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08 June 2012, 10:41

First Ubuntu 12.10 "Quantal Quetzal" alpha arrives

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Ubuntu logo Canonical and the Ubuntu release team have published the first alpha of version 12.10 of their Ubuntu Linux distribution, code-named "Quantal Quetzal". Aimed at developers and testers, Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha 1 uses the 3.4.0-5.11 Ubuntu kernel, which is based on the recent 3.4 Linux kernel.

One of the most notable changes planned for 12.10 is that the project intends to only include Python 3 with the desktop image of Ubuntu. Because of this, the development milestone release sees several applications such as the installer ported to Python 3. However, as there are still packages that need to be ported, both Python 2 and 3 are being included "for the time being". The developers also note that, for programs based on Python 2, it will continue to be available "for the foreseeable future".

Zoom Ubuntu 12.10 in action
The Update Manager has been updated with "a slightly new look" and version 4.7.0 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) has replaced GCC 4.6, which was included in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Version 13 of the Firefox web browser and Thunderbird 13 are among the included packages. Kubuntu, the KDE variant of Ubuntu, now includes version 4.8.3 of the desktop environment and updates the Amarok media player to the latest 2.6 beta release.

As expected at this stage, the developers remind users that "pre-releases of Quantal Quetzal are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage". Those testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they find.

More details about the milestone release, including a list of known issues, can be found on the 12.10 Technical Overview page, while a list of features and changes planned for Ubuntu 12.10 is available on the Blueprints for Quantal page. Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha 1 can be downloaded for 32- and 64-bit systems from the project's site.

According to the project's release schedule, the first alpha will be followed by two more alphas, after which two beta releases are planned. The final version is expected to arrive on 18 October. The current stable release is Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "Precise Pangolin".

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