It’s a big day in the world of Linux, as Canonical finally unleashes Ubuntu 12.04, the Precise Pangolin. As a Long Term Service (LTS) version, it’s an important release for the distro that is bound to be desirable for business and enterprise users. It’s also the first LTS since Canonical made the divisive switch to the Unity Desktop Environment.
The development of the new version of Ubuntu has centered on stability, but there have still been some updates, changes, and additions. Most noticeably at first are updates to the way Unity works, such as optimising the Dash for better keyboard navigation. The search functionality features more customization options, allowing the addition sources, and removal of native sources such as the software repository.
Of course the biggest addition is the HUD, Canonical’s attempt at further shaping the future of the graphical interface. Allowing for context sensitive and interpretive searches of application menus, you merely type what you wish to do, similar to searching for apps in the Dash or GNOME 3. Much like Unity itself, it’s another controversial move by Canonical, and it remains to be seen how well it will perform.
The release doesn’t just affect Ubuntu and its users either – as the base for many popular distributions, such as Linux Mint, Ultimate Edition, and Comice OS, major updates will shortly be arriving for these. Not to mention the immediate availability of the other Ubuntu flavours such as Kubuntu, Lubuntu, etc.
You can grab Ubuntu 12.04 from the Ubuntu release page now, although if you’re still unsure you can check out our definitive feature on Ubuntu 12.04 in the current issue of Linux User & Developer 112 on sale now.