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Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex beta available: Don't install it on your laptop yet

Kubuntu 8.10 desktop effects
Canonical has released the first beta versions of Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex and its KDE counterpart, Kubuntu 8.10. Both feature a whole slew of new features and updates. But first thing's first. I don't recommend installing this operating system on your laptop unless you:
  1. Know what you're doing.
  2. Are willing to risk frying your LAN card.

As we reported last week, a bug in the latest version of the Linux Kernel used by Ubuntu 8.10 not only causes some Ethernet cards to stop working, but it also kills them dead. Basically, if your Ethernet hardware uses the Intel 82566 or 82567, do not install Intrepid Ibex yet. Because it could corrupt data on your hardware. There is a patch available to address this issue, but Canonical hasn't incorporated that patch yet. It should be in place by the time Ubuntu 8.10 final is released.

So if you do decide to go ahead and install Ubuntu 8.10, what will you see? Intrepid Ibex includes Gnome 2.24 with a number of improvements including tabbed browsing in the latest version of the Nautilus file manager. You also get a new version of the network manager which provides a 3G connection manager, among other things. The OS also uses X.Org 7.4, which has improved support for hot-pluggable input devices like keyboards, mice and tablets.

Update: If I'd spent a few more seconds reading the release notes, I would have told you that the offending component has been disabled so as not to fry anybody's Ethernet card. That's the good news. The bad news is that means you may not be able to access the internet via a LAN using this build. The issue should be addressed by the time Ubuntu 8.10 final is ready to go.

Check out some more of the highlights after the break.

  • While the new 2.6.27 Linux kernel may kill you Ethernet card, it generally offers better hardware support.
  • Ubuntu 8.10 will make a copy of your kernel every time you successfully boot your computer and offer you a "last successful boot" option during your next startup.
  • Kubuntu 8.10 ships with KDE 4.1.2 which offers stability improvements over KDE 4.1.
  • Kubuntu also has the new Adept 3.0 package manager which has a new interface and is more stable and responsive than Adept 2.
  • KWin desktop effects are enabled by default in Kubuntu 8.10 as long as your graphics card supports them.
  • Kubuntu's KMix audio controls now support many keyboards with multimedia keys.

Tags: intrepid-ibex, kubuntu, kubuntu-8.10-beta, opensource, osupdates, ubuntu, ubuntu-8.10-beta