Review is a combined effort from Unixmen Writers – M. Zinoune, Khalid Ahmed and Chris Jones.
Hi there Unixmen readers. A few days ago we previewed Ubuntu 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ and walked through the newest beautiful system from Canonical. It’s now the official release date for the Raring Ringtail, so here we are again reviewing the full features and some of the advantages, just hours after its officially launched.
The new Ubuntu comes with Unity 7.0, which was tested for two weeks before its PPA was pushed into the 13.04 repository for the Beta builds in April, as per Michael Hall (of Canonical) posted on his own blog.
Some of the new Unity 7.0 features:
– Smart scopes as a “intelligent server-side service” for helping to decide if a search query should be pushed through a scope. Smart scopes are supposed to be self-learning and provide more relevant results for the user.
– Developers have aimed for “100 Scopes” to be on client machines. Although that number has not been reached yet, they say that more scopes will be installed than in previous releases.
– For privacy, there will be more fine-tuned controls for Unity. However, Michael Hall writes, “the default will still be to enable the services that we believe provides the best user experience on Ubuntu”.
The new Ubuntu will be shipped with Linux kernel 3.8.0-19. A few noteworthy points to make for improvements for the kernel:
• A deadlock has been avoided while flushing the workqueue;
• arch_flush_lazy_mmu_mode() has been patched out;
• vmalloc_fault has been fixed during slow MMU updates;
• 64bit inatomicity has been prevented on 32bit systems;
• trace_filter_lseek was moved out of the CONFIG_DYNAMIC_FTRACE section;
• The EDID failure is now handled properly;
• Possible NULL pointer dereferences have been fixed;
• A kset_find_obj() race with concurrent last kobject_put() has been fixed;
• A spurious fix has been reverted to spinning prevention in prune_icache_sb;
• The incorrect fall through of the ALUA Standby/Offline/Transition CDBs have been fixed;
• Passwords which begin with a delimiter are now allowed;
• A return error is now provided if malloc fails in gfs2_rs_alloc();
• DMA is now started without delay for cyclic channels;
• A typo has been corrected in the definition of ix2-200 rebuild LED;
• The correct lookup of Arizona struct is now used in the SYSCLK event;
• The return value of snd_soc_update_bits_locked() is now checked properly.
Also, all the usual bundled software applications are also installed. Ubuntu 13.04 ships with LibreOffice 188.8.131.52, Mozilla Firefox 20.0 and Thunderbird 17.0.5. All of the other bundled applications are much the same as previous releases, but of course updated packages.
Unfortunately, it’s not always all good news. So some points that might bother some users:
– Ubuntu 13.04 and future versions of Ubuntu will have slightly more limited support. Ubuntu 13.04 will be supported for 9 months and future version to follow suit.
– Wubi will no longer be supported, writes Steve Langasek (Ubuntu Software Developer):
Recent bug reports suggest that the Ubuntu installer for Windows, Wubi, is not currently in very good shape for a release.
Combined with the fact that Wubi has not been updated to work with Windows 8 (bug #1125604), and the focus on mobile client over desktop, the Foundations team does not expect Wubi to be in a releasable state for 13.04.
I am therefore proposing to drop Wubi from the 13.04 release, starting immediately with the upcoming Beta. This will save our testers from spending their time testing an image that will not have developers working on fixing the bugs they find, and spares our users from using an image for 13.04 that is not up to Ubuntu’s standards of quality.
If someone is interested in taking over the maintenance of Wubi so that it can be released with 13.04 (or if not with 13.04, then with a future release), I would encourage them to start by looking at the above-mentioned bugs and preparing patches, then talking to the release team.”
But then we have some more good news:
GNOME Remix is now recognized as part of the Ubuntu family. It was originally called ‘GNOMEbuntu’. And there are some changes with this release also:
– Firefox has replaced GNOME Web (Epiphany)
– Ubuntu Software Center and Update Manager replace GNOME Software (gnome-packagekit)
– LibreOffice takes the place of Abiword and Gnumeric
There’s not a lot of ground-breaking new features in this release. But it does feel that little bit more finished and polished compared to Ubuntu 12.10. It really gives you a good feeling when you are using the operating system.
We have tested the official Ubuntu 13.04 release running Unity 7.0. And we also tested the (now) official Ubuntu 13.04 GNOME Remix which runs GNOME 3.6. And we can safely say that we didn’t have any major issues with either desktop choice.
In a nutshell, many of us here in the Unixmen office have been testing Ubuntu 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ for the past few weeks. While early builds gave us some headaches, all major issues were sorted out to provide the end-user with a fantastic release of Ubuntu for 13.04.