Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat at Alpha 1

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Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat at Alpha 1
The first alpha version of Ubuntu 10.10 is now available. As is to be expected, Alpha 1 is essentially just 10.04 synced with the latest unstable version of Debian Sid and its software repository.

Obviously, it's too early to make any grand-sweeping judgements about Meerkat, but it provides the first indications of the gradual changes that lie ahead for the well-known distro.

First up is the kernel version: 2.6.34-5. Lucid, being an LTS instalment, did not take any risks that could negatively affect its stability, so 2.6.34-5 offers a big gap technically speaking between the two kernel versions.

On the drivers front, we have version 195.36 of nVidia's graphics drivers and version 8.723.1 of ATI's. It bears remembrance that even though the free equivalents are beginning to show some weight in the Linux community, for folders it is imperative to use the proprietary version of the nVidia driver in order to properly fold with their cards.

On another note, from the last Ubuntu Developer Submit emerged a proposal for a major evolution of the menu bar in Gnome (similar to that we see in Mac OS) in order to save screen space on Netbooks/Tablets. It seems that Ubuntu is preparing for a direct confrontation with Google's Chrome OS.

In short, version 10.10 looks to be taking a bolder approach to implementation of new features, and will likely retain its nausea-inducing truly delightful default brown colour theme.