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Ubuntu 7.10

Not long now… I am (impatiently) awaiting the release of Ubuntu 7.10. The Ubuntu team always seem to excel themselves with each new release, and this time I have decided against a dist-upgrade, to avoid any problems with the upgrade and to ensure I get the full benefit of all the new and updated features.

Here’s some of the things I am most looking forward to in this upcoming release:

  • Gnome 2.20 – For us KDE haters. The new release of Gnome with updates to Searching, Image Viewing, Power Management (A must-have on the laptop) and an overall nicer appearance it should certainly improve the whole user experience.
  • Desktop Effects – This is currently one of the most impressive features of Linux, beating anything Mac OS-X and (dare I say) Vista can produce. The effects are now provided by the recently created Compiz Fusion project, a merger between the competing Compiz and Beryl projects. Despite some controversy in the open-source community, these effects are now enabled by default in every Ubuntu installation.
  • Firefox – Ubuntu’s version of the world-conquering browser Firefox now has an incredible new feature in the ‘Plug-in Finder Service’. Now some might say ‘Wait a minute, hasn’t Firefox always had a Plug-in Update Service?’. Whilst this is technically true, as anyone who has ever tried to use it with Ubuntu will testify, it was about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Necessary plug-ins such as Flash were identified, but never installed due to them being non-free additions, leaving the end-user to plough through the Ubuntu support forums trying to find out how to install it. Well it appears this issue is now resolved and Firefox can automatically detect and install the most popular plug-ins, even giving the option to install the open source flash player ‘Gnash‘.
  • Graphical XOrg Configuration – One of the greatest problems with Linux from a configuration standpoint is that the display system used (X.Org) is very hard to configure. Screen resolution, refresh rate and multiple monitors all had to be configured using a text config file, or alternatively a very confusing text based setup utility. This has now all changed with the addition of a graphical interface for configuring all aspects of the display.

These new additions, along with improvements to Wireless Networking, Restricted Drivers, Additional Server Set-up Profiles, Printing and NTFS read/write access, it’s really shaping up to be a great release.

Jonathan

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