Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Beta 2 arrives for testing
The second beta of version 11.10 of Ubuntu, code-named "Oneiric Ocelot", has been released. Aimed at developers, testers and early adopters, Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 2 is the final development preview of the Linux distribution before the completed version arrives on Thursday 13 October.
Since the previous beta release, the developers have updated the Ubuntu-customised kernel to version 3.0.0-11.18, which is now based on the stable Linux 3.0.4 release, and added various package updates. The GNOME system, which provides many of the services beneath the Unity desktop shell, has been updated to 3.1.92, a pre-release build of the soon to be released GNOME 3.2.
Other changes include integrating OneConf into the Ubuntu Software Centre to sync applications between computers, and improvements to "multiarch" support, which allows users to install 32-bit libraries and application packages on 64-bit systems. Instructions on how to enable multiarch for users who upgraded before Beta 1 are provided in the Technical Overview.
Unlike the Thunderbird email client, the open source LibreOffice office suite will not support Unity's 'global menubar' by default. Canonical's Björn Michaelsen says that this is due to stability concerns. However, it will still be available as an installable package ("lo-menubar") from the Ubuntu Software Centre.
Ubuntu Server 11.10 Beta 2 includes Orchestra, a collection of free software services for "provisioning, deploying, hosting, managing and orchestrating enterprise data centre infrastructure services", and Juju, (formerly known as Ensemble) for handling service deployment and orchestration on cloud and bare metal systems by enabling packages to be installed and configured using configuration scripts called "Charms". The developers also note that the Xen hypervisor has been re-introduced.
Further details about the second beta, including a list of known issues, can be found on the Technical Overview page and in the mailing list announcement; the Blueprints for Oneiric Launchpad page lists the features and changes planned for version 11.10. Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 2 is available to download from the project's site. 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.
There is also a second beta of Ubuntu Core (the minimalist release of Ubuntu for embedded devices and other small footprint devices), as well as Beta 2 releases of Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Mythbuntu and Lubuntu, the official derivative editions of Ubuntu.
As with all development releases, use of the second beta 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. For those who want to use Ubuntu in production, the most recent stable release is Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal", while the current Long Term Support (LTS) version is Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS. Ubuntu is sponsored by UK-based Canonical Ltd.
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