and can be used to create audio, data and video projects and burn software images.
The other big change in Gnome 2.26 is with Evolution, the default mail client, which can now import Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders and has support for Microsoft Exchange’s MAPI protocol.
On the server side, Ubuntu Jaunty includes Eucalyptus, a cloud computing platform compatible with Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which can be used to build organisation-specific cloud environments. Ubuntu Server Edition 9.04 will also see Ubuntu available on Amazon EC2.
Default software also includes OpenOffice.org 3.0.1, X.Org server 1.6 and Linux kernel Linux 220.127.116.11.
Downloads of Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 can be found here:
http://releases.ubuntu.com/releases/9.04/ (Ubuntu Desktop and Server)
http://releases.ubuntu.com/releases/edubuntu/9.04/ (Ubuntu Education Edition)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/9.04/beta/ (Ubuntu Netbook Remix and Ubuntu MID)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/netboot/9.04/beta/ (Ubuntu ARM)