Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 2 was originally scheduled to be released yesterday, December 18th, but I guess the developers encountered some issues with it. Anyway, this second alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 9.04 (codename Jaunty Jackalope), which is scheduled for release in late April next year, was uploaded a couple of hours ago on the official mirrors and, as usual, we've downloaded a copy of it in order to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 9.04 development.
Surprise, surprise! The developers have prepared a Live CD for this second alpha version of Ubuntu 9.04, which will allow anyone to give it a try without installing anything on the hard drive. But don't get too excited, because, as you can see from the screenshots below, there's nothing new on the surface. It still has the same wallpaper and applications as Ubuntu 8.10. Under the hood, it appears that the GNOME desktop environment has been updated to version 2.25.3 (latest development release), but many of its components are still at version 2.24.2, the kernel packages are based on the latest release candidate of Linux kernel 2.6.28 and the X.Org server is now at version 1.6. Among other updated applications, we can notice: The GIMP 2.6.3, Brasero 0.8.3, Transmission 1.40 or Mozilla Firefox 3.0.5. And... no, there's still no OpenOffice.org 3.0.
What else is new? Well, it appears that the team implemented a small GUI to change the position and theme of the pop-up notifications. This little tool can be found under Preferences -> Pop-Up Notifications (take a look at the last three screenshots). However, it appears that it's in an alpha state, because it jammed every time we changed some options and pressed the "Preview" button. However, probably starting with the latest alpha or the beta, which will be available next year, we will see some big changes, like that professional theme everyone is waiting for. Don't forget that Mark wants your screenshots, so go ahead and send him yours if you want a redesigned desktop environment in April!Ubuntu 9.04 or, should I say, "The Jackalope," will be the tenth release of the Ubuntu operating system. However, until then, we have another version that should attract our attention and invade our computers, Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex). Here's the release schedule for Jaunty Jackalope:
November 22th, 2008 - Alpha 1 release December 19th, 2008 - Alpha 2 release
January 15th, 2009 - Alpha 3 release
February 5th, 2009 - Alpha 4 release
February 26th, 2009 - Alpha 5 release
March 12th, 2009 - Alpha 6 release
March 26th, 2009 - Beta release
April 16th, 2009 - Release Candidate
April 23rd, 2009 - Final release of Ubuntu 9.04
What is Ubuntu? Ubuntu is a Linux distribution for your desktop or server, with a fast and easy install, regular releases, a tight selection of excellent packages installed by default, every other package you can imagine available from the network, and professional technical support from Canonical Ltd and hundreds of other companies around the world.
Download Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 2 (Jaunty Jackalope) right now from Softpedia.
Download Kubuntu 9.04 Alpha 2 (Jaunty Jackalope) right now from Softpedia.
Download Xubuntu 9.04 Alpha 2 (Jaunty Jackalope) right now from Softpedia.
Download Mythbuntu 9.04 Alpha 2 (Jaunty Jackalope) right now from Softpedia.
Remember that this is an alpha release and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended to be used for testing purposes only. Please report bugs to the Ubuntu Bug Tracker.