Canonical has just announced that the second Beta version of their Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) operating system is now available for download and testing.
Ubuntu 13.04 Beta 2 will be the development version for the Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products. Other operating systems from the Ubuntu family will abide by their own rules, with the exception of the final release.
“Codenamed ‘Raring Ringtail’, 13.04 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs,” stated Canonical's Steve Langasek.
As you would expect, the new Ubuntu 13.04 Beta 2 comes with a new Linux kernel, 3.8.0-16.26, which is based on the v3.8.5 upstream Linux kernel.
This latest release also includes Upstart 1.8, a new bridge that allows jobs to react to filesystem changes. Also, a new upstart-monitor(8) tool is available and it allows event flows to be observed in real-time.
Highlights of Ubuntu 13.04 Beta 2 (Raring Ringtail);
• The distribution will feature Python 3.3 and not Python 2. According to Canonical, Python 2 will continue to be available (as the python package) for the foreseeable future;
• Automatic Apport crash reporting has been enabled by default and the crashes and problems will be detected much sooner;
• A "tech preview" of Upstart User Sessions has been included, but it's disabled by default for Ubuntu 13.04; it can be manually enabled for testing.
• Unity was been updated to version 6.12.
A complete list of changes, improvements, and new features can be found in the official announcement. Users will be able to upgrade from Ubuntu 12.10 to Ubuntu 13.04, with the usual “update-manager -d” command.
Canonical has also advised users that the installer can freeze on the "Preparing to Install" screen, when an already existing Linux installation is present. Turning swap off before installing may help.
Download Ubuntu 13.04 Beta 2 right now from Softpedia. Remember that this is a beta version and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended for testing purposes only.