Ubuntu 12.04 LTS beta 2 has been released today, this being the last beta before the final Ubuntu 12.04 release. Let's take a look at what's new since beta 1.
Also see the changes in: Ubuntu 12.04 beta 1, Ubuntu 12.04 alpha 2
Ubuntu 12.04 beta 2 video (both Unity 3D and Unity 2D)
(direct video link)
What's new in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin beta 2 since beta 1
The Unity Files lens used to only rely on Zeitgeist, meaning it could only find files you've opened. In the latest Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin beta 2, the File Lens can also display results for files you've never accessed / interacted with.
Unity (both 2D and 3D) gained an option to configure the launcher for multi-monitor setups: you can now select to display the launcher on the primary monitor or on all monitors. The Launcher behaviour for multi-monitor setups can be set from System Settings (Displays, under Launcher Placement). Under System Settings, you can now also enable/disable Sticky Edges:
HUD got various improvements which include a new animation, it now respects the launcher behaviour (autohide, visible) and launcher icon size:
For those not familiar with HUD: it's a searchable smart menu that can be summoned by tapping the ALT key. HUD is optional and it doesn't replace the regular menus.
Ubuntu 12.04 beta 2 comes with quicklists for most default applications. Since beta 1, Rhythmbox, Empathy, Remmina, Totem, Brasero and Gedit have received quicklists:
Landscape, a system management tool that "helps you monitor, manage and update your entire Ubuntu infrastructure from a single interface" is now available in System Settings ("Management Service"). Landscape is not free, but you can register for a free trial @ https://landscape.canonical.com/
Ubuntu Software Center now has Unity launcher progress bar support: when installing an application, its icon is automatically added to the Unity Launcher and a progress bar lets you know it's installation status:
Ambiance and Radiance themes got various improvements: new titlebar gradient, unfocused state, darker Nautilus sidebar and many other minor tweaks:
Unity 2D has received some major appearance changes and it finally looks almost the same as Unity 3D: the Launcher, Dash and the Unity panel now use the same chameleonic look (based on the average background colour) as Unity 3D:
Unity 2D also got HUD support:
Firefox 11, Nautilus 3.3.92, Thunderbird 11, Gedit 3.3.8, Rhythmbox 2.96, LibreOffice 3.5.1, Totem 3.0.1, Transmission 2.50, Empathy 3.3.92, Deja Dup Backup Tool 22.0, Shotwell 0.11.93, Gwibber 3.3.93, Ubuntu Software Center 220.127.116.11, System Settings (GNOME Control Center) 3.3.92, all on top of GTK 3.3.20. Also, Precise beta 2 comes with 3.2.0-20.33 Linux kernel which is based on the v3.2.12 upstream stable Linux kernel.
There's also great news or GNOME Shell users: even though it was initially said that Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin will have GNOME Shell 3.2 in the official repositories, thanks to Jeremy Bicha and Rico Tzschichholz, Precise has the latest GNOME Shell 3.4 in the official repositories, along with most other GNOME 3.4 applications / components (they've been uploaded today).
Up next: April 26th - final Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin.
Download Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin beta 2
To upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 from 11.10 or 10.04, press ALT+F2 and enter: "update-manager -d" (without the quotes), then the Update Manager should display a message saying that a new Ubuntu version is available - click the upgrade button and follow the instructions.