Its is October., which means this is the month when Ubuntu 12.10 will be released. Ubuntu 12.10 has been generating lots of noise lately, both for good and bad reasons. Like every other release, Ubuntu 12.10 too will have several new features. Lets have a look at the top ten such new arrivals that should catch your attention:
1. Web Apps
Ubuntu’s Web App feature integrates your favorite website with your Ubuntu desktop. This means you can now receive new email alerts, Facebook notifications etc. via the Ubuntu’s desktop notification. You can control several music streaming sites from Ubuntu sound menu. You can see the headlines from top news sites in Ubuntu’s native notification. This new feature will significantly change the way you used your favorite sites.
Read more about Web Apps.
2. Remote Login
Ubuntu 12.10 includes the option of remote login to your Ubuntu machine at the start up. It also means that you no longer needs to login in to the local Ubuntu system. You need to set up Ubuntu Remote Login Account on the desired remote machine to use this feature.
3. Sponsored Amazon and Ubuntu One suggestions in Unity Dash
From Ubuntu 12.10 onward, if you search for anything, be it music files, documents, applications in Unity Dash, it will show you sponsored search results from Amazon and Ubuntu One. Canonical earns revenue on every hit (or purchase) made through these suggestions. A lot has been discussed about this sponsored Amazon suggestions in recent days. It has angered many Ubuntu lovers and some have gone on to the extent of accusing Mark Shuttleworth (founder of Canonical) of commercializing Linux. Talks are going on to make these sponsored suggestions optional but nothing has been cemented for now.
4. Unity Preview
One of the main attraction of the new Unity 6.6 is the Preview feature of Dash. Earlier when you searched for anything in Ubuntu Unity Dash, it had only one option – open with the default application. With Unity Preview, you can “preview” searched results in the Dash itself rather than opening it. When you right-click on any file/folder in Unity Dash, it will give you some information either from web or from Ubuntu Software Center (if it’s an application). This adds a new degree of freedom and comfort.
5. Update Manger revamped as Software Updater
The famed Ubuntu Update Manager has been given the pink slip in the new Ubuntu 12.10. It is bound to be replaced by new and fresh looking Software Updater. Functioning similar to Update Manager, it has a little different UI than its predecessor. It checks for the new updates in the following manner:
Once it is done checking, it informs you about the new updates available in similar fashion to Update Manager:
The Software Updater is not available in the system settings any more. It is just another application in Ubuntu 12.10. The name change is a positive step as it will be more clear for new Ubuntu users what the Software Updater does while it was (a bit) ambiguous with Update Manager.
6. Additional Driver
The propriety additional drivers are no longer available as a s separate entity. In previous versions, you could just search for additional drivers in Unity Dash but it has been moved to Software Sources in Ubuntu 12.10. There is a new Additional Drivers tab in Software Sources. It lists all the propriety drivers available for your system. Propriety drivers are provided by the hardware manufacturers and Ubuntu developers cannot tweak it to work with Ubuntu.
7. Full Disk Encryption
Finally full disk encryption arrives in Ubuntu desktop. While installing Ubuntu 12.10, it now gives you the option of full disk encryption and LVM (Logical Volume Manager). These two features did not have native support in Ubuntu Desktop until now.
Lets discuss a little about what is full disk encryption and what benefits does it have. Lets say your computer got stolen. It was password protected of course but it takes less than 2 minutes to crack Ubuntu root password. What now? Your data is at the mercy of the thief. Disk encryption is your savior in this case. When your disk is encrypted, it can only be accessed with the encryption key and thus it gives your data a military like protection.
8. System Settings Options
The System Settings menu (on the top right corner, gear symbol) has been changed as well. It no longer hosts the update information, monitor options or start up application information. On the other hand, it now gives the option “About This Computer” to see the configuration of the system. A new Ubuntu Help link is added to the Settings.
9. RIP Ubuntu CD
Ubuntu 12.10 bode farewell to the various CD image options to download and install Ubuntu. All these CD/DVDs are consolidated in to a single image of 800 MB. It also means that one cannot install it from a CD (that has maximum capacity of 700 MB) anymore. Ubutnu has been struggling for sometime to keep all the essential applications packaged in 700 MB and finally it decides to say au revoir to the CD.
10. New Updated Packages
Lastly, Ubuntu 12.10 comes with lots of updated versions of popular applications such as Libre Office 3.6, Gimp 2.8, Gnome 3.5.90, Python 3, Linux Kernel 3.5 etc. It also includes Ubuntu One with improved interface that include the option of “share links” for easier sharing of file and folders.
There are definitely more than these 10 features in Ubuntu 12.10. Still in beta, the list of awesomeness may increase by the time the final version comes out. What you think of the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10? What you like or dislike about it the most? Do you feel any feature that is always missing in Ubuntu and should be included in upcoming releases? Do let us know of your views.
Ubuntu 12.10 will be released on October 18th, 2012