Feeds

Canonical delivers second Natty Ubuntu beta

Easter's no time for an RC

The essential guide to IT transformation

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.