Just a few weeks before the big Ubuntu 7.04 final release comes the first beta. It is an exciting time because this is another big milestone in the open source Linux world. There is no doubt that Ubuntu is becoming the most common Linux operating system and as long as they keep producing fine releases like these I’m sure they will continue to get more and more popular.
Here is what’s new:
- Networking improvements to make it even easier to connect to a wireless or wired network.
- Disk usage analyzer lets you see where your hard drive space is going.
- When trying to play media files, Ubuntu will try to install the necessary codecs automatically, and start playing the desired file.
- New networking sharing makes it easy to network desktop computers without needing servers to assign IP addresses or names and allows users to automatically discover and join a wireless network and share music, find printers and exchange files.
- 2 new games: Chess and Sudoku.
- Some new artwork, including a new default background and splash screen.
- New help center to find the things you want a little easier.
- Enable some great 3D desktop effects in just one click!
The thing I like the most about Ubuntu is that it recognizes my wireless network card without me needing to do any additional work. Many of the Linux distributions that I have used in the past never seem to recognize the card and force me to hunt down the files that I need to use it. I guess you could say that Ubuntu just works and they say that there are even more networking improvements in this release!
I am much more of a KDE fan than Gnome, so I prefer to use Kubuntu over Ubuntu. We decided to post a bunch of screenshots for both Kubuntu 7.04 Beta and Ubuntu 7.04 Beta since many of you probably haven’t used Kubuntu before.
Note: Some of the things mentioned in the list of what’s new above only apply to Ubuntu, such as the one-click initialization of the 3D desktop effects.
If you’re wondering how you can contribute useful information to the Ubuntu team as a “thank you,” then why don’t you head on over to the Laptop Testing page on the Ubuntu Wiki. Once there you’ll be able to let their team know whether you have had any problems installing or using Ubuntu on your laptop so that they can try to solve the issues. Instructions on submitting a report can be found here.
The release of Kubuntu & Ubuntu is expected around April 19, 2007 so you just have to wait a few more weeks if you don’t feel like using an unstable release of Linux right now. I’ve been playing with both Ubuntu and Kubuntu on my desktop for over a day and have yet to come across a problem, but different hardware gives different results.