Chicago (IL) - While the current Ubuntu 9.04 is still in beta and is identified as "For testing only!"; the release date for Januty Jackalope is set for April 23, 2009, which is just two Thursdays away. The beta is available for download and testing. Reported major improvements for 9.04 are faster booting and 188.8.131.52 kernel support.
Ubuntu 9.04 will represent the next upgrade from either 8.04 Long Term Release (LTR), which is supported through April 2011; or the 8.10 standard release, which is supported through 2010. The OS is available in 32-bit x86 (i386), 64-bit x86 (AMD64) and armel ixp4xx (for ARM-based netbooks and MIDs).
New features include:
1) Gnome 2.26 desktop environment, which includes the following new features:
a) brasero, an all-in-one CD burning application.
b) Improved multi-monitor handling.
2) X.Org server 1.6, which supports several new video cards, as well as ATI-specific performance improvements including EXA acceleration by default, 2D support for R6xx/R7xx, 3D support for R5xx cards, along with an updated -fglrx proprietary driver for R6xx/R7xx 3D support.
3) New notification style and preferences.
4) Boot performance is "significantly improved".
5) Linux kernel 2.6.28-11.37, which is based on 184.108.40.206.
6) Ext4 file system support.
7) Server edition includes support for cloud computing via Eucalyptus, an open source technology which is included in Ubuntu as a technology preview, enables you to use your own servers to deploy, experiment and test your own private cloud that matches the Amazon EC2 API.
8) Turn-key mail servers with the dovecot-postfix package, which supports SMTP, POP3 and IMAP with TLS and SASL.
To date there have been 270,188 bugs in Ubuntu, with 51,466 open and 43,690 unassigned. Only 17 are listed as critical. Critical bugs are typically repaired very quickly. And many of the reported bugs include appearance issues like the font name being displayed in all lower-case, or an input box that is two characters too narrow, etc. There are also bugs related to logic and other software issues. Many of these are not repaired, however later software packages supplant the previous ones, fixing the bug indirectly, though the bug remains in the older version.
Ubuntu's bug tracking system contains suggested workarounds in most instances, along with alternate software packages which may carry out the same functionality as the one with the bug. Ubuntu is a Debian Linux distribution and supports all Debian software programs, which at last count were in excess of 22,000. Compare that to iPhone's 30,000+ applications. It might give Linux some credibility if somebody developed an open-source iPhone emulator for Linux.
Ubuntu has published beta upgrade instructions for those wishing to migrate from 8.10 (the current release). Ubuntu's developers warn you though -- this is just a beta:
"To upgrade from Ubuntu 8.10 on a desktop system, press Alt+F2 and type in update-manager -d into the command box. Update Manager should open up and tell you: New distribution release '9.04' is available. Click Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions.
"To upgrade from Ubuntu 8.10 on a server system: install the update-manager-core package if it is not already installed; edit /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades and set Prompt=normal; launch the upgrade tool with the command sudo do-release-upgrade; and follow the on-screen instructions."
See Ubuntu's 9.04 beta download page for desktop, server, education, Kubuntu, Netbook/MID remix, Xubuntu, UbuntuStudio, Mythbuntu and Ubuntu ARM versions (for MID's that run on the ARM CPU).
(Can't see the video? Try YouTube.)