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20 March 2010, 07:51

Canonical releases Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1

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Ubuntu Logo Following three alpha releases, the Ubuntu developers have announced the availability of the first beta for what will become Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, code named "Lucid Lynx". The latest development milestone is the first of two planned beta releases, which will be followed by a release candidate on the 22nd of April.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1 is based on the Linux kernel and features a number of changes over the previous 9.10 release, including the latest GNOME desktop environment. Package updates include 7.5 with X Server 1.7, OpenOffice 3.2 and version 3.6 of the Firefox web browser, which features Yahoo! as the default search engine. The change from Google to Yahoo! comes as part of a new revenue sharing deal between Yahoo! and Canonical.

Zoom Ubuntu's new "Light" look.
Other changes include removal of the deprecated HAL package, allowing Ubuntu to boot and resume from suspend faster, and version 5.4 of the likewise-open package, a major new version that provides Active Directory authentication and server support for Linux. Built-in social networking integration now includes support for Twitter, and Facebook.

The developers note that the LTS development release uses the open source Nouveau video driver by default for NVIDIA graphics hardware, improving resolution detection. Additionally, three different NVIDIA proprietary drivers are also included.

The first beta also marks the launch of a brand new look for the operating system, replacing the distribution's signature brown with a new "Light" theme, along with an updated Ubuntu logo. The major refresh of Ubuntu's look and feel comes in the form of a number of changes, such as new indicators, wallpapers and two new themes, Ambiance and Radiance.

Zoom Ubuntu 10.04 LTS features an updated LiveCD installer.
Long time users will also notice that, when inserting the operating system disk, they are presented with a new installer window that gives them two options. The first option allows users try Ubuntu as a LiveCD without making any changes to their system, while the second lets them immediately install the release. The Kubuntu release features the latest 4.4 release of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC), code-named "Caikaku".

As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to report any bugs that they find. Ubuntu 10.04 will also be a Long Term Support (LTS) version of the Debian-derived Linux distribution. The LTS versions of Ubuntu are supported for three years for the desktop releases and five years for server releases. The standard releases are supported for 18 months of updates for both the desktop and server versions.

Zoom The new Ubuntu Installer.
More details about the release, including a list of known issues, can be found in the release notes. As usual the various desktop/laptop, server edition and Kubuntu and netbook remix versions of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1 are available to download from Users currently running Ubuntu 9.10 on a desktop system can upgrade by pressing Alt+F2 and typing "update-manager -d" (without the quotes) into the command box.

Lucid Lynx is scheduled to be released on the 29th of April of 2010. The latest stable release of Ubuntu is version 9.10, code named "Karmic Koala", from the end of October, 2009.

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