Thursday, September 30

Ubuntu 10.10 'Maverick Meerkat' Release Candidate is Available Now, Complete Review


Ubuntu 10.10 codenamed 'Maverick Meerkat' just reached to Release Candidate version. The final version will be released on October, 10.

I have been testing Ubuntu 10.10 from 2nd Alpha onwards. The development have been going at fast pace with constant addition of new features and bug fixes. The new version has become a lot more stable since the alpha and is already past feature freeze and final freeze. With bug fixes and updates everyday the developers are looking at a perfect launch on October,10.

A new lightweight netbook interface, Unity was introduced giving a makeover to the Ubuntu NetBook Edition, though Unity is not as stable as the desktop edition is. 100 papercuts focused on fixing usability bugs to make Ubuntu more user friendly. With tighter desktop integration, user friendly design, eye candy and performance improvements, Ubuntu 10.10 'Maverick Meerkat' is definitely not something you will want to miss this October.


A look at the Ubuntu 10.10 so far:

We featured a post on Ubuntu 10.10 beta at the beginning of this month which summarized the changes that have been introduced to Ubuntu 10.10. You can read the post from here. I will go through what have been done so far, so that you can have a gist of what is in store for the final version .

Versions:
  • Gnome Version: 2.32.0
  • Linux Kernel: 2.6.35-22


Default Applications

Ubuntu Software Center


Ubuntu Software Center received lot of attention from the developers. Lots of new features were introduced other than bug fixes and performance improvements. A look at the new features:
  • Addition of History tab telling users about past package installations, updates and removals
  • Interface redesign with smaller icons, new background, What's New and Featured Applications Categories.
  • Redesign of the detailed application view.
  • Added option to install related add-ons while installing an application (more here)
  • Added 'Find it in the menu' information so that users can locate applications.
  • Technical Packages are not shown by default. Added option to expand technical packages view.
  • Added an option to Purchase Applications.
  • Ubuntu One SSO integration for purchasing applications.
  • Made default application for installing .deb packages.
  • Faster and more responsive (!)
  • More screenshots at our beta review post


Themes, Wallpapers and Icons (Eye Candy)
  • Light themes got a makeover making them faster and better fitting with Gnome Desktop and Ubuntu Branding. You can read about all the changes to the light themes from here and here.
  • Humanity Icons set gets an update.
  • Winning Video and Audio clips as a part of the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase were placed in the examples folder under home directory. (more here)

How fast does your PC boot? - Ubuntu ad - final version from Goce Mitevski on Vimeo.


Sound Indicator
  • A new improved sound indicator with music player integration that allows users to control music playback from sound menu itself.

Evolution and Gwibber:
  • Gwibber updated with many bug fixes and OAuth Support for Twitter.
  • Evolution updated to version 2.30 with a faster and cleaner interface.

Ubuntu One
  • Ubuntu One was greatly improved with lots of bug fixes with focus on stability and better nautilus integration. Users can now create account with out a need to visit a browser. The web interface was improved and feels more intuitive. 
  • An Android application was released for Ubuntu One and a new feature introduced where Ubuntu One will stream music to phones.
Unity - Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Interface
  • The Netbook version got a radical redesign with a completely new interface specially optimized for small screens.
  • Unity 'Dash' Files and Application Browser introduced with Zeitgeist integration for easier navigation. Zeitgeist integration helps in finding recently and most used files and applications.
  • Introduced more space optimizations as window buttons and application menus now lie on gnome panel itself.
  • Unity Application Launcher on the left to manage application launchers with support for quick lists.
  • Applications, Files, Trash and Removable Media applets on the launcher
  • An alternative to open files in nautilus file manager (more here)
  • Automatically detects 3D acceleration. If 3D acceleration not found, takes the user back to the standard desktop session.
  • You can find more about Unity by reading our posts tagged with Unity.
New Ubuntu Font
  • Ubuntu Font now comes as default font for supported languages in Maverick. The font that has been in private beta for long time was made available for all users. You can read more about it from here

The New Installer
  • Ubuntu Installer got a makeover with huge focus on user friendliness and smooth installation process.
  • Introduced option to install licensed package like mp3 support from the installer itself.

  • Reduced installation time as personalization features like selecting location etc. are now done during the actual installation process.
  • Final Installer Slideshow got new slides highlighting main features.



For older Ubuntu versions, users can upgrade to Ubuntu 10.10 RC by running following command in the terminal:

update-manager -d

You can download Ubuntu 10.10 RC iso image from here (Desktop and NetBook Edition)
You can download Kubuntu 10.10 RC iso image from here

Phew! I have tried to be as comprehensive and precise as possible but if there is something that I have missed or incorrect, please let me know in comments section and I will update it right away.

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