Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

Ubuntu 13.04 has been released, so it’s time to do another review of Canonical’s popular distro. This time around Ubuntu’s code name is “Raring Ringtail.” It appears to be a reference to the ring-tailed cat. I had no idea what a ring-tail cat is, so of course I googled.

Here’s some background on the a ring-tailed cat:

The ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) is a mammal of the raccoon family (thus not actually a cat), native to arid regions of North America. It is also known as the ringtail cat, ring-tailed cat, miner’s cat or “marv cat”, and is also sometimes mistakenly called a “civet cat” (after similar, though unrelated, cat-like omnivores of Asia and Africa). The ringtail is sometimes called a cacomistle, though this term seems to be more often used to refer to Bassariscus sumichrasti.

Ring-tailed Cat

Aaah, now that we all know about ring-tailed cats, let’s get on with the review.

What’s New in Ubuntu 13.04

Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:

Linux kernel 3.8.8
Unity 7
Upstart 1.8
LibreOffice 4.0
CUPS 1.6.2
Python 3.3
Simplified Details Panel in Software Updater
Upstart User Sessions
Friends (replaces Gwibber)

Linux kernel 3.8.8

Ubuntu 13.04 includes the 3.8.0-19.29 Ubuntu Linux kernel which was based on the v3.8.8 upstream Linux kernel.

Unity 7

Unity 7 brings a lot of performance improvements, reduced memory consumption and a great number of small UI fixes to bring a better overall shell experience. Those are like being typo-tolerant in the dash when searching for an application, using the mouse scroll wheel on a launcher icon to switch between applications or better available third party devices handling. You will notice as well some new icons themes to continue on lead of bringing design as the central Ubuntu experience.

You will notice that only one workspace is available by default on any new installation. If you want to bring back workspaces, you can find an option in the Appearance panel of System Settings under the Behavior tab. You can as well enable “Show desktop” button on the Launcher.

Upstart 1.8

This release provides a new bridge, the upstart-file-bridge(8) that allows jobs to react to filesystem changes. For example, to have a job start when a particular file is created:

start on file FILE=/var/log/foo.log EVENT=create

Or to start a job when a file matching a glob pattern is deleted:

start on file FILE=/var/app/*.foo EVENT=delete

See upstart-file-bridge(8) and file-event(7) for further details.

Additionally, a new upstart-monitor(8) tool is available that allows event flows to be observed in real-time. This tool can run as a graphical or console application.

LibreOffice 4.0

for all details, see: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/ReleaseNotes/4.0

CORE

  • New Widget layout technique for dialog windows introduced
  • Support for Firefox Personas in LibreOffice
  • Document Management Systems Integration for Alfresco, Nuxeo, SharePoint via libcmis
  • Less Java dependencies: e.g. more Wizards available even in the default install
  • moved completely from Python 2.6 to Python 3.3 internally
  • PDF Import, the Presenter Console, and the Python Scripting Provider are core features now
  • dropping legacy binfilter and a lot of obsolete UNO-API interfaces

WRITER

  • The “Apply Style” combo box in the toolbar now features previews of the styles to choose.
  • Import ink annotations from DOCX and RTF documents
  • Import / export support for native RTF math expressions

CALC

  • Various performance improvements of ODS document import
  • Increased size limit on (uncompressed) ODF documents from 2Gb to 4Gb
  • XML Source dialog to quickly import arbitrary XML content

IMPRESS/DRAW

  • Impress Remote control for controling presentations via Bluetooth/Wifi from a Smartphone
  • Import for MS Publisher files
  • Import for _all_ Visio file formats, even MS Office 2013
  • various PPX import fixes
  • hyperlinks/fields wrapping
  • RTL support for the Presenter Console

BASE

  • Native support (mork driver) for accessing Thunderbird address books

CUPS 1.6.2 and cups-filters 1.0.34

We had already switched to CUPS 1.6.x in Quantal (12.10) but had to apply a huge, awkward Ubuntu-specific patch to avoid regressions. Now we are up to all new standards without needing to do anything Ubuntu-specific.

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Comments

  1. ciriaco daluddung says

    I like Ubuntu now because I read that it is more secure from viruses and malwares unlike Windows.
    My only problem is when I connect my laptop to a TV using either VGA or HDMI, it connects but the screen is stationary in the TV. There is no response unlike in Windows which is in sync with the Laptop.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  2. TonyVanDam says

    “You should also be aware that the support time for this release has been reduced from 18 months to 9 months.”

    Only 9 months of support?!? No thanks Canonical. I would rather take my chances with Debian Sid-based distros like Siduction or Semplice. At least then I wouldn’t have to wait long at all for new updates. Of course, I can play it safe with Debian Testing-based distros like AntiX or Linux Mint Debian Editon and get updates within weeks.

    In fairness, if I was already a committed Ubuntu user, I would try to hold out for the next LTS release. At least 2 years of support for LTS is a lot better than only 9 months for non-LTS. My professional opinion of course. : )

    • BartWillemsen says

      Ubuntu users can be put in two camps: Those who want to have the very latest features and versions of software and those who want to have a stable system and long support (companies mostly). Those who fall in the first category probably update as soon as possible anyway, so long support periods aren’t really necessary anyway. :P

      It’s also just simply a way for Canonical to save some money on support.. as you might know, Ubuntu still isn’t quiet profitable yet and Shuttleworth’s big bag of gold isn’t bottomless either..

  3. Afrodiseum says

    So far, I am enjoying Ubuntu 13.04, but I don’t know if removing the multiple desktops was planned, but that’s what happened on both machines I’ve updated. Also, on one machine, I had some specifically configured wallpaper settings. There seems to be an issue for updaters where the wallpaper doesn’t appear, or it cannot be changed in the Appearance module. In my case, the wallpaper I have assigned to LightDM login is carried over to my desktop, along with the grid and the gray Ubuntu logo in the bottom left corner. The regular wallpaper I usually have assigned will not appear and changing the wallpaper in Appearance doesn’t work. Hopefully, this is something that will be resolved soon. I have a rather nifty LCARS setup that I’d like to get back.

  4. jason says

    you seem alway give ubuntu 4/5 why is that do you just like other disro better so not looking at apple to apple sake the is not Perfect disro but so dame good ones some should be getting 5/5.

  5. serhat says

    @Brian Masinick: I’ve checked both torrent and md5sum hashes and I am sure I downloaded correctly. I’ve also installed it and didn’t see any hangings at all after installation, looks like only the live mode was buggy. For the people who didn’t notice: try minimizing anything in live mode.

  6. Brian Masinick says

    @serhat: a partially bad download will also exhibit the same kind of buggy state that you describe. Before concluding that it is Ubuntu, run a checkpoint on your media or its source, make sure it matches. Considering trying another download before concluding that Ubuntu won’t work on your system. Maybe it won’t, but there is a 50/50 chance that it will.

    Alex Efrain Sarmiento Muñoz: Yes, we deal with many audiences, and that is precisely, even in the Ubuntu ecosystem, why today there are a couple hundred “spins” and derivatives of Ubuntu, starting with the ones that Canonical themselves at least sanction, then the many Mint derivatives, then the scores of distributions based on either Ubuntu, a Ubuntu derivative, Mint, a Mint (and therefore Ubuntu) derivative, and note that Ubuntu itself is a derivative of Debian Linux. Clearly it is the flexibility and choice that matter here; what appeals to one may not appeal to another; some like simplicity of installation and configuration, others like simplicity of the system and infrastructure, which makes installation and configuration appear cumbersome (Arch and Gentoo are good examples of this).

  7. Massive Brainwash says

    Each release of Ubuntu just sucks more and more. I get errors while trying to install Wine, Acroread etc. And didn’t noticed any speed improvements in Unity/

  8. arnold taylor says

    I Love UNITY. Also the fact that it is boring,it is the best Linux distro out. No Ubuntu = no Mint. Linux has matured, distro hopping is now a waste. Hell ,60% of the distros out are spins of Ubuntu. Ubuntu has stablized the Linux eco-system.

  9. whileslap says

    People complain about change. When gets very mature and stable , then people complain about no changes . Coo Coo

  10. Sanjay Prasad says

    why you froget ubuntu also launche Ubuntu gnome edition also, which will be a killer deal. I also not a big fan of unity.
    openplus.in

  11. serhat says

    I wonder if it is my machine or a general problem but the live mode of ubuntu 13.04 was awfully buggy. The screen hanged most of the time. This didn’t occur in 12.04 live. The new ubuntu looks very good overall but I think it has serious stability problems.

  12. kenneth says

    Very good ,straightforward review. I tend to agree that the unity desktop experience is what it is. You either hate it or like it.(Never heard of anyone who LOVES it) Ubuntu 13.04 works well, but IMO nothing special.

  13. Brian Masinick says

    I’m like you on this: nothing particularly “wrong” with Ubuntu, other than the variations of GNOME that I’ve never been that interested in. For me, Xubuntu, also boring as it is, serves me better. Kubuntu is much more interesting, though like Ubuntu, it’s a bit heavy for my aging hardware on my 5 year+ laptops. Lubuntu is light enough, but for my own interests, Debian and antiX can come in just as light, if not a bit lighter, and with the systemd that you can get with them now, they boot faster.

    To each his own, to me, those are my preferred systems.

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