Feeds

Canonical delivers second Natty Ubuntu beta

Easter's no time for an RC

Business security measures using SSL

Updated Canonical has released a second beta for a new version of Ubuntu, having changed its nomenclature for betas and release candidates ahead of final code.

The Ubuntu team delivered the beta for Natty Narwhal, Ubuntu 11.04, on Thursday afternoon Pacific Time.

Canonical's Ubuntu release manager Kate Stewart told the Ubuntu mailing list: "The team has been hard at work since Beta 1, fixing bugs and getting things all nice and natty."

Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon also Tweeted: "Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2 is out – this is the last beta so test and file bugs so we can get this baby rock solid!"

Typically, Ubuntu goes from alpha to final release via one beta and a release candidate. Only twice before, it seems, has there been a second beta – Ubuntu 6.06 and 10.04 – and each time the beta was followed by an RC before final availability.

Ubuntu 6.06 and 10.04 were Long-Term Support (LTS) editions, making them major pieces of work that set the technology and look and feel of releases following in the next two years.

This time, however, Canonical is dropping the RC label entirely and calling it a Beta 2. Stewart told the Ubuntu mailing list in February that Canonical felt that shipping a release candidate on April 21, just before the Easter holiday, would be "a bit late."

"We're going to go ahead and add a Beta 2 for this release, and drop the Release Candidate from the Natty Schedule," she wrote. The date for Beta 2 was given as April 14.

Ubuntu director of engineering Rick Spencer followed this up, telling The Reg Thursday the Easter holiday meant there was less time for testing and bug fixing in the final week. "The release team decided to pull forward the last milestone, typically call the Release Candidate (RC) from next Thursday to today to allow for more testing and bug fixing to happen."

Spencer said: "It's not really realistic that the image built today won't get bug fixes and changes before the final release. Therefore, it's really a beta, so they renamed the milestone to beta 2."

Natty Narwhal is a big deal for Canonical. The company has dropped GNOME and adopted Unity for its default interface, which is designed for multi-touch. Also, Canonical has killed the separate netbook edition of its Linux distro, and combined the netbook edition with the main code. Beta 1 took a hammering as the worst Ubuntu beta ever for numerous bugs left to fix and for poor workflow in Unity, which lacks the functionality of GNOME 2.3.2. ®

This article has been updated to include comment from Rick Spencer.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.