18 Oct 2007

Ubuntu 7.10 released!

Each April and October Canonical releases a new version of Ubuntu, this time code-named Gutsy Gibbon.

A quick background to Ubuntu and linux in general:
Richard Stallman founded GNU (GNU is NOT UNIX) and fought against Microsot’s monopolistic view of software. He created the now common GPL (General Public License), a way to allow your code to be freely usable by anyone who won’t close source it (AKA, Microsoft). The only restriction is that any modifications you make to the code must stay open source. Sounds fair, right?
It’s because of this license that we can all run a linux kernel on our routers, as Linksys uses the GPL’d linux kernel 2.4, and had to open source their firmware.
So, a combination of GNU software, over the linux kernel, combined with a Desktop environment (GNOME, KDE, XFCE etc..) are what we all commonly know as linux. So it’s technically correct to call is GNU/Linux, not just Linux.

Ubuntu uses debian as a base, and inherits its fantastic APT (Advanced Packaging Tool), a frontend to Dpkg. This is essentially a brilliant way to install, remove, and provide information about installable packages.
On a Debian system, you generally have the linux kernel with the GNOME Desktop environment, with GNU tools and APT.
Each Ubuntu release is synced with GNOME, and releases about 1 month after GNOME, with the current latest kernel (or .1 older) , current versions of Firefox, OpenOffice, Pidgin etc..
One of the great things about GNU/Linux distributions is that all your software is packaged together, so you run the system wide updater, and it will update EVERYTHING at once. GNU/Linux is all about efficiency. It would be pretty stupid to require each application (even the small ones) to code their own auto updater. The less time application developers have to code stuff unrelated to their program, the more time they spend making their own application stable.

So, back to Ubuntu, Gutsy comes with quite a few (considering it’s short release cycle) changes.
A shiny 2.6.22 tickless kernel, GNOME 2.20, 7.3, pidgin 2.21, NTFS read/write support, AppArmor security framework, GUI X config tool, fast user switching, the GIMP 2.4, and Compiz Fusion running by default on capable graphics card (with restricted driver). Also available in the repository is granparadiso (A.K.A. Firefox 3 alpha 8). Firefox 3 will be the first Gecko based browser to pass th Acid2 test. (Opera and Khtml/webkit already pass).
It’s hard not to expect more from a GNU/Linux distro, but providing these kinds of improvements keep coming at this rate, the future should be good.

get it here
If you’re already running Feisty, just type the following in the terminal “sudo apt-get dist-upgrade”.