What's New in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx
Ubuntu 10.04, aka Lucid Lynx, is the result of years of continuous work from the open source community and Ubuntu corporate sponsor Canonical. A new version of Ubuntu is released every 6 months, but version 10.04 is a special “long term support” (LTS) release which will be supported for an extended period on both desktops and servers. Lucid Lynx also brings us an incredible amount of changes in both the look and functionality of Ubuntu. Here is a list of the most noticeable changes and new features that you’ll find in desktop edition of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.
Brave New User Interface DesignWith version 10.04, the Ubuntu design team has abandoned the traditional brown and orange of past releases and started using a new color pallet based on purple, red and orange. Canonical also introduced new logos and design ideas for future websites and marketing materials. The design team seems to have taken Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth seriously when he said that “Pretty” should be a feature of the Linux desktop. While many of these changes have been controversial, Lucid Lynx represents a revolutionary leap forward in the “look and feel” of Ubuntu.
Window Controls Moved to the Left
New Startup and Login Screens
Thankfully, the login screen has also been updated. The new login screen features a much lighter color pallet and new Ubuntu logo.
New Desktop BackgroundsThe default desktop background (wallpaper) has been updated and it’s … purple! We thought that the default desktop background for 9.10 was about as ugly as they come, and we’re happy to see it replaced. The new desktop background is nice, but if purple is not your thing, Ubuntu has included a great selection of community contributed backgrounds to choose from.
Notification area icons and menusAll of the icons in the top-right of the default Ubuntu desktop have been updated and are now monochrome (similar to OS X). The way most of the menus work has also been changed in an attempt to make the functionality more uniform across applications.
Improved Startup SpeedWith version 10.04, Ubuntu has moved to a new startup process called Plymouth. This new system, earlier used in other Linux distributions, makes Ubuntu boot much faster. It is also responsible for displaying the pretty new graphical startup screen. Many people are reporting amazingly fast boot times, your results may vary.
New Default Applications
Simple ScanSimple Scan has only the most necessary and most used features, but if you need more features, you can always install XSane.
PiTiVi Movie Editor
Social From the StartOne of the major themes for Lucid is the inclusion of tools for interaction with social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. The idea is to include tools which are integrated into the default desktop install that will let people connect to their favorite social services right out-of-the-box. There are many changes in Lucid which will help you interact with your social networks, here are three that we found especially useful.
GwibberGwibber is a microblogging client with support for Twitter, Identi.ca, StatusNet, Facebook, Flickr, Digg, FriendFeed, and Qaiku. You can use gwibber to interact with all of your social networks and view them from within one window on your desktop. We found gwibber very useful for following multiple social networks and accounts simultaneously. Gwibber provides a rich experience and you might even noticed things that you missed when relying on the social networking websites alone.
Gwibber also provides a programming interface that allows other Ubuntu applications to easily add social networking features. This makes it easier for application developers to build apps that interact with sites like Twitter. It also provides a unified account management system across multiple applications. One application that already takes advantage of these new features is the “Me Menu.”
Me MenuMe Menu. This new menu is your one-stop place for quick interaction with your social networks and chat accounts. You can quickly update your Twitter or Facebook status right from the Me Menu. This eliminates the need to launch Firefox and load Facebook or Twitter if you just want to send off a quick status update. Chat status settings have also been moved into the Me Menu. Finally, the Me Menu provides quick access to settings for your social networks, chat accounts and Ubuntu One.
We’re excited to see the inclusion of the Me Menu in Ubuntu, and look forward to seeing it continue to develop in future releases.
Now that you can add your Facebook account to Empathy (along with chat accounts like IRC, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo! and MSN), all of your chatting activity can take place in one application. Empathy also provides great desktop integration, providing visual and audio feedback when new messages arrive. We find that this integration greatly improves our ability to get work done while still staying in touch with our Facebook and other chat friends.
iPhone and iPod Touch SupportLucid also comes with limited support for the iPhone and iPod Touch. This functionality has been missing from Linux all together until just recently (due to Apple’s incredible restrictions and secrecy about their devices). You can browse the contents of your iPhone right within the Nautilus file manager. Even better, Rhythmbox allows you to drag and drop music to and from your iPhone or iPod Touch. Now, the only time you would need iTunes is to do a firmware upgrade. Of course, most older iPods are also supported in Ubuntu as well.
Ubuntu One UpdatesCanonical’s “cloud” storage and synchronization service, Ubuntu One, has also received a lot of updates and new features. There is now an Ubuntu One preferences application that allows you to configure many of the Ubuntu One services (some functions still require visiting the Ubuntu One website).
Firefox bookmark syncing and Evolution contact syncing has also been included with this new release. Taking things even further, if you’re a paying Ubuntu One subscriber, you can now sync your mobile phone contacts with Ubuntu One. This includes support for syncing with iPhones.