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Every two years, Canonical prepares an LTS (Long Term Support) release of one of the best desktop Linux distributions available today. Actually, this is the second LTS edition of Ubuntu, the first one was 6.06 (Dapper Drake), released on June 1, 2006. Now that the beta version of Ubuntu 8.04 (codename Hardy Heron) is at the door and since I've tested all the alpha releases, I think it's a good moment to introduce you to the good parts and bad parts that Canonical prepared for this Long Term Support release. Therefore, this article is here to inform Ubuntu veterans, people that have discovered Ubuntu recently and future Ubuntu users, about the things that they should expect from Hardy Heron, in April 2008!Redesigned Boot Prompt
, the one you will see when you first boot from the Live CD, automatically offers now the possibility to choose your desired language and two new options:
￭ Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer
￭ Install Ubuntu
In previous versions, these two options were part of a single one, called "Start or install Ubuntu
Unfortunately, in this release you will not see a new or redesigned Boot Splash
. It's the same as it was on Ubuntu 7.10, which I think it looks good! However, the developers say that they will change it in the next version, Intrepid Ibex (due for release in October 2008).
Cheer up, folks, because the Revamped Installer
to be found in Ubuntu 8.04 will offer you a contracted window, which can be viewed in full on lower resolutions (that means you will no longer be forced to hold the ALT key and drag the window to see the buttons), a modern "find your country" screen, some extra options to choose where to install the boot loader and the possibility to use a network proxy during the installation. Moreover, on the hard drive partitioning screen, the "mouse dragging" option, for hard driver resizing, is now more eye candy. Below are the first screenshots of the redesigned Ubuntu installer:
|Now comes the moment that everybody, especially Ubuntu veterans, expected: the New Look of Ubuntu Hardy Heron!|
Let's start with the Login Manager, which has a new background and it looks more funky. Then, you'll notice a brand New Wallpaper, featuring none other than "The Heron". The wallpaper looks like a work of art, like a painting, and I personally think it's kinda cool, and if you take a look in "Appearance Preferences -> Background" you will notice that there is a version without "The Heron", for those of you that will not enjoy the default one. Moreover, a New Theme pleases the eyes of Ubuntu users in Hardy Heron, with a new Human-Murrine modern look. Click the image on the right to see what I've just described!
|In Ubuntu 8.04, you will discover brand New Applications. Some of them are replacing old ones and the new ones are here to make your life easier (and that's mostly because you, the users, asked for them). There are also drastic changes, such as the replacement of Firefox 2 with the new Beta 4 of Firefox 3. Yes, that means no more Firefox 2, but you can install it from repositories if you want to! Let's have a quick look at the new applications:|
￭ Seahorse - the new "sheriff in town", set to manage your encryption keys;
￭ Transmission - the default BitTorrent client;
￭ Firefox 3 Beta 4 - replaced Firefox 2 and it is now the default web browser in Ubuntu 8.04, but most likely Firefox 3 Beta 5 will be available in the final release;
￭ Vinagre - a brand-new VNC client, set to replace the old xvnc4viewer;
￭ Brasero - the new CD/DVD burning tool in Ubuntu Hardy Heron.
Beside new applications, there are (as usual) Updated Applications
. Here is a list with the most important ones:
￭ GNOME 2.22.0
￭ Wine 0.9.57
￭ The GIMP 2.4.5
￭ Pidgin 2.3.1
￭ Filezilla 184.108.40.206
￭ Avidemux 2.4.1
￭ ...and many many more!
Please note that not all the above listed applications are part of the default Ubuntu installation, but they are available in the standard repositories!
It is time now to talk a little about the New Technologies
that can be found in this April's release of Ubuntu. Looking under the hood, we found that:
￭ Xorg 7.3
- offers improved autoconfiguration of your graphics card and monitor;
￭ Linux kernel 220.127.116.11
- comes packed with the "Completely Fair Scheduler" for improved interactive performance and dynticks support for power savings on both desktop and laptop computers;
- is the new sound server;
￭ the newly introduced iSCSI support
- allows Ubuntu to mount iSCSI targets as block device;
￭ Memory Protection
- will help defend against rootkits and other malicious code;
￭ Active Directory Integration
- allows Linux authentication on a Microsoft network.
|What else can be found in Ubuntu 8.04? Well, beside some nice "wave" effect when you click an application's shortcut from the panel and the already popular GNOME 2.22 features, you'll notice that when you drag an image or video file over the desktop, it becomes transparent (see the thumbnail in the left). Be aware that these effects are available as long as you've properly set your video card's driver and Compiz Fusion is running. Moreover, the Add/Remove application is a little bit different.|
There is also an annoying feature in Ubuntu 8.04, part of the new GVFS technology introduced in GNOME 2.22, when you copy or move some files you'll notice an icon in the system tray area during the copy/move process. I think that this icon is completely useless and can confuse some people, especially that right click on it does nothing and left click hides the copy/move window (which is already on the panel). I hope that this useless tray icon will be removed in the final release of Ubuntu 8.04.
|Some will love it, some will hate it, but this is what the Ubuntu developers prepared for the second LTS (Long Term Support) release of their 100% FREE operating system, Ubuntu Linux. I know that many of you expected a completely revamped Ubuntu desktop, with that Mac-like dock and other "bling bling", but don't despair because in October 2008 you will definitely enjoy such an Ubuntu desktop. Until then, let's wait for the final release, due for release on April 24, and if you feel the need for a Mac-like dock, always remember that you can make your own "sexylicious" Ubuntu desktop or watch for our step-by-step tutorial about how to install the latest AWN from sources (Avant Window Navigator - see the image on the right) on Ubuntu 8.04, which is coming soon!|
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|Comment #1 by: yasser on 20 Mar 2008, 17:54 UTC|| reply to this comment|
i would like to learn moreabout linux
|Comment #1.1 by: pro-ubuntu on 09 May 2008, 06:24 GMT|
just download an ISO from ubuntu.com and make a live cd.
when your computer starts attempt to enter bios and chance the boot sequence for starting with CD or DVD. This will make the computer read first the CD (that you previously burned on your computer with the .iso downloaded) instead of the files on you hard disk.
Once the computer starts from CD, it will use free space on the hard disk to install temporary drivers for all the hardware on your computer, this will make ubuntu ready to work on your computer without touching your actual operative system.
Then you will be prompt to choose the type of installation, just choose the first on the list and test it.
|Comment #2 by: Skippy on 21 Mar 2008, 14:37 UTC|| reply to this comment|
-- "Active Directory Integration - allows Linux authentication on a Microsoft network."
About freaking time. And hopefully it will actually work. Otherwise it is such a nightmare to add linux machines to the millions of existing windows networks.
|Comment #3 by: martin jasny on 21 Mar 2008, 20:24 UTC|| reply to this comment|
It is good that the boot prompt will now distinguish between trying and installing.
I was trying Ubuntu 6 recently and it overwrote my hard disk without warning. I could not believe it was possible. It was very stupid to release such a live CD.
It has undermined my trust in Ubuntu.
|Comment #4 by: LostOverThere on 22 Mar 2008, 02:41 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Ubuntu Rocks! Really, Ive tried a LOT of Linux distributions and Ive always found Ubuntu to my likeing.
Feel free to ask me about Linux.
Also martin jasny, you just need a little commonsense to install Ubuntu, really you shouldn't undermined your trust in Ubuntu, but really lose faith in yourself reading simple instructions. ;)
Nah, dont worry, we all make mistakes! Ever tried installing Windows? If you have Ubuntu/any Linux and want to use Linux, you can forget about it. Windows will just kill the bootloader.
Feel free to ask me about Linux.
|Comment #5 by: Kaboose on 22 Mar 2008, 08:31 UTC|| reply to this comment|
im sitting with ubuntu right now and cant wait for its new release, the greater distro out there! keep up the good job guys :D
|Comment #6 by: Jon on 22 Mar 2008, 11:30 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Looks good. I run 7.10 on my laptop exclusively and I'm very pleased with it. there are some things that could be easier. Overall I'm happy. it's almost where it need to be in order to be deployed to the average user. We need more application support or better wine support. When I can take an MS Office disk, Quickbooks, or Adobe CS3 disk and it appears to natively install smoothly with wine we'll have a winner.
There needs to be native releases from major vendors and more driver support. Better wifi support. Network manager is annoying and wicd is doing better but I still have problems connecting with my laptop to some networks.
|Comment #6.1 by: Drmgiver on 24 Mar 2008, 19:55 GMT|
Um, why does there need to be good wine support? No offense, but if you want to use windows, then use windows? Obviously there is going to be issues running a windows application on a unix-like system like Linux. Unless your a major commercial game player, there really is no reason to have Windows.
|Comment #7 by: martin jasny on 22 Mar 2008, 23:14 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Thank you for the encouraging answer. I am a long time user of a double boot Windows 2000 / Knoppix 3.4 PC. I have installed both OS several times and I found both of them easy to install. In both OS there were some minor things which did not work and I sort of got used to them. Knoppix has been an easy to install compromise because I did not want to try to install the true Debian (this was about 4 years ago).
Now I have got a new Dell OptiPlex 330 with two partitions C: and D: and Windows XP preinstalled on C:. I am looking for a suitable Linux distribution to install on D: (partition it further in root and swap etc.). I definitely want to use a Debian or a Debian-based distribution and KDE because I am used to it and installing new programs is like a charm. I would prefer one which is 100% compatible with the original Debian repository (Knoppix?, Mepis?), because I have had a very good experience with it and it it the largest and best tested one (I think). I am still an economic type who wants to have the work done quickly and does not like to fiddle too much with config files, recompile kernels and similar things. So I have tried the following live CDs:
Ubuntu / Kubuntu 6 live CD – overwritten disk, as I said earlier. Besides, I work with OCaml and found out recently (on the OCaml forum) that Ubuntu has OCaml in its repository, but it is broken there. I do not know how it works if I install things from the original Debian repository. Nice thing about Ubuntu / Kubuntu is that it has lots of books about it.
Debian KDE 4.0 etch live CD – stopped in the middle of the booting sequence, did not recognize my monitor. So it still does not seem quite user friendly. Sorry, it would have been nice to have the true Debian!
Knoppix 5.1.1 live CD – booted without hitches. Besides, I know Knoppix already. But the fonts were ugly, they appeared quite jagged. I have 1600 x 1200 points resolution. Thus, the ugliness was magnified. I had no such problem in my old Knoppix. Why? Also, Knoppix is not 100% Debian and it is a mixture of stable, testing and unstable. Once I tried apt-get upgrade and I broke the system.
SimplyMepis 7 live CD– booted with a crash report in KDE but recovered. Has nicely looking fonts. Has a recent version of OpenOffice (3.1). Some people say that it is 100% compatible with the original Debian repository, which would be very nice. It is no longer based on Ubuntu but on true Debian.
So which one would you recommend? As I said, a small adjustment to fix a minor problem would do, if someone can help me and if it can be done in a few hours.
Can you (or someone else) please help me?
|Comment #7.1 by: Francesca on 22 Mar 2008, 23:36 GMT|
Do you think you just had a dud cd for Ubuntu? Because I installed Ubuntu 6.06LTS from live cd without problem.
and what exactly is OCaml? I looked it up in Synaptic and coudn't make head or tail of what it actually was :-)
|Comment #8 by: martin jasny on 24 Mar 2008, 19:36 UTC|| reply to this comment|
my Ubuntu CD could have been damaged. At least, I have seen that my first Mepis CD was damaged because the second one was better, but still broken (the printing did not work). Knoppix lets you try it each time you boot, you can command it to check all files on the CD. With other distributions you are left in the dark. I believe that CD is not a reliable medium. I would like to try some distributions which boot from the USB stick.
OCaml (or Objective Caml) is a functional programming language which lets you program in a procedural and object oriented style if you want to. Its main concept is functional, but it does not force anything upon you. Java, C# and Smalltalk force you into object orientation, Haskell and Clean force you into functional programming. OCaml runs on many Unixes, Linux, Mac OSX and Windows. It is type-safe and type-inferring. If you can compile the code then you can be almost sure that it is correct. It is as fast as C . I am a big fan of it. It is similar to ML.
Not everybody likes it:
|Comment #9 by: martin jasny on 24 Mar 2008, 19:43 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I made a typing mistake in my post:
Mepis has OpenOffice 2.3, not 3.1. It is the recent version.
|Comment #10 by: Froghunter on 26 Mar 2008, 21:26 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I was wondering if you were running some flavor of awn on that last screen shot or whether that was part of GNOME 2.22 (which I haven't seen mentioned). Reply to email if you can.
|Comment #10.1 by: Marius Nestor on 28 Mar 2008, 06:18 GMT|
No, AWN it's not part of GNOME, but it can be easily installed... take a look at this tutorial -> http://news.softpedia.com/news/Create-Your-Own-Sexylicious-Ubuntu-Desktop-80189.shtml
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