Betas of Ubuntu 12.10 derivatives released
Betas of most of the official derivatives of Ubuntu have been released alongside the beta version of the standard Unity-based desktop edition of Ubuntu 12.10. As with the desktop beta, these new versions bring together the various changes and enhancements that the developers have been working on.
Kubuntu's 12.10 beta uses version 4.9 of the KDE Software Compilation and includes Calligra 2.5 as its default office suite instead of LibreOffice. The old login manager has been replaced with LightDM, which features a guest session option, and the unmaintained Kopete IM client has been replaced with version 0.5 of Telepathy. Other new application additions include Skanlite for scanning, Kamoso for capturing webcam images, and a new print manager. An overview of changes in Kubuntu 12.10 Beta 1 is available on the project's wiki. The Kubuntu ISO image is now one of the larger Ubuntu images at 1GB in size and is aimed at DVD or USB installations.
The LXDE-based Lubuntu 12.10 beta release brings in various visual identity changes such as a completely new icon theme, a new default wallpaper and a selection of wallpapers from the community. There is a new version of the session manager with more customisation options – but this is for testing only and is not available by default – and a new version of pcmanfm, the file manager, which includes an external thumbnailer and multiple screen support. Catfish, a desktop searching utility, has been added to the default installation.
Edubuntu, the Education edition of Ubuntu, sees the Gnote note taking application removed and the re-introduction of Tomboy. To improve overall installation times, the language packs have been moved off the Edubuntu live image to a separate pool on the disc. A new netbooting package, replacing ltsp-live, has been incorporated.
The 12.10 beta of Ubuntu Studio adds a MIDI router and MIDI tools menu, and now uses Nautilus as the default file manager throughout. Other changes see rearranged menus and the addition of a tool for rearranging menus, along with corrected boot themes.
One derivative which did not join the Ubuntu beta party is Xubuntu, which uses the lightweight Xfce desktop; the developers decided not to release a first beta for version 12.10 of their derivative as they are attempting to squeeze their edition of Ubuntu onto a 700MB CD image. They have, however, already managed to include updates to the LightDM display manager, and updated artwork and documentation, as well as new versions of the Catfish desktop search frontend and the Parole media player. Users wanting to test Xubuntu 12.10 are advised to try the project's daily builds.