Revision 48 as of 2013-02-04 20:04:55

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New Features in Ubuntu

Desktop Interface

  • There is a new way to quickly search and access menu and indicator actions, called the "HUD" (Heads-Up Display). Tap the Alt key and enter some letters and words, and it will show the corresponding entries, including some fuzzy matching; then press enter to execute the action. The search will include all menu entries of the currently focused application, as well as all indicator facilities (like managing emails, sound list, or logging out of the session). It learns from your previous choices to make the search more and more accurate for you.
  • System Settings has several new "options" to customize Unity's look and behavior.

  • Nautilus quicklist support has been added to Unity launcher.

  • ClickPad devices are trackpads where the physical button is integrated into the trackpad surface. Ubuntu 12.04 now has enhanced support for these devices. When the button is pressed on a ClickPad device, a second finger may be used to drag the cursor.

    • ClickPad support requires extra handling that conflicts with "Click Action" support. Click Actions allow for separate actions when multiple fingers are active on a trackpad. The default Ubuntu settings enable right button behavior when two fingers are in contact with the trackpad surface and the physical trackpad button is pressed. Because of conflicting behavior, ClickPad devices do not support Click Actions in this release.

    • Most Synaptics brand ClickPads are recognized out of the box. Apple MacBook trackpads are recognized as well. Support for Apple Magic Trackpads and more Synaptics brand ClickPads will follow in the next release.

  • Network Manager now uses dnsmasq for improved DNS reliability and support for split-DNS on VPN links. You can learn more here.

  • IPv6 and IPv4 are now equally supported in Network Manager: an IPv4 address is no longer required for a connection to be considered as working.

Desktop Applications

  • The default music player has been switched to Rhythmbox, which again includes the Ubuntu One music store.

  • LibreOffice has been updated to 3.5.2.

  • GNOME has been updated to 3.4.1. Read the GNOME 3.4 Release Notes to learn what's new and improved. A few highlights include:

    • - Files (Nautilus) now has undo support.

      - Several games have been modernized with useful help, simplified menus, and a less cluttered interface.

  • Remmina with FreeRDP is the new standard remote desktop client, replacing Vinagre and rdesktop.

  • The IcedTea Java plugin is no longer installed as part of the ubuntu-restricted-addons package but it is still available for install (889171)

Software Center

  • When installing new software through software-center, corresponding language support packages (translations, spell check modules particular to that software, help files, etc.) are now installed alongside automatically. This removes the need to open "Language Support" after installing new software.
  • The user can opt-in into personalized recommendations. This will show global, category and per-application recommendations to the user.
  • Payment support for PayPal.

  • Web Directory to share applications with your friends.
  • Support for multiple screenshots and videos is now available.
  • Startup time and overall responsiveness was improved.
  • Improved support for installing multiple versions via the ubuntu-backports project.

Ubuntu One

  • The all new Control Panel now provides an installer, setup wizard, ability to add/remove folders to sync, and more.
  • Proxy support is now fully functional.
  • Ubuntu One contacts sync in Evolution is not supported any more and has been removed.

LTS Hardware Enablement Stack

In an effort to support a wider variety of hardware on an existing LTS release, the 12.04.2 point release will ship with updated kernel and X stack by default. This newer hardware enablement stack will be comprised of the kernel and X stack from the Quantal 12.10 release.

The hardware enablement stack is only intended for use on x86 hardware at this time. Those running virtual or cloud images, should not need these newer stacks and are thus recommended to remain on the original Precise stack. To remain on the original Precise stack there are a few options:

  • Install from a previous 12.04.0 or 12.04.1 point release and update. The previous 12.04.0 and 12.04.1 releases are archived at http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/

  • Perform an update or upgrade to Precise from a previous Ubuntu release. Only those installing from the 12.04.2 media will automatically receive a newer hardware enablement stack by default.

For anyone interested, the specifics regarding the exact policies and procedures regarding the support, maintenance, and upgrade paths for the hardware enablement stack has been documented at the following location:


Common Infrastructure

  • Up until Ubuntu 11.10, administrator access using the sudo tool was granted via the "admin" Unix group. In Ubuntu 12.04, administrator access will be granted via the "sudo" group. This makes Ubuntu more consistent with the upstream implementation and Debian. For compatibility purposes, the "admin" group will continue to provide sudo/administrator access in 12.04.
  • Hibernate (suspend to disk) has been disabled by default, as it was found to be unreliable, very slow and confusing to have two suspend modes. See bug 812394 for details. If you want to re-enable it, please follow this recipe.

  • pm-utils now has two new scripts to power down USB and various PCI devices in battery mode. A number of desktop packages were fixed to wake up less often. Both of these reduce power consumption and thus improve battery lifetime.
  • resolvconf is now used to manage /etc/resolv.conf on all Ubuntu systems. You can learn more here

  • Backports are now more easily accessible -- to enable users to more easily receive new versions of software, the Ubuntu Backports repository is now enabled by default. Packages from backports will not be installed by default — they must explicitly be selected in package management software. However, once installed, packages from backports will automatically be upgraded to newer versions.
  • DVD Images -- the DVD images have been cleaned up significantly reducing their size to around 1.5GB to ease consumption. The remaining software remains available via download.

Linux v3.2.14 Kernel

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS ships with an updated kernel moving from the mainline v3.0 series to the mainline v3.2 series. At release we are shipping with the Ubuntu 3.2.0-23.36 kernel which is based on the v3.2.14 upstream stable Linux kernel. The mainline v3.0 to v3.2 stable series update brings a number of new features. Some highlights include:

  • ext4 gains support for larger base block sizes
  • btrfs has more work addressing data integrity issues
  • device mapper gains thin provisioning and recursive snapshots
  • more work to improve performance under high writeback load
  • networking improvements for congested networks
  • ext3 moves to using filesystem barriers
  • memory allocator improvements
  • VFS scalability improvements
  • a new iSCSI implementation
  • software wait gains bad block management

Key changes in the Ubuntu kernel since the 3.0.0-12.20 Ubuntu kernel as shipped in the 11.10 Ubuntu release include:

Upstart 1.5

Upstart has been updated to version 1.5. More details are available in the Upstart Technical Overview.

GNU Toolchain

Ubuntu 12.04 is distributed with a default toolchain that includes: GCC 4.6.3 (and changes from Linaro GCC 4.6-2012.02), binutils 2.22, eglibc 2.15, and Linaro gdb 7.4-2012.04.

Compared to the 11.10 release the toolchain did see only incremental changes and bug fixes; comparing to the 10.04 LTS release, GCC updates include

  • Updated frontends for better standards support (Ada 2012, Objective-C 2.0, improved experimental support for the upcoming C++0x ISO C++ standard, Fortran 2003 and 2008 improvements, new Go frontend)
  • Improved optimizations, including better inter-procedural optimizations, and link time optimization (LTO).

Further information can be found upstream (GCC-4.6, GCC-4.5, binutils, gas, ld, gdb).

Python Toolchain

  • Ubuntu 12.04 includes Python 2.7.3 and Python 3.2.3 Python 2.6 is no longer available for install.

  • There is expanded support for Python 3 in this release, with Python 3 ports of python-dbus, python-feedparser, germinate, lazr.ui, wadllib, python-defer, python-keyring, and python-qt4 now included, among others.

Java Toolchain

The default run time for Java is OpenJDK 6b24 (IcedTea 1.11.1). OpenJDK 7u3 (IcedTea 2.1) is available in the archive as well.



Preparing your computer for Ubuntu is now much simpler, with a wider range of disk setup options. Each of these are detailed at length to provide you with a clear understanding of the actions that will take place with your selection.

You can now reinstall or upgrade an existing copy of Ubuntu with the Desktop CD installer, provided that your computer is connected to the Internet.


Ubuntu 12.04 images can be downloaded from a location near you:

In addition they can also be found at the following locations:

System Requirements

The minimum memory requirement for Ubuntu 12.04 is 384 MB of memory for Ubuntu Desktop. Note that some of your system's memory may be unavailable due to being used by the graphics card. If your computer has only the minimum amount of memory, the installation process will take longer than normal; however, it will complete successfully, and the system will perform adequately once installed.

Systems with less memory may be able to select "Install Ubuntu" from the boot menu to run just the installer, rather than the whole desktop, or may be able to use the alternate install CD.


Upgrading from Ubuntu 11.10

To upgrade from Ubuntu 11.10 on a desktop system, start "Update Manager". It should display the following message: "New distribution release '12.04' is available. Click Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions".

Upgrading from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

It is generally recommended that users of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS wait until the first point release, due in August, before upgrading.

To upgrade from 10.04 LTS on a desktop system before then, upgrade over the network with the following procedure.

  1. Start System/Administration/Software Sources
  2. On the Updates tab, set Show new distribution releases: to Long term support releases only, then press Close.
  3. Press Alt-F2 and type update-manager -d
    1. Click the Check button to check for new updates. If there are any updates to install, use the Install Updates button to install them, and press Check again after that is complete.
    2. A message will appear informing you of the availability of the new release. Click Upgrade.
    Follow the on-screen instructions.

Upgrading from Other Releases

Users of other Ubuntu releases need to upgrade first to 11.10, and then to 12.04.

For further information on upgrading to 11.10, please see the upgrade instructions.

System requirements

  • While the minimum memory requirement for 32bit is 384 MB, a minimum of 512 MB is needed for the 64bit installation. On systems with only the bare minimum amount of memory, it is also strongly recommended to use the "Install Ubuntu" option as it uses less memory than the full live session.
  • The Ubuntu 12.04 installation image does not include support for old computers that do not support PAE. If your computer is affected, you can either first install Ubuntu 10.04 or 11.10 and upgrade to 12.04 or you can use the Lubuntu or Xubuntu images. The non-PAE version of the Linux kernel will be dropped completely following the 12.04 release.

Known Issues

Boot, Installation and Post-Installation

  • [Dell Studio XPS 1340,Alienware m17x] Kernel panic and hang on boot due to the ite-cir driver. A patch has been sent upstream and a test kernel is referenced in the bug report. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (984387)

  • When closing the lid on a Unibody Macbook, the screen interacts with the touchpad. This can cause spurious gestures and clicks, and potentially lead to corrupted input driver state if the laptop suspends. To work around the issue, remove and reload the kernel module after resume by running:
    $ sudo rmmod bcm5974
    $ sudo modprobe bcm5974

    Note that this may disable some touchpad options, for example horizontal scrolling. These options can be re-enabled by visiting the Mouse and Touchpad settings. This is planned to be fixed in a post-release update (968845).

  • Importing of existing Windows user accounts fails in some cases. (987902)

  • Wubi (the Ubuntu installer for Windows) is not available as an option on the Ubuntu Desktop/DVD any more. Instead, it is now a separate download.


  • Aptitude does not work on 64-bit systems without disabling multiarch in /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/multiarch . (831768)

  • If you have i386 packages installed on an amd64 system in Ubuntu 11.10, it is strongly recommended that you install the versions of apt and dpkg from oneiric-updates before upgrading. A number of multiarch-affecting upgrade issues have been fixed in those versions. (850264, 902603)

  • In some cases update-manager might appear to hang indefinitely. In that case, open the expander at the bottom and check if there is a debconf question which needs to be answered. (979661)

  • Upgrades from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS do not work using the alternate CD or the server CD as a package repository. It is recommended that users running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS wait for the 12.04.1 LTS point release, scheduled for July, before upgrading. (988941)

  • If you are running a KVM host with libvirt and are upgrading from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS you may find that some existing virtual machines are no longer recognized (virsh list --all). A change to each guest's XML file may be in order that is related to how console and serial devices are now configured. (931350)


  • On ARM omap images, the networking support for the Beagle XM board is broken (838200)

  • [Dell Studio XPS 1340,Alienware m17x] Kernel panic and hang on boot due to the ite-cir driver. A patch has been sent upstream and a test kernel is referenced in the bug report. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (984387)

  • Missing support for Sentelic touchpad in Asus K53U notebook. Patches have been backported and will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (969334)

  • Missing support for BCM20702A0 Broadcom bluetooth device [0489:e042]. A patch has been sent upstream. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (980965)

  • Buffer overflows in comedi driver. Patches have been backported from upstream and a test kernel is referenced in the bug report. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (981234)

  • Intel gma 4500mhd external monitor suffers from a scrambled picture. A patches has been backported from upstream. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (796030)

  • Kernel Oops - BUG: unable to handle kernel paging request; RIP: nfs_have_delegation+0x9/0x40 [nfs]. Some users attempting to run NFS clients on 12.04 appear to be affected. A test kernel is referenced from the bug report. Patches have been backported from upstream and will be immediately available in a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (974664)

  • Patches from upstream stable v3.2.15 and v3.2.16 will undergo a baking period in the precise-proposed pocket during the first kernel SRU cycle. They will then be released as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket approximately 3 weeks after 12.04 releases. (981162, 987337)

  • hid-logitech-dj driver missing from the installer. It has been added to the d-i input-modules udeb and will be included in the 12.04.1 point release. (975198)

  • rtl8187 driver missing from the installer. It has been added to the d-i nic-usb-modules udeb and will be included in the 12.04.1 point release. (971719)

  • eGalaxis Touchscreen Driver does not work. Patches have been backported from upstream and will be immediately available in a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (913164)

  • ATI/radeon framebuffers on PowerPC only enabled as modules and not built in. This results in issues such as booting to a command prompt, loss of tty consoles, and loss of suspend. A patch to build these in have been applied and will be immediately available in a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04's release. (949288)

  • On systems with an ATI Radeon 9200 graphics card the system will boot to a black screen. As a work around edit the kernel command line in the boot loader and add "nomodeset". (725580)

  • Fujitsu Siemens Amilo M 7400 and Maxdata 7000DX wireless RF kill handling triggers a kernel panic preventing wireless from operating correctly. This may be worked around by editing your kernel command line and adding "noexec=off". (979253)

  • Beagle XM systems which are capable of running at 1GHZ will be initialised at 800MHZ leading to slower than optimal performance. (771537)

  • Some EFI systems fail to boot in EFI mode, BIOS mode is advised in these situations. (721576)

Desktop Interface

  • When using the LiveCD in certain languages such as French and choosing "Try Ubuntu" at the prompt, the keyboard will be brought up with the US keyboard map instead of the correct one for the chosen language. To avoid this bug, users can press any key at the very first splash screen and select their language here instead. (985065)

Please install available updates to ensure that the issues below will be fixed on your system.

  • Unity Dash (opened via the "Ubuntu" button in the top of the Launcher, or after pressing the <Super> key) may appear sluggish or slow to respond. This is caused by excessive redrawing of the screen contents in some circumstances. (980924)

  • Unity Launcher. If an application is pinned and then unpinned from the Unity Launcher using right-click->Un/Lock to Launcher repeatedly the application may vanish from the Launcher. It is necessary to log out and login again. This relates to an application monitoring framework called "Bamf" (978401)

  • Window titlebars do not update on ATI graphics hardware with the "fglrx" driver. A solution to this problem will be delivered in an update. (770283)

  • On some NVidia cards, when using the proprietary driver, moving windows and other large screen updates causes some tearing. (600178)

Desktop Applications

  • The mail client Evolution may delete folders and their contents as they are renamed or moved around in IMAP (and IMAP+) accounts. It is recommended to copy folders and contents before attempting to move or rename them. (957341)


  • 5 years (Long Term Support).