Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 New Features

In April this year, Canonical released the latest Ubuntu LTS product: Ubuntu 10.04, code named Lucid Lynx. I admit that I get terribly excited about a new release. But this time, it seems my excitement is indeed warranted.

Maintaining such an aggressive six month release schedule brings about its challenges. There are often bugs, hardware conflicts and the like, that make being an early adopter a bit sketchy. I’ve taken an in depth look at the impressive list of new features and today I’ll share them with you.

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04

I’d have to say that since I began using Linux, this release looks the most different. However, underneath the shiny new exterior are several worthy changes, including faster boot times and new default software.

Unlike so many others, I actually liked the brown theme, perhaps it was my love of earth tones. In any case, the trademark brown has been replaced with a sleek new theme. The look is decidedly purple, and the feature that has garnered the most negative attention is the placement of window controls. Like OS X, they are now on the left hand side.

I plan to give it a try for a least a few weeks, but if you’d like to move the controls back immediately, you can do so with Ubuntu Tweak.

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04

New Default Applications in Ubuntu 10.04

Those of you who are used to the XSane Image Scanner will be surprised that it has been replaced by Simple Scan. This application touts an improved interface for simpler scanning. Depending on your needs, you may not find it as feature rich as Xsane, and it is still included in the repos if you’d like to reinstall it.

PiTiVi Movie Editor in Ubuntu 10.04

Many users have been waiting for a video editor to be included in Ubuntu. Now, PiTiVi Movie editor is a part of the default install. I haven’t had an opportunity to test this application yet, but I think its inclusion is a step in the right direction.

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04

Social Networking Integration in Ubuntu 10.04

• Me Menu & Gwibber

Lucid now includes integrated tools for social networking apps like Twitter and Facebook. Gwibber is a microblogging tool that supports Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Digg and others. The beauty of a tool like this is that you don’t have to launch a web browser page for each tool, they can all be managed under one application, integrated into the desktop. In order to interact with the social networks, you have the Me Menu. You can update your status without launching a browser, chat status setting are also included. Ubuntu one is included as well.

Me Menu in Ubuntu 10.04

• Empathy

During the Karmic Koala release, Pidgin was replaced by Empathy. Now that chat client has been updated, most notably including the ability to use Facebook chat. This ability joins IRC, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo and MSN. All chats can now take place in one client, without the need to launch a browser.

Empathy in Ubuntu 10.04

More New Features in Ubuntu 10.04

• iPhone and iPod Touch Support

One of the biggest issues with Linux users was the lack of support for iPhone and iPod Touch. While some were able to do so with workarounds, wine, jailbreaking, etc., it was a largely painful experience. Now, you can browse the contents of your iPhone from Nautilus file manager. And the standard music player, Rhythmbox, can now drag and drop music from your devices.

• Ubuntu One Updates

I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of the Ubuntu One cloud storage service, but the new version has been updated, and perhaps I’ll give it another try. You can now configure preferences on the desktop, without visiting the website. You can also sync any home folder between computers, not just the Ubuntu One folder like before. File sharing,via URL, Firefox and evolution syncing have also been included. The paid service (for over 2G), you can sync mobile contacts.

• Music Store

Canonical has entered the music store business with this release. It is integrated into Rhythmbox, and a plugin for Banshee is available by typing the following command in a terminal window: sudo apt-get install banshee-extension-ubuntuonemusicstore. Music purchased from the online store is downloaded to your Ubuntu One folder and synced with your computer. Fifty percent of each purchase made will go to the SOS Lynx charity to help save the endangered Iberian Lynx.

Music Store in Ubuntu 10.04

• Updated Ubuntu Software Center

The Software Center also made its debut in Karmic Koala release. Updates include easier access to 3rd party repositories, application categorization, and bigger application preview screenshots.

Software Center in Ubuntu 10.04

• Nautilus Changes

GNOME 2.30 has been updated to version 3.0 in this release. The most heralded feature is the ability to do a split view, to display the contents of two folders in the same window – useful when trying to compare folders.

Where to Get Your Copy of Ubuntu 10.04

If you are a current Linux user, you can either download and burn a CD for a lean install or simply launch Update Manager and click on the “Upgrade” button. Be sure to do a full backup in either case. New users have a few options:

  • Download Ubuntu 10.04
  • Order a CD
  • Try Ubuntu using Wubi. Wubi is an officially supported Ubuntu installer for Windows users that can bring you to the Linux world with a single click. Wubi allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other Windows application.

Ubuntu 10.04 Resources

In order to help ease your transition, you may want to take a look at the Ubuntu 10.04 manual by the team at OMG Ubuntu!

Finally, half of the fun of running Ubuntu is the ability to tweak the OS. Be sure to check out this article, also at OMG Ubuntu: 10 Things to Do After Installing Ubuntu 10.04.

Are you ready to make the switch?

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