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Ubuntu 13.04 preview

April 11, 2013
By

Ubuntu 13.04 beta 2 has been released, so I thought I’d check it out for a sneak peek.

The ISO file I downloaded weighed in at 825.5 MB. Note that Ubuntu 13.04 is a live distro, so you can try it without having to do an install on your system. I recommend this if you just want a quick look at it, while you wait for the final release.

There’s really no point in going through an install if you aren’t going to keep it for any length of time. Installing Ubuntu 13.04 is easy though, as easy as any previous release of Ubuntu. It’s also quite fast. You can download updates and install third party software right as you start your install.

Ubuntu 13.04 Desktop

Ubuntu 13.04 Desktop

This time around the animal code name for Ubuntu is “Raring Ringtail.” As near as I can figure, ringtail refers to the Ring-tailed Cat:

The ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) is a mammal of the raccoon family (thus not actually a cat), native to arid regions of North America. It is also known as the ringtail cat, ring-tailed cat, miner’s cat or “marv cat”, and is also sometimes mistakenly called a “civet cat” (after similar, though unrelated, cat-like omnivores of Asia and Africa). The ringtail is sometimes called a cacomistle, though this term seems to be more often used to refer to Bassariscus sumichrasti.

Ring-tailed Cat

What’s New in Ubuntu 13.04

Here’s a sample of what’s new in this release:

Linux kernel 3.8.0-16.26
Unity 6.12

Ubuntu 13.04 Install

Ubuntu 13.04 Install

Unity 6.12 offers a number of new features:

A refined launching animation
Larger overlay shortcuts
Clicking a Unity launcher icon puts opened windows into Spread
Comes with support for Ayatana Overlay Scrollbars
Space-ware Workspace Switcher

I know that some people despise Unity. Fair enough, if you hate it then you can download one of the Ubuntu 13.04 spins such as Xubuntu, Lubuntu, or KDE.

Here’s a list of some of the changes in the 13.04 spins of Ubuntu:

Kubuntu
——-

* KDE SC 4.10.2
* Muon Suite 2
* Homerun, Oxygen Font, Krita
* Slick new look for the installer

Please see https://wiki.kubuntu.org/RaringRingtail/Beta2/Kubuntu for
details.

Edubuntu
——–

For details on what has changed in Edubuntu 13.04, please refer to
http://www.edubuntu.org .

Xubuntu
——-

New features in Xubuntu Beta 2 include:

* Documentation is updated to 13.04
* New version of Catfish (0.6.1) is included and fixes a lot of bugs
* More updates for the Greybird theme

For more details on what has changed in Xubuntu 13.04, please refer to
http://xubuntu.org/news/raring-beta2/ .

Lubuntu
——-

For information about the changes in Lubuntu 13.04, please go to
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu .

Ubuntu Studio
————-

Ubuntu Studio has had many bug fixes applied since Beta 1. When compared to
12.10, it has a rewritten icon theme, new wallpapers, new ubiquity, some new
applications, an updated -lowlatency kernel and much more.

See https://wiki.ubuntu.com/RaringRingtail/Beta2/UbuntuStudio for the
release notes.

Ubuntu GNOME
————

* In coordination with the Ubuntu Desktop Team, we have decided to stick
with GNOME 3.6 for Ubuntu 13.04. For an overview of what’s new in GNOME
3.6, please see https://help.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/3.6/
* For more information about the GNOME3 PPAs which offer an early look at
GNOME 3.8, please see

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/RaringRingtail/TechnicalOverview

* Default apps have changed since Ubuntu GNOME Remix 12.10.
- Firefox instead of GNOME Web (Epiphany)
- Ubuntu Software Center and Update Manager instead of GNOME
Software (gnome-packagekit)
- LibreOffice instead of Abiword and Gnumeric
- The other apps are still available for install; they just aren’t
included in the default install.

Ubuntu 13.04 Software Center

Ubuntu 13.04 Software Center

Ubuntu 13.04 Install Slideshow

Ubuntu 13.04 Install Slideshow

The final release of Ubuntu 13.04 should happen on or around April 25.

You should know that Ubuntu 13.04 will not include Wubi, the Ubuntu installer for Windows:

Finally, and annoyingly, Ubuntu 13.04 will not include the Ubuntu installer for Windows, Wubi. This popular tool enabled Windows users run Ubuntu from within Windows just as if it were an application.

Unfortunately, as Steve Langasek, an Ubuntu developer, explained, Wubi is “not currently in very good shape for a release” for a variety of reasons. Not least of which is that “Wubi has not been updated to work with Windows 8″ and Ubuntu has been focused on its mobile client over the desktop.

I haven’t run Windows in years and years, so this makes no difference to me. It may, however, be an annoyance to some folks who wanted to use Wubi. Steve Langasek’s comments would seem to indicate that Wubi is not going to be updated for Ubuntu any time soon. So perhaps it’s time to say goodbye to it, once and for all?

Final Thoughts About Ubuntu 13.04

I had no problems installing or running Ubuntu 13.04 beta 2. For a beta, it ran very well for me. The system seemed fast and I didn’t run into any noticeable stability problems.

It’s still early though, so I’ll reserve final judgement until I see the release version of Ubuntu 13.04 in a couple of weeks or so.

What’s your take on this distro? Tell me in the comments. For distro reviews, visit Desktop Linux Reviews.

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