The latest version of Ubuntu was released this past Sunday, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. As the latest version is 10.10, it only made sense to release it on 10/10/10, and for those at home, 101010 in base two binary in decimal format is 42 (32+8+2), also known as the meaning of life. Pretty deep for an operating system, isn’t it?
Being a major version release, 10.10 brings a lot to the table. The most noticeable inclusion is Ubuntu Font Family 0.69… essentially a brand-new font used throughout the entire OS. Fonts might seem simple at the end of the day, but in reality they can dramatically change the feeling of the OS, and in the case of this one, I’d have to give it a big thumbs up. It’s clean, stylish, easy-to-read and modern. In addition to the revamped fonts, Ubuntu 10.10 becomes the first OS to ship with support for a brand-new currency symbol, for the Indian Rupee. Given that this currency is used by roughly 17% of the earth’s population, that’s a rather significant addition.
Another significant enhancement has to do with Ubuntu’s “Netbook Edition”, which features a brand-new interface that helps people maximize the amount of real estate their screen has. It features a side-mounted application launcher, and if you’ve previously used GNOME, then your settings are going to be carried over no problem. In addition, the mail program Evolution has also implemented its own netbook mode.
The sound menu has also seen some vast improvements, now being able to control the volume on an application-to-application basis, a la Windows 7.
For the server edition, a new major version of Eucalyptus has been added, which allows easy deployment of cloud OS installs, and coupled with this, Canonical is allowing people to test drive the latest version of Ubuntu Server here, which is managed via Amazon’s EC2 service.
For a full list of what’s new, you can head on over to the release notes page, and to grab the latest version for yourself, hit up the URL below.
The Ubuntu Font Family is a brand-new typeface that is used for the user interface menus, widgets and titles in Ubuntu and Kubuntu. It covers Latin, Cyrillic and Greek in Ubuntu 10.10 with choices of Regular, Bold, Italic and Bold Italic styles and weights. The fonts also feature support for the new Indian Rupee Sign making Ubuntu 10.10 the first operating system to ship with out-of-the-box support for the world’s newest currency symbol: ready for use by one billion Indians.