/>
X
Tech

Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" alpha 4

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!
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer

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.

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.

Next -->

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.

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.

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

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.

The System Monitor is nice too.

Next -->

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.

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.

Next -->

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!

Thoughts?

<< Home >>

Editorial standards