Posted by: richlyn | March 11, 2010

Ubuntu undergoes a makeover

Ubuntu an operating system based on Debian GNU/Linux, makes two releases every year, using the year and month of the release as a version number. The first Ubuntu release code named Warty Warthog was released on 20th October 2004. Ever since then Ubuntu has come a long way becoming a mainstream OS and innovative for end users.

Ubuntu’s sponsor Canonical Ltd is shedding its signature brown color scheme for the first time in 6 years for a pallet of purple, orange, slate grey, and tan. The new default theme and updated logo was officially announced on 3rd March by the community manager Jono bacon. The changes will appear with the release of Ubuntu 10.4 LTS coded Lucid Lynx. Look up the official documentation for the re-branding here.

Whats in Lucid Lynx

Ubuntu 10.04 will be Ubuntu’s third long-term support (LTS) release, coming, as promised, two years after 8.04, the last LTS release. With security updates available for five years for servers and three years for desktops.

  • Interface: Ubuntu 10.04 will use Gnome 2.x as its desktop environment, with the focus to shift to Gnome 3.0 thereafter.  This means the user interface won’t look very different from previous releases.
  • Artwork: With Ubuntu 9.10 things has started to look really good. Now with the rebranding announced hold your breath for the new look.
  • Boot Experience: Boot speed has been a hot topic for a long time now and Ubuntu has come a long way in the last few releases. For Ubuntu 10.04 the target boot speed is 10 seconds! There’s also a plan to improve the speed on the installation process. Under the hood Ubuntu 10.04 will also be switching to using a swap file, instead of a separate partition. This will allow on-the-fly resizing. In Ubuntu 9.10 the boot experience went through intensive surgery and came out with a much improved look and feel. We will be seeing more improvements in this area in 10.04. On shutdown will we have the option to install updates. This feature was planned for 9.10, but deferred.
  • Software center: One of the biggest features that were introduced in 9.10 was the Software Center. With a simple design it can be used to install and remove software packages and to add repositories for finding, installing and managing new applications. In Ubuntu 10.04 the Software Center will expanded its features and will replace Synaptic, Software Sources, Gdebi and (if appropriate) Update Manager.
  • The Music store: Rhythmbox will be the default music player (Banshee might be considered again for Lucid+1) and will have an integrated music store. The music store will deliver the ability to purchase music from within Rhythmbox. No actual music partner has been announced yet, but Canonical are looking at several major vendor.
  • Compiz: The popular eye-candy application will be receiving some all round improvements
  • System Indicators: For Ubuntu Lucid, the messaging menu will by default contain a section for each messaging application you are actively using. The goal is to make the panel elements feel coherent and the behavior more consistent. Each section will show an item for the application as a whole, then any custom commands specified by the application, then any items for individual message sources within that application. An application may provide a new-messages count or a time-since-last-message for each message source as appropriate, or alternatively provide a new-messages count for the application as a whole. Your default mail application, and Ubuntu’s non-mail default messaging applications (Empathy and Gwibber for Lucid), will be placed first in the menu if you’re using them. All other application sections should have an item for the application itself, highlighted with a triangle if the application is currently running.
  • GIMP: The GIMP is not being “abandoned” just because it is not installed by default. The plan is to include a video editor by default and the choice has, for now, landed on PiTivi
  • Mozilla: Default search engine has been changed to Yahoo! Default Home Page will use either Google or Yahoo! depending on user setting.

Lucid will ship OpenOffice version 3.2.1. The selection of games will undergo a clean-up. Usplash will be replaced with Plymouth. Radeon KMS support should be available in 2.6.32 and later covering the kernel version in Lucid. Nvidia support is expected to only be available via the Nouveau driver, which is currently not slated for inclusion currently.There is still a ton of exciting stuff that I haven’t mentioned like all the server development, Ubuntu on ARM, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Kubuntu, Cloud, Quickly, Community and so much more.


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