August 24, 2007 11:08 AM PDT

Ubuntu prepares 'Gutsy Gibbon'

Ubuntu developers have taken the wraps off the fifth update to the upcoming "Gutsy Gibbon" version, a major release that will include significant additions to the Linux distribution.

Developers have been releasing "Gutsy Gibbon" builds since May, but the "Tribe 5" alpha release this week previews many of the significant features planned for the final release when it appears in late October.

A top Ubuntu design goal is ease of use, and several of the additions are user interface and configuration tweaks. A new graphical interface has been added for making adjustments to monitor settings, for example.

The interface is intended to make it easier to choose graphics card drivers, set up dual monitors, change the default resolution for all users or change the monitor's refresh rate, settings for which users might previously have had to resort to the command line. Ubuntu's version of Firefox has been updated with a new plug-in finder wizard, as well as with an integrated extensions manager, developers said.

Printing also has had an overhaul, with a virtual "PDF printer" set up by default to allow any application to output into PDF format. The old printer management system has been replaced and a new configuration tool should mean that printers are set up just by plugging them in and turning them on, developers said. The Tribe 5 release also includes the latest version of the Gnome desktop, the public test version of what will become Gnome 2.20.

Other additions scheduled for the final release include faster desktop search, fast user switching, a new deskbar applet and the AppArmor security framework, released as open-source software by Novell. The final release is scheduled for October 18.

Gutsy Gibbon's successor, Ubuntu 8.04, scheduled for release in April 2008, will be the next version of Ubuntu to receive long-term support.

Canonical, Ubuntu's commercial sponsor, has said it plans to release long-term support versions every two years. The current final version of Ubuntu, code-named Feisty Fawn, brought in a migration assistant, KVM virtualization, a simplified mechanism for installing codecs and restricted drivers and other features.

Earlier this month, Canonical dismissed security concerns over Ubuntu after several servers set up to help promote localized versions of the operating system were compromised and used to attack other servers.

Matt Broersma of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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That's nice...
But how hard will it be to compile my own kernel?
Posted by doug526 (13 comments )
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And doesn't quite hit the mark..
Being one who is tired of Redmond's heavy-handed ways, I have been eager to change over to an open-source OS. With all the hype about Ubuntu, I have tried the release versions of 'Fiesty Fawn' and 'Gutsy Gibbon'.
As I say, I literally despise MS and thier products, soft and hard. I started working with computers in 1976 in college and, though not college trained in computer technology, I previously taught myself to develop programs in dBase III and IV for my job (US Army Instructor Pilot). I also worked with IBM and McDonnel-Douglas on cockpit computer-aided decision-making systems. That is to say, I'm not a techno-phobe nor averse to getting my hands dirty (command-line usage).
With that said, IMHO Ubuntu is far from equal to WinXP. 'FF' would not install from a live CD (that worked as a CD). 'GG', running from the CD, fails to: (1) recognized my NVIDIA 7600GT (XFX), (2) does not recognize my Norwood 17" LCD, (3) failed to correct the resolution selected in the *new* graphical tool for doing such, nor would it (4) extend my desktop to my secondary monitor, Samsung 151s. As a matter of fact, (5) the tool crashed the OS when I logged out as requested in order for the OS to make the changes requested. Additionally, (6) 'GG' did not dtect my IEEE 1394 audio device, nor (7) USB MIDI devices. (8) Font selection and quality is very weak. (9) The GNOME UI is infantile looking and 'clunky' in it's operation, though that is more a subjective comment than a fault. The fonts, icons and panels are overly large and fuzzy. Though if it could run my monitor at it's native resolution, these might not be comments at all.
On a side note, - has as far or farther to go to actually be taken seriously. It got stuck in 'bullet' mode, ruining what would have been this review.
And finally, (10) the Linux 'community'. While some actually know how to addresss new-comers in a respectful, uncouraging manner, those who respond in 'Talk-Back' type threads do more damage than good. Truth be told, only people new to computer use, who have never been exposed to MS software, could be 'impressed' with Ubuntu at this point in time. Maybe April.

Posted by TonyB. (4 comments )
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