Sunday, April 20, 2008

SSC #62 Ubuntu Linux 8.04 Hardy Heron LTS release

    By the time this is in print, the new version of Ubuntu Linux, codenamed Hardy Heron will be available.  This new version 8.04 is an LTS (Long Term Support) version and as such will be supported with security updates until 2011. 

    This new version has loads of great new features and improvements that are sure to impress. 

    Included in 8.04 is the Pulse Audio Sound Server.  This software layer audio proxy "makes it possible to mix audio from multiple applications together, assign audio from individual applications to specific sound cards, adjust volume levels of each individual application, and perform advanced operations on audio streams such as transferring the audio to another computer or changing sample formats and channel counts."

    What this means is that audio aficionados will be able to have fine control over what where and how audio is used inside the system and how it outputs as well.

    Another new feature, Likewise Open, available from the Universe repository, enables seamless integration of Ubuntu within an Active Directory network. Users can use their AD credentials to log onto Ubuntu machines and access any kerberized services provided by an Ubuntu server.  Thats even greek to ME.  But if your a fan of Active Directory, this could be a deal maker for you.

    From the Ubuntu site:  'KVM is now a fully maintained option for virtualization, libvirt and virtmanager have also been integrated in Ubuntu, allowing for easy guest creation and basic management of virtual machines out of the box. Virt-manager can be used to administer guests on a remote server.'

    What this means is you can easily create a virtual machine within Ubuntu in which to install guest operating systems.   Not familiar with Virtual Machines?  Its a pretty hot topic right now in the tech world.  A virtual machine is basically a 'pretend' computer that is installed inside of your real computer.  This lets you do cool things like install Adobe Photoshop into Windows XP that is running INSIDE a window in Ubuntu.  Head scrambled?  Its not as scary as it sounds, just unexpected.  Its not something the average user expects a computer to be able to do.  But it works well provided you have decent hardware. 

    "There is a new installation option for Windows users.  Wubi allows users to install and uninstall Ubuntu like any other Windows application. It does not require a dedicated partition, nor does it affect the existing bootloader, yet users can experience a dual-boot setup almost identical to a full installation. Wubi works with a physical CD or in stand-alone mode, by downloading an appropriate ISO to install from. It can be found on the root of the CD as Wubi.exe. A full installation within a dedicated partition is still recommended (for permanent installations), but Wubi is a great way to try Ubuntu for a few days and weeks before committing dedicated disk resources."

    This is the thing that has me the most excited.  If you are kinda curious about Ubuntu Linux but not ready to jump in head first, this allows you to install Ubuntu into a folder within your Windows installation, and if for some reason you don't like it (perish the thought) you can quickly and easily remove it completely via the Add/Remove Programs function in the Windows Control Panel.  Wax on, wax off. 
    If you DO really like it, then with the same exact disk you can boot into the LiveCD session and repartition your harddrives and install it permanently.  I myself will be attempting both kinds of installs and I'll let you all know how it goes next week with my First Look at Ubuntu 8.04.

    There are lots more features to talk about, but for this week I'm going to keep this pretty short.  So tune in next week and get the full scoop!

    I would also like to alleviate any confusion about whether or not I do computer repair work.  Yes I do in-home computer repair and I try to keep my rates low.  Fixing your computer shouldn't break the bank. 

    Its come to my attention that my article header doesn't quite catch the eye like I wanted it to, so I'll be redesigning it in the next few weeks to try to find something that does the job a little better.  So when you think I've gotten it right, feel free to write in and tell me so.  And if you think you can do a better header, feel free to send submissions to the email address below.

If you have a question or comment, feel free to email me at

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