Ubuntu Linux Gutsy Gibbon
Is Linux ready for the masses? Or is it still a geeks club? The new Ubuntu Linux Gutsy Gibbon puts a little more polish on the Linux desktop and moves the focus toward everyday users. Check out the new features in Ubuntu Linux version 7.10 ...
What's New in Ubuntu Linux?
Around the same time Apple released OS X Leopard, another OS was released with much less hype, Ubuntu v7.10, the "Gutsy Gibbon" release. Ubuntu is one of the many flavors (or distributions) of Linux. Linux has long been a geek stronghold and not quite so appealing to the everyday computer user. But Ubuntu is often heralded as Linux for the average user. With the new Gutsy Gibbon release, Ubuntu's Linux is less of a scary foray into Geekdom, especially with some of these new features:
The latest desktop rage is 3D interface. Leopard has it, Vista has it, now Ubuntu has it. 3D desktop effects are courtesy of a feature called Compiz Fusion. You can run multiple desktops at the same time and view them all in a cool cube shape, part of the "wobbly windows" feature. Shadowing of windows and fading menus are also a basic feature of this desktop.
The GNOME interface has been given an overhaul. Included in this makeover is GNOME's Evolution email client. One of the niftier new features is a reminder when you try to send an email with an attachment, only you forgot to attach the file. If the email client does not see an attachment in an email that suggests there should be one, for example you write to your boss: "please see attached", when you click send you will get this gentle reminder: "Message Has No Attachment." With the new Ubuntu release, you can also get new mail notifications and the calendar feature has been greatly improved as well.
It may seem trite, yet shortcuts are an important feature of a civilized desktop. Gutsy Gibbon adds program shortcuts automatically after installing new apps.
Under the Hood
Gutsy Gibbon uses version 2.6.22 of the Linux kernel, which has some marked improvements over the 2.6.20 version that was used in the previous Ubuntu release. Power consumption is reduced by up to 25% (great for laptop users), and the software for wireless and Firewire has been completely redone to support new hardware.
Better Plug and Play Capability
Ubuntu's newest release recognizes more hardware out of the box than previous versions. Additionally, there is better compatibility with more advanced graphic cards and network adapters.
Office Software UpdatesUbuntu is now shipping with OpenOffice 2.3, an office suite that contains a very capable word processor, spreadsheet, database and presentation maker. Most people will find these apps comparable to Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint. Gimp 2.4 is the "Photoshop" of the Linux world, and this release adds even more image manipulation tools.
Ubuntu now integrates AppArmor, which allows for better user and application security and access control. And Ubuntu can now read and write to Windows-based NTFS partitions. That's handy if you have both Windows and Ubuntu installed on the same machine - you can share files between the two systems. I've used this feature to share my Firefox bookmarks between Linux and Windows.
Tracker is a feature that lets you organize files. Essentially, you can search through all of the contents on your computer as you can on the Internet. How many times have you downloaded a file and then you weren't sure where you saved it to? With this feature, it's easy to find and organize your stuff.
Ubuntu now has PDF printing capabilities. You can create PDF files from various applications like OpenOffice and Firefox.
Hate having to log off and then back on every time you want to log your kid's account off and logon to yours? Then you will appreciate the new fast user switching in Gutsy Gibbon. You can switch between user sessions without having to renter a username or password.
Better Plug-in Support
It seems these days, that almost all websites require some sort of flash player or another so you can fully view all the site has to offer. Ubuntu offers greater plug-in support with this release. Firefox, the default Ubuntu web browser, allows for better searching and easier installation of plug-ins.
With all of the new features of Ubuntu, the Linux world is becoming less the dominion of geeks and more user-friendly for the not-so-techy masses. Is Ubuntu "Gutsy Gibbon" ready for Joe and Jane User? Post your thoughts in a comment below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 22 Jan 2008
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Ubuntu Linux Gutsy Gibbon (Posted: 22 Jan 2008)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved