A Grab Bag of Resources for Getting to Know the Next Ubuntu
While the official current release of Ubuntu remains version 11.04, the Oneiric Ocelot Beta Release of Ubuntu 11.10 is now available, as we covered here. Based on the 3.0.0-9.15 Ubuntu-centric Linux kernel, the Ubuntu 11.10 Beta enables "multiarch" support for installing 32-bit library and application packages on 64-bit systems. It also includes an upgraded version of the much discussed Unity desktop environment, and many upgrades to the Ubuntu Software Center, designed to make it easier and more flexible to discover and install new applications. Here is a collection of resources you can take advantage of to get to know the next major version of Ubuntu.
Mark Shuttleworth has discussed some of the goals with version 11.10 of Ubuntu. As we reported here, it includes Mozilla's Thunderbird as its default email engine, replacing Evolution. This single change may be disruptive for many users, but if you've used Thunderbird in the past and had problems with it, it has improved tremendously. Ubuntu 11.10 also includes new Lenses technology, designed to take collections of information from disparate sources, such as media files, and allow flexible filtering so that users can view and organize them by category or other filters.
You can find some good screenshots and details on what's under the hood in version 11.10, in this post from Shuttleworth. Check out the screenshot of Dash! Also, on the applications front, look into this post about how the Ubuntu team is casting a wider net for indie developers who can produce innovative applications for the Ubuntu platform.
ZDNet has an excellent discussion of what is coming up in the much discussed revision of Ubuntu's Unity desktop. Unity is based on the GNOME desktop, but is being revised significantly.
Déjà Dup is included as the default backup tool in version 11.10, facilitating uploaded backups to Ubuntu One. There is also a new Gwibber with improved performance and a new interface based on GNOME. Notably, Ubuntu Server version 11.10 also includes Orchestra – designed for deploying, hosting and managing enterprise-class services.
Canonical expects finished code for version 11.10 to be available in October. It's coming up.