Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 2: Preview

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.


GNOME and Windows 8 developments have resulted in some controversial changes for Ubuntu 12.10 (codenamed Quantal Quetzal), which has now reached the Beta 2 stage. Fortunately, solutions now seem to be in place in time for the 18 October release to proceed as scheduled. Canonical has generated further controversy by introducing online scope results, specifically from Amazon, into the Dash search.

GRUB 2 boot loader
The adoption of the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) secure boot by Microsoft complicates the issue of running Linux and Windows 8 as operating system choices on multiple boot systems. Previously, Canonical had considered using the Intel efilinux loader because of possible legal problems over the terms of the GRUB GPLv3 licence. Now these problems seem to have been resolved and present plans are for Ubuntu 12.10 to use Microsoft-generated keys with a signed version of GRUB 2.

The GRUB 2 menu has been streamlined, with boots from earlier kernel versions now being assigned to a secondary page rather than listed on the first page.

The login prompt


The login prompt now includes an option for remote desktop access, so it's not even necessary to log into your local copy of Ubuntu. If you've set up an Ubuntu Remote Login Account, the Remote Login gives access to any remote machines you've added to that account, which appear as entries in the login prompt.

The Nautilus file manager


The GNOME developers have decided to slim down the latest version (3.6) of the Nautilus file manager, so that it sits more sensibly within GNOME 3. Unfortunately, Nautilus 3.6 no longer provides the features felt to be essential to Ubuntu, and so — as already reported in our Beta 1 preview — Ubuntu 12.10 sticks with Nautilus 3.4.

The 3.5 Linux kernel
As usual with Ubuntu, the Linux kernel shipped with the new release is updated, to a tweaked kernel based on the 3.5.3 upstream version. Key Linux kernel 3.5 features include: improved support for DisplayLink monitors and the hybrid graphics technologies mainly found in notebooks; performance monitoring support through uprobes; and the elimination of the cause of the 'leap second' bug. There's also improved support for FireWire hard disks, while the move to X.org's X Server 1.13 should deliver a general improvement in graphics performance.

Unity 6.6
Two of the biggest changes in Quantal Quetzal, already introduced in Beta 1, are the addition of the Unity Dash preview feature and the removal of the Unity 2D shell to simplify Unity development.

The Ubuntu developers have been busy porting the OpenGL compositing manager, compiz — and therefore the Unity shell — to GSettings, the GNOME high-level API for application settings. As a result, Unity 2D has been dropped because the metacity patches won't be ported, and Unity 2D isn't maintained to port from gconf to GSettings.

New Dash, More suggestions
New online results have been added to Unity Dash. Entries in the Dash search bar now generate results from Amazon and Ubuntu One in a 'More suggestions' category in the Dash display. For example, typing in 'Fir' (en route to 'Firefox') also generates hits for a Kindle Fire and, among other odd results, various music download links via the Ubuntu One cloud service.


Following the addition of game, book and magazine recommendations to the Ubuntu Software Centre, this further move 'to the dark side' of commercialisation has already provoked a strong response. Mark Shuttleworth has responded to the criticisms in a blog posted on 23 September.

Canonical's motivation for adding online scope to the appropriate lenses is that any Amazon purchase made via Ubuntu's servers generates a small percentage of revenue for Canonical through the affiliates programme, helping to fund further Ubuntu development.

The most recent news on this feature suggests that the final release may include an easy way to turn it off.


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

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  • Welcome the number and pace of new features

    Controversial or not, features are being added by the truckloads!!

    I strongly recommend that people who use Ubuntu must read this excellent free Manual: http://ubuntu-manual.org/ Its very important to let others know about these helpful features that people have worked so hard to make.
  • Ubuntu is very good.

    And its updated twice a year, so we home users do not have to wait for "enterprise" to be ready to accept new version of OS.

    THERE IS EASY WAY TO REMOVE AMAZON LENSE ALREADY. Its just add on, you remove it as such. Via Ubuntu Software Center or by command line. Like 1 minute of work.

    Time will tell how Canonical devs will integrate various services out there.
    • Ubuntu is very bad ... (morality wise)

      Amazon lense should not have to be removed. It should be opt-in instead of opt-out. I don't appreciate Canonical stealing commissions I would rather give to my favorite merchant. I like to visit a non-profit site that is provided commissions from their links to amazon.com which help them stay alive, and I do not like Canonical stealing those commissions with their links embedded in their operating system. I'll never use them again until they either take this code completely out of their code base, or make it an opt-in option that has to intentionally be installed. Non-techies will be providing Ubuntu with amazon.com commissions without even knowing it.
      • morality

        Valid if you paid for your Unbuntu release copy. I agree it is probably not the best way to handle it but would think that Unbuntu has to make money somewhere or there would be no copy to download.
      • Morality?

        You don't have to click on the links .. easy as. Take the suggestions and go off to your favourite non-profit if you wish.
      • perspective (or lack thereof)

        Monsanto and their peers are using any political connection they can to take control of the food production worldwide, Fortune 500 companies are taking over the electoral process, you'll soon be owing your soul to the company store (like the rest of us schmucks), and you worry about this?
  • Unbuntu release

    The general public really does not care. I don't care and I use Unbuntu for my home server.
  • Just wait...

    Wait for some other blogger who at the moment is desperately looking for words and links to praise this release.
  • Welcome to ZDnet Terry!

    Steven's stuff usually just descends into a flamefest, great write up!
  • Welcome to ZDnet Terry!

    Steven's stuff usually just descends into a flamefest, great write up!
  • Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 2: Preview

    Still looks ugly but linux was never known for being pretty. The problem we have here is that Canonical has no direction. You would be crazy to install linux when they have no road map. This "throw it at the wall and see what sticks" approach does not work especially in the linux community where no one can decide on a single feature. Not only that but they sold out to Amazon so now you have two companies getting your personal information. No thanks, I wouldn't want that. The only good side to all this is that linux is on that downward spiral due to reasons previously stated and hopefully will be abolished completely within a few years.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Are you retarded?

      90% of all servers around the world are Linux based. You can crap on Ubuntu. But you sound so stupid when you use the word Linux. Tivo,Android,NASA servers, Tablets, He stupid the firmware on your router is probably written in Linux. Well I will stop I expected better from you.
      • And this is how the linux community reacts

        And you wonder why linux growth has halted, its because of attitudes like yours. Maybe you should take my words and improve linux instead of insulting people. I'm here to help you. And all these items you listed I'm pretty sure they don't run ubuntu on them because the company and its linux os is a mess.
        Loverock Davidson-
        • Help?

          So which version of Ubuntu are you running? Or you just lying to us again on a subject that you have little experience with.
          • Kubuntu 12.10 Beta-1

            Beta-2 should ship tonight.
            Marco Parillo
          • Kubuntu Beta 2 is listed from the link in article

          • It's option B, T1Oracle...

            I think he gets a bit of a thrill when people respond to his ignorance. It's one of those "LR invites abuse: it would be impolite not to accept" moments.

            I better go compile my next download of Ubuntu - maybe we could get LR to give us some pointers, since that's what he does. Anyone that says " The only good side to all this is that linux is on that downward spiral due to reasons previously stated and hopefully will be abolished completely within a few years...." clearly has lost touch with reality.


          • agreement

            i agree with you fully. :)
          • version

            hes probably using the POS windows or worse mac

            lets just say that anyone that disses Linux isnt using it or is using it the wrong way
        • please

          This is how most commenters on ZDNet respond to your flamebait. Nothing unique or different about how Linux blog followers react to you.

          Stop acting like an innocent victim, troll.