Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2 arrives for testing
Canonical and the Ubuntu development team have announced the release of a second alpha version of Ubuntu 11.10, code-named "Oneiric Ocelot". Oneiric Ocelot Alpha 2 is based on the upcoming version 3.0 (rc5) Linux kernel and ships with GNOME 3.0 based foundations, but the controversial Unity desktop is still the default desktop. Unity, the theme and the Ayatana scroll bars have been updated for GTK/GNOME 3 compatibility.
As previously planned, LightDM has now replaced the GNOME Display Manager (GDM) as the display and login manager, and Déjà Dup, the simple backup utility, is now included in the standard installation. Alpha 2 also sees Mozilla's Thunderbird 5.0 replace GNOME Evolution as the default mail client, though this is still a provisional feature. Package updates include Firefox 5, version 1.1.10 of the VLC Media Player, version 4.6.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and a snapshot of Mesa 7.11.
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.
Further information about the alpha release can be found on the Technical Overview page and in a post on the Ubuntu Developer mailing list. A list of planned features and changes for version 11.10 of Ubuntu is available on the Blueprints for Oneiric page.
Aimed at developers and early adopters, this development milestone is the second of three planned alpha releases, which will be followed by two betas. According to the release schedule, the final version of Ubuntu 11.10 will arrive on 13 October. Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2 is available to download from the project's web site. Users currently running Ubuntu 11.04 on a desktop system can upgrade to the alpha by pressing Alt+F2 and typing
update-manager -d into the command box.
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