Jackalope gets jaunty with Ubuntu nip and tuck
Growls over universal messaging
Review Ubuntu 9.04 - officially launched today and due to be ready for download on Thursday - is a worthwhile upgrade for Ubuntu fans.
Ubuntu steward Canonical has been working hard to improve the look and feel of Ubuntu and the Jaunty Jackalope edition brings quite a few refreshing touches to the old exterior.
The default theme is still the familiar brown, but numerous small improvements to dialog boxes, splash screens, and a flashy new login screen give Ubuntu a slicker, more professional feel. There's also a new theme named New Wave that's a nice mashup between the DarkRoom and the default Human theme.
Under the hood, the latest version of Ubuntu offers a kernel upgrade, the latest version of GNOME, support for the Ext4 filesystem, and a more stable and robust Linux distro than its less-than-thrilling 8.10 predecessor.
Something completely different
Jaunty Jackalope brings quite a few changes for Ubuntu users, including Canonical's controversial decision to include a new notification system and message-indicator applet. The Canonical-developed notifications system is designed to offer updates in an unobtrusive way - a small window pops up and informs you of events such as new e-mails and instant messages as well as system events such as changing the volume or when a CD finishes burning.
The messages themselves look a bit like the Growl notification system in Mac OS X, and we found them to be a pleasant and informative system. But of course, the messages represent a major departure for Ubuntu, and those of you who dislike it when Linux distributions include experimental features - rather than sticking with the stock GNOME components - may not be thrilled.
Canonical's founder, Mark Shuttleworth, has acknowledged that not everyone is going to like the new system. However, he's hoping that users will provide feedback and help to build a useful and robust message system that will eventually be adopted universally.
For now, while rough around the edges (not every application is able to tap into the message system as it stands), the simplicity and elegance of Ubuntu's early design look very promising.
Jaunty Jackalope gives Ubuntu a slicker, more professional look and feel
Another area of Ubuntu that shows promise is the latest version of the GNOME desktop, which is now at v2.26. The new GNOME brings UPnP support for the Totem media application, which lays the groundwork for much better streaming audio tools - good news for those of you with dedicated music servers on your local network.
Unfortunately, the Ubuntu release candidate we tested did not actually include the Coherence tools - as the UPnP plugin is known. To take advantage of Coherence, you'll need to manually install the plugin or check out the latest version of Totem using Subversion. Unfortunately, after wrestling with some rather cryptic dependency errors for a few hours, we eventually gave up on Coherence.
Coherence has a lot of promise and hopefully the Totem developers will work out the bugs, because we'd love to see GNOME make streaming music to our Ubuntu box as easy as iTunes does for Mac and Windows systems.
Next page: Evolution
Will download it
in about a month or so, as advised on the Ubuntu forums .
There have been a lot of people who rushed in (fools rush in?) and had problems , some serious.
I can carry on with 8.10, the faults I have are not serious..
All in all
i'm using ubuntu as my primary desktop, it's got everything i need and more. no problems with the use, updating and modification of this system. very stable, easy and fun to use. not a single problem, right down to wireless and multimedia support, i gotta this more than "just works", it owns. I switch to windows xp to play games when i have to, running a weak intel graphics chipset, but that's the game developers fault, there alligence with properitory software, i.e. directx and windows api, is forcing me to dual boot for games. oh well big whoop. i'm happy with everything, lxde makes a nice desktop replacement, removed all of gnome and using gtk2 apps where-ever possible, wicd for wireless, instant gratification right there.
like i said, i'll only use windows for games now, because that's all it's really good for anymore. about time to rest of you woke up!!!
My new Dell Mini 9 LOVE the Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR). Even with the stock 512MB RAM (yes, I upgraded it), UNR took only about 240MB at boot time with NO swap usage. Performance is snappy, even with the relatively slow SSD. CPU utilization at idle is minimal, allowing for about 5 hours of "real" usability out of the battery. I love it!