This quarter of the year has been very busy for Ubuntu lovers. Ubuntu 11.10 was released a few months ago, Linux Mint 12 saw its release last month and Distrowatch placed Linux Mint above Ubuntu in popularity ranking. There are two distinct schools of thought on Ubuntu’s new desktop experience. While one believes in adapting to the new Unity desktop, the other just cannot get enough of Gnome.
In the midst of this geek war, Ubuntu has released Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha 1, only seven weeks into the release cycle. The release is meant to be a sneak-peek into the upcoming LTS release. Extensive work was done in this version, to include Intel’s Sandy Bridge support. Do not intend to use it on your regular work machine, but do give it a trial run.
- Ubuntu 12.04 includes the new Linux kernel 3.2 instead of the earlier kernel version 3.0. Although this new Linux kernel is a release candidate 3, its final version will be included in the final release of Ubuntu 12.04. The new kernel includes support for Nvidia Fermi chipsets and a brand new Samsung Exynos DRM driver for ARM devices.
- The default music player reverted to Rythmbox from Banshee.
- Changes in software packages include Firefox 9 and Thunderbird 9, both in beta stage.
- Tomboy is missing from the software collection.
Ubuntu 12.04 will see a final release in April. Until then, you can download and try Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 1.
Quick Link: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 1 for Intel x86 [Direct file-download link]