Six month and six days after the release of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS "Hardy Heron", we now have the next version of this Linux desktop and server distribution led by Mark Shuttleworth. Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" has been officially released today with a number of new packages, an assortment of updated packages, and other new features.
With the release of Ubuntu 8.10 coming out later this week we decided to use this opportunity to explore how the performance of this desktop Linux operating system has evolved over the past few releases. We performed clean installations of Ubuntu 7.04, Ubuntu 7.10, Ubuntu 8.04, and Ubuntu 8.10 on a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 notebook and used the Phoronix Test Suite to run 35 tests on each release that covered nine different areas of the system. After spending well more than 100 hours running these tests, the results are now available and our findings may very well surprise you.
The release date for Fedora 10 (codenamed Cambridge) is less than one month away and as a result this Red Hat distribution will go into a development freeze beginning Tuesday. The Fedora 10 Beta occurred in late September, but over the course of the past month there have been three snapshot releases. In the third and final snapshot that was released this past week there are new improvements to this popular Linux distribution along with a new desktop background and better integrated version of Plymouth to greet its users. We have also recorded a new video showing the enhanced start-up process via kernel-based mode-setting.
OpenSolaris 2008.05 had given a new face to Solaris through a vastly improved desktop experience. While OpenSolaris 2008.05 was not perfect, it was quite pleasant and a very nice first step. Sun Microsystems is now preparing for the release of OpenSolaris 2008.11 to incorporate their latest set of changes. In this article we are looking at some of the latest advancements in this pre-release.
It is coming out a bit late, but the beta release for the upcoming Fedora 10 release (codenamed Cambridge) is now available. It has been almost two months since the last test release and a lot of work has been accomplished when it comes to the new and exciting innovations found within this Red Hat distribution.
The Red Hat community engineer behind the Fedora Games and Fedora Xfce media spins, Rahul Sundaram, had announced the release of Omega 10 Beta this past weekend. Omega is a desktop/mobile Linux distribution that is based upon Fedora but includes packages from the Livna RPM repository. The Omega 10 Beta release is roughly equivalent to the Fedora 10 Beta to be released tomorrow, but integrates multimedia support not found in Fedora along with delivering other added functionality.
Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 6 has been released as the final alpha build for Intrepid Ibex. This release ships with the latest GNOME 2.24 and Linux 2.6.27 bits along with X Server 1.5.0. Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 6 also supports Samba 3.2 with clustered file server support, encrypted network transport, IPv6 support, and better integration with recent versions of Microsoft Windows clients and servers. Another package addition to Ubuntu is the pam-auth-update-tool, which is a management interface for PAM authentication on both desktops and servers.
As the first and only Intrepid Ibex test release in August, Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 4 was released into the wild this morning. This release is coming two weeks before the Ubuntu 8.10 feature freeze and the first artwork deadline. Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 4 provides support for a GNOME guest-session mode, an encrypted private directory, and it integrates NetworkManager 0.7. Of course, this is already on top of Ubuntu 8.10 shipping with the Linux 2.6.26 kernel, X.Org 7.4 / X Server 1.5, and many other updated packages.
Fedora 9 had shipped earlier this year with kernel-based mode-setting support, an early release of NetworkManager 0.7, PackageKit integration, install-time encryption support, initial EXT4 support, the Upstart daemon, and many other improvements. Now, however, it's time start getting excited over Fedora 10. The first Alpha release of Fedora 10 (codenamed Cambridge) was released this morning. In this article we have screenshots of Fedora 10 along with some of the features you can expect when this Linux operating system ships in October.
Over the weekend we had posted our synopsis of Solaris Express Community Edition Build 93, which brings a great deal of needed changes to the Solaris Nevada code-base in order to bring its packages up-to-date. While OpenSolaris 2008.05 is only two months old, work at Sun is already underway in preparing for the second OpenSolaris release, which will be known as OpenSolaris 2008.11 and has been codenamed Jericho. OpenSolaris development packages for this next release, which are currently based upon Solaris Nevada Build 93, are now available through an IPS update along with early ISO spins.
With Canonical having pulled many new packages into Ubuntu 8.10 from Debian unstable and there being the Linux 2.6.26-rc8 kernel, a near-final version of X.Org 7.4 / Mesa 7.1, and GCC 4.3 among them, we've decided to run a few early benchmarks of Intrepid Ibex. In this article we have enclosed 32 benchmark results from the Phoronix Test Suite comparing Ubuntu 8.04.1 LTS to Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 2.
Two weeks back we had looked at Solaris Express Community Edition b91 to explore some of the recent OpenSolaris advancements. We weren't completely satisfied with SXCE as many of the features found in OpenSolaris 2008.05 were yet to be back-ported into Solaris Express Community. In addition, many of the packages shipping with this build were out-of-date. The good news is that SXCE Build 93 has been released this week and a number of these packages have been updated. We have screenshots in this article from SXCE Build 93 as well as a brief look at the major changes.
In recent times the Gentoo Linux and its foundation has been plagued with a multitude of problems and times have certainly been challenging for this once popular distribution. It's already July and we are now finally seeing Gentoo's first official release of the year. In this article we are taking a brief look at Gentoo Linux 2008.0 and its changes.
The first development snapshot for the forthcoming release of Ubuntu 8.10 (codenamed Intrepid Ibex) is coming out two weeks late -- likely due to Canonical's focus on getting the Ubuntu 8.04.1 LTS update out next week -- but what matters is that it's finally here. Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 1 is far from meeting the quality standards for end-users (there isn't even a desktop LiveCD spin of this release), but that didn't stop us from playing with this latest build from the Canonical camp. In this article we are looking at the few changes in the Intrepid Alpha 1 release for Ubuntu and Kubuntu as well as looking at some of the changes they have planned before this release goes gold in October.
Two months after Ubuntu 8.04 LTS was released and almost one month after Ubuntu Netbook Remix was first showcased, Ubuntu MID Edition 8.04 has been released. This is the newest Canonical product in the Ubuntu family and is designed for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). Ubuntu MID Edition is a cut-down version of Ubuntu 8.04 for the desktop but with many packages sliced away and with optimizations for Intel's Atom Processor and mobile software enhancements as a result of the Moblin project.
It's been a while since last looking at a Solaris Express Community Edition release (SXCE Build 75 to be exact) and since then Solaris Express Developer 1/08 and OpenSolaris 2008.05 have been released, which are both based off the same SXCE "Nevada" code-base. With Solaris Express Community Edition Build 91 having been released this past week, we took this opportunity to see what new work is going on within this Solaris community.
Linux Mint, one of the popular desktop distributions that's based off Ubuntu, has come out with version 5.0 "Elyssa" that builds upon the 8.04 Hardy Heron release. Linux Mint 5.0 brings updates to the unique Mint Tools, GNOME 2.22, performance improvements, and other features that come because of rebasing against this latest Ubuntu release. In this article we are taking a brief look at some of the Linux Mint features, for those that have never explored this fast-growing distribution.
Canonical's Netbook Remix won't be appearing on mobile devices until later this year -- and these software changes are still very much under development -- but interested parties can already check out the source-code and Debian packages for this work. Canonical is publishing this work under the GNU GPLv3 license. For now this work isn't available through any of the Ubuntu repositories, but the packages are hosted within a Launchpad PPA (Personal Package Archive).
Last week we released Phoronix Test Suite 1.0 and one of the article requests we received as a result was to do a side-by-side comparison between the popular desktop Linux distributions. Ask and you shall receive. Today we have up 28 test results from Ubuntu 8.04, Fedora 9, and Mandriva 2008.1.
While our friends at DistroWatch only rate Zenwalk as the 19th most popular Linux distribution, we have been very impressed by their recent releases and have felt that it is a distribution worth trying as it is an unsung hero. With the Zenwalk 5.2 Beta having been released yesterday, we immediately took this new release for a quick test-drive.
Back in January of 2007 we had looked at Linux Virtualization Performance as we had compared a running native OS (at that time, Fedora Core 6) against the same operating system running as a virtualized guest OS using Xen, QEMU with the (once closed-source) kqemu kernel module, and then KVM. In this testing we had found that KVM had performed well and won a number of the tests, but it wasn't the clear winner nor it had won by a substantial margin. However, the Kernel-based Virtual Machine had premiered with the Linux 2.6.20 kernel and it has matured quite a bit over the past year and a half since its christening. With that said, we are in the process of conducting new Linux virtualization benchmarks to see how these various implementations compare today. While the full comparison isn't yet ready, due to much interest surrounding Linux virtualization on desktops and servers, this morning we are publishing some initial benchmarks from the Phoronix Test Suite when running Ubuntu 8.04 LTS as the host OS and then running it as the guest operating system with hardware-based acceleration through KVM.
Less than a week after the release of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS "Hardy Heron", the Free Software Foundation has gone ahead and released version 2.0 (named DeltaH) of gNewSense. For those not familiar with gNewSense, this is one of the few distributions certified by the Free Software Foundation as being a truly free Linux distribution. gNewSense 2.0 is essentially Ubuntu 8.04 LTS but with a few modifications to make it more free by removing some binary-only components. New in gNewSense 2.0 is also new artwork, switching the default web browser from Mozilla Firefox to Epiphany, Blag's deblob script in the kernel, and non-free GLX being removed from X.Org/Mesa. Here are a few screenshots from this latest release.
In Q4'07 we had looked at Ubuntu's power consumption with all of their Linux releases going back to Ubuntu 5.04. While Linux has improved in recent years when it comes to power efficiency and optimizations, more processes running on the desktop had canceled out any real power improvements. Following that article was a look at power consumption between Windows and Linux. We had used an old desktop system in that comparison and Ubuntu 7.10 was consuming the most power while idling but Fedora 8 Test 3 had consumed the least amount of power and had beat out both Windows XP and Vista. While using the desktop, however, both versions of Windows had consumed less power than Fedora and Ubuntu. With Ubuntu 8.04 LTS now available, we have decided to run another simple power comparison. This time we are using a Lenovo ThinkPad notebook and an AMD server as we see whether Ubuntu Hardy Heron or Microsoft Windows Vista consumes less power.
In early February, Sun Microsystems had released a second preview release of Project Indiana. For those out of the loop, Project Indiana is the codename for the project led by Ian Murdock at Sun that aims to push OpenSolaris on more desktop and notebook computers by addressing the long-standing usability problems of Solaris. We were far from being impressed by Preview 2 as it hadn't possessed any serious advantages over a GNU/Linux desktop that would interest normal users. However, with the release of OpenSolaris 2008.05 "Project Indiana" coming up in May, Sun Microsystems has today released a final test copy of this operating system. Our initial experience with this new OpenSolaris release is vastly better than what we had encountered less than three months ago when last looking at Project Indiana.
While all of the Solaris excitement at Phoronix as of late has been around Solaris Express Developer 1/08 and the forthcoming release of OpenSolaris 2008.05, today Sun Microsystems has announced the immediate release of Solaris 10 5/08. This update to their Solaris OS includes major enhancements for those running Intel hardware, a number of new features, updated applications, the introduction of Solaris OnDemand, and updated drivers.
Long before Sun's Project Indiana came about, BeleniX has been one of our favorite GNU/Solaris distributions. BeleniX has been a LiveCD based upon OpenSolaris, but with yesterday's release of BeleniX 0.7 it is now a source-level derivative of the Project Indiana blend of OpenSolaris. Today we're taking a quick look at this new release.
Back in December we looked at the initial Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 2 performance by comparing it to Ubuntu 7.10. In that article we had found the performance between the two releases to be roughly the same. Now that we're nearing an end in this development cycle as Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) will be released later this month, we've ran a new set of benchmarks comparing the latest Ubuntu 8.04 packages to the previous Gutsy Gibbon release.
The beta of Fedora 9 was released just short of two weeks ago, but the Fedora Project has released new Rawhide snapshots of Fedora in its live form. No installation DVDs are being made available due to bugs, but there are 2008-04-04 Rawhide snapshos for both the GNOME and KDE LiveCDs. The KDE spin is already upgraded against the just-released KDE 4.0.3 release, which most noticeably has KHTML, KWin, and Okular improvements. Here's a few screenshots from Fedora 9 Live KDE (2008-04-04 Rawhide).
Gentoo 2008.0 Beta 1 has been released. This is no April Fools' Day joke, it's really here. The Gentoo Foundation has had its share of problems as of late, there was never a Gentoo 2007.1 release, and this first beta is coming a bit late, but Gentoo 2008.0 Beta 1 is now available. We have some screenshots up of the Gentoo 2008.0 Beta 1 i686 LiveCD.
If you're still on the quest of finding the best desktop Linux distribution for your needs, one worthy contender that often goes overlooked is Zenwalk. Zenwalk is a Slackware-based distribution that uses the Xfce desktop environment and is light-weight but comes with a variety of useful desktop applications. Zenwalk Live 5.0 was released this past week and it features LiveCD install support and capabilities for easily remastering your own Zenwalk LiveCD media. In addition, Zenwalk 5.0 has a few extra enhancements in the area of natural language support, multi-media, and WiFi drivers (both native and through ndiswrapper).
616 operating systems articles published on Phoronix.