Ubuntu 9.04 Enters Beta

Mar 27, 2009

The Ubuntu 9.04 beta brings along with it a few obvious changes in the GUI and fixes the ext4 filesystem bug that could count among its new features.

The first "Jaunty Jackalope" beta has finally arrived and provides a few visible and not so visible enhancements since its alpha. Visible ones include a new wallpaper and boot splash screen, and clicked GUI elements now come up in a different hue. New Dust and Dust Sand themes will be available some time soon.

Developers speeded up the boot time and fixed the much discussed ext4 filesystem data loss issue. Ubuntu also integrates the Eucalyptus infrastructure for its own cloud computing solution that is compatible with Amazon's EC2 API. Also included is the GNOME 2.26 desktop environment.

The official announcement from Canonical mentions clearly that the beta is still unstable enough not be considered for production use and lists the known issues yet to be fixed. Many have to do with the X Server that causes some problems with Intel video chipsets that can be solved only through workarounds. For example, getting the i8x5 chipsets to load X, the Device section of the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file has to be expanded by adding the line Driver "vesa". Other chipsets reported performance regressions, that can nevertheless be worked around by using the (yet unstable) DRI2/UXA acceleration option. The xorg.conf file's Device section would then get the added line Option "AccelMethod" "UXA".

The Ctrl-Alt-Backspace key sequence was disabled in the beta to prevent accidental use, although users who do want it enabled to get to the login manager can use the dontzap --disable command. Other known issues are listed in the aforementioned official announcement. ISOs and torrents for the following distros are available:

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