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Ubuntu Linux Gearing Up for Final Release of ‘Intrepid Ibex’

ubuntu.jpgThe next major version of Ubuntu Linux is almost ready. The Ubuntu Linux team has announced release candidate 1, which will be followed by the final release due next week. It may not be quite ready for prime time, but RC 1 of “Intrepid Ibex,” as this release is known, promises a number of important improvements for the popular Linux distribution.

The latest release of Ubuntu 8.10 follows in the footsteps of Ubuntu 8.04, nick-named “Hardy Heron,” with some subtle, but important feature updates that make Ubuntu even more user-friendly.

The main changes from the earlier beta release are bug fixes and stability improvements. For more details on what’s new in Ubuntu 8.10, check out our review of the first beta.

Most of the changes are improvements to the Ubuntu UI — tabbed windows in GNOME, a better Network manager, improved encryption tools, etc — but one thing to be aware of is that the X.org version behind Ubuntu 8.10 drops support for some older, proprietary nVidia video drivers.

The 71 and 96 series of proprietary nVidia drivers (the ones previously included in the nvidia-glx-legacy and nvidia-glx packages) are not compatible with the version of X.Org that ships with Ubuntu 8.10. If you have a PC with one of the affected chipsets you’ll need to upgrade to the free nVidia driver instead, but unfortunately that driver does not support 3D acceleration.

Other known issues include problems with Intel 4965 wireless chips, which can cause system crashes (there’s a solution available using the backports feature).

Still, despite the lingering issues, Ubuntu 8.10 is shaping up to be a very nice update for the popular Linux distro. We’ll be sure to give you a full review when the final version is available. In the mean time you can test the release candidate by grabbing a copy from the Ubuntu downloads page.

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