June 29, 2012

Kubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Alpha 2 Released

Yesterday quietly saw the release of the second Alpha for the upcoming 12.10 Kubuntu semi-annual release. Images and links, including torrent links and direct downloads, can be found here.

For the brief rundown on what's possibly shaping up to be different from Kubuntu 12.04, here is an incomplete list of some of the key differences between the 12.04 LTS release and 12.10 so far. These are all subject to change, of course, as the October 2012 release date nears. These are in no particular order:
  • Linux 3.5 kernel (linux-image-3.5.0-2-generic)  
  • Calligra Suite added / Libre Office removed
  • KDE version is 4.9 Beta
  • Removed Kopete for instant messaging, Install just-released KDE-Telepathy 0.4
  • KTorrent upgraded from 4.1 > 4.2.1
  • Added liblightdm-qt-2-0 (LightDM)
  • Muon Suite upgraded to 1.4 Beta
  • Updated Kubuntu Plymouth themes
  • Rekonq 1.0 Tech Preview is the default web browser
  • Addition of Ubuntu-Drivers-Common, an interesting new package:

Ubuntu-drivers-common: Detect and install additional Ubuntu driver packages
"This package aggregates and abstracts Ubuntu specific logic and knowledge about third-party driver packages. It provides:
  • A Python API for detecting driver packages for a particular piece of hardware or the whole system
  • An "ubuntu-drivers" command line tool to list or install driver packages (mostly for integration in installers)
  • A PackageKit plugin for WhatProvides() for types MODALIAS and HARDWARE_DRIVER, to do the same queries as above through the PackageKit API (for using in non-distro specific GUIs). This also works with aptdaemon's PackageKit compatibility layer (python-aptdaemon.pkcompat)
  • Some NVidia specific support code to find the most appropriate driver version, as well as setting up the alternatives symlinks that the     proprietary NVidia and FGLRX packages use"
Some of the Whiteboard ideas from UDS have not made their way into Kubuntu's 12.10 release images yet and it remains to be seen if they will. These include Owncloud integration, sync client, Ubuntu's juju cloud service, and akonadi sync calendar and contacts (as far as I can tell).

Other changes reflected in the Ubuntu base are not covered here. Obviously, the biggest potential changes (as well as potential controversy) for Kubuntu users are the swapping out of Kopete for KDE-Telepathy as well as the omission of the much lauded Libre Office for the newly-stable and KDE-centric Calligra Office Suite.

If you have taken 12.10 Beta 2 out for a spin, leave your thoughts so far in the comments below.