Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3: New Notifications and Ext4
Canonical has released its third alpha version of Ubuntu 9.04. It brings a few new features to test, including notification settings in the user interface and the much publicized ext4 filesystem support.
The current test version includes Kernel 2.6.28-3.4, which is based on 2.6.28-rc8. The Alpha 3 also allows installation on the new ext4 filesystem as an option, although the final version, due out in April, should continue to have ext3 as the default.
The GNOME interface also shows some changes as to notifications. You can now use a menu to set up preferences for notification icons and where they should pop up. Mark Shuttleworth included a Flash video on his website with an example.
Next to the kernel, "Jaunty" developers also addressed some issues with the X Server (1.6) and other central system components. Unfortunately, the promised kernel modules for the Nouveau X driver on NVIDIA cards are not yet available, according to the release notes.
Kubuntu users can now get the Amarok 2 KDE music player that uses the MySQL 5.1 embedded database, although the relevant packages aren't included on the Alpha 3 CD and have to be installed over the Web. The MySQL 5.1 that Amarok uses is unfortunately incompatible with parts of the 5.0 that Akonadi Kmail/Kontact uses, so that concurrent installations of Amarok and Akonadi are to be avoided. Developers plan to fix this in the next alpha.
Another interesting fix is disabling the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace key sequence previously used to stop the X Server. This feature change had already been introduced in openSUSE 11.1 as a safeguard against accidental use, although a recurring keying of the sequence in openSUSE could still do its job. Instead, Ubuntu uses a separate DontZap option in xorg.conf. Also, an xorg.conf GUI setup option, which hasn't been available since 8.10, is planned finally for a later alpha.
The "Jaunty" Alpha 3 is available for immediate download here.
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