Test driving the new Ubuntu 8.10: Intrepid Ibex Alpha6

A few days back, Ubuntu announced the release of the alpha6 of the next Ubuntu release, titled as Intrepid Ibex. Along with a new version of the kernel and X.org server, it has some useful improvements. Here is a sneak peak of what to expect from the next release.

A gentle reminder, please don't try this on a production Environment.
Now, let us get started shall we.
Fire up your update manager, from System > Administration > Update manager or

$ sudo update-manager -d





Update manager will ..prompt the availability of 8.10 in the repos. Click on "Upgrade".



Sit back and relax, as the update starts. Restart the machine to complete installation and Voila, the new system is ready for testing.


Great, now let us look at some of the new improvements that Ibex has to offer.

1. An Improved Network Manager
  • With 3G Support
  • you don’t have to log in to connect (this is also of of the most requested features),
  • PPP and PPPOE connections management,
  • management of many active devices.
2. Synaptic

  • Improved interface
  • Auto completion of search results (no need to click search)
3. Nautilius


  • Finally! Tabbed browsing

4. Private Folders

Ubuntu now offers your own personal protected (chmod 700) and encrypted folders under ~/Private. In alpha execute the following to get this feature.

$ sudo apt-get install ecryptfs-utils auth-client-config
$ sudo auth-client-config -p ecryptfs_standard \\
-t pam-auth,pam-session,pam-password ecryptfs-setup-private


5. Guest Accounts
Ibex will have a new "Guest" account. Guests have almost no rights. They have no access to other users’ files and they cannot save any files permanently (guest’s home directory is temporary). This is a nice security feature if you want to give your friends' a internet browsing access or for other simple tasks, without compromising your system's security.

Final Word,
From the regular end-users' perspective, the alpha6 has nothing ground breaking to offer. Most of the new features are good to have, but not a must to have. You see the difference right.I didn't encounter any major issues using the alpha, but if you have a stable 8.04 working on your box, I would suggest waiting for the final 8.10 release. But, if you are feeling a little adventurous, just like me, go one and give it a try. You won't regret it.
Enjoy the Ubuntu Experience and keep supporting the Open Source community. Thanks.