Ubuntu "Feisty Fawn" 7.04 has two and a half more months to go until its release date planned in April 19th, and already many exciting features have been introduced. Herd 3, the third Alpha release kicks off the most active period in the release schedule.
Note: This is still an alpha release. Do not install it on production machines. The final stable version will be released in April 2007.
Gnome has been updated to 2.17.90, the sixth release before 2.18. This includes enhancements to language support, a new Gnome Control Center, and the usual round of bug fixing and general polish.
GNOME Control Center
Gnome Control Center is an interface for changing system settings and preferences, similar to KDE's KControl, OS X's System Preferences, and MS Windows Control Panel. It includes such things as accessibility configuration, fonts, keyboard and mouse properties, sound setup, themes, desktop background, and screen resolution, among other things.
The new GNOME Control Center version in Feisty has a slightly different interface layout and some extra features, making it significantly more usable. Here's a sneak peak of what things look like as of Herd 3
Evolution 2.94 adds many new features including a vertical preview.
Ekiga is a voice and video conferencing application for GNOME, It supports many audio and video codecs and works with other SIP and H.323 compliant software. The new release just added to Feisty is more polished that previous releases.
Epiphany is a web browser designed to be powerful and simple, as well as friendly for non-technical users. It uses the same Gecko rendering engine as Firefox, but has a nmber of unique features and integrates more closely with the GNOME desktop. This release sees feature updates to the interface, including in the area of theming options, bookmarks, history, and menus.
GEdit is a full-featured graphical programmers editor supporting tabs, syntax highlighting, automatic indentation, Unicode support, spell-check, print preview, and a wide variety of plugins. This release includes more intelligent behavior and a half dozen translation updates.
Thunar replaces the previous file manager, Xffm. Thunar was written from scratch to provide a similar to Nautilus and pcmanfm, using GTK+ 2.4. Thunar includes basic file management functionality as well as many advance features. The Bulk Renamer easily enables users to rename multiple files at a time. Thunar also enables easy media and removable drive recognition. Thunar will create a new icon representing the removable drive or media upon inserting the media into the drive or plugging in the removable drive.
Being completely rewritten for the Xfce 4.4 release, the Xfce-panel now has the option to support multiple panels out of the box. The new Panel Manager allows for easy configuration of panel preference, including, Transparency and Panel Opaqueness.
Panel plugins are now run as processes separate from the panel. This prevents an unstable plugin from crashing the whole panel. Depending on the stability of the plugin, developers can create plugins as a unique process or as part of the panel process.
An easy preferred applications GUI has been integrated making it no longer necessary to edit shell profiles to change the default Web Browser, Mail Reader, and Terminal Emulator.
Ubuntu's graphical installer, Ubiquity, now features a brand new advanced partitioning tool. The primary goal here was to get rid of the nasty separation between partitioning and selection of mount points, and to make the underlying behavior more consistent with that in the alternate install CD's partitioner.
There are still several missing pieces here: the [https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Ubiquity/AdvancedPartitionerRewrite graphical disk view] isn't implemented yet; validation doesn't work properly; and it's slower than it should be. Backups are still recommended before using this. If you want to use the old partitioner instead, run ubiquity --old-partitioner from a terminal window.
Desktop search for Ubuntu has developed in leaps and bounds.
Now available from Ubuntu repository is the latest stable release of Tracker, a fast small desktop search tool. Version 0.5.4 features incredible indexing speed, very low resource usage, improved mime and text file detection, and FUSE-based filesystem support. Frontend improvements include better deskbar integration and bug fixes.
Also available from the repositories is Beagle, a desktop search tool. This version contains bug fixes, memory usage reductions, and a few new backends.
Painless Codec Installation
A long awaited feature has been implemented in Feisty Fawn Herd3 release, Easy Codec Installation. From now on instead of giving an obscure error message when trying to play some media file, Ubuntu will try to install the necessary codecs automatically, and start playing the desired file.
The latest updates of Feisty's kernel brings with it many bug fixes allowing for a much more stable experience , and myriads of hardware drivers expanding the already large list of hardware Ubuntu supports.
With the addition of latest kernel updates, Feisty's kernel has paravirtualization called KVM which ties into either Intel's VT or AMD-V technology. When tied in with the userspace component, this offer virtualization which is much faster than previously possible. This is still in testing and may not make the final release.
Along with the KVM paravirtualization solution, Feisty's kernel also includes VMware's VMI layer. This is also being tested and may not make the final release.
Download Herd 3
Get it while it's hot. ISOs and torrents are available at:
Reporting Bugs & Testing
Feisty Fawn has bugs! (I bet you're not surprised). Your comments, bug reports, patches and suggestions will help fix bugs and improve future releases. Please report bugs through Malone.
If you want to help out with those bugs, the Bug Squad is always looking for help.
If you plan to do an installation of Feisty Herd 3, be sure to head to [https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Testing/ReportingResults Test Reporting Wiki]. With just a few minutes of time at your hands, you can really help to improve Ubuntu. We have two different tests; one takes just a short while, but the other is more thorough.
Let us know [https://launchpad.net/ubuntu-iso-tests how your installation went]
Check out how to preform a [https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Testing/Short short test]
Check out how to preform the [https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Testing/Long longer test]
Participate in Ubuntu
If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at
You can find out more about Ubuntu on our [http://ubuntu.com website] and [http://wiki.ubuntu.com wiki].
To sign up for future Ubuntu development announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu's development announcement list at:
[http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/herd1 Feisty Herd 1]
[http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/herd2 Feisty Herd 2]
Herd 3 release notes were brought to you by:
- Martin Albisetti
- Bryan Karen
- Tony Yarusso
- Colin Watson
- Eldo Varghese
This document is maintained by the Ubuntu Marketing Team. Please feel free to contact us regarding any concerns or suggestions by either sending an email to email@example.com or by using any of the other methods on the Ubuntu Marketing Team wiki page.