Ubuntu 9.04 RC includes the latest GNOME 2.26 desktop environment with a number of great new features, including:
- brasero, version 2.26.0, developed by Philippe Rouquier and Luis Medinas, as an all-in-one CD burning application. Brasero is now the default disc burning utility in Nautilus.
- Improved handling of multiple monitors with an updated gnome-display-properties by Federico Mena Quintero.
X.Org server 1.6
The latest X.Org server, version 1.6, is available in Jaunty. The latest Mesa 3D DRI, version 7.4, is also available. A number of video cards have been transitioned to free drivers as part of these updates.
The -ati driver has received numerous fixes and performance improvements. It now uses the EXA acceleration method by default. 2D acceleration support for the newest R6xx/R7xx family of cards is also available. 3D support is available up to R5xx cards for -ati. An updated -fglrx proprietary driver is available for R6xx/R7xx users who need 3D support.
The -intel driver now uses GEM for memory management. The new UXA acceleration architecture and DRI2 is available as an option.
Wacom tablet hotplugging
Wacom tablets now are enabled automatically when attached, no longer requiring xorg.conf modification. Button mapping configuration is not yet supported, but can be set manually by adding an fdi file to /etc/ha/fdi/policy/.
New style for notifications and notification preferences
Included in Jaunty is a simple menu which can be used to set preferences for notification icons, such as where they pop up on the taskbar. Ubuntu 9.04 beta also includes a whole new notification system, as shown in the Flash movie here:
Conceptualisation of Ubuntu Jaunty Notifications
A number of improvements to the Ubuntu start-up process bring significantly improved boot performance to Ubuntu 9.04 RC. Please open bugs if you experience any degradation, and tag them with boot-performance.
Linux kernel 2.6.28
Ubuntu 9.04 RC includes the 2.6.28-11.37 kernel based on 18.104.22.168.
Ext4 filesystem support
Ubuntu 9.04 RC supports the option of installing the new ext4 file system. ext3 will remain the default filesystem for Jaunty, and we will consider ext4 as the default for the next release based on user feedback. There has been extensive discussion about the reliability of applications running on ext4 in the face of sudden system outages. Applications that use the conventional approach of writing data to a temporary file and renaming it to its final location will have their reliability expectations met in Ubuntu 9.04 beta; further discussion is ongoing in the kernel community.
Ext4 support in GRUB was provided by Colin King. If you choose to upgrade your / or /boot filesystem in place from ext2 or ext3 to ext4 (as documented on the ext4 wiki), then you must also use the grub-install command after upgrading to Ubuntu 9.04 RC to reinstall your boot loader. If you do not do this, then the version of GRUB installed in your boot sector will not be able to read the kernel from the ext4 filesystem and your system will fail to boot.
Ext4 support in gparted has been provided by Curtis Gedak.
Ubuntu 9.04 Server Edition makes it easy to experiment with cloud computing. Eucalyptus, an open source technology which is included in Ubuntu as a technology preview, enables you to use your own servers to deploy, experiment and test your own private cloud that matches the Amazon EC2 API. You can dynamically create virtual machines, configure multiple clusters into a single Cloud and even provide an EBS (elastic block storage) equivalent and an S3 compatible storage manager.
Turn-key mail servers
The dovecot-postfix package in Ubuntu 9.04 RC provides an easy-to-deploy mail server stack, with support for SMTP, POP3, and IMAP with TLS and SASL.
dovecot-postfix was packaged by Ante Karamatić.
They are the most notable improvements since 8.10 and if you want even more information then I recommend you heading over to Ubuntu and Ubuntu Wiki. Those of you interested in development or being kept right up to date can sign up by CLICKING HERE.
Ubuntu...linux for human beings.