The DistRogue

Friday, April 13, 2007

5 new things in Ubuntu Feisty, and why they matter

As you may have heard, Ubuntu 7.04, aka "Feisty Fawn", won't be out on schedule. The release candidate, originally scheduled for Thursday, has been delayed due to bugs with PATA handling. In the meantime, users can upgrade from version 6.10 "Edgy Eft" by using "sudo update-manager -c". It will be buggy, but it will also have an obscene amount of new features.
1. A better installer: The Ubuntu Feisty installer uses the partitioning controls from Fedora's "Anaconda" installer. They're still under development, but they are quite easy to use, replacing the old GParted interface. As if that's not enouh, there's a new "migration wizard" that lets you import settings from Windows, such as FireFox bookmarks. Scary.
2. Compiz and controls: Yes, Ubuntu Feisty will have Compiz for 3D desktop effects! It will also have a simple, button-and-two-checkboxes interface for turning effects on and off, similar to Fedora Core 6's "Desktop Effects" dialog. There are just two options (cube and wobbly windows), but hey, it's a start.
3. Beagle, Tomboy and F-Spot: Three new Mono-based apps, Beagle, Tomboy and F-Spot, have been added to the GNOME desktop. Beagle is an indexing search engine (indexing slows down your computer a bit, and can be turned off), and runs rather fast with an index. People who won't use it that often will want to turn indexing off. Tomboy is a note-taking program, accompanied by a new sticky notes program for the desktop. F-Spot is a photo-management program, comparable to Google's Picasa. These enhancements are welcome changes that will help considerably.
4. Firmware installation: In Feisty, there will be a dialog box that can install NVidia and ATI drivers, wireless card firmware (Broadcom, anyone?), and other hardware drivers automatically. Yes, built-in. Anyone who was put off by Alberto Milone's Envy script will love this...
5. Codec installation: Complementing the firmware installer will be a new approach to another common problem with Linux: codec installation. Ubuntu does not come with built-in MP3 codecs, but this little box will allow you to install them easily. It looks like scripts such as Automatix and Envy will be unnecessary by the next version, codenamed "Gutsy Gibbon"...
Ubuntu has been at the head of the pack ever since it was started, but in some ways, it's also lagged behind other distributions. With Feisty, which will include better hardware support, it will be, unquestionably, the distribution of choice for people that want a system that "Just Works". Even Windows users will be blown away.
On a related note, here's a rough changelog of what was going on in Redmond in the more than five years it took to create Vista:
-Added some shiny eye-candy. That'll get people's attention!
-Added some DRMs. We don't care what consumers want to do with their OS, we'll make them do what we want them to.
-Plan to stop selling Windows XP to computer manufacturers by the end of 2007. The "wow" will start now...
Really. By the end of 2007, all new PCs will come with Vista installed. All we need to do is inform as many people as possible about how DRMed Vista is (one computer per install! How pathetic is that?!), and a tide of people will either get a Mac or switch to Linux. You can help. Just tell all your friends about Vista's problems, and to head to for a permanent bugfix.
From Ubuntu 7.04-Apt,
The DistRogue

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Blogger doug said...

just type "update-manager -c -d" in terminal
and you don't even need to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list

10:12 PM  
Blogger DJ Gentoo said...

Consider it edited.

10:21 PM  

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