THE OPEN SAUCE goodness of Ubuntu Linux has been given a make-over with a beta version of its 10.10 release.
Ubuntu 10.10, code-named "Maverick Meerkat", got some notice in mid-August after Canonical slapped multi-touch features into the updated Linux OS. The final version of Maverick Meerkat is still set to appear on the brilliantly chosen release date of 10 October 2010 if the feedback from this beta release doesn't cause any delays.
The team has listed the features of the Ubuntu 10.10 desktop, netbook and server versions on its website. The Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop and Netbook editions will have faster boot times, while the Server edition will be better integrated with the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. The team also reckons that the Server edition will be more stable.
The desktop version has been updated to Gnome 2.31 and Evolution 2.30.2. The Ubuntu Software Centre has been tweaked and punters will get new default wallpaper. Gwibber has also been updated to reflect Twitter's authentication system and the team dropped the F-Spot photo manager in favour of Shotwell.
Meanwhile, the netbook version has an enhanced Unity GUI that now includes a global menu bar and the date-time applet has been widgetised. Like the desktop version, the netbook flavour also has Shotwell instead of F-Spot as the default photo manager. The Ubuntu team doesn't say but we assume that the netbook wallpaper will also be given a lick of paint.
Finally, the server version has gone into cloud overdrive. The configurable initialisation for cloud images now has pluggable hooks and users can also manage or upgrade their own kernel via Amazon's pv-grub. µ