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Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal out now, 13.04 named

The latest version of Ubuntu, and its different desktop flavours, is out now, with controversial new features.

It’s that time of the year again, and Canonical have release Ubuntu 12.10 without any delays. The first version since the all important LTS release in April, the Quantal Quetzal is less about stability than Precise Pangolin was, and more about adding new features in an attempt to make the user experience better. At least, that’s the idea.

An overview of the major changes can be found below:

GRUB 2 updated
Graphics makeover for Ubuntu Greeter and the default theme
Remote login/remote desktop access added to Greeter log-in prompt
Nautilus file manager to stays at version 3.4
Linux Kernel 3.5
Unity revs to 6.8.0; Unity 2D is dropped; previews added
Software Updater simplified
New Share Links tab in Ubuntu One Control Panel
New centralised management for online accounts
New versions for some bundled applications
Disk image is now 800MB, so install requires a USB memory or a DVD
Menus are reorganised and many previous menu choices consolidated under Dash
Python revs to version 3 (with version 2 still supported for now)
New Dash Photo lens; new Gwibber icon
Dash search returns online results from Ubuntu One and Amazon Dash preview

Those last two points have caused concern for people in the run up to the release – last reports suggest that while queries are sent to a centralized server at Canonical, the Amazon results get sent directly to the user. While this of course may not affect some users who perhaps use Amazon and like their search results, others that value their privacy have been concerned over how much Amazon will be able to see. At the very least, issues with data not been encrypted in transit have been dealt with.

This is Ubuntu’s first step towards a more online connected desktop, and while it could work well in the long run, it seems to have got off to a shakey start. Either way, you can grab the ISO for the distribution now, and of course the other flavours and desktop environments will remove some these online search features.

In other Ubuntu news, Marh Shuttlework has announced that the next Ubuntu will be named Raring Ringtail.