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A huge milestone for Ubuntu was just released! Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron is only the second release of the popular Linux operating system to offer Long Term Support (LTS). The last version was 6.06 which is coming up on two years old, but they are still supporting it until June 2009 for the desktop and June 2011 for the server. With Ubuntu 8.04 support will continue until April 2011 for the desktop, and April 2013 for the server. As you can imagine this is extremely important in the corporate world where IT departments can’t afford to hassle with upgrading the operating system every six months.

So what does Ubuntu 8.04 bring to the table? Quite a bit actually. Here’s a recap of what’s new:

  • Wubi – Install and uninstall Ubuntu in Windows as if it were a simple Windows application. It does not need a dedicated partition to operate, but it is still able to offer a dual-boot setup.
  • PulseAudio – Mix audio from multiple applications together, adjust the volume for each specific application, and more.
  • Xorg 7.3 – Includes 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.
  • Firefox 3 (Beta 5) – Integrates much better into the operating system.
  • Brasero – CD/DVD burning application
  • Transmission – BitTorrent client
  • World Clock Applet – The GNOME panel clock can display the time and weather of multiple locations around the world.
  • Vinagre – Remote desktop (VNC) client
  • Totem – Movie player that includes a plugin for directly searching and playing YouTube videos.
  • Inkscape – Native PDF support that provides an easy way to edit text and graphics in PDF documents.

And that’s just for Ubuntu! Don’t forget to check out some of the other variants:

  • Kubuntu 8.04 – A KDE version of Ubuntu. There’s now a “cutting edge” version available that includes KDE 4.0!
  • Edubuntu 8.04 – Designed for the education setting, and includes iTalc classroom management software allowing for teacher sharing, monitoring, and control of networked workstations.
  • Xubuntu 8.04 – Xubuntu uses the Xfce desktop environment which is geared towards less-powerful computers. Have an old computer sitting around? Put it to work with this Ubuntu variant!

Unfortunately Ubuntu 8.04 doesn’t have the desktop redesign that was initially planned, but it is currently scheduled for this fall with the Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex release. Can’t wait to see what else they have in store for us!

Go get Ubuntu 8.04, and remember that free CD’s are available upon request.