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Jaunty Jackalope alpha 3 spotted in wild

Ubuntu readies latest distro ahead of April release

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The third alpha of Ubuntu’s forthcoming 9.04 distro, dubbed Jaunty Jackalope, has been released.

Alpha 3 includes the Linux 2.6.28-3.4 kernel and comes loaded with support for using the Ext4 file system. However, Ext3 is expected to remain the default file system for Jaunty Jackalope.

The release also comes with improved notifications on the desktop, which Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth discussed in detail late last year. The outfit has worked a simple menu into the latest alpha version that sets preferences for notifications.

A final version of Jaunty Jackalope is due on 22 April, said Ubuntu in Alpha 3’s release notes.

Other big changes to the distro include the use of X.org’s latest 1.6 server, which means no more support for proprietary nVidia drivers, thereby forcing Linuxtards to either wait for an update from the chip maker or simply opt for an open source driver instead.

“In the short term, this [X.org’s 1.6 server] will again cause increased instability for some users while the video drivers catch up,” it said.

Ubuntu also warns Intel i845 or i865 video chipset users to, for the time being, steer clear of the alpha due to a known glitch that prevents the EXPERIMENTAL nouveau X driver from loading.

It has also disabled the so-called DontZap option to prevent users “accidentally” triggering the Control-Alt-Backspace key combination. Developers are currently working on a possible GUI configurable option that they hope will be ready in time for the April release.

In related news, Ubuntu has also released a bug fix for a problem that first reared its ugly head in October 2007.

Many complained that the distro had forced drives to spin up and down at an unnatural rate due to some very aggressive power management features. At the time Ubuntu boffins said it was a firmware/BIOS issue and not the OS's fault.

Fixes are now available for Ubuntu versions 9.04, 8.10 and 8.04 (LTS), more details about which can be found here. ®

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