Canonical releases Ubuntu 10.10 Beta
Canonical and the Ubuntu developers have issued a beta version 10.10 of Ubuntu, code-named "Maverick Meerkat". This development milestone is the first and only planned beta release and will be followed by a release candidate on the 30th of September.
Ubuntu 10.10 Beta is based on the 2.6.35-19.28 Linux kernel and features version 2.31 of the GNOME desktop environment. Other changes include music playback controls in the Sound Indicator and various updated packages, including, as The H found in initial tests, the not yet released Firefox 3.6.9 web browser.
Maverick Meerkat will see Shotwell replace F-Spot as the default image application and includes version 2.30.2 of the Evolution mail client, which operates much faster than the version included with the previous Ubuntu release. Gwibber has been updated to work with Twitter's new "OAuth-only" authentication system. Support for installing to the Btrfs file system when manually partitioning is available, but does require that
/boot is set up with a different file system. Next week it is expected that the "Software Center", which now offers users "Featured" and "What's new" categories and a history of what software has been installed or removed, will be offering applications for sale.
The other Ubuntu variants have also been released as betas, with the Ubuntu Netbook Edition now running Unity with its global menu bar as a default desktop, Kubuntu offering a single image for desktop and netbook which installs the appropriate Plasma desktop according to screen size and Xubuntu running the latest XFCE, version 4.6.2.
The developers remind users that, as with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. However, users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.
More details about the release, including a list of known issues, can be found in the official release announcement and in the release notes. A list of planned features and changes for version 10.10 of Ubuntu is available on the Blueprints for Maverick page. Ubuntu 10.10 Beta is available to download from the project's web site. Users currently running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on a desktop system can upgrade by pressing Alt+F2 and typing "update-manager -d" (without the quotes) into the command box.
The final stable version of Maverick Meerkat is scheduled to be released on October 10th, 2010 (10/10/10). The next major release following Ubuntu 10.10 will be 11.04 "Natty Narwhal", scheduled to arrive in April of 2011. The latest stable release of Ubuntu is version 10.04.1 LTS, code-named "Lucid Lynx", from mid-August.
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