Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" alpha 4

Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" alpha 4

Summary: For a while now I've been keeping a close eye on Ubuntu releases, and on Friday alpha 4 of Ubuntu 8.04, code-named Hardy Heron, was released - so I grabbed a copy and started playing with it!

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TOPICS: Open Source
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For a while now I've been keeping a close eye on Ubuntu releases, and on Friday alpha 4 of Ubuntu 8.04, code-named Hardy Heron, was released - so I grabbed a copy and started playing with it!

Check out the complete Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" gallery here!

The final release of Ubuntu 8.04 is still about three months away so the OS is far from finalized (and as such some aspects of Hardy are, well, a little unrefined) but this alpha release gives us a glimpse into what the final release will be like.

Ubuntu 8.04

So, what's new with Ubuntu 8.04?  Well, there are new applications added to the distro and some key administrative changes.  Oh, and there are also some deeper changes that users might not see but which are equally significant.

There are several new applications in 8.04.  Transmission has become the default bit torrent client.  It's small, fast and does exactly what it says it'll do.  Can't really argue with that.

Ubuntu 8.04

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Then there's the Vinagre VNC remote desktop client.  Not only will this allow users to remote desktop into other Ubuntu systems but it will also allow users to connect to Windows XP and Windows Vista systems which have remote desktop enabled.

Ubuntu 8.04

Then there's Brasero disc burning utility.  I like the program because it's wonderfully quick and easy to use but at the same time packed with useful features.

Ubuntu 8.04

Oh, and the world clock/weather applet is a very nice touch.

Ubuntu 8.04

The release version of Hardy Heron will ship with Firefox 3 as standards, but for now the alpha 4 ships with Firefox 2.

Then there's a whole raft of little things, such as file transfer operations being queued up into a single window rather than scattered about many different windows.  A small thing, but very handy.

Ubuntu 8.04

The System Monitor is nice too.

Ubuntu 8.04

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On the administrative side there are also some big changes.  One example of this is the easy to use remote desktop configuration utility which allows you to have full control over this feature, or alternatively a place to turn it off.

Another bit administrative change is the inclusion of the Policy Kit which allows an administrator to unlock certain features to allow their use by a normal user.  Nice.

Ubuntu 8.04

But it doesn't end there.  The new Authorizations panel allows the administrator to have total control over what system functions each user is able to access.

Ubuntu 8.04

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There are also some under the hood changes that aren't so visible.  For example, Hardy Heron comes equipped with a prefetch feature to speed up boot up times and application launch times. 

The kernel has also been upgraded to 2.6.254, which brings with it kernel-based virtualization and power management for 64-bit users.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention PulseAudio.  This is an open-source sound server that could allow for some really cool features, such as support for controlling the volume of individual applications.  This is still a work in progress.

Remember, this is an alpha release and as such care needs to be taken not to rely on it too much.  The first beta is due for release March 13th and the final release April 24th, and as such there's a fair way to go, but alpha 4 shows that the development team are going in the right direction.

If you want to take a look, the ISO can be downloaded from the Ubuntu website.  Alternatively, the really brave can upgrade using the terminal command:

update-manager -d

Congratulations to the Ubuntu team for keeping up with the published release schedules and for getting pre-release code out at regular intervals.  This dedication to professionalism has risen Ubuntu from being just another Linux distro to being a credible operating system.

Check out the complete Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" gallery here!

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101 comments
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  • Wish they would stop with the silly names

    Just name it Ubuntu 8 and drop the cutesy names. I hate looking for software and it the download says "works with Gutsy"...is mine Gutsy?
    otaddy
    • Re: Wish they...

      Has a better ring than "Certified for Windows Vista", don't you think?
      christopherborne@...
      • Yes, MS marketing is bad

        They are their own worst enemy!
        otaddy
      • I love the silly names

        I hope it will go on steadily on. I'm a Ubuntu user since the Hoary Hedgehog (5.04), then I had a long time support with the Dapper Drake. I always mounted the variuos distros on the same machine (IBM 300GL P III, 256 ram and a couple of 80Gb hard disks). It went better each new distro so I passed from considering Ubuntu from a nice toy to play with to a useful job instrument.
        I hope it will go better and better. By the way the name I prefer: Feisty Fawn.

        Cheers
        a.duprez@...
        • And, when they get to the one...

          ...that, quite literally, can replace Windows, call it Mischievous Monkey. Plugs into Windows networks and just plain works, without tricky configs. Works with Active Directory. Plays Windows programs without tricky configs. Etc...

          Few things in this world can wreck a house like a mischievous monkey, and that would definitely wreck the house that Windows built.
          Dr. John
    • re: Wish they...

      and it's Ubuntu 8[i].04[/i], because, they'll also be an 8.10, most likely.
      christopherborne@...
    • Those are just nick names. And, I do like the version numbers since

      you then know the year and month of release.

      But, some of us like the names. Sure beats the stupid names that MS uses, and the release schedule and stability is second to none.
      DonnieBoy
      • The numbers are fine, its the names

        With Ubuntu I find I need to visit support forums often. Typically, someone will say "this works with Gibbon" and not give the version number. Ok, Im still rather new to Ubuntu. I upgraded from openSUSE since I like the way Ubuntu manages packages/installations.
        otaddy
        • sorry, but I've never seen "gibbon" used.

          Gutsy, yes. But I doubt many use "Gibbon", so I wonder which circles you're walking in.
          mdsmedia
    • Why?????

      Throughout the history of computers & networking. different
      hardware, nodes & versions of software have/were given names &
      naming schemes (internally & externally) for easy delineation
      or for marketing.

      In the early days of networks. all the machines attached to a
      particular segment were given names to make it easier at the
      designers/administrators discreation.

      Like naming ships? or stars? Or charactors in a some story.

      Ubuntus' naming convention may be a little cutesy, but directly
      references version number, which in turn references
      release date, kernel, repositories etc....

      Not that different, but more exposed than some of the others

      Debian (Toy Story)
      Sid ~ Woody ~ Sarge ~ Etch ~ Lenny, etc

      or

      Mandrake/Mandriva
      Cooker ~ 2k(x) ~ fivestar ~ bamboo ~ etc

      or

      Redhat
      shrike ~ psych ~ valhalla ~ enigma, etc.

      or even MS Windows
      Whistler ~ Chicago ~ Longhorn etc?

      But hey, What's in a name?
      LazLong
    • As opposed to . . . .

      Longhorn, Leopard, Tiger, etc?
      JLHenry
    • The names really help when searching for information.

      If I'm doing a google search for a specific issue, it really helps to just use the nickname (ie "gutsy"). For example, if I run into an issue with xyz app, I can google "xyz gutsy". Not only is gutsy easier to remember than the revision number, but the search just works better than "xyz Ubuntu 7.04". Lots of pages will have 7.04 in them not referring to a ubuntu version number, and lots of others will have ubuntu not specific to 7.04. "gutsy" combines these two in one term and gets more reliable results.
      enduser_z
  • Certainly improving much faster than Windows. And, runs better than Vista

    on any hardware, plus, you can install XUbuntu on low end hardware.
    DonnieBoy
    • ubuntu is slow, slow, slow!

      ubuntu is slow, slow, slow!
      qmlscycrajg
      • Huh?

        Ubuntu runs as fast as XP on my one year old machine, which by all accounts would not really be up to running Vista (2G memory seems to be the level at which people see that OS running smoothly). FF and OO run faster, if anything.
        FreewheelinFrank
      • Bull!!

        Ubuntu is far quicker than XP on my nearly 3yo system.

        This speed issue has been beaten to death. If it's slow for you, what are your system specs? Are other OSes slow too or is it just Ubuntu?

        What a crock of carp (misspell intended).
        mdsmedia
        • typo?

          you spelled carp correctly, although it should probably be capitalized. ;-)
          rtk
      • Ubuntu is slow,

        My grand daughter's K6-2/400 with 320 MB of ram is definitely slow.

        Do you think VISTA would be faster on this computer?
        Should I change the OS to get her more speed?
        Update victim
        • Vista is slowww

          Vista in any form is slower than Linux. On the machine you describe it wouldn't even run; requires min 512 ram; rec, 1 gig, best with 2gigs or more.
          Very graphic intensive OS
          jobert48@...
        • vista?

          vista is min spec 1g of ram runs(although 2 is the must have..)
          i'd say if you want something simple and fast, use windows 2000
          entrailsrippedfromavirgin