Feeds

Nerd alert: First Lucid Lynx Ubuntu beta fun

Shuttleworthian style and substance

A new approach to endpoint data protection

Review Lucid Lynx, Ubuntu 10.04 that Friday entered the beta stage, looks to be taking the popular distro to an entirely new and very consumer-oriented level.

Between Canonical's web-based syncing service Ubuntu One - unveiled last year - the coming U1 music store, and the new Me Menu, Lucid Lynx is looking less like the stoic Linux desktops of yesteryear and more like, well, what everyday consumers want in an operating system.

Linux nerds would no doubt argue that what Canonical does is nothing that can't be done on your own - have fun building your own integrated music store - but for the rest of us, Ubuntu 10.04 looks to be a huge leap for Linux. Ubuntu does what people want right out of the box: connecting to their social network, providing an easy-to-use backup system, and a way to purchase music.

The future is LTS

Lucid Lynx is a milestone release. As a Long-Term Support (LTS) edition of Ubuntu, Lucid Lynx will be supported for the next three years on the desktop and five years on the server instead of the usual 18 months of free security updates.

This edition will, therefore, set the scene for Ubuntu for a decent chunk of time and provide a launch pad for the distro’s move down a more refined and user-friendly path that subsequent releases should build upon.

Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has set Linux the target of beating Apple on the desktop in terms of features and polish. Has he delivered with his Lucid Lynx?

I installed the first Lucid Lynx beta and everything just worked right out of the box - all my hardware was supported, including my NVidia graphics card, and even my iPhone showed up in Nautilus thanks to the latest version of libgpod.

Beyond the outstanding hardware support, Lucid Lynx is already - even as a beta - by far the most fun I've had with Linux in a long time.

The most noticeable change for seasoned users is the revamped GNOME desktop, complete with two new themes and several redesigned widgets, as well as the very nice new social networking tool, Gwibber.

Lucid Lynx screen shot

Keeping up: Lucid Lynx uses Gwibber to get you socially networked

Gwibber sees Ubuntu keeping up with the times, offering users a way to quickly get up and running with all their favorite social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Flickr and more.

Gwibber is one of the better social networking apps on any platform, and it's nice to see it already installed in Ubuntu. Sadly, though, Gwibber lacks OAuth support at the moment, so you'll need to hand over the username and password for most accounts.

Long-time Linux users will also notice two new themes, one of which will replace the venerable Human theme as the Ubuntu default.

Yes, as Canonical promised back in 2007, the brown look is on its way out, destined to be replaced by either Radiance or Ambiance, which mix muted purples and oranges to achieve a somewhat more professional look with either a light or dark skin, respectively. For now the orangish icons from the Human theme remain largely unchanged.

The new look is part of Ubuntu's larger rebranding plan, which also changes the Ubuntu logo, splash screen, and other elements. The change has been in the works since it was first mentioned in 2007, and while alternate themes have shipped with Ubuntu, this is the first time Human won't be installed by default.

Also coming in Ubuntu 10.04 is Canonical's stab at an online music store. The Ubuntu One Music Store will be bundled into Lucid Lynx, offering a way to purchase DRM-free music directly through Rhythmbox, Ubuntu's default music player. At the moment the store is in beta testing to select users, but it should be generally available by the time Lucid Lynx ships.

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

Next page: Bum note

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?