By Katherine Noyes, PCWorldMar 15, 2013 4:36 pm PDT
Fans of Ubuntu Linux may recall that the Ubuntu 13.04 development cycle is a little different from those of versions past, as Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth outlined back in October.
Not only is a new “skunkworks” approach being brought to bear on the next upcoming version of the popular Linux distribution, but there are also fewer milestone versions being released along the way.
Accordingly, when Ubuntu 13.04 “Raring Ringtail” hit the alpha stage late last year, there was no official alpha release to examine for the main Ubuntu software—only its Edubuntu and Kubuntu cousins.
This week, the software’s beta 1 milestone achieved on Thursday followed much the same pattern. Ubuntu 13.04 is now technically in beta, but the only variations with actual beta images to see are Edubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu Cloud, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu.
“At the end of the 12.10 development cycle, the Ubuntu desktop and server flavors decided that they would reduce the number of milestone images going forward and the focus would concentrate on daily quality and fortnightly testing rounds known as cadence testing,” explained developer Stéphane Graber in Thursday’s release announcement.
Based on that change, the first milestone release for the main Ubuntu software will be the final beta due in early April. To see what’s going on in the meantime, you can always check out the software’s daily builds on the Ubuntu site.
Meanwhile, the beta releases that did come out yesterday offer a glimpse at what’s to come in those variations.
Secure Boot support
Among the notable new additions visible in these latest versions are an updated Linux 3.8 kernel along with KDE Plasma and Applications 4.10.1 and Secure Boot support in the Kubuntu 13.04 beta and the reintroduction of Gnumeric and GIMP in Xfce-based Xubuntu 13.04.
Download links for each of these flavors can be found in the release announcement.
Meanwhile, like the main Ubuntu project, the newly official Ubuntu GNOME will join in with release images of its own for the final beta at the beginning of next month.