Alpha 3 of Ubuntu's Jaunty Jackalope arrives
The Ubuntu developers have released the third alpha of Ubuntu 9.04, also known as Jaunty Jackalope. Ubuntu 9.04 is due in April and this alpha release gives a better idea of what to expect in the final release. Alpha 3 includes the Linux 2.6.28-3.4 kernel, based on the 2.6.28's release candidate 8, incorporating kernel features we've previously covered on heise Open Source. The release also incorporates support, at installation time, for using the Ext4 filesystem. It is anticipated that Ext3 will remain the default for 9.04, with a possibility that 9.10 may make Ext4 the default in October, depending on user feedback.
This release also includes some early work on improving notifications on the desktop, though currently this work consists of a simple menu that can set preferences for notifications, such as where they pop up. The release notes suggest that a more radical overhaul, as described by Mark Shuttleworth, may still make it into 9.04.
One major change is the use of X.org's latest 1.6 server. This update means that binary proprietary drivers, such as fglrx and nvidia, are not yet supported and users who want to test Jackalope will need to either wait for the vendors to update, or switch to the open source drivers (ati and nv). Users of Intel's i845 or i865 video chipsets will also find that they will be unable to load X, due to a known issue, and are advised to wait for a resolution to the relevant bug, before testing the alpha. This is also the first release with the Control-Alt-Backspace key combination disabled "to reduce issues experienced by users who accidentally trigger the key combo". This is called the DontZap option, and the developers hope to add it as a GUI configurable option, before April's release.