All posts tagged ‘Ubuntu’

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Check Out Ubuntu’s New ‘Dark Knight’ Look

UbuntuthemeAs Ubuntu fans know progress on the next version, dubbed Intrepid Ibex, is already underway, with a second alpha release available. We’ve already taken a look at what’s scheduled for Ubuntu 8.10, but one thing we haven’t seen yet is the new theme.

Originally a new theme was planned for Ubuntu 8.04, which came out earlier this year, but at the last minute the theme was pulled.

However Ubuntu 8.10 alpha 1 debuted a radical new look for Ubuntu with a much darker, more subdued theme than the familiar orange and brown we’ve all come to love or hate depending on your tastes.

Phorolinux has a nice collection of screenshots of the theme in alpha 1 which are worth having a look at. Before you rush out and install, keep in mind this is alpha software and should not be used in a production environment (I can’t even get it to install in my virtual machine).

Also keep in mind that this is simply one of what could be many test themes, although, that said, the theme didn’t change between the alpha 1 and alpha 2 releases.

If you’ve got opinions on Ubuntu’s new look (ephemeral though it may be) be sure to let us know.

[via Tombuntu, screenshot from phorolinux]

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First Look: Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex Alpha 1

The Hardy Heron has passed the torch to the Intrepid Ibex. The next iteration of the Ubuntu Linux distribution was made available Saturday. You can download the alpha release of Ubuntu version 8.10a from Ubuntu’s website.

Intrepid Ibex features updates to the Linux kernel under the hood as well as some interesting new gizmos on the desktop. The most noticeable change to Linux’s leading desktop is a darker brown visual theme. The new design is not a major departure from the brown theme of previous releases, but it’s the first face lift for Ubuntu’s user interface in a while. This visual refresh was actually considered for Hardy Heron (version 8.04), but it was later removed from that release.

As far as what’s in store for the final release of Ibex, you can find all of the planning details on the Ubuntu wiki.

Ibex will introduce some new networking configuration tools that let users find and connect to wi-fi networks more easily through the user interface. The new network manager will include support for most broadband wireless 3G networks. Effort is also being dedicated to speeding up the system’s performance. The new alpha is utilizing some pre-fetching techniques to cut down on boot speed and the amount of time it takes to load programs. Another notable improvement to be included in the final release is support for USB-based installation images.

These enhancements demonstrate Ubuntu’s dedication to the mini-notebook and mobile internet devices (MIDs) markets. Canonical, the company which sponsors Ubuntu’s development, has announced its plans to compete more fiercely in this space beginning with Intrepid Ibex. Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said in March that Ubuntu’s developers were “re-engineer[ing] the user interaction model so that Ubuntu works as well on a high-end workstation as it does on a feisty little subnotebook,” and that Ubuntu 8.10 would focus on providing “pervasive internet access, the ability to tap into bandwidth whenever and wherever you happen to be.”

Since then, Canonical has released two specific builds of Ubuntu for low-power and handheld devices — Ubuntu Netbook Remix for ultra-portable notebooks and Ubuntu MID Edition for mobiles powered by Intel’s Atom chipset. Canonical was especially quick to move in the mini-notebook space once Microsoft announced its plans to phase out Windows XP, a decision Redmond quickly amended by offering to continue sales of XP on these low-power devices.

Intrepid Ibex will also include to better Flash support and better KDE support for Firefox. Basic installations will include the upcoming release of Open Office 3.

It remains to be seen how earth-shattering any of the enhancements will be on more high-performance machines once they’re baked into the final release.

Additional alpha releases are forthcoming. Stable beta releases should begin hitting the Ubuntu site sometime around the beginning of October. The final release is scheduled for October 30. New Ubuntu releases appear twice every year, as Canonical is dedicated to a strict six month release schedule.

Note: There is no LiveCD for this alpha. You can only run it by using a text-based installer. Later alpha releases will include a LiveCD build so you can run Intrepid Ibex in a live environment without installing it.

Firefox on the Intrepid Ibex desktop with the new brown user interface — sure to cause some controversy.

The default desktop wallpaper for Ubuntu 8.10a Intrepid Ibex.

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File Under: operating systems

Ubuntu ‘Netbook Remix’ Promises a Sleek, Fast, Atom-Optimized Linux


The ever-growing popularity of diminutive, cheap laptops like the EeePC and its brethren have convinced Canonical, makers of Ubuntu Linux, to release a new “netbook remix” of Ubuntu optimized for such machines.

The Ubuntu netbook remix is being developed around two common elements of ultraportable laptops — limited screen size and Intel’s Atom processor.

Rather disappointingly the remix will not be available as a free download. Instead the plan is offer the system directly to manufacturers. The main reason there won’t be downloads available is that Canonical has licensed proprietary media codecs and other software like Adobe Flash.

The strange thing is you can still download the test code from the netbook remix site. It’s possible the company may release a public version of netbook remix without the proprietary code, but so far it hasn’t made any announcements.

As for what’s different in the netbook remix, most of the changes are in the underlying system code, which is optimized for Atom chips. Judging by the limited screenshots available, netbook Ubuntu also features a slick-looking new launcher for accessing apps and files. The concept is similar — though considerably better looking — to the launcher that ships with the Xandros version of the EeePC.

Aside from being one of the hottest retail PC markets — EeePC maker Asus claims to have shipped a million units in the six months after its debut — so-called “netbooks” are notable because, to keep retail prices down, most manufacturers have opted to ship Linux rather than Windows.

The EeePC comes with a modified version of Xandros Linux and the Fedora community is hard at work on Eeedora, which, as the name suggests, is optimized for the EeePC.

Canonical’s press release says that netbooks featuring Ubuntu Linux Remix will be on retail shelves within six months, though so far no manufacturers have announced anything specific.

[via Tombuntu, photo credit]

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File Under: operating systems

Ubuntu Netbook Remix Coming Soon to an EeePC Near You

ubuntu.jpgUbuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has spilled the beans on a new version of the popular Linux distro geared specifically toward ultraportable laptops like the EeePC. Bringing together Ubuntu’s ease-of-use with ultraportables’ low prices could prove a huge win for Linux.

The new Ubuntu flavor will be known as Netbook Remix and is apparently being developed with direct input from Intel, which makes the low-power chips found in many tiny laptops such as the EeePC.

Talking to the Guardian about Ubuntu, and Linux in general, Shuttleworth reveals that “we’re announcing it in the first week of June… we’re working with Intel, which produces chips custom-made for this sector.”

There’s already a website up, but it doesn’t have many additional details about what users can expect. Although the ordinary Ubuntu release will install on an EeePC, the process is not without some pitfalls (mainly related to the wifi card in the EeePC). Presumably this is exactly the sort of problem that the coming Ubuntu Netbook Remix will seek to solve.

Within the Linux community it’s no secret that Linux on ultraportables is a potential gold mine for finding new converts, and Ubuntu is certainly not the first distro to target a release especially for such devices. The Fedora community has a similar project, Eeedora, geared specifically toward the EeePC and OpenSUSE is working on a version tailored to similar machines.

Linux has proved a popular option with ultraportable manufacturers since eliminating the Windows licensing fees helps keep retail prices down. When you’re shipping a $2000 laptop cutting off $100 isn’t a big deal, but when you move down to $350 versus $450 the cost of Windows becomes much more significant.

Of course the default Linux distros that ship with most ultraportables will work just fine for many users. However, given that Ubuntu is a such popular choice for those just poking a toe in the Linux waters, a version tailored to devices like the EeePC will make Linux newcomers even more comfortable.

[via Slashdot]

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