OK, let's cut to the chase, and tell you what's new in Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3. Finally... the OpenOffice.org 2.4 packages were replaced with the OpenOffice.org 3.0 ones. Actually, the installed version in Alpha 3 is 3.0.1 RC1 (see screenshots 2 and 3 on the fifth row). In other "good" news, the EXT4 filesystem was implemented in the Ubiquity installer, but it will not be the default filesystem for Ubuntu 9.04, and it's only available if you choose manual partitioning when installing Ubuntu. Using EXT4 as the default filesystem for an Ubuntu installation will reduce the boot times with 20% or even 30% on some systems.
Another interesting thing implemented in the Ubiquity installer is the possibility to choose if you want to encrypt your home folder (see the last screenshot on the fifth row), an option that was already available in the text-mode installer. Other than that, we've observed a new button on the system notifications, called "Don't show this message again" (see the second screenshot on the first row), a new entry in the Main Menu... System Tools -> File Browser and the brand new redesigned volume control (see the second row of screenshots).
The wallpaper and the theme are unchanged, the GNOME desktop environment has been updated to version 2.25.4 (latest development release), as well as most of its components. Among the applications that were updated in this third alpha of Ubuntu 9.04, we can notice: Pidgin 2.5.3, Brasero 0.9.0, Transmission 1.42, Ekiga 3.0.1, F-Spot 0.5.0.3 and... OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 RC1.
What's new in Kubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3? Well, as the developers said in the release announcement... everything! The third alpha version of Kubuntu 9.04 brings the newly released KDE 4.2 RC desktop environment (see below for screenshots), the latest version of the popular Amarok 2 media player, Quassel as the replacement for Konversation, Digikam 0.10.0 Beta 8, Kipi Plugins 0.2.0 Beta 6 and, last but not least, the developers decided to bring back the Kubuntu documentation. The final version of Kubuntu 9.04 will be powered by the amazing K Desktop Environment 4.2.
Once again, a Live CD is available for everyone who wants to see for themselves what's new in Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3 and Kubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3 (see below for download links), without installing anything on the hard drive. Also, with Alpha 3, the server edition of Ubuntu 9.04 is now offered as a separate download, while images for Ubuntu Studio and Edubuntu are available as well.
Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3
Ubuntu 9.04 or, should I say, "The Jackalope," will be the tenth release of the Ubuntu operating system. Here's the release schedule for Jaunty Jackalope:
Kubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3
February 5th, 2009 - Alpha 4 release
February 26th, 2009 - Alpha 5 release
March 12th, 2009 - Alpha 6 release
March 26th, 2009 - Beta release
April 16th, 2009 - Release Candidate
April 23rd, 2009 - Final release of Ubuntu 9.04
What is Ubuntu? Ubuntu is a Linux distribution for your desktop or server, with a fast and easy install, regular releases, a tight selection of excellent packages installed by default, every other package you can imagine available from the network, and professional technical support from Canonical Ltd and hundreds of other companies around the world.
Download Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3 (Jaunty Jackalope) right now from Softpedia.
Download Ubuntu Server 9.04 Alpha 3 (Jaunty Jackalope) right now from Softpedia.
Download Kubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3 (Jaunty Jackalope) right now from Softpedia.
Download Xubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3 (Jaunty Jackalope) right now from Softpedia.
Download Edubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3 (Jaunty Jackalope) right now from Softpedia.
Download Ubuntu Studio 9.04 Alpha 3 (Jaunty Jackalope) right now from Softpedia.
Download Mythbuntu 9.04 Alpha 3 (Jaunty Jackalope) right now from Softpedia.
Remember that this is an alpha release and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended to be used for testing purposes only. Please report bugs to the Ubuntu Bug Tracker.