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Introduction to Ubuntu 8.04 Beta

Ubuntu preps the next release of its Linux distribution:

The Ubuntu developers are moving very quickly to bring you the absolute latest and greatest software the open source community has to offer. This is the Ubuntu 8.04 beta release, which brings a host of excellent new features.

Note: This is still a beta release. Do not install it on production machines. The final stable version will be released in April 2008.

New Features since Ubuntu 7.10
Xorg 7.3
Linux kernel 2.6.24
GNOME 2.22
Firefox 3 Beta 4
World Clock Applet
ActiveDirectory [sic] integration
iSCSI support
Memory Protection

Ubuntu remains my favorite Linux distribution by far. Looking over this list of new features, a number of items stand out. GNOME 2.2 is obviously a big deal, thanks to the dramatically improved Nautilus file manager. The inclusion of a beta version of Firefox is interesting, but given FF3's schedule, I guess they don't have much choice. Vinagre is a VNC client, providing Ubuntu with a decent remote desktop solution. Brasero looks like an ImgBurn clone. The World Clock applet looks like it was lifted straight out of Vista, which is understandable. Inkscape offers PDF viewing and editing, a la OS X. I had to look up KVM, which is a Linux virtualization platform for Linux: It's part of the Linux 2.6.20+ kernel, and it appears to be technologically similar to Microsoft's Hyper-V in that it requires virtualization support in recent Intel and AMD microprocessors. Wubi is interesting as well: This lets you install Ubuntu under Windows (!) as if it were any other Windows application. I guess it's a replacement for/alternative to running Ubuntu off the CD.

Anyway. Certainly worth checking out. There's a lot going on here.

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