THE UBUNTU LINUX TEAM has taken the wraps off the first beta release of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Long-Term Support) desktop, server, cloud, and core products.
Codenamed "Precise Pangolin", Ubuntu 12.04 offers a number of new features and a few bug fixes including a new set of images for the ARMv7 "hard float" Application Binary Interface (ABI), denoted as armhf. The team confirmed that Ubuntu 12.04 for ARM will be based on armhf.
Ubuntu 12.04 includes technology that allows GPUs to go into a very low power consumption state when the GPU is idle and is now enabled by default for Intel Sandy Bridge systems.
This latest Ubuntu beta also offers a way to quickly search and access any desktop application's and indicator's menu, called the HUD, can be accessed by taping the Alt key and entering characters.
Another nifty feature is that Unity settings can now be configured by the System Setting panel, and Nautilus support has been added to the Unity launcher.
Support for Clickpad devices has been beefed up so that now when a button is pressed on the trackpad surface, a second finger may be used to drag the cursor.
On a slightly lighter note, the default music player has been switched to Rhythmbox.
In addition the CD image size has been adjusted to 703MB to squeeze in "every bit of package goodness" onto the installation CD images.
Along with Ubuntu 12.04, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and Ubuntu Studio were also released in Beta 1 status.
To upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 1 from Ubuntu 11.10, check out the beta release upgrade notes. µ