First "alpha" arrives for Ubuntu Raring Ringtail 13.04
The Ubuntu development cycle moves up a notch as the first alpha release of what is to become Ubuntu 13.04, Raring Ringtail, and images for Edubuntu 13.04 and Kubuntu 13.04, are released to the public. A decision has been made by the developers to reduce the number of milestone builds and switch to daily and fortnightly quality tests. Raring Ringtail will be continuously updated and new daily images will be released over the coming months to test it. There will not be a milestone release of Ubuntu 13.04 until 28 March 2013, and that will be a "FinalBetaRelease". Rather than there being an Alpha 1 image, users should download the most recent daily image and use that.
The new schedule does make demands of testers. The advice for them is that, if they find installation bugs, they should verify them against the latest daily image before reporting them to ensure they are not re-reporting bugs. This new schedule only applies to the main Ubuntu development – the various Ubuntu flavours can release using the previous style of alpha-alpha-beta-beta schedule. With that in mind there are Alpha 1 images of Edubuntu (with notes) and Kubuntu (with notes). Kubuntu 13.04 Alpha 1 includes the KDE Plasma and Applications 4.10 beta with new screen locker and Qt Quick notifications. Edubuntu's 13.04 alpha release now includes, among other things, the vym mindmapping tool, the klavaro touch-typing tutor, and the fritzing electronics design software. Details of the changes in the core Ubuntu 13.04 alpha are not available, save for a note that updated packages are included.
As with all testing releases, the images are in no way suitable for production use and, as early releases, the developers say users should expect bugs. The latest daily build of Raring Ringtail is available to download as ISO images for 64- and 32-bit x86 systems; an image for TI OMAP4 ARM hardware is also available. Further details of the development and release schedule are available on the Ubuntu wiki.