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Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat and Derivatives Released: the new version of the most popular desktop Linux distribution.

The new version of the most popular desktop Linux distribution (according to DistroWatch statistics) is now available, and as always: completely free to use, redistribute, fold, spindle, and mutilate.

    • Linux Kernel 2.6.35
    • Improved CPU power savings and turbo support..
    • Improved GPU power management.
    • Network code optimizations (RPS/RFS) for multicore CPUs.
    • Defragmentation of working memory.
    • Virtualization improvements.
    • Direct I/O support for Btrfs file system.
    • Improved scalability (BKL eliminations).
    • Support for EDAC on Core i7 and Xeon CPUs.
    • Hundred of driver updates and additions.
    Ubuntu It's 10:10:10 UCT on 10-10-10 which can only mean one thing - that a new version of the most popular desktop Linux distribution, Ubuntu 10.10, is out and ready for general consumption: "The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce Ubuntu 10.10. Focused on home and mobile computing users, Ubuntu 10.10 introduces an array of online and offline applications to Ubuntu Desktop edition with a particular focus on the personal cloud. Ubuntu Netbook Edition users will experience an all-new desktop interface called 'Unity' -- specifically tuned for smaller screens and computing on the move." Also includes a brand-new Ubuntu font family, a redesigned system installer, the latest GNOME 2.32 desktop, Shotwell as the new default photo manager, and a number of other features. See the release announcement, press release and release notes for further details. Download (SHA256): ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso (693MB, torrent), ubuntu-10.10-desktop-amd64.iso (695MB, torrent).
  • Ubuntu:
    • The GNOME base platform has been updated to the current 2.32 versions. This particularly includes the new dconf and gsettings API.

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

    • Shotwell has replaced F-Spot as the default photo manager.

    • Gwibber has been updated to support the recent change in Twitter's authentication system, as well as changing the back end storage to improve performance.

    • The Sound Indicator has been enhanced to include music player controls.

    • The Ubuntu Software Center has an updated look and feel, including the new "Featured" and "What's New" views for showcasing applications, an improved package description view, and a "For Purchase" software category has been added. You can also now easily access your package installation history too.

    • Ubuntu One: Polished desktop integration with new sign up and sign in process. Tighter integration with Ubuntu SSO. Nautilus enhancements for managing folder sync preferences. Faster file sync speed. Share links to music within the Ubuntu One Music Store.

    • The new Unity interface is now the default in Ubuntu Netbook Edition.

Kubuntu Jonathan Riddell has announced the release of Kubuntu 10.10, an official Ubuntu variant featuring the KDE 4 desktop: "The Kubuntu team is proud to announce the release of 10.10, the latest version of our popular Linux distribution. Kubuntu is one of the Ubuntu distributions and is based on KDE software. With the combination of its Ubuntu backbone, the amazing KDE platform and applications, plus a few unique extras, 10.10 aims to provide the best fusion of stability, beauty and up-to-date software. Whether working, browsing the web, playing your music, composing an email or connecting with your friends on social networks, Kubuntu 10.10 brings you an innovative and attractive platform for all your desktop needs!" The release features KDE 4.5.1, a new combined desktop/netbook CD image, and Reconq, a new default web browser. Read release announcement for a detailed list of new features illustrated by screenshots. Download (SHA256): kubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso (696MB, torrent), kubuntu-10.10-desktop-amd64.iso (696MB, torrent).
  • Kubuntu:
    • The latest KDE Software. KDE Platform, Workspaces and Applications have been updated to version 4.5.1.
    • The Desktop and Netbook images have been merged into a single image featuring both the Plasma Desktop and Plasma Netbook workspaces. The appropriate workspace for your machine will be launched at login, you can also change the workspace in System Settings.

    • Plasma Netbook now sports the Global Menu by default.

    • The new KDE bluetooth application collection Bluedevil is now installed by default.

    • Pulseaudio is the default sound server to match other Ubuntu variants.

    • KPackageKit updates bring a faster backend and an updated UI that provides a new Categories page, and new features such as a backup/restore tool for the list of installed packages.

    • Kubuntu's installer (Ubiquity) now has an updated look and layout. Install starts after partitioning making it a quicker experience.

    • Qapt-batch now replaces install-package as the update/batch-installer utility

    • Qt 4.7 support.

    • Qt Webkit 2.0 (open source web browser engine) support.
    Xubuntu Xubuntu 10.10, an official Ubuntu variant featuring the Xfce desktop environment, is out: "Xubuntu 10.10, code-named 'Maverick Meerkat', is the latest and greatest version of Xubuntu. Some of the highlights include: Xubuntu now uses Parole, the Xfce Media Player, to provide an improved audio/video experience; Xfburn has replaced Brasero for a more resource-conscious CD/DVD burning tool; Xfce task manager has replaced GNOME task manager, providing similar function with fewer resources required; Gnumeric has been updated to version 1.10.8, and AbiWord is now version 2.8.6; a brand-new theme from the Shimmer team has been introduced." Read the release announcement and release notes to learn more about the new release. Download (SHA256): xubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso (697MB, torrent), xubuntu-10.10-desktop-amd64.iso (693MB, torrent).
  • Xubuntu:
    • Xfce4 was updated to the current 4.6.2 release. This fixes many of the bugs and updates the programs used in Xubuntu.

    • New default applications: Parole (Xfce4 Media Player) replaced Totem Movie Player, Xfburn (Xfce4 CD/DVD burning tool) replaced Brassero, and xfce4-taskmanager (Xfce4 process manager) replaced Gnome-Task-Manager.
    Edubuntu Jonathan Carter has announced the release of Edubuntu 10.10, an Ubuntu flavour designed primarily for deployment in schools: "The Edubuntu team is proud to announce the release of the latest version, Edubuntu 10.10, which is now available for download. The Edubuntu project is a group of people that aim to deliver the best of educational free software in an easily installable medium. We are part of the larger Ubuntu community and our main body of work is the Edubuntu installation disc, which installs Ubuntu along with educational tools and packages available in the Ubuntu software archives. We aim to make Ubuntu a great choice for the computing needs of children, students, parents, teachers and schools, bringing many of the best educational open-source applications and tools to the Ubuntu operating system." Read the release announcement for more information. Download (SHA256): edubuntu-10.10-dvd-i386.iso (2,463MB, torrent), edubuntu-10.10-dvd-amd64.iso (2,487MB, torrent).
  • Edubuntu:

    • In addition to all the sames changes as Ubuntu, Edubuntu now includes Gnome Nanny. Gnome Nanny provides parental controls in Edubuntu. There is new wallpaper included ( periodic table breakout). Also, OEM Install mode is now available.

For those looking to give Ubuntu a try, you can download and run the OS via the LiveCD without installing or writing anything to your hard drive. Should you decide to install, the LiveCD's installer application will allow you to resize any existing OS partitions and install into the freed space - allowing you the option to reboot back into your previous OS at any time. (Remember to backup your system first! Better safe than sorry!)

While I highly recommend the Kubuntu variant, each of the related distributions are worthy of investigation. If you're totally confused about the differences, as is the lot of anyone new to Linux, here's a simple and completely over-generalized system for you to follow:

Think of Ubuntu with its Gnome desktop (powered by the GTK+ libraries) like a Mac: more intuitive and clean, with fewer options to confuse.

Think of Kubuntu with its KDE desktop (running on the Qt libraries) like a Windows machine: more options, but possibly less intuitive to new users.

Meanwhile, Xubuntu uses the XFCE desktop, which has a lighter footprint and may perform better on older or very limited hardware.

And finally, Edubuntu is a version similar to mainstream Ubuntu, but aimed towards educational institutions.

If you're still unsure of which desktop would be best for you, don't fret about it too much: Nothing prevents you from installing multiple desktops, and any Linux application can be run on any desktop, regardless of the underlying libraries they use.

Mythbuntu Ben Dailey has announced the release of Mythbuntu 10.10, a specialist variant of Ubuntu designed for home theatre PCs: "Mythbuntu 10.10 has been released. With this release, we are providing mirroring on sponsored mirrors and torrents. It is very important to note that this release is only compatible with MythTV 0.23.1 systems. Previous Mythbuntu releases can be upgraded to a compatible version with the builds located at here, for a more detailed explanation see here. Highlights: swanky new installer; Mythbuntu-bare, a backup and restore utility for your MythTV configuration files; MythTV 0.23.1; preview of the upcoming MythNetvision plugin; Mythbuntu theme fixes." Read the complete release announcement for more details and a list of known issues. Download (SHA256): mythbuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso (643MB, torrent), mythbuntu-10.10-desktop-amd64.iso (685MB, torrent).

Lubuntu Julian Lavergne has announced the release of Lubuntu 10.10, an unofficial Ubuntu flavour featuring the lightweight LXDE desktop environment. Some of the features of this release include: "Based on the lightweight LXDE desktop environment; PCManFM 0.9.7, a fast and lightweight file manager using GIO/GVFS; LXDM, a lightweight GTK+ display manager; Chromium, the open-source build of Google Chrome; based on Ubuntu 10.10. Improvements since Lubuntu 10.04: added Update Notifier to get notification of available updates; added Xpad to create quick notes (similar to Tomboy); added Ace of penguins to provide some games; removed Parcellite which is not maintained upstream; pyNeighborhood was replaced by GVFS support of PCManFM; replace Xfce task manager with LXTask for tasks monitoring; Evince is now used for reading PDF files; a new and fresh theme...." Read the full release announcement for a detailed list of all major changes. Download: lubuntu-10.10.iso (546MB, MD5, torrent).

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About Hugo Repetto

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that offers an operating system predominantly focused on desktop computers but also provides support for servers. Based on Debian GNU / Linux, Ubuntu focuses on ease of use, freedom in usage restriction, regular releases (every 6 months) and ease of installation.
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