Ubuntu "Feisty Fawn" 7.04 has two and a half more months to go until it's 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.
Yet another step in Gnome has been made bumping the version to 2.17.90, the sixth release before 2.18. This new version of Gnome comes with a lot of work done on translations, a major upgrade to Gnome Control Center, GTK has gone through a round of bug fixing and a general polish has been givin to the user interface.
Gnome Control Center
Gnome Control Center (g-c-c) is a centralized interface containing a variety of configuration applets ("capplets") for changing system settings and preferences, similar to KDE's KControl, Mac OS's System Preferences, and the MS Windows Control Panel. It includes such things as accessibility configuration, desktop fonts, keyboard and mouse properties, sound setup, desktop theme and background, user interface properties, and screen resolution, among other things. It is currently maintained in Ubuntu by the Ubuntu Core Development team.
Gnome Control Center has been given a bit of a face-lift in more recent developments. As noted before, the 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:
GTK+ 2.10.7 is a multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces. This release is the continuing effort to keep it rock solid.
Ekiga is an open source VoIP and video conferencing application for GNOME. Ekiga uses both the H.323 and SIP protocols. It supports many audio and video codecs, and is interoperable with other SIP compliant software. The release that just hit Feisty is a major "bug fix and polish" release, making it much more user-friendly.
Epiphany is a web browser designed to be powerful while having a simple interface, and being friendly for non-technical users. It uses the Gecko rendering engine underneath, and on the surface complies with the Gnome Human Interface Guidelines, being intended to integrate closely with the Gnome desktop. This release sees feature updates to the interface, including in the area of theming options, bookmarks, history, and menus, as well as a handful of bugfixes.
GEdit is a full-featured graphical text editor supporting multiple files open (tabs), a vast array of syntax highlighting options, automatic indentation, UTF-8 character support, spell-check, print preview, and is extensible, with a number of plugins available for more features. This release includes some miscellaneous fixes to make it more intelligent for certain options and behaviors, as well as 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 removeable drive recognition. Thunar will create a new icon representing the removeable drive or media upon inserting the media into the drive or plugging in the removeable 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 seperate 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 prefered applications gui has been integrated making it no longer necessary to edit shell profiles for 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 behaviour more consistent with that in the alternate install CD's partitioner.
There are still several missing pieces here: the [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 myraids 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 the 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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by using any of the other methods on the Ubuntu Marketing Team wiki page.