Friday, November 26, 2010

Ubuntu 10.10 ("Maverick Meerkat") Desktop Edition

When Canonical released its most recent Long Term Support (LTS) version of Ubuntu Linux 10.04 ("Lucid Lynx"), in April, the company claimed it was taking major steps toward making the Linux operating system a serious mainstream competitor. We agreed: A number of changes, in both appearance and function, had brought Ubuntu a lot closer to what average users expect from an OS. With the new release of Ubuntu 10.10 ("Maverick Meerkat") Desktop Edition, which is available for free from, Canonical is taking things one step further: If non-techies are to use Linux for long periods of time, they're going to want (and need) features that will keep them there. Ubuntu 10.10 boasts some enhanced cloud functionality and other tiny tweaks, but there have not been many substantial changes from 10.04.

Features Changed and Added
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS made a big deal of dumping the drab brown color scheme that had long been associated with the OS and substituting a more friendly purple, but 10.10 keeps its alterations more subtle. This starts with a new font, titled Ubuntu, that incorporates the sleek, no-nonsense appearance of 10.04's streamlined Ubuntu logo to the rest of the OS. It looks fine, but most of the time we didn't even notice it—it's perfectly readable, but doesn't stand out in any way (which, come to think of it, is probably a good thing for a font to do). Changes like this are emblematic of those in 10.10 as a whole.

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by Matthew Murray