Canonical, Ubuntu Linux distribution's commercial sponsor, has announced the release version of Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop Edition.
Ubuntu, the incredibly popular desktop Linux distribution that seeks to deliver the best of open-source software every six months has been out. Gutsy Gibbon Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop Edition includes improvements in advanced plug-and-play printing, enhanced browsing and the option of a smooth new user interface built on top of the latest GNOME 2.20 desktop.
The latest version of Ubuntu includes numerous new features. In particular, its hardware support has been improved. Besides better plug-and-play configuration for printers, the new Ubuntu includes automatic firmware installation for Broadcom Wi-Fi cards.
Laptop users will also be pleased to see improved support for display systems. With Gutsy Gibbon, full external VGA (projector) support is available out of the box, with easy reconfiguration when hardware is switched. For power users, this release includes the ability to manage multiple monitors.
Canonical CEO and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth said that Compiz Fusion is enabled by default and will bring 3-D desktop visual effects that improve the usability and visual appeal of the system. Ubuntu 7.10 automatically detects whether the hardware is capable of running compiz. If it’s not compiz-capable, it will fall back to normal desktop. Additional effects can be enabled in "System/Preferences/Appearance" under the "Visual Effects" tab. You can also disable the effects entirely. This is, Shuttleworth warned, cutting-edge video display technology, and it’s likely that some users will have trouble with it.
Another major addition is that Ubuntu 7.10 users get full read and write capability for all Windows partitions, including NTFS files. “We’ve found that many users dual-boot Linux and Windows,” said Shuttleworth, “and this makes life much easier for them.”
With full NTFS support, thanks to NTFS3G--an open-source, freely available read/write NTFS driver for Linux and other Unix like systems--Ubuntu users, according to Shuttleworth, will be able to read and write files from their Windows XP and Vista file systems. This will make it much easier for dual-boot Ubuntu users to have full access to their work even when a project was started on Windows.
Desktop search is also enabled by default. This gives users the ability to search their PC for files, folders, chat logs or photos. This capability includes the deskbar applet, a central location on users' desktops for all local and Web search operations. In addition, Ubuntu 7.10 includes a new option in the Ubuntu application installer to help users select and automatically install several popular Firefox plug-ins. These extensions and plug-ins have been validated by Ubuntu for a richer, safer Web-browsing experience. Jane Silber, Canonical’s COO said, "7.10 improves still further the user experience of a Linux operating system--it is now more fun to use with the option of 3-D desktop effects and more productive, with major improvements in external and additional monitor support. The desktop search tool gives significant productivity gains; improved printer functionality and wider wireless card support will make it appropriate for the new users that discover Ubuntu every day.