Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 2: Preview

Summary:Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) is shaping up to be a controversial release, with a solution for dual-booting with Windows 8 and a new online scope for Dash search providing Amazon shopping suggestions.

Software Updater

ubuntu-1210-b2-icon

The Software Updater has been simplified and removed from the System control menu (accessed through the gear icon at the extreme top right of the display). Software Updater is now treated like any other application and is accessed via Dash. On launching, rather than requiring the user to initiate checks by clicking on a Check button, Software Updater now immediately checks for updates. The status display is simpler and smaller and shows just a moving status bar. With checks complete, details of the available updates are displayed. By default the technical descriptions of the updates are not shown. To install any available updates, users must confirm by clicking the Install Now button.

ubuntu-1210-b2-status
This status display appears immediately the Software Updater is launched. Clicking Stop gives access to the Settings button without waiting for completion of the update process.
ubuntu-1210-b2-updates
Once the update process has completed, the list of available updates is displayed.
ubuntu-1210-b2-done
This message appears once the update process completes. The update settings can be accessed from here.
ubuntu-1210-b2-sources
The tabbed update settings (titled 'Software Sources') dialogue loses the Statistics tab, but now includes an Additional Drivers tab. Additional Drivers no longer appears in the System Settings panel.

Messaging menu

ubuntu-1210-b2-message

If there are no messaging related applications installed, such as Gwibber or Empathy, the Messaging menu now hides. Chat status is displayed via a new indicator at the bottom right corner of the Messaging envelope icon.

New versions for the bundled applications

ubuntu-1210-b2-libgimp

A new Linux distribution release is always an opportunity to update to more recent versions of the bundled applications. In Ubuntu 12.10, for example, LibreOffice is incremented to version 3.6.1.2 and — although it's not installed by default — GIMP to version 2.8.

Conclusion
The indications from Beta 2 are that the release of Ubuntu 12.10, scheduled for 18 October, may make more of a splash than initially expected. According to the release schedule, further development freezes with the second beta, from which point only bug fixes and polishing should occur before the final release. However, there may be further adjustments to features such as the Amazon results for Dash search. Look out for our review of the final release in October.

Topics: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Reviews, Ubuntu

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