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Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta has been released seconds ago.

There have been many changes and updates in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat since Alpha 3, so let's take a look at what's new - in both Desktop and Netbook editions. We've already posted most of these changes when the packages were updated in Maverick, but as always, we'll take a closer look at what's new with each alpha/beta release. Watch out, huge post ahead!


Update: Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Release Candidate Is Out - See What's New!


Ubuntu (Desktop edition) 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta


The Light Themes were updated and use more orange now. Also, Radiance has been modified to look more like Ambiance. The developers say these themes should not be seen as different themes but different flavours.

Here are screenshots with Ambiance and Radiance:


Ambiance Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat
(Ambiance)

Radiance Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat
(Radiance)

In case you're using Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx and want to install the new themes from Maverick, see the instructions at the bottom of THIS post.





Impression Ubuntu 10.10 maverick meerkat

The Community Themes package was also updated. Nothing big in the new version except the updated Impression and Night Impression (which you can see in the screenshot above) themes.

The Community Themes package is not installed by default but you can install it by searching for it in the Ubuntu Software Center.





The Humanity icons got an update but the changes are not very noticeable, the most significant changes being a new "home" icon and new back/forward/up icons:

Humanity icon theme ubuntu 10.10 screenshot
(New home, back/forward/up Humanity icons)




Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta also comes with a new default wallpaper. This has been quite a controversial subject in the past week because a lot of users felt Ubuntu could do better:


Ubuntu 10.10 default wallpaper
(The new Ubuntu 10.10 default wallpaper)

However, it appears this will not be the final wallpaper for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. We'll see...


With the new wallpaper also came beautiful new community wallpapers:

Ubuntu 10.10 community wallpapers

If you're not using Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat yet, you can download both the new default wallpaper and the community wallpapers from HERE.





Ubuntu 10.10 installer screenshot
(The new Ubuntu installer - main screen)

The Ubuntu Installer got a completely new design. But not only that - it can now install mp3 playback support so you can have that from your first Ubuntu login. Of course, you'll be needing a working Internet connection for that. Here's a screenshot:

ubuntu 10.10 screenshot installer


Another major change to the Ubuntu installer is that once you select the partition where you want to install Ubuntu, the formating and installation begins. So the installation takes place while you complete the rest of the process like selecting your location or entering your password thus the time required to install Ubuntu has decreased by simply changing the order installer steps order:

ubuntu 10.10 installer





The Sound menu, which will make its debut with Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat was also updated:

- With the Ambiance theme:

Ubuntu 10.10 sound menu screenshot

- With the Radiance theme:

Ubuntu 10.10 sound menu screenshot


For comparison, here's how it used to look:

old ubuntu 10.10 sound menu


For now, only Rhythmbox is working with the sound menu, but soon, Banshee and Amarok should also be supported.





Ubuntu Software Center got many changes to both the looks (a new background, colors and border for "Featured" and "What's New") and functionality:

Ubuntu Software Center 10.10


A new feature called "Where is it?" tells you where to find an application you've just installed (in the menu):

Ubuntu 10.10 Software Center Where Is It


Another new feature in Ubuntu Software Center called "Choose addons" displays the addons (if available) for an application when you try to install that application:

Ubuntu 10.10 Software Center addons


Starting with Ubuntu 10.10, there will also be an item you can purchase via Ubuntu Software Center, for testing purposes only:

USC purchase item


However, the buying process does not work for now.


And since users may want to reinstall the items they purchase, a a "Reinstall purchases" menu item has been added:

USC reinstall purchases menu item






Shotwell
(Shotwell photo manager)

F-Spot has been replaced as the default photo manager in Ubuntu 10.10 with Shotwell. Initially this change was planned for Ubuntu Netbook Edition only, but the feedback was encouraging so the Ubuntu devs decided to make it default for the Desktop too. The final decision for this was taken recently, on August 25.




Throughout all of these screenshots you can also spot the new Ubuntu font. The font is still available only in a private PPA so it's not available in Maverick and the date for when it will be made available for everyone is not yet known. The font has got both the italics and bold versions recently so there are probably only bugs to be fixed.









Ubuntu multi touch


Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat will also come with an amazing new feature: it will support Multi-Touch, even for the applications which do not support this by default. Check out these videos for a live demo.




And now something more technical: there will be no BTRFS support in Maverick - this has been postponed for Natty as there's not enough time to complete all the remaining work for Maverick. BTRFS is a new copy on write file system for Linux aimed at implementing advanced features while focusing on fault tolerance, repair and easy administration.



Here is a short video with the changes I mentioned above:




(For more videos, don't forget to subscribe to the WebUpd8 YouTube channel and Facebook page)






Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta (the Unity interface)


Although this was pretty much known, Banshee has been confirmed as a default application in UNE only last week.



Unity got many visual changes as usual, such as a new home screen - this is the first thing you see when you click the Ubuntu logo:

Unity home screen screenshot ubuntu 10.10


The trash, applications and files items in the "dock" got pretty new icons:

unity une 10.10


Another change brings your USB keys/Cameras/CD-Drives to the Unity launcher (dock) so you can easily launch a file manager with their location or eject them:

Unity Ubuntu 10.10 eject drive screenshot



Maximized windows no longer have window decorations but once you unmaximize the applications, they get the window decorations back. Also, the buttons on the top panel have been updated to use the new Ambiance theme:

Ubuntu 10.10 netbook edition



And of course, a mandatory video with Unity in action:




(For more videos, don't forget to subscribe to the WebUpd8 YouTube channel and Facebook page)

Sorry for the video quality, it was quite hard to record it due to the many bugs Unity has so far. But it's still in beta so it should improve soon!



Note: if you've installed any of the alphas, you already have all the changes in Ubuntu 10.10 Beta.



Should I upgrade already?

And now some info on how stable Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Desktop / Netbook editions are.

I've been running Maverick Desktop for about 2 weeks now and even though there were some more serious bugs at first, they have been fixed. There is still a bug with the PPAs (see a fix HERE), you can't manually install .debs (you must install them via command line) and some occasional GNOME panel applets crashes but that's mostly all so Maverick (Desktop) is usable.

Now, about the Netbook Edition: well, here there's a different story: a memory leak in the Appmenu is one of the nasty bugs - and even if you remove it, Unity is not usable at the moment: when switching between the Applications and Files, the computer freezes every ~30 seconds - at least for me. Also, I've experienced a lot of crashes using the Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 so far. But please note that I've tested it using my Desktop computer and not a netbook. And a weird fact: Unity only worked for me after installing the proprietary Nvidia drivers.

This being said, the decision to start using Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat beta is yours!



Download Ubuntu 10.10 Beta Desktop / Netbook edition (direct download links for the Desktop: 32bit | 64bit) or upgrade from an older version by pressing ALT + F2 and entering: "update-manager -d".

Bittorrent files are also available:




Up next:
  • RC: 30 September
  • Ubuntu 10.10 final: October 10 (10.10.10).


See also: Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 2 Screenshots Tour

Update: Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Release Candidate Is Out - See What's New!
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