Second and final beta of Ubuntu 12.10 arrives
The Ubuntu project has released the second beta of Ubuntu 12.10 "Quantal Quetzal" which sees the project well on track for its final release in October. The most visible change from the first beta release is an update to version 6.6 of the Unity desktop shell, which now shows results from Amazon's online store in the search functionality. This feature has proven to be controversial and several methods of disabling it have been suggested, including uninstalling the unity-lens-shopping package. The developers are also working on the ability to disable online searches in Unity completely although this change has not been included in the beta 2 images and is expected to arrive with later updates.
Other changes in Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 2 are relatively minor. Several GNOME applications were updated to pre-release versions of GNOME 3.6, others already stem from the final version which was released yesterday. The original intent with this release was to completely remove Python 2 from the installation images to save space but the move to port all programs included in the 12.10 installer image to Python 3.2 could not be completed.
Further information about the changes in this release can be found in the Technical Overview page for Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 2 while a rundown of all planned features in the final release is available on the Blueprints for Quantal page. ISO images of Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 2 are available to download for 32- and 64-bit systems from the project's site; alternatively, users can upgrade from 12.04 to the beta by pressing Alt+F2 and typing
update-manager -d in the command box.
Beta releases should not, though, be installed on production or "mission critical" systems. The current stable release is Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS, the first point update to the Long Term Support (LTS) edition of the distribution. According to the project's current release schedule, this should be the last beta of Quantal, with the final release of Ubuntu 12.10 expected on 18 October.