Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 1: Preview

Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 1: Preview

Summary: The first beta build of Ubuntu 12.10 drops Unity 2D, retains Nautilus 3.4 and adds a new Dash preview, a Photo lens and new centralised Online Accounts management.


Canonical made the first beta of Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) available for download on 6 September — a major milestone en route to the final release on 18 October. Two of the biggest changes to the free and open-source (FOSS) operating system are the addition of the Unity Dash preview feature and the removal of the Unity 2D shell. This rationalises Unity development, making it more efficient and presenting users with just one Ubuntu Unity shell. As expected, the Nautilus file manager sticks at the more feature-rich version 3.4, rather than adopting the most recent GNOME version; the beta also includes a new Linux kernel based on the 3.5.3 upstream version.

A Technical Overview of the beta can be found on the Ubuntu Wiki, which contains instructions on how to upgrade to the beta now (at your own risk) should you wish to get a foretaste of what to expect in the final release. Alternatively, a fresh install can be performed using one of the CD images of the beta, which are available for download from the Ubuntu image page.


A right click on any icon displayed in Dash opens the Unity preview for that selected item. The preview mode has left and right scroll arrows for movement to adjacent items, and each preview offers buttons tailored to suitable further actions depending on the previewed item.
Dash gains a new 'Photo lens', which, as well as having the new Preview mode, allows integration with Online Accounts, if enabled.

The Ubuntu One Control Panel gains a new tab, Share Links, along with a search function.

A new sign-on for Online Accounts centralises their management. Online Accounts can be accessed via Dash or from the System Settings.
Ubuntu Greeter gets a graphics makeover for the shell select and log-on dialogues — with, for example, more rounded corners.
Changes to the graphical elements result in a more refined appearance for the Ubuntu default theme, with thinner slider bars and rounded corners on the 'square' check boxes.


Along with these improvements to the user interface and operating system, the beta includes new versions of many of the most popular applications, such as version 3.6.1 of the LibreOffice productivity suite and — although it's not a default install — the new GIMP 2.8.

As expected, this beta release signals no huge changes for Ubuntu 12.10, but rather refinements that should make using the final version more enjoyable and rewarding. There are still a few more changes to come, so stay tuned.

Topics: Open Source, Linux, Operating Systems, Reviews

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  • I'm still waiting

    to be able to put the launcher on the bottom of the screen. Unity has nice design in general, but they don't seem to get the concept of symmetry.

    12.10 is looking good in general though.
  • "...Ubuntu 12.10 drops Unity 2D..."

    So what does GNOME classic option do? Does it use GNOME 2.x or 3.x? Either way, no thanks. Unity just doesn't work for me. As theoilman pointed out, there just aren't enough customization options. In any case I will just stick with Xfce, LXDE, MATE, and Cinnamon environments.
  • Main problems probably not fixed

    Does it still have the application menus on the top of the screen instead of inside the application window?

    Theme still has the window buttons on the left, the X to close a window should, I mean MUST be on the right. Last time I checked themes could be change to put the buttons in the right place but no "right-side theme" had that same beautiful look (all different looking themes).

    That menu and left-side buttons is too much Mac like to my taste
    • This is pretty easy

      Just install gconf-editor and change them to the right, and Unsettings can put the application menu on the application itself. No environment is going to be perfect with everyone without some modification, you can easily fix these problems of yours without much effort in 12.04 right now.
  • Launcher at the bottom

    If I have to "hack" and fool around with the os just to move the launcher to the bottom, it's not worth it...for me. It's embarrassing when a closed system like ios or windows allows better and easier customization for the end user. This is a consumer os so it should at least understand that not every end user wants the launcher on the side.
    • Unity Customize Issue

      I totally agree, it bugs me that most GNU/Linux operating systems are free such as Ubuntu, but leave these little silly details up to the final judges for some reason. Ever since Unity was introduced people have been complaining about it not being customizable. By the fact of not beng able to move it around. Why do you think that the Cairo Dock exists and is popular. Because it is CUSTOMIZABLE! HELLO CONONICAL!??????

      Well anyway like your comment. Cheers!
      Jeffrey Turner
  • Its like a snail in VMs compared to Windows 8

    I have both Windows 8 and Ubuntu 12.10 running in VMs and 12.10 such a snail while Windows 8 flies. Imagine it on physical hardware.

      I don't totally hate windows but the fact that it constantly gets attacked by Malware, Adware, Trojans etc.... It's just not worth it for me. As far as windows 8 comes along, I've tried it, Unless your sitting at a touch panel home display this O/S is meant for a Tablet. When you go to the Desktop it looks no different than Windows Vista, or Windows 7.

      I understand that microsoft envisions touch screen home displays in the next few years, but not everybody has the money for those right now. Good idea the TILE format, but a little too soon.

      The whole idea just seems a little stupid, unless your using touch technology. Until the home display touch panel gets cheaper, I don't think I'll invest in Windows 8.
      Jeffrey Turner
  • Still no independent multi-dekstops

    What I did not like about Ubuntu is that it still does not offer independent desktops.
    If I open some applications on Say Desktop 1, and when I want to go to Desktop 2, I don't want to see those applications. Even if I want to open the same application on Desktop 2, which is already opened in Desktop 1, a new windows should appear instead of bringing the application from Desktop 1 and opening it in Desktop 2.

    This would enable some sorting and straightening of the tasks. All games in Desktop 1, Study items in Desktop 2, Audio-Video in Desktop 2. Now, suppose you are playing games and your parents come, you can easily switch to Desktop 2 without any problem.

    In windows I am able to do it using a very elegant software "Dexpot"
    • Desktop independence

      On my systems running Ubuntu 12.04 with GNOME 2 the desktop behaves in the way you wish. 4 desktops all with independent applications. I haven't tried to do that with Unity yet.
      • Desktop independence

        Just tried it in Unity and the 'feature' of Unity that I don't like is that it does not allow two instances of the same application to be opened. So you can have independent desktops with different applications open on them, but you cannot have two desktops with, for example, two instances of the same browser, one open on each desktop.
        • Right click instead of left

          You can open a new instance of an app that is already running (even if it is in a different desktop) by right clicking the icon instead of left clicking. Then select the option that says something like "open new".
  • 'independent multi-dekstops' ...

    Latest version of PCLINUX0S-KDE has this. Pity it is RPM-biased (not true RPM), but it is a semi-rolling release AFAIK. Will try it soon; downloading now.
    PCLINUX0S-KDE & this beta 'buntu both have the newer kernels. Uncertain whether Python 3 will stop use of other favorite apps; 3 is not fully compatible with 2.x.
  • Unity

    No, thanks.

    (It's not as bad as than Windows 8, but then, death by firing squad is preferable to death by impalement.)
  • Form over function

    I'm so glad to see that "rounded corners" garner so much press...
    • rounded....

      you probably want to go read a few Windows 8 reviews then, there was much press interest in squared off corners there!
  • Styles......

    I for one use both Ubuntu and Fedora and I like the Unity interface! It's totally different from the Gnome interface of Fedora, and I feel it's quite intuitive....I don't have a need for "speedy" response times when I'm browsing the web, answering e-mail with Thunderbird, watching a movie either online or one that I have saved or transferred to my hard drive. I just need all those apps to WORK! I don't have some "special" requirement for the video to be in HD...or to have the web be lightning fast.....after all have you compared the speed of an e-mail message to that of an actual letter sent through the U.S. Postal Service? I think there's too much emphasis put on the things that are MISSING from Ubuntu's Unity.....and not on the things that are PRESENT! If you just give it a change you might find it kinds grows on you after awhile. Too many times I've heard people complain about every little "niggle" of an OS, but to me it seems they're missing the big picture....NO os will EVER be ALL things to ALL people.....but to the ones who happen to find their happy compromise then their OS of choice can be a wonderful thing. As far as I'm concerned I tip my hat to Canonical for sticking to their guns and continuing to develop their Unity interface.
  • Left click menue.

    i am using Ubuntu 12.04 and I do not like the no menue thing, I would like a left click catagory menue, hover and then the programs for that catagory. Thats the quickest way to get to your program, why search for a program when you know where it is!
  • will Alt-Tab actually show my programs now??

    What are the chances that things like Libreoffice will actually show up in the task-switcher & launcher now?
    I'm fed up of losing track of open applications.

    I minimise Calc, and it's not in the alt-tab switcher or the launcher. The only way I can get the window back it to open up a new Calc, and go to the Windows menu within the new Calc and click to bring my spreadsheet back.
    This happens with plenty of other apps as well.
    It's rubbish.

    If this sort of behaviour (or lack of) is not fixed, then I'm going to write Ubuntu off once and for all after 12.10. It's the simplest most important part of a multi-tasking desktop - to be able to see and switch between your tasks!!

    Calc is one of many apps that I can't remember right now. There have been others. Minimize them, and you can't find them again.
    Carl Farrington
  • Unity is COOL but has it's Downfalls.

    I wish unity had the funftionality of being able to move it where ever you want. I find Unity kind of cool but annoying at the same time. The Gnome DTE is much more elegant but also in the end it has it's problems especially not being able to use Compiz. I like wobbly windows etc....

    I love Compiz, it should just come standard with all Ubuntu releases. But either way they need to make Unity a bit more customizable, by such things as adding themes, being able to move it around to the users preference. Other than that, I love Ubuntu GNU/Linux distro. I've tried many many others, and this is the most customizable and easy to use and very well supported, Second would be Linux Mint.
    Jeffrey Turner