How To Install Unity 2D In Ubuntu 10.10 & 11.04

Yesterday, we told you that a 2D version of Unity will be available for computers which does not have hardware capable of 3D acceleration. Today a PPA containing the packages for Unity 2D has been created for early adopters to test it. The package itself is called Unity-Qt and the PPA contains packages for both Maverick and Natty.

Before you install it, keep in mind that this is an experimental package and could cause problems. So, install it only if you are willing to take that risk and cannot wait to see the new UI.

So, to install Unity 2D, open the Terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal). Then add the PPA with the command below:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:unity-2d-team/unity-2d-daily

After that update the software list.

$ sudo apt-get update

Finally install Unity-Qt.

$ sudo apt-get install unity-qt-default-settings

After the installation, log out from your current session. In the login screen, you will see “Unity Qt” in a drop-down menu. Pick that and login again. You should have the new UI now.

And if you run into a bug, you can report it here.

Rythmbox To Remain As Default Music Player In Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10

In the Ubuntu Developers Summit – Maverick, a decision was made to replace Rythmbox, the current default music player, with a new one in UNE 10.10.

Banshee was picked as the replacement and the developers have been working on getting it ready for October 10 (that is the date for the release of UNE 10.10). They have even finished works on tweaking the Banshee UI to go with the new Unity interface that is making an appearance in Maverick.

In an update to the blueprint today, there is a change in that plan. Banshee is now deemed too buggy to be the default music player. So, for UNE 10.10, Rhythmbox will retain its position.

The plan to have Banshee instead of Rhythmbox is now postponed till UNE 11.04 Natty Narwhal.

Banshee will still be there in the repository as always.

[via OMG! UBUNTU!]

Ubuntu 10.10 Beta Released

Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” has finally entered the beta stage. And, as usual, along with Ubuntu its other official derivatives have also entered the beta stage.

Here are some of the changes with the download links:

(Warning: This is not a stable release and is meant for testing only.)

Ubuntu Desktop

  • The desktop environment has been updated to GNOME 2.31.
  • Shotwell is now the default photo manager.
  • Gwibber has been updated with OAuth support. It has also received some in the  back-end  to improve its performance.
  • The Software Center has an updated look with new “Featutes” and “What’s New” sections.
  • The Ubuntu One desktop integration has been polished.
  • The sound indicator now includes the music player controls.

Download: http://releases.ubuntu.com/10.10/

Ubuntu Netbook

  • Unity is now the default interface.
  • Global Menu bar is included by default.
  • Shotwell is the default photo manager.
  • Evolution Express is the default Email client.

Download: http://releases.ubuntu.com/10.10/

Kubuntu

Download: http://releases.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/10.10/

Whats New In Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 3

The Ubuntu Release Team has just announced the release of third alpha of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. This is an alpha release and, hence, is not meant for daily usage. It is meant for testing by developers and interested users.

This is what Martin Pitt from the Ubuntu Release Team wrote announcing the release:

Alpha 3 is the third in a series of milestone CD images that will be released throughout the Maverick development cycle. The Alpha images are known to be reasonably free of showstopper CD build or installer bugs, while representing a very recent snapshot of Maverick.

The third alpha brings a lot of new changes/features. Here are some:

Linux Kernel 2.6.35

Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 3 uses the Linux Kernel 2.6.35. This kernel includes a lot of security enhancements over the previous kernels. It also has some interesting new features like support for Apple’s Magic Mouse and faster packet transmission.

Ubuntu Software Center

The Ubuntu Software Center has undergone some changes. The main page now shows “Featured” applications and also has a “Whats New” section. It also supports plugins now.

Ubuntu Netbook Edition

The Ubuntu Netbook Edition now uses the Unity interface by default. Global menu also makes an appearance.

Kubuntu

In Kubuntu, KDE SC 4.5 RC is used for this release. As expected, the default browser has also been changed to rekonq.

Download/Upgrade

If you want to try it out here is the download link: http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/maverick/alpha-3/

If you would like to upgrade from Ubuntu 10.04 directly (not recommended!), open the terminal, execute the command below and follow the on-screen instructions.

update-manager -d

The final release is scheduled for 10th October 2010.

Ubiquity With A New Look Coming In Ubuntu 10.10

According to Evan Dandrea of Canonical, Ubiquity in Ubuntu 10.10 will have a completely revamped and more-beginner-friendly interface. Ubiquity is the name for the installer used in Ubuntu.

This is what Evan said to Softpedia:

While the visual changes form a large portion of the work, some major pieces infrastructure will be added or changed to support things like running installation tasks in parallel and the Geonames place name service.

A big change in the new Ubiquity, other than the interface, is the introduction of “paralleling  task” functionality. What this will do is that the installation process will be divided into  parallel  processes so that when the user is entering information like time zone, name etc., the  installation  can continue in the background. This will speed up the  installation  process.

Here are some screenshots of the new Ubiquity for Ubuntu 10.10:

This is the first step of the new installer. Here you can specify if you want to download updates from the internet during the  installation  and if you want non-open-source software like Flash, audio and video codecs etc. are to be installed.

This is the Hard Disk partitioner. You can specify the partition or the amount of space to be used for the Ubuntu installation.

This is the final step of the installation. You can specify your username, password etc. here. An option to take your picture with a webcam will also be included in time for Ubuntu 10.10.

You can see more screenshots and read more at Softpedia.

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 2 Released

The second alpha of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat is finally here. While there is no visual change from Ubuntu 10.04, there are plenty of changes under the hood.

If you want want to download it, here is the link: Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 2

Remember that this is only an alpha release and is meant for testing purposes only.

Whats new in Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 2? Here is a brief description of the changes.

Support For Btrfs

With the second alpha of Maverick, Ubuntu finally supports Btrfs. Btrfs is a new file system with a lot on interesting features like snapshot, roll-back etc. EXT4 is still the default file-system though.

Software Center

The Ubuntu Software Center has now got some changes. Featured applications are shown main screen instead of just a link. There is also a place where new applications will be featured.

The Software Center also has Twitter integration so that you can share your favorite applications with the world.

Aptitude has been removed

Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 2 no longer comes with aptitude installed. The reason stated for the removal is that it does almost the same function as apt-get and most people seem to prefer apt-get. You can still install it from the repository if you want.

New Application and File Menu in UNE

The Unity interface for Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Alpha 2 now has a new applications and file menu. It is now much more functional than the previous one.

Ubuntu Software Center UI Gets Better For Maverick

The development for Ubuntu 10.10, which is scheduled for release this  September, is going ahead at a feverish pace. The Ubuntu Software Center is one feature in Ubuntu which makes installation of software easily  manageable  for newbies. In the latest update for Maverick, the UI of the Software Center gets an overhaul.

Here is the Ubuntu Software Center before:

and here it is after the update:

Although this is not a very large change, it is a very significant change because of two reasons. First of all, the Featured Applications are, well, featured in the main page  unlike the previous one where you have to click on a button to see them. Another thing is the “Whats New?”. We can safely assume that this is where new softwares will be features. Yet another useful little feature.

[source: OMG! Ubuntu]

Ubuntu 10.10 Now Supports Btrfs

During the Ubuntu Developer Summit – Maverick, words came out that Ubuntu may start offering Btrfs (What is Btrfs? Wikipedia link) support from Maverick. There were some words that it may even be the default file system.

As of now it seems that Ext4 will remain the default file system, but Btrfs support has been added in the latest spin of Ubuntu 10.10. The latest releases of other linux distributions like Fedora, OpenSUSE, MeeGo etc. already supports Btrfs.  Btrfs has many interesting features like snapshot, scalability etc. Fedora 13 even offers a system rollback feature in Btrfs.

In the latest spin of Ubuntu 10.10, the option to use Btrfs is available only with the manual partition and it cannot be used in /boot. This is what Colin Watson wrote in ubuntu-dev announcing the inclusion of Btrfs support:

This is still NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PRODUCTION USE and MAY EAT YOUR DATA, but we’re making the option available by way of manual partitioning only so that we can experiment with btrfs more easily, contribute fixes to various tools as needed (as we’ve already done with grub2 in order to at least get this minimal level of support in place), and the like, and hopefully to encourage some more people to get involved in its development.

The guys at Phoronix have already done a performance test of Btrfs in comparison with Ext4 in Ubuntu 10.10. In most of the test Btrfs is performing better than Ext4. It is still early days for Btrfs in Ubuntu and it would be safe to say that Btrfs is going to make Ubuntu rock even more.

Unity Gets New Application Menu – Looks Awesome!

Unity – the interface for Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10, has been undergoing a great deal of development and the testing PPA has received a new update.

This update improves the application access menu. which was non-existent before, and oh boy it looks amazing. Instead of describing it, here is a screenshot:

(Click on the image to see the full size)

There are still  some issues with the interface. For example, the search does not seem to work. However, this will be fixed in time for the final release in September.

What do you think about the new Unity application menu?

In case you want to give it a go, you can install Unity in Lucid as described here.

Rekonq To Be The Default Web Browser In Kubuntu 10.10

With the Ubuntu Developer Summit going on, we are constantly receiving reports of new changes and feature addition for Maverick.

The latest news that caught my attention is that Rekonq is going to be the default browser in Kubuntu 10.10.

Rekonq is a KDE web browser based off of Nokia’s QtDemoBrowser, which is what  the Arora web browser is based on. Rekonq’s focus is to provide a  QtWebKit-based web browser with superior KDE integration. Its aim is to  embrace KDE technologies to have a fully-featured KDE web browser.
Features:
  • Tabbed browsing
  • Uses KDE download system for downloading files
  • Shares bookmarks with Konqueror
  • Supports proxies and anonymous browsing
  • Can inspect web pages

Although many might not have heard of Rekonq, its is quite a solid browser with a lot of potential. I did a HTML5 compatibility test about a month back and was quite surprised to find that it outperformed even Firefox and Opera. However, what bothers me is that it is not as polished as I would like it to be. Hopefully by the time for the release of Kubuntu 10.10, it will be sufficiently polished.

If you want to try out Rekonq, open the terminal and execute the command given below:

sudo apt-get install rekong