The Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha has been released and I am taking a first look at this release. The new wallpapers are quite impressive, there is a nice Forbidden City wallpaper and many other lovely photographs gracing this release. The web browser is Firefox 14.0, and the music playback is taken care of by Rhythmbox 2.97. The Totem Movie Player 4.3.2, using GStreamer 0.10.36 is provided for movie playback. The Unity desktop is a little unstable as is it`s wont, but the overall feel is still the same. LibreOffice 184.108.40.206 is supplied for office work and it loads very fast indeed. In the screen-shot to the right you can see the Ubuntu 12.10 System Settings window. This has an icon for the Ubuntu Landscape system management tool. This is not provided with the distribution, clicking the icon will prompt you to install the Landscape system.
The annoying thing about Unity that is still present in this release is that the workspace switcher requires a click to open the workspace browser, versus using a hot-spot at the top left of the screen as the Gnome Shell desktop uses. Maybe after installation, you could type sudo apt-get install gnome-shell and use that instead of Unity. Although the KDE 4.8 desktop is far superior. Type sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop and enjoy a nice and fast Linux desktop. Being able to change the launcher icon size makes a significant difference to the usability of the Unity desktop. It is the small things that make the biggest difference. Kernel 3.5.0-1-generic is the default kernel for the 12.10 Alpha, this is currently a mainline release candidate kernel version not a stable release. By the time the 12.10 release comes out kernel 3.5 should be the stable version.
The GNU Compiler is version 4.7.1, and the Gnome desktop is version 3.5.2. I am in two minds over whether I should install this to my computer, but since this is an Alpha release; maybe not. But it is looking good. I will update with more news concerning Ubuntu 12.10 as I get it.