Photo by Graham Binns
Come October and Ubuntu fans shall cherish yet another release of the next Ubuntu – Intrepid Ibex (along with its derivatives – Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc.) If you’re aware, Ubuntu is known to adhere to a six-month release cycle and gets its version numbers from scheduled release dates. Interesting! While an Ubuntu release is in its development cycle, it is referred to by its code name.
Ubuntu is known for its high degree of acceptance amongst the newbies owing to its ease of use and support for hardware, sound, graphics, etc. and due to a large community it has in its periphery.
If you remember, Mark Shuttleworth announced Ubuntu 8.10, code named as Intrepid Ibex, for a tentatively scheduled release in October, 6 months after Ubuntu 8.04 – Hardy Heron gets released. This post on the mailing list says it all!
As per Mark, the key aspect with Intrepid Ibex shall be to include improvements in the arena of mobile computing and desktop scalability along with increased flexibility for Internet connectivity.
Today, we shall briefly inspect few of the salient features of the forthcoming Ubuntu release – Intrepid Ibex.
- A new theme – This was planned for 8.04 release, but was later pushed back to 8.10. The latest release is supposed to have a far more radical change as far as the theme is concerned. We’ve already some amount of visual changes and a of course a new background in all of the previous releases. This time what we speculate from the tip offs is that the basic color scheme will probably stay as it is, but apart from that, one should keep fingers crossed for more visual action.
- Encrypted Private Directory – A lot of new operating systems now offer encryption support for a small set of files/folders or for the complete drive as a whole. On the similar lines, Ubuntu 8.10 shall have a folder in each user’s home folder which would be named Private and will be encrypted. This would indeed be a great feature to secure the confidential data without slowing down the access to casual stuff, like your podcasts, music, etc. Do check out the wiki page for encrypted private directory.
- Intuitive LiveCD Installer – If you were thinking it’s high time for Ubuntu to have a more appealing LiveCD installer, with a more intuitive interface and probably a windows like slideshow, you have struck gold! A lot of improvements are made to the current installer. The installer would now include a visual representation of partitions and a slideshow introducing new users to Ubuntu while they wait for it to get installed, something which you’d have probably grown up watching while you reinstalled your copy of Windows! Here’s a detailed wiki for the same.
- LiveUSB Creator – It would be possible to convert and write Ubuntu CD images to USB drives. The existing tools shall be modified to better handle installations from a removable disk. This would now mean installing Ubuntu from a USB disk! Just install and run the usb-installer package, and insert a USB disk into your computer to create an installation image. Imagine people getting Ubuntu with a non-working CD drive or a missing CD writer to burn that image. Fedora already has this feature in its current release. Here’s a full blue print to this.
- Seamless Flash experience – If you were tired of prompts to click next a few times for the first time you wanted to see some flash content, say a goodbye to the practice. Apparently, the Ubuntu developers promise what they call absolutely seamless flash viewing on the Intrepid Ibex! Here’s the blueprint for this feature.
These were a few noticeable features I’ve my fingers crossed for. To keep a detailed track of all the plans for Intrepid Ibex, visit the Ubuntu Launchpad for Intrepid Ibex.