While Microsoft preps their upcoming RC of Windows 7, and Apple continues work on Snow Leopard, the Ubuntu Linux team has already published the release candidate of their upcoming 9.04 version, dubbed "Jaunty Jackalope," and is set to publish the final version of the code on Thursday, April 23.
Some of the major features of this release include:
- GNOME 2.26
- UPnP support for Totem
- MAPI support for the Evolution e-mail client
- Improved multi-monitor support
- X.org server 1.6, with Mesa 3D DRI, version 7.4
- Wacom tablet hotplugging
- New style for notifications and notification preferences
- Quicker boot performance (30% faster)
- Linux kernel 2.6.28
- Ext4 filesystem support (ext3 will remain the default)
The 9.04 release will be an important one for Canonical and the Ubuntu team, as it should be the release that is out and in use when Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" and Fedora 11 are released. That is, unless Windows 7 slips into an RTM at a date past October of this year, in which case Canonical will get a second chance when they release 9.10, which is already dubbed "Karmic Koala."
Download: Ubuntu 9.04 RC
To highlight the decreased boot time of Ubuntu 9.04, one user installed the beta onto their ThinkPad, equipped with a Intel X25-E solid state hard drive. The result was a boot time of only 17 seconds, from GRUB loader to starting Mozilla Firefox.