Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat Review + Screenshots Tour

For Ubuntu enthusiasts, you should know that the next iteration of Ubuntu – Maverick Meerkat is set to release on 10 Oct 2010. For those who are keen to find out what’s new in this release, here is the full review (and screenshots) of Ubuntu Maverick.

This review was done on Ubuntu Maverick beta. While most of the features should be finalized, the artwork might still change prior to the final release.

When you run the LiveCD, it will first boot up and show you the option to choose “Test Ubuntu” or Install Ubuntu. In the past, this is usually done before it boots, but now, it has been moved to after the boot.

maverick-installer

If you run the installation, you will notice that the installation procedure has completely revamped. The biggest changes is the ability to multi-task while the installation is being carried out.

During the installation, it will download update and install third party software like MP3 support. In the past, most people complaint that MP3 support does not come out of the box. In this case, it still doesn’t work out of the box, but at least it makes it easier to install.

maverick-installation-step1

maverick-installation-step2

maverick-installation-step3

Another thing is that it asks you for your login info when it is installing. Previously, you have to enter all your info before the installation start. Now it can multi-task and get you to input info while it is performing the installation.

If wireless card is detected, it will also prompt you to select and connect to wireless network (doesn’t work for all wireless card).

New wallpaper

After the installation is completed and you are booted into your system, you will notice a new wallpaper. In my opinion, I feel that the wallpaper sucks. The patch of orange looks like a rust stain to me. As I mentioned earlier, this wallpaper might not be the confirmed artwork for the final release and I seriously hope that they will change to a better one. Your opinion might differ.

maverick-desktop

Update: Ubuntu changed the wallpaper in the update yesterday. The following is the latest wallpaper. Yes, it looks much much better.

maverick-new-wallpaper

New calculator UI

The functionality don’t change, but the calculator is now given an interface makeover.

maverick-calculator-basic

maverick-calculator-advanced

New sound indicator

The sound indicator is now nicely integrated with Rhythmbox. When Rhythmbox is running (or minimized), you will be able to control the playback right from the sound icon at the taskbar.

maverick-sound-indicator

Shotwell became the default photo manager

F-Spot has served Ubuntu for a long time, but this time round, it has been replaced by Shotwell. Shotwell is simple to use and allows you to tag and add events to your photos. It also supports importing from F-Spot, and that makes it easier for F-Spot users to migrate over.

maverick-shotwell

A more polished Ubuntu One

Ubuntu One is now even more tightly integrated to your system, especially to Nautilus File Manager. It now supports syncing of multiple folders in your Home directory. Open your Nautilus, navigate to the folder you want to sync and you will see the “Sync this folder” header. Simply place a check on the box and you are done syncing the folder.

maverick-ubuntu1-folder-sync

Ubuntu Software Center with Improved UI

Unlike the first edition in Ubuntu Lucid, the Ubuntu Software Center is now improved with a better UI. The dashboard of the USC now comes with the new “Featured” and “What’s New” recommendation section.

maverick-usc-dashboard

The new USC also comes with a History section where you can check the application/packages that you installed earlier of the day/week/month. This will allow you to find and uninstall the package more easily.

maverick-usc-history

Other than the standard package found in the repository, USC also includes a new “For Purchase” that allow you to buy premium application. A good example is Fluendo DVD Player (selling at US$24.95).

maverick-usc-purchase

Nautilus – more user-friendly context menu

The most notable changes in Nautilus is the context menu. When you right click on a file, all the options that are not available/functional are blacked-out by default. This give the users a quick view of what you can/cannot do with the file.

maverick-nautilus-context

Other improvements

Evolution was updated to the 2.30 version, which operates much faster compared to the version in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.

The version of Gwibber in Ubuntu Maverick is now completely compliance with the Twitter Oauth protocol, which mean you are able to get Twitter update on your desktop again. One thing though, it has switched its database to SQLite. While it is faster and more stable, it also means that you are not able to sync your profile across multiple computers now.

Advanced Ubuntu users who are used to the “aptitude” command will be disappointed to know that it is not installed by default in Ubuntu Maverick. In short, you won’t be able to use command like “sudo aptitude install xyz” out of the box. “apt-get” command still remains.

What has not changed?

Firefox is still the default browser and most of you will be disappointed to know that Firefox 4 is not included. Firefox 3.6.x is the version installed in Maverick.

The window control button is still on the left.

What else have I missed out?

For those who are keen to test out Ubuntu Maverick, you can grab the ISO at http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/maverick/beta

Image credit: cliff1066™