Yesterday Ubuntu released the first beta for Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex for both desktop and server use. Among the goodies in the Intrepid beta are
- GNOME 6.24 2.24, with all the great new GNOME features including tabbed browsing and an eject icon for removable drives in the Nautilus file manager as well as an upgraded File Roller that now supports ALZ, RZIP, CAB and TAR.7Z archive files.
- X.Org 7.04 with better suport for some hot-pluggable devices and an improved failsafe X. Unfortunately there are still some issues for fglrx and some older Nvidia binary drivers so these users will be automatically switched to the proper open source drivers.
- Linux kernel 2.6.27, with better hardware support and a number of bug fixes.
- The ability to start Guest sessions in the User Switcher panel for a quick and easy way to let someone use your computer for a quick email check without giving them any access to home directories or letting them permanently store any data.
- Network Manager 0.7 with a number of long desired features
- “Last successful boot” recovery entry to let you save and access the last known kernel and let you safely delete older kernel packages
- Dell’s DKMS to allow Ubuntu Intrepid to automatically rebuild kernel drivers when a new kernel is released. This will let you get the new kernels quicker rather than having to wait for the new drivers to be built.
- Samba 3.2 with clustered file server support, encrypted network transport, ipv6 support and better integration with the latest Windows clients and servers.
- A new Totem BBC plugin that will get free digital content from the BBC. With users around the world loving the content produced by the Beeb makes the new plugin useful for people everywhere.
There are some issues that users will have to watch out for. Users of Intel GigE ethernet hardware will find results in their e10001 driver being disabled, and users with static network configurations will need to disable the NetworkManager at startup. Links in GNOME programs (like Evolution) won’t launch Firefox automatically due to an issue in the wrapper script used by the firefox-3.0 package. (I have the beta burned to a LiveDVD and I’ll have to install the upgrade to see if the issue exists when using a version of Firefox 3 not installed from Ubuntu’s repos.)
For info on the other Ubuntu variants (Kubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, Mythbuntu, etc.), as well as download links, check out the beta announcement from the ubuntu-announce mailing list, and get more details on the Ubuntu 8.10 Beta, including instructions for upgrading Ubuntu Hardy to the beta of Intrepid, from the Ubuntu 8.10 release notes. As always with testing releases, please remember this is a development release, not even a beta release yet, and should not be installed on any computer that absolutely has to work.