Canonical has released the first beta of Ubuntu Linux 10.04, code-named 'Lucid Lynx', which adds consumer-friendly features such as integrated social networking and a new look.
The Linux operating system beta was made available on Friday in desktop, server and netbook versions. Canonical also issued a testing version of Ubuntu 10.04 Server for Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud and Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).
Lucid Lynx is a long-term support version of the OS, meaning the software will be supported for three years on the desktop or five years for the server version, in contrast with the 18 months of support for standard releases. It is intended as a significant update, putting into place new features the company intends to develop in coming releases, according to Canonical.
The company highlighted the MeMenu which, using the open-source microblogging client Gwibber, allows users to manage their instant messaging and to post short messages to a range of networks.
"We now feature built-in integration with Twitter, identi.ca, Facebook and other social networks with the MeMenu in the panel, which is built upon the Gwibber project... Gwibber now also supports a multi-column view for monitoring multiple feeds simultaneously," Canonical said.
Another notable update is the Gnome desktop design. It moves away from the previous style based on the colour brown, which was known as 'Human', in favour of a style that Canonical has said is inspired by light. It includes new indicators and wallpapers, two new themes called 'Ambiance' and 'Radiance', and new product logos.
For more of this article, read 'Lucid Lynx' Ubuntu enters beta on ZDNet UK.