Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ubuntu 8.10 Released

Finally, the final edition of Ubuntu 8.10 has been officially released by Ubuntu team. Here's some overview of this release (Taken from Ubuntu main page). More to come when the official release notes has been released.

3G Support
For constant connectivity public WiFi has limitations. Improvements to the network manager in Ubuntu 8.10 makes it simple to detect and connect to 3G networks and manage connectivity. This connectivity is delivered through an inbuilt 3G modem, through 'dongle' support, through a mobile phone or through Bluetooth. It is a complex environment that Ubuntu 8.10 simplifies through a single interface and the auto-detection of many of the most popular devices.

Write Ubuntu to and Install from a USB Drive
Ubuntu has been made available to users as an image for CDs and DVDs to date. But CDs and DVDs are slower, less portable and less convenient than USB sticks. Now, a simple application in Ubuntu will allow users to write Ubuntu to a USB drive, even a modified version of Ubuntu with their data on it, so it can be carried everywhere to plug in and use on any machine.

Guest Sessions
In a world of 'always on' pervasive computing it is more likely that users lend their computers to colleagues or friends at conferences, cafes or at parties so they can check email, etc. Guest sessions allow users to lock down a session easily so a guest can use the full system without interference with programs or data.

BBC Content
Starting the media players within Ubuntu (Totem Movie Player and Rhythmbox) launches a menu of selected content from the broadcaster that is free to air. This is a mixture of video, radio and podcasts and available in high quality, much of it playable using non-proprietary codecs. Content is constantly updated via the corporation's stream and will vary dependent on location, though some content will be available for every user.

Latest Gnome 2.24 Desktop Environment*
The GNOME desktop environment project releases its latest version which is incorporated into Ubuntu 8.10. New features include a new instant messaging client, a built-in time tracker, , improved file management and toolbars plus better support for multiple monitor use with the ability to set screen resolution by monitor.

Building on the Just Enough Operating System (JeOS) version launched last year, Ubuntu 8.10 ships with a Virtual Machine builder. It allows complete Virtual Machines to be built from the command line in less than five minutes. Developers and system administrators can script the creation of custom virtual images. Vm-builder provides a key component to a dynamic provisioning process for businesses using virtualisation environments.

JeOS has been merged into the Server CD and is now available as an option at installation time. Ubuntu 8.10 officially supports running as a paravirtualized guest on Xen hypervisors. KVM has also been updated to allow more flexible memory management. Administrators can reduce or increase the memory allocated to any virtual machine without having to reboot it.
Complete Java Stack

Apache Tomcat 6.0 and OpenJDK are now fully supported options that make Ubuntu a great choice for developing and deploying Java applications in production environments.

Enhanced Mail Server Capabilities
ClamAV and SpamAssassin are now available from the main repository providing a supported solution for spam detection and virus filtering for mail infrastructures built on Ubuntu Server.

Improved RAID Support
Ubuntu 8.10 provides support for SATA "software" RAID controllers via DMRaid. Booting from a degraded RAID array is now configurable by the system administrator.

Encrypted Private Directory
Administrators can now easily set-up an Ubuntu system to provide encrypted private directories which are automatically mounted when users login locally or via ssh. Sensitive data is kept secure even if the system is stolen.

Hardening the Packages
The tool chain used to compile Ubuntu has been updated to include even more security features such as glibc function call fortification. Bugs in applications are even harder to be turned into exploitable vulnerabilities.

Uncomplicated Firewall is Getting Even Simpler
The Uncomplicated Firewall makes it easier to manage a host firewall thanks to the addition of application profiles. Common services such as apache, bind9, cups, dovecot, openssh, postfix or samba declare which ports they use so that the administrator only enables a network service rather than a set of ports.

Landscape Client Bundled within Ubuntu
Landscape client provides a free reporting function at each login. Key information such as system statistics is added to the "message of the day" that is displayed at login (motd). Any type of metric can be gathered simply by writing plugins for Landscape client.

Landscape is Canonical's lightweight system management tool for Ubuntu systems that allows automated deployment and monitoring. Full activation of the client for landscape customers is now available within the installer.