Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ubuntu Lucid Alpha 3 out

Another month, another milestone. This time it's Alpha 3 of what will eventually become Ubuntu 10.04. Lots of changes have gone into this one and I mean major stuff.

Yahoo! as default search engine

Yahoo! is now the default search engine in Firefox. This is a Canonical change and not done by Mozilla. I'm not sure I like this one. Google's still much better than Yahoo!

New nVidia open source driver

A new Nouveau driver seems to have been included into Alpha 3, and it supports KMS for smooth boot transitions for nVidia users. Doesn't affect me but this is a major change since nVidia users using open source drivers now have a much better driver than the -nv muck nVidia supplied.

Social by default

For the past few releases, Ubuntu's session menu has supported changing your IM status from the menu instead of through Pidgin/Empathy. Now there's much better support with Twitter and Facebook added into the mix, just to name a few. Everything's moving towards social in the Ubuntu world.

There's more changes, of course, including UEC for servers but I'll leave the explanations to the Ubuntu developers who know way better than I do. As usual, this is an Alpha release which means it's under development and can be expected to have bugs everywhere. Proceed with caution, and always refer to the "Known Bugs" section of the release page to have an idea of the more critical or annoying ones that the developers are already aware of.