There was an error in this gadget

+1

Monday, March 31, 2008

A Look at the upcoming Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

Ubuntu is one of the most popular desktop Linux distribution and a few days back Beta version of it's new upcoming Ubuntu 8.04 was released . Being such a huge Ubuntu fan i decided to give it a try now after spending almost 14 hours downloading the iso's on slow internet connection of the university i am studying in I was finally able to review the latest of the Ubuntu distro scheduled to be released on 24th April.


The first thing that you notice after booting the Ubuntu 8.04 beta CD is that now no longer you have to boot the entire CD into Live Graphical mode to install . Now there is an option in the opening grub menu that allows you to install Ubuntu 8.04 without loading the entire desktop .However one thing i disliked about this installation procedure was that it is still graphical , yes graphical installation simplifies things but there are old computers lying around(with less than say 512 megabytes of RAM ) and it's difficult to install Ubuntu using the graphical method on such PC's without having swap drive . Ubuntu Team might consider including a Text based installer too .



Opening Boot Screen of Ubuntu 8.04

Graphical Installer


Another significant addition to the installation process is inclusion of the windows based installer Wubi that allows easy installation of the Ubuntu on your Windows based desktop . It's a standalone graphical installer that installs entire Ubuntu desktop as a single file-image on your Windows drive without any need of partitioning or resizing of your existing partitions . Now this is a really welcome addition to the installation process because partitioning is one of the most difficult step of installation (which carries a risk of removing your entire data) so by eliminating that step ,Ubuntu team has made the entire installation process a lot more user friendly for people who are using Windows and want to try Ubuntu .
Wubi Installing Ubuntu 8.04 Inside Windows XP on my frnz PC

Now once the installation is over and you boot into your newly installed Ubuntu system , the thing that strikes you at first if you had been using the previous version of Ubuntu is updated theme and Wallpaper . Ubuntu 8.04 has a new theme based on the old Human theme and powered by the Murrine engine . The wallpaper features "The Heron" itself and the Login Manager has been updated too .
Updated Login Manager

New Wallpaper featuring " Heron"
Architecture wise Ubuntu 8.04 includes X.org 7.3 which adds the long demanded feature of dynamic resolution changing (Means you don't need to restart Xserver after changing resolution ). Ubuntu 8.04 also includes Pulseaudio sound server which is advanced sound playing architecture allowing things like per-application sound settings, transferring the audio to a different machine, changing the sample format or channel count and mixing several sounds into one it does so by acting as proxy for your sound applications. It allows you to do advanced operations on your sound data as it passes between your application and your hardware.

Ubuntu 8.04 includes a crash reporting tool that sends information about the crash to the Ubuntu's Launchpad(You would be seeing this a lot in beta version , the beta version i tested crashed a lot ) .All the earlier Ubuntu version were lacking a proper System Monitor and Ubuntu 8.04 does it's bit of addressing this problem by inclusion of a really impressive System Monitor Application .

World View Applet
Ubuntu 8.04 comes with Gnome 2.22 and has a number of interesting features and additions including the new World View applet :) .

System Monitor Application

There have been security improvements, including better memory protection and a fine-grained access control system called PolicyKit.

Software wise there are number of interesting additions .
  • Firefox 3 Beta 4 is included with Ubuntu 8.04 Beta and Firefox 3 would most probably be included with the final release of Ubuntu 8.04 .
  • Ubuntu 8.04 Beta comes with Brasero for CD/DVD burning . It is a neat application with simple looks allowing one to burn CD/DVD easily , however you might like to install a more mature and hmmm User Friendly DVD/CD burning tool like k3b .
  • Also included is Transmission which is a very popular BitTorrent client and
  • // Inkspace a vector graphics editing tool has PDF graphics editing support .

Brasero CD/DVD Burning tool & Transmission torrent downloading tool
Firefox 3 Beta -- Hmmm this list with name and address bar sucks seriously

Changes in Ubuntu 8.04 includes :
  • Inclusion of Gnome 2.22
  • X.org 7.3
  • Linux kernel 2.6.24-12.13
  • Pulseaudio
  • Policykit
  • Firefox 3 Beta 4
  • New apps like Transmission , Inkspace , Brasero etc
  • Brand new firewall
Conclusion : Ubuntu 8.04 Beta promises a lot and is shaping up to be a interesting update .The most important change/addition in 8.04 is simplification of installation procedure with inclusion of tool like Wubi making installation of Ubuntu on Windows based systems really easy. Firefox 3 and Brasero are welcome addition to Ubuntu . Also Ubuntu 8.04 seems pretty nippier and faster compared to the earlier releases . In short Ubuntu 8.04 is turning out to be an update worth waiting for .

Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (blogambuj@gmail.com)
For Linux on Desktop , http://linuxondesktop.blogspot.com
(C) 2008 , Ambuj Varshney


3 comments:

Clouseau said...

Hello...
Just two words...
I have a 2.2. ghz 64 bit monocore...
I've upgraded to beta.. bloody way... :-)
I agree. it seems a little faster... I think that the major improvements we feel come from the new Gnome, from Firefox and OpenOffice, the most used softwares may be...

It takes a little bit more to boot, but once you enter your account, your personal desktop is up in a moment (having Openoffice quickstarter enabled, which is relatively haevy)...

And the launch of any app is faster...

Graphical performances are not improved with my 256 mb ATI graphic card... i can't afford all the power of gnome... but I don't care about that... actually the drivers are proprietary and the driver manager is to be updated before the final release... (known bug)

Anyway, I stress that if you need to be up to date with your key-apps (OpenOffice 3 is about october for example), you have to search for the *.deb and manage them manually... the same for Eclipse, JDK, MySQL, Tomcat,... I will extract them without any deb, and I will configure the system row by row...
That's the ubuntu policy (see www.getdeb.net --> about)...

In the end Firefox 3 is great itself, but 99% of addons I NEED works only with 2... when I will do a fresh clean install of Hardy, I will have to install FF 2 apart, and, again, manually...
They can live together anyway... no problem...

Thanx

(please forgive my poor English)

Ulrich said...

A very good and detailed review. Firefox 3 isn't all that impressive to me to be honest, however all the new headway the open source software such as OpenOffice are making is great.

I also think that the new Ubuntu is going to be a great release and we might see more and more folks switch over to Linux because of the relationship between this great distro and Dell.

Linux's market share has, according to a recent article, grown to about 2,01% and is a 61% increase over a period of 9 months.

At the moment I'm installing openSUSE 11.0 Alpha 3 to test it out as well and write a review of it.

AMBUJ said...

Hey thanx :D hmm looking forward to your review of Open Suse 11.0 Alpha 3 could you plz provide link to the review here as comment [:)]

Post a Comment