Ubuntu's Roughest-and-Toughest-Yet Takes Flight

As of about 8:15 this morning, Ubuntu — the Linux distribution that has taken the desktop world by storm — has released version 8.04 "Hardy Heron" to a flurry of cheers, frantic downloads, and — we suspect — sighs of relief from all involved. Though the GNOME-based Ubuntu has a tendency to steal the spotlight, the party also includes the KDE-based Kubuntu, Xfce-based Xubuntu, and education-focused Edubuntu.

So, what's all the fuss? Well, as always, there's the latest version of GNOME, 2.22.1, which includes a new version of Nautilus, as well as enhanced features for Evolution and Seahorse, as well as Xorg 7.3, with a much-anticipated new Screen Resolution application. There's also the 2.6.24-16.30 Linux kernel, with the new "Completely Fair Scheduler" for better interactive performance, and the power-saving properties of dynticks. There's also a new permissions system called PolicyKit; BitTorrent client Transmission replacing the GNOME downloader; Firefox 3, Beta 5; integration of sound server PulseAudio; Vinagre, a new VNC client; and much much more. Improvements have also been made to firewalling, Active Directory networks, and support for SELinux.

This version also brings enhancements to the first-time experience for Windows users, with a cleaner, more intuitive menu and the option to install Ubuntu within Windows via the Wubi installer, while still maintaining the older option of direct-booting from the CD. The full lowdown on new features is available in the release notes.

We spoke with Cody Somerville, an Ubuntu developer and leader of the Xubuntu team, and asked what he thought was the most exciting part of today's release. "Today has been both a stressful and exciting day as we've gone through the final steps to release Ubuntu 8.04. One of the biggest comments I've seen today is that people feel like this has been one of the best executed release cycles yet, and as a developer I have to agree. We're seeing some excellent growth both user-wise and contributor-wise; I'm already really looking forward to the next release, Intrepid."

We also asked about his newly-assumed role with Xubuntu, and about how the distribution is maturing. "Xubuntu, like the rest of the Ubuntu community, is seeing growth and we were experiencing some growing pains for awhile. One of our biggest struggles has been maintaining a consistent and concise vision for where we would like to see Xubuntu go. As the newly appointed Xubuntu team leader, I've been working very hard to fix that. I think we'll see Xubuntu mature significantly in the next release cycle."

Interested parties can give Hardy Heron — in whatever flavor suits their fancy — a spin by downloading and burning a CD — Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu — though community support is encouraging downloaders to use the Ubuntu torrents due to the rush. Those who already have Ubuntu installed can update to Hardy via the normal Update Manager.

There are also Hardy Install-Fests and Release Parties being staged all over the world today — check out an Ubuntu Local Community team in your area to find out where the party's at. The IRC-friendly are encouraged to join the international party in #ubuntu-release-party on the Freenode network, while we at Linux Journal invite all our readers to join us for an impromptu celebration all day in the Linux Journal channel.

And now we must away, for our download awaits!


Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.


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you can remove mono.

Anonymous's picture

Seriously, having a whine about mono (and I understand why you hate it, so do I) is no reason not to use ubuntu and E17 simply isn't ready for your average desktop user. You can remove mono from ubuntu using synaptic relatively easily and all you'll lose is f-spot (a rubbish photo library manager) and I believe Tomboy notes relies on it too. The rest of the desktop is untouched. OR you could simply install Xubuntu which doesn't come with any mono apps or any of the mono libraries. Calling ubuntu 'mono based' is a complete slander and a misnomer. I suggest you do a little research before running your mouth off about something you clearly know little about.

ubunto is one of the best

Anonymous's picture

ubunto is one of the best free OS after linux.

all but mono

Anonymous's picture

Its just too bad it comes with mono < just like gnome >;)

Deal breaker for many people and its not like there aren't tons of reasons showing why M$ isn't to be trusted, and why they want to eradicate linux. Is this new turned supposed leaf based on anything meaningful to give the impression that .net instead of java should be used < now thats its open source >, or say that neither should be used and maybe just go with python ? I"d be ok with either but hey the 'powers' that be decided to whore out linux and slap on a decidedly patent encumbered technology. Now when I think of ubuntu and demoracy I think of the Bush whitehouse, and what a lovely visual that is.

The more linux becomes viable, the more M$ is in danger of losing alot of market share and you think they are ok with that ?

Just goto boycott Novel and you'll see plenty of reasons not to trust anything coming from M$land. Don't just browse a few articles either, check many of them out before you decide . Is there proof somewhere that M$ all of a sudden can be trusted, and wants to truly work with open source, its clear rival in keeping its OS throne < and its share holders )? It would be nice yes if it were true.

Does anyone forget that Mono included in Ubuntu ( at least in gutsy ) wasn't even a stable product < from my searches, your free to verify ) , yet apps like f-spot and banshee are there , which are based on mono.

The Novel/M$ 'pact', should have full disclosure and without it linux is tainted, and more so by the use of mono thereby further intergrating patents on the unsuspecting userbase. Novel paid for mono protection , totally counter intuitive to FOSS,and this bothers no one ??? What about the fact that , only mono downloaded from Novel is protected ??

Just use < insert non mono based distro > + E17 . It's fast, light and attractive .

. ..