The next Ubuntu Long-Term Release, codenamed Trusty Tahr, will be released on April 17th, 2014 and will ship with several notable features, while mainly focusing on stable main components rather than bleeding-edge software, a very good decision which fits perfectly such a big release. Trusty will be supported for five years on both the desktop and the server. I must say, this is a long awaited release, and probably not only by Ubuntu users, but also the ones of Mint and other distributions based upon Ubuntu, since the upcoming Mint 17 will be based on Trusty. I’m really expecting a solid experience here, which could last for years as a main desktop and development machine.
This is just an overview of the most notable features, I will dedicate a more through review when the final release comes out.
The beginning of this year saw a few important announcements for Ubuntu, like the new partnership deals with mobile phone manufacturers bq and Meizu. In the meantime, Trusty, which is the next long-term release, is shaping up pretty well. Currently in feature freeze, Ubuntu 14.04 looks very well, and I can tell the same about Kubuntu, which ships with KDE 4.12.3.
This is how Ubuntu currently looks from a daily image with all the updates to date:
At first glance, nothing new up to now. We have the usual left launcher with the shortcuts to Dash, files, web browser, office suite, Amazon integration and Ubuntu One services.
However, under the hood, Trusty has some new neat features that are looking good. So, let’s have a look at the most important changes visible in Trusty so far.
Ubuntu ships with Linux kernel 3.13.0, Unity 7.1.2, LibreOffice.org 126.96.36.199 and Firefox 28.
Locally Integrated Menus
Regarding the interface, one of the big changes is the comeback of the menus inside applications, instead of globally in the top panel. These menus are called Locally Integrated Menus, and they take up the horizontal space of the title bar, therefore not eating up more vertical space, a good decision from which widescreens will benefit.
To enable locally integrated menus, open System Settings from the left panel launcher, go to Appearance and click on the Behavior tab. Now in the Application Menu section, tick the In window title bars option.
A community wallpaper contest is already underway, and a selection of new wallpapers will ship in Trusty by default.
Grub looks like its also going to see a new version in Trusty Tahr, namely Grub 2.02 Beta 2.
And there are good news for the fans of MATE, a desktop environment created by the Linux Mint team which resembles the old GNOME 2 interface. MATE DE 1.6.2 will be shipped in Ubuntu’s repositories.
Gedit, the GNOME text editor, also benefits from a new visual interface:
Window decorations can be stylized using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), improving on the visual HTML/CSS integration in GTK3. A tutorial on how to do this will follow shortly.
Also, the System Settings received an option to show or hide the username of the current user.
Ubuntu 14.04 is scheduled for release on April 17th, 2014, in about five weeks from now. The remaining steps are:
- March 13th: User Interface Freeze
- March 27th: Final Beta
- April 3rd: Kernel Freeze
- April 10th: Final Freeze, Release Candidate
- April 17th: Final Release