Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" Alpha 1
Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 1 is continuing to ship with an X Server 1.4.1 pre-release and not the final release (X Server 1.4.1 Is Released, No Joke), but we'd expect they'll upgrade directly to X.Org 7.4 / X Server 1.5 upon its release. X.Org 7.4 with the updated X Server is due out any day now and will feature many bug fixes, more drivers using the pciaccess framework, faster X startup/shutdown, abstract socket namespaces under Linux, and DRI2 (The Progress of X.Org 7.4). With that said, Ubuntu 8.10 will be shipping with a horde of updated X.Org drivers and Mesa 7.1. The ATI side especially will be interesting with open-source R500 3D support shipping in Ubuntu Intrepid and the other recent work in xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-radeonhd. Unfortunately, it doesn't look as if any kernel mode-setting support will make its way into this next version of Ubuntu (A Preview of Kernel-Based Mode-Setting).
Some of the features planned for Ubuntu 8.10, but not yet implemented, include an Ubuntu Virtual Machine builder with a fast and simple virtual machine creator and a web front end, 3G networking, desktop automated testing, a graphical utility for generating USB installation images, improved Flash (possibly Gnash integration) support, DMRAID "Fake RAID" support, incorporate the compressed cache (compcache) patches and use it on the LiveCD, and support for encrypted private directories within the home directory. The 3G networking support in Ubuntu 8.10 involves shipping NetworkManager 0.7, identifying the popular 3G services and networking cards, and other tasks. Fedora 9 was first to ship NetworkManager 0.7 and it too put a special emphasis on "out of the box" support for GSM and CDMA cards. While there will be support for encrypted directories within a user's home directory, it's unfortunate that encrypted disk support within the graphical Ubiquity installer still isn't planned for Ubuntu 8.10. Ubuntu 7.10 had added install-time encryption support using an encrypted LVM, but unfortunately with that you need to be using the alternate install disc to benefit from this important feature.
Kubuntu 8.10 Alpha 1 is using a beta version of KDE 4.1 by default, but Kubuntu 8.10 will ship with the final version of KDE 4.1.
We'll have more on Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" as the release cycle progresses.
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