You know that cute old couple down the street, the two that have been married since before your parents were born? Firefox and Ubuntu are kind of like that. It's hard to remember a time when you could find one without the other. But are the browser and the operating system experiencing irreconcilable differences? Any conservative radio host can tell you that the divorce rate is sky-high in America, and the Ubuntu team's considering tossing Firefox to the curb and chasing some hot young Chrome tail.
Much to the chagrin of Linux users, support for Intel's Sandy Bridge platform has been anything but stellar. Many hoped Canonical's Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" release would improve this rocky relationship between Linux and Intel's latest silicon, but according to reports, these new chips are still giving open-source users fits.
Don't worry about the cold and rainy weather sweeping through parts of the country, it's okay to bust out your open source swimming trunks anyway. Canonical today invites you to dive into Linux with the release of Ubuntu 11.04, otherwise known as Natty Narwhal. This latest Linux distro, which has been in beta form for about the past month, supports laptops, desktops, and netbooks, and supersedes Ubuntu Netbook Edition for all PC netbooks, Canonical says.
Going forward, Ubuntu's developers decided it is in the best interest of the open source OS to ship with LibreOffice for its productivity suite, replacing the Oracle-owned OpenOffice that previously came pre-installed. That includes Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), which will be available April 28, 2011, ZDNet confirmed.
LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice, which came into being after contributors for the latter became fed up with how Oracle was handling (or not handling) things, and thus LibreOffice was born.
"Oracle needs to see where we're going, and the momentum, and what they can provide," LibreOffice developer Michael Meeks told THINQ last year. "It takes a long time for people steeped in ten to fifteen years of proprietary development to understand free software, and if you look at how that community was structured inside OpenOffice, there were many obvious weaknesses and it's a shame that their experience has been that free software does not provide compelling value [to Oracle]."
The decision by Ubuntu makes it the first major Linux distro to ship with LibreOffice, assuming the due date doesn't get pushed back. Fedora 15, due out on May 10th, will also ship with LibreOffice.
The decision was taken following a rift between Canonical and GNOME over certain design issues. "We were part of the GNOME shell design discussion, we put forward our views and they were not embraced by designers," Shuttleworth said at the ongoing Ubuntu Developer Summit.
"We took a divergent view from the GNOME shell folks on key design issues, for example how application menus should appear on the system, how one should search to find applications, [and] how one's favorite applications should be presented."
However, users will be allowed to install GNOME through Ubuntu’s software installation program. Natty Narwhal is scheduled to be released in April, 2011.
It’s the tenth day of the tenth month of the tenth year, and the folks over at Canonical have released Ubuntu 10.10. Coincidence? We think not. Clever marketing aside the new OS release offers up a custom Unity desktop interface optimized for lower resolution netbooks, 2GB of free online storage, and even multi-touch support if you have the right hardware. An interesting new revenue approach is also being explored this time around which will introduce paid support options, along with the ability to stream music to Android and iPhone devices for a nominal fee.
The early reviews are starting to come in and it sounds like Maverick Meerkat is a worthy successor for anyone who’s been waiting to give Linux a try. The CD sized ISO can be downloaded directly from the Ubuntu homepage, or you can fire up your favorite torrent app and help carry the load. That is why you installed uTorrent after all isn’t it? Don’t forget if you’re not the adventurous type you can always use that ISO to give the OS a try without installing, or even have it configure a multi boot to run side by side with your copy of Windows.
Have you given 10.10 a try? If so give us your impressions after the jump.
The upcoming Ubuntu release codenamed "Maverick Meerkat" is now available in beta trim, marking the first and only planned beta for Ubuntu 10.10 before a release candidate drops at the end of this month.
Ubuntu 10.10 Beta comes with version 2.31 of the GNOME desktop, which includes the new dconf and gsettings API. Canonical says it replaced F-Spot with Shotwell as the new default photo manager, and the Sound Indicator now includes music player controls. Other changes include:
Gwibber has been updated to support the recent change in Twitter's authentication system
Ubuntu Software Center has an updated look and feel
Evolution was updated to the 2.30 version, resulting in much faster operation compared to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
You can read the full list of changes in the release notes, and if you like what you see, grab a copy for yourself right here.
The next iteration of Ubuntu will accommodate Canonical's UTouch framework, making it the first version of the world's most popular linux distro to feature multitouch support. Codenamed Maverick Meerkat, Ubuntu version 10.10 is scheduled for release on October 10, 2010. According to a post on Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth's official blog, at least a four-finger touch device is needed “to get the most out of it.”
He also revealed that Canonical is developing the new feature using the Dell Latitude XT2 as its development platform. “The design team has lead the way, developing a “touch language” which goes beyond the work that we’ve seen elsewhere. Rather than single, magic gestures, we’re making it possible for basic gestures to be chained, or composed, into more sophisticated 'sentences,'” the South African entrepreneur wrote in a blog post Monday.
“The basic gestures, or primitives, are like individual verbs, and stringing them together allows for richer interactions. It’s not quite the difference between banging rocks together and conducting a symphony orchestra, but it feels like a good step in the right direction.”
'It's not us, it's you,' is the general message coming from Dell regarding the OEMs decision to dropkick Ubuntu from its online store in the UK. The company will, however, continue to sell its open-source PCs over the phone.
"A number of our current consumer and SMB systems are available with Ubuntu, including a number of our Inspiron and Vostro laptops and desktops, the popular Inspiron Mini 10 netbook and the Studio XPS 7100 desktop," a Dell spokesperson told PCPro.co.uk.
"We’ve recently made an effort to simplify our offerings online, by focusing on our most popular bundles and configuration options, based on customer feedback for reduced complexity and a simple, easy purchase experience. We’re also making some changes to our Ubuntu pages, and as a result, they are currently available through our phone-based sales only."
Consider this a break and not a breakup, as Dell insists the move is "not a permanent decision." How long Dell plans on shelving Ubuntu PCs from its online lineup remains to be seen.
"The reason why they're not on our main pages is because Ubuntu systems are primarily targeted towards advanced users and enthusiasts, and the vast majority of consumers purchase PCs with Microsoft Windows pre-installed," the spokesperson added.
It's already a foregone conclusion that Google's Android OS will hop in the handheld tablet ring with Apple's iPhone OS and duke it out for tablet supremacy, and despite canceled products like HP's Slate and Microsoft's Courier, some still believe it will be a Windows 7 device that knocks the iPad from its perch. But what about Ubuntu?
Fear not, Canonical fans, because the open-source software maker has every intention of competing in the tablet space and is busy readying a version of Ubuntu for slates.
"The devices world is a really exciting space right now and we're really bullish on it," said Chris Kenyon, Canonical's vice president of OEM services. "Hats off to the iPad team for doing what they did."
As Kenyon explains it, the OS will be a slimmed down version of Ubuntu 10.10 with a simplified, touch-friend user interface.Canonical is currently in talks with tablet makers and component manufactures to make the OS run faster while consuming less power. If all goes to plan, expect to see Ubuntu-based tablets start to materialize in the first quarter of 2011.