First beta for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot released
Canonical and the Ubuntu developers have released the first beta for version 11.10 of their Linux distribution, code-named "Oneiric Ocelot". According to the Oneiric Release Schedule, Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 1 will be followed by a second beta on 22 September; the final version is to be released on 13 October.
The first beta of Ubuntu 11.10 includes the 3.0.0-9.15 Ubuntu-customised Linux kernel, which is based on the stable Linux 3.0.3 release. An updated and improved Unity desktop interface is also included, with components from GNOME 3.1.5, an unstable pre-release build of GNOME 3.2, providing services beneath the desktop shell. The Ubuntu Software Centre has been updated and adds new "top rated" views.
The developers note that the "Places" functionality has been renamed "Lenses" to reflect a wider scope of use. Lenses can now display information from multiple sources, such as files, music collections or social networks, as well as allowing them to be filtered on fields such as ratings, ranges and categories. For example, the Banshee music player (version 2.1.3) includes a new default music lens.
Package updates include Python 3.2, GCC 4.6.1, CUPS 1.5.0, Shotwell 0.11, and version 3.4.2 of LibreOffice (3.4.3 arrived at the end of August). Added packages include the Déjà Dup backup tool. The beta of Firefox 7 is included and Thunderbird 7 beta is now the default email client with menu and launcher integration; stable versions are scheduled for release on 27 September.
Other changes include a new Alt+Tab switcher, multiarch support (improving 32bit library and application handling on 64 bit systems), a new login screen that uses LightDM and Unity 2D, for use on systems without 3D acceleration, has moved closer to the 3D version of Unity. The desktop session and power indicators have also been revamped.
Beta 1 of Ubuntu Server 11.10 and Ubuntu Core have also been released, as have beta 1 releases of Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Mythbuntu and Lubuntu, the official alternate editions of Ubuntu.
As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they find.
More information about the beta release, including a list of known problems, can be found on the Technical Overview page; a list of features and changes planned for version 11.10 of Ubuntu is available on the Blueprints for Oneiric Launchpad page. Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 1 is available to download from the project's site. Downloads for Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Mythbuntu and Lubuntu are also available. Users currently running Ubuntu 11.04 on a desktop system can install the beta by pressing Alt+F2 and typing
update-manager -d into the command box.
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