Introduction to Ubuntu 8.04 Beta

The Ubuntu developers are moving very quickly to bring you the absolute latest and greatest software the open source community has to offer. This is the Ubuntu 8.04 beta release, which brings a host of excellent new features.

Note: This is still a beta release. Do not install it on production machines. The final stable version will be released in April 2008.

For Kubuntu and Kubuntu KDE 4 Remix see HardyHeron/Beta/Kubuntu

Upgrading from Ubuntu 7.10

If you are upgrading from Ubuntu 7.10, see

New Features since Ubuntu 7.10

Xorg 7.3

The latest Xorg, Xorg 7.3, is available in Hardy, with an emphasis on better autoconfiguration with a minimal configuration file. This Beta brings a new Screen Resolution utility that allows users to dynamically configure the resolution, refresh rate, and rotation of a second monitor. This will be particularly handy for laptop users that connect to a projector or external monitor.

Linux kernel 2.6.24

This Beta includes the 2.6.24-12.13 kernel based on This brings in significant enhancements and fixes that have been merged in the last few months into the mainline kernel, including:

  • dynticks support for amd64, bringing the same power savings already available on 32-bit systems to 64-bit laptops and desktops
  • the "Completely Fair Scheduler", a new process scheduler introduced in Linux 2.6.23 that provides improved interactive performance.

GNOME 2.22

Hardy Heron Beta brings you the latest and greatest GNOME 2.22 with lots of new features and improvements, such as a new Nautilus that uses GVFS as its backend. GVFS makes it possible to fix shortcomings of Nautilus such as the inability to restore files from trash, pause and undo file operations, and will make it possible to escalate user privileges for certain operations using PolicyKit for authentication. It also brings a significant performance boost to many operations.



PolicyKit is now integrated in the administrative user interfaces. PolicyKit allows fine-grained control over user permissions and enhances usability and security, by allowing administrative applications to be run as a normal user and gaining extra privileges dynamically only for privileged operations instead of requiring the whole application to run as root.



PulseAudio is now enabled by default. Some non-GNOME applications still need to be changed to output to pulse/esd by default and the volume control tools are not yet integrated.

Firefox 3 Beta 4

Firefox 3 Beta 4 replaces Firefox 2 as the default browser, bringing much better system integration including GTK2 form buttons and common dialogs and icon theming that matches the system.



The GTK version of the popular Transmission BitTorrent client comes preinstalled in Ubuntu, replacing the Gnome BitTorrent downloader.



The new Vinagre VNC client is installed by default in Beta, replacing xvnc4viewer.


Vinagre allows the user to view multiple machines simultaneously, can discover VNC servers on the network via Avahi, and can keep track of recently used and favorite connections.


The Brasero CD/DVD burning application, which will complement the CD/DVD burning functions of Nautilus and replace the Serpentine audio CD burning utility, is installed by default in Beta.


World Clock Applet

Integrating the features of the intlclock applet, the GNOME panel clock in Beta can display the time and weather in multiple locations.



Inkscape 0.46 introduces native PDF support, providing an easy, open source solution to editing text and graphics in PDF documents. Users will appreciate being able to draw up flyers, posters, and other documents, save them as PDF in inkscape, and send them to a print shop for printing without ever leaving Ubuntu or loading a proprietary tool.


KVM is now officially maintained within the Ubuntu kernel.

libvirt and virt-manager have been integrated in Ubuntu. They allow for easy guest creation and basic management of virtual machines out of the box. Virt-manager can be used to administer guests on a remote server.

The kernel also includes virtio, greatly improving I/O performance in guests.

ActiveDirectory integration

Likewise Open, available from the universe repository, enables seamless integration of Ubuntu within an Active Directory network. Users can use their AD credentials to log onto Ubuntu machines and access any kerberized services provided by an Ubuntu Server.

iSCSI support

iSCSI Initiator has been fully integrated in the kernel, allowing Ubuntu to mount iSCSI targets as a block device. iSCSI is available in the Ubuntu Server installer if iscsi=true is passed on the kernel command line at the beginning of the install process.


Ubuntu 8.04 Beta includes ufw (Uncomplicated Firewall), a new host-based firewall application configurable from the command line which is designed to make administering a firewall easier for end users while not getting in the way of network administrators.

Memory Protection

Additional access checks have been added so that /dev/mem and /dev/kmem can only be used to access device memory. These changes will help defend against rootkits and other malicious code.

The lower 64K of system memory is no longer addressable by default. This will help defend against malicious code that attempts to leverage kernel bugs into security vulnerabilities.

Applications compiled as Position Independent Executables (PIE) are now placed into memory in unpredictable locations, making it harder for security vulnerabilities to be exploited.


There is a new installation option for Windows users. Wubi allows users to install and uninstall Ubuntu like any other Windows application. It does not require a dedicated partition, nor does it affect the existing bootloader, yet users can experience a dual-boot setup almost identical to a full installation. Wubi works with a physical CD or in stand-alone mode, by downloading an appropriate ISO to install from. It can be found on the root of the CD as Wubi.exe. A full installation within a dedicated partition is still recommended, but Wubi is a great way to try Ubuntu for a few days and weeks before committing dedicated disk resources.



WinFOSS and the Windows open source software have been replaced by umenu, a simple launcher that lets the user install Ubuntu from Windows using Wubi, install Ubuntu to a partition without having to make their CD-ROM the first boot device, and find out more about Ubuntu at the website.



File systems are now mounted with the relatime mount option by default, for improved performance.

  • The relatime mount option stands for relative atime (or time of last access), and relatime will only update the atime if the previous atime is different than the mtime (modification time) or ctime (time of last status change). more info


Get it while it's hot. ISOs and torrents are available at:

Local mirrors are also available:

  • FIXME: import up-to-date local mirror list


There are several known bugs that users may run into with Ubuntu 8.04 Beta. We have documented them here for your convenience along with any known workarounds.

  • The kernel in this beta is unable to access CD-ROM devices in some configurations, which may prevent users who were previously able to install Ubuntu from installing this beta from CD media. As a workaround, users can boot the installer with the additional "all_generic_ide" boot option or switch the device from Master to Slave with jumpers.

  • When installing from the Live CD, selecting a point on the timezone map is difficult as the map moves too quickly.

  • Hibernation does not work in a Wubi installation. Even if this option is available on the desktop, you should avoid using it.
  • Wubi installation may fail without an internet connection even when using a physical CD

  • If you have a Broadcom Wireless card, you will get a Jockey crash at startup. Please upgrade to a newer version after installation.

Reporting Bugs

Hardy Heron beta has bugs! Your comments, bug reports, patches and suggestions will help fix bugs and improve future releases. After reading the bug-reporting guidelines, please report bugs through the Ubuntu bug tracking system.

If you want to help with bugs, the Bug Squad is always looking for help.

If you plan to do an installation of Hardy Beta, be sure to head to the Testing page. With just a few minutes of your time, you can really help to improve Ubuntu. We have two different tests; one takes just a short time, and the other is more thorough.

Participate in Ubuntu

If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at

Help spread the word about Ubuntu 8.04

A new banner is available that counts down the days until the Ubuntu 8.04 release:

You can add the countdown banner to your website to help build excitement for the new release as the date approaches.

More Information

You can find out more about Ubuntu on our website and wiki.

To sign up for future Ubuntu development announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu's development announcement list at:


The Beta release notes were brought to you by:

  • Murat Güneş
  • Timo Aaltonen
  • Corey Burger
  • Steve Langasek
  • Agostino Russo
  • Evan Dandrea

HardyHeron/Beta (last edited 2008-08-06 16:17:03 by localhost)