5 things to look forward to in Ubuntu 10.10

Wed, Jul 14, 2010

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Maverick Meerkat, the version of Ubuntu slated to be released later this year, brings with it several features and improvements that the Linux community has been eagerly looking forward to. I’ve taken a look at the blueprints for this next release, and picked out a few of the major items that Linux end-users will be interested in. Here are 5 things to look forward to in Ubuntu 10.10:

  1. Software Center enhancements
  2. A major focus of Ubuntu 10.10 is improving the software center, addressing many of the usability problems that have been sources of complaints in the past. Among these changes are:

    • Better Search
    • I’ve heard this complaint quite a bit, including in the comments of my article covering things new Linux users need to know. I had posted a screenshot of an application there, and someone tried to find it in the software center by searching for “Disk Analyzer”, which is what’s displayed in the title bar of the program. Unfortunately, no results were returned. In the next version of Ubuntu, the Software Center will show suggested results when you search for something that gets no hits.

    • Improved dependency display
    • Most users, even the more advanced members of the crowd, don’t particularly care about the package dependencies of a particular program. Managing that kind of information is trusted to the package management program, and there’s really no reason for a user to be presented with that data unless she asks. In the next version of the software manager, everything but the application itself will be hidden, with the option to show “Technical items” only when the user specifically requests it.

    • Add-on packages and media
    • Many packages offer “add-ons” which extend the feature-set or usability of the program. A good example of this is the Firefox browser, which today has several add-ons available in the Software Center, such as the Ubuntu extension. In the next version of the Software Center, add-ons will be much better organized.

  3. OneConf: Sync your configuration between machines
  4. OneConf will allow users to share their Ubuntu configurations between multiple machines. Realizing that people work on more than one computer, and taking a cue from browser sync features, OneConf will allow you to store your installed application list and those applications’ settings to the UbuntuOne service. You’ll then be able to migrate this list to another machine, or to use it as a configuration restore. It will support multiple configuration specifications, allowing you to keep separate lists for different types of machines (home vs. work; desktop vs. netbook, etc..).

  5. Post-Release application delivery
  6. Developers and users alike will look forward to the ability for new packages to be introduced to the distribution after it has been released. Although the process is not finalized, there will be a process by which developers can submit their packages for review and inclusion into the software repositories, even after a major release. This means that Ubuntu users will be able to receive new packages without upgrading or manually seeking them out, which is the case today.

  7. Chromium as the default netbook browser
  8. Ubuntu 10.10 aims to improve netbook support (using its Ubuntu Netbook Edition release), and part of this is a migration to the light-weight Chromium browser. Many Linux users are already familiar with Chromium, or its close Google-branded relative, Chrome, as a speedy alternative to Firefox.

  9. Better touchscreen support
  10. Touchscreen support is another area where 10.10 should show significant improvements. On the drawing-board for this release is to improve existing applications’ touch-friendlyness by tweaking GTK, icon settings, and other theme options. Additionally, support for gestures in Compiz may also be included. This is an area where you can expect to see improvements beyond the immediate future, as touchscreens become more common and Ubuntu moves to support this market. In the future, we’ll likely see further enhancements, such as the inclusion of a built-in on-screen keyboard.

What do you look forward to?

Do any of these features make you excited for Ubuntu 10.10? If so, which ones? And if not, what would you want to see in Ubuntu 10.10? Leave your opinions in the comment section below.

1. Software Center Improvement Speclist
2. OneConf Spec
3. PostReleaseApps Process Wiki
4. Chromium as Default UNE Browser
5. Touchscreen Improvement

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60 Responses to “5 things to look forward to in Ubuntu 10.10”

  1. Ellipsis says:

    Not really in “Ubuntu” itself but the Ubuntu One Android client will be shipping by then. Moreover, Ubuntu One “might” also have a Windows client coming soon in addition to online music streaming from the Music store. Oh and hopefully (cross your fingers) this mockup of Ubuntu One’s configuration editor gets implemented.


    Yeah and thats just Ubuntu One. There are many other small and large things to look forward to.

  2. Fred says:

    Less things that use Mono!

    • Just a user says:

      Users dont really care wether it is in mono, python, java, etc. as long as it does what they want it to do. Never understood (and probably never will) the anti-mono mentality.

      Are you anti-mysql too since Oracle now owns it?

      • Vitor Correia says:

        Good point! Nowadays it seems to be in vogue being anti-something!

        It’s just software, not your breath of life… or is it?

      • Biblio says:

        What has Oracle owning mysql have to do with Mono.

        The argument about Mono is not about the commercial force behind it, but that it is not a truly free and open source product (mysql has dual licencing, so a 1:1 comparison is not quite possible).

      • Grishnakh says:

        The anti-mono mentality is simple to understand. It’s about patents and patent traps. The belief is that mono probably contains patented technology, owned by Microsoft, and there is a plan by MS to wait until Mono is firmly entrenched in most Linux distros, and then sue them all (and also corporate customers using Linux) for patent infringement and destroy Linux’s commercial success.

        Given the enormous success that patent trolls like NTP are having with ridiculous software patents, this fear is absolutely not unfounded.

  3. wally says:

    Maybe they should get the Chromium settings screen to fit in 600 dots, vertical, before they make it the default on netbooks.

  4. pentti says:

    Firefox works just fine in my asus eee 901 netbook using ubuntu 10. I prefer not to change to Google.

    Oneconf should store the configation wherever I want. I prefer not to use UbuntuOne.

    You see the plot. Open software keeps us away from vendor lock-ins.

  5. Jardík says:

    1) I would like to have Pacman package manager in ubuntu together with ABS. Current package managment sucks in Ubuntu.
    2) To be able to connect to wifi using proprietary broadcom driver so that I don’t have to spend one day traveling to my friend to use his connection to dowload it.
    3) To be able to configure touchpad properly, not just “enable scrolling” stuff, and that change would be seen immediately – and without having to activate SHM in synaptics driver.
    4) To be able to remove MeMenu and friends from the panel without removing sound settings.
    5) And I would like ubuntu team to make me a millionare :-)

  6. lostson says:

    I like the sync between multiple machines that is sweet. I have to agree with what was said above though. Take mono out remove tomboy, fspot and replace them with gnote and shotwell. I am not fond on banshee either and have always used rhythmbox anyway.

  7. Paul says:

    Being able to play DVD’s, as i am unable to do so with 10.04, no matter what fixes i apply, or how many, time i reload the OS from scratch.

  8. Mohan says:

    I like this blueprints of ubuntu10.10.
    However, the network installation of ubuntu (previous, new). It does not have multiple method (FTP, NFS,Local harddisk, CDRom) to perform the installation;Currently it supports only http method. And moreover the UI is not user friendly.

    I would like to see, these changes with compilation pxeboot kernel module in ubuntu10.10.

  9. Murat Tepegoz says:

    Actually not related with Ubuntu alone, I would like to see Evernote working on my ubuntu box.

  10. ubuntubuzz says:

    can’t wait to try the stablel version, but i used to love mozilla firefox than google chrome ..

  11. someonespecial says:

    @jim “A stable desktop platform will take care of point 3 by itself. Without it, you can keep adding all band-aids that you want, desktop Linux is going nowhere.”
    and what do you call all the updates for windows? helpful? rofl. or are you a mac user? limited by the imagination of mr jobs, the horrible cocoa language and proprietary hardware? either way, pwned by linux.

  12. jim says:

    Windows patches are normal updates, as to be excepted in the software’s lifecycle. Windows does not tear everything down every 6 months just to rebuild it again. Anyway, I don’t expect Linux zealots to ever understand this point. That’s why after 20 years Linux still remains at 1%

  13. PLC says:

    Make Firefox original release the option not a “custom” fit version that has many features disabled.

  14. Jim says:

    Not sure if this has to do with Ubuntu or GNOME 3, but I was told by a few people before that the ability to tag any file or folder (with search integration) was supposed to be in 10.10. I hate searching through directories for files and some files may fall under more than one category, so tagging them would be a big plus. I heard it is already available in KDE.

  15. CG says:

    Touchscreen support?

    That’s the one I want to see…….

  16. seanb says:

    Point 3 is not about upgrading the entire system, it’s the ability to update individual apps WITHOUT upgrading the whole system. Something that shouldn’t be a hack, it’s 2010 for crying out loud. I actually kinda agree with Jim, and personally I think Canonical has been focusing on superficial stuff because the core issues preventing ubuntu from succeeding just can’t be fixed.

  17. EllyCI says:

    I would like to see a more user-friendly assistance in assisting users with speakers and/or headphone sounds. It’s still a problem for many users who cannot get their speakers and/or headphones working……luckily I can get the speakers to work but not headphones….useful to have whilst kids are in bed asleep at night!

    • Jonathan DePrizio says:

      That’s interesting, since I haven’t had any problems configuring audio devices in at least 2 or 3 years. 5+ years ago it was a huge problem, and no machine I used would have working audio without some tweaking.

      I’d be interested in knowing what make/model sound card you have.

  18. Stanbr says:

    Give me this, and I will be reaaally happy:
    – A copy&past that actually works! The current system under x.org is crap.
    – A sound system that actually woks! I tried everything, skype under my old Acer does not work with pulseaudio and I don’t wanna mess with Alsa installation (tried it and apt-get wanted to remove some x.org core stuff!)

    I love ubuntu and opensource, but sometimes macosx is just more simple and straightforward. I don’t wanna sync the world, I just want to copy and past anything I want, anytime without the text to vanish for a stupid reason like, the window (or software) I copied the text from was closed.


  19. Leo Fernandes says:

    I’ve plugged a USB webcam and Kubuntu 10.04 didn’t acknowledge it’s existence (with MS Vista, a message said something to the effect of “webcam plugged and installed”).

    I tested the webcam at Chatroulette and it was there, alright, yet I’d like a confirmation. Maybe even a small application just to test it. Or a video recorder software included in the basic distribution.

  20. Hans Paijmans says:

    I consider most of the so-called improvements in Ubuntu over the last years as totally irrelevant. However, there are two things I would like to tattoo on the foreheads of the developers – in mirrorwriting, so they read it each morning when shaving:

    1. If it aint broken, don’t fix it.

    My Ralink wifi was supported very well in older (K)ubuntus, but it stopped working with last years distributions, and it remains broken. I see absolutely no reason why it would work with one distro and stop with the next, but all the same, it makes my laptop useless.

    2. People really *use* linux.

    When you use an operating system, you really *use* it for mundane tasks like calendars and contact lists. Every Linux distro has nice PIMs, but they stop dead in their tracks when you try to sync with your PDA (cellphone).

    I understand the problems of nearly a hundred different cellphones with non-disclosed formats for calendars and so on. But that is not so different from other hardware like graphic cards or printers, is it?

    It would be a great advance, if developers stopped for a moment with adding more eyecandy, and devoted their resources to the problem of locally syncing data from cellphone calendars with the Linux machines, without forcing users to open google accounts or similar cloud services.

    I really consider this priority number one, as even my all-Linux Nokia N900 will not sync with a Linux machine.


  21. mark says:

    #2 sounds great! on #4, I use ffox on my main pc, but on my netbook, (an old eeepc 700) I use chrome (official, can’t be bothered to compile chromium)

  22. andy says:

    I just got a brand new ipod touch. It would be cool if Ubuntu allowed syncing with this device. As of right now I can not sync videos, songs, or pictures and I am using Lucid Lynx

  23. Baris Isik says:

    I really would love to see improvements on power management. The battery life used to be unquestionably longer in previous distributions. I understand that the newer versions are more CPU intense, but a laptop is almost no good without a good battery life (not talking about laptops with old batteries) regardless of its computing power or the OS stability.

  24. Jonathan DePrizio says:

    Hi Corfy, you and I are pretty much on the same page. I never really use the software center, preferring to use the command line. I do think Chrome is a nicer browser than Firefox, and I use it as my primary browser everywhere; I’m glad to see Ubuntu adopting it at least for UNE because it will help keep the competition between these two open-source (Chromium) products strong, and that will help to spur innovative new features in both browsers.

  25. Jonathan DePrizio says:

    Simon, that’s a good point. I’ve never thoroughly tested it, but I do notice that Windows 7 gives me better battery life on my netbook than Ubuntu does. I will look into it some more and see if there are ways to improve it the power consumption.

    Thanks for the idea!

  26. John says:

    I switched to Ubuntu 09.04 on my notebook and enjoyed everything except for the poor battery life. For me that was also the reason to revert to using Windows. Now Win 7 works very well and even increased the battery time from Vista.

    Hope Ubuntu has a chance to improve on the battery life, as it is a very intuitive and nice system otherwise.

  27. Akshat says:

    Take a look at Crunchbang,it is barebones Ubuntu.

  28. jbrendel says:

    Trolling much? Or clueless? All of the things you mention work flawlessly for me, ever since 5.04. Sorry, but you have to realize that most of the issues you are referring to are caused by certain HW vendors not making their specs available to the open source community, only to paying customers, such as Microsoft or their OEMs.

    Not really Linux’s or Ubuntu’s fault. When I bought my laptop, I made sure to get the sort of peripherals (bluetooth, WiFi, etc.) from vendors that are known to make their specs available to the open source community.

    As long as you buy HW from crappy vendors that only sell their specs to MS then you are to blame yourself, since you are clearly supporting this sort of behavior with your wallet.

    And then you walk around here, trolling and whining against Ubuntu (or Linux)? Come on…

    Oh and that thing with the tabs in the browser… (ahem): Hahahahahaha!

    You seriously think that’s the OSs fault?


  29. Rob says:

    I think that’s a bit of a generalisation.

    I use Linux and have done for some time. I just want applications that work well. In some cases the best ones are mono based, for example Banshee and GnomeDo. If you’re going to generalise I think that’s what most Linux users want. There is a select group of people that are anti mono.

    Also Ubuntu does not have a dependency on Mono. You can uninstall it and Ubuntu will continue to run. In fact you could just leave Mono on, it is the user that develops the dependency to the Mono apps. I chose to, I would rather run the best apps available.

    If, which I doubt, something should happen, then I’d switch to a different apps, or go underground and still run Mono.


  1. 5 things to look forward to in Ubuntu 10.10 | Ubuntu-News - Your one stop for news about Ubuntu - 14. Jul, 2010

    […] Maverick Meerkat, the version of Ubuntu slated to be released later this year, brings with it several features and improvements that the Linux community has been eagerly looking forward to. More here […]

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