The first alpha releases in the Ubuntu 15.04 development cycle are now available to download for testing.
Four flavors participate in this milestone, including Ubuntu GNOME and Kubuntu. Ubuntu ‘proper’ will once again only participate in the final beta release due March 2015.
Naturally, being this early on in the development cycle means there aren’t huge wholesale changes on show.
Shared changes common between all alpha flavors include the latest Linux Kernel 3.18, helping lay a firm foundation on which future changes are based.
Breaking that tradition nice and early is Kubuntu 15.04 Alpha 1. It ships with the brand new KDE Plasma 5 desktop as default. No opt in or separate ISO, just there, ready to go. And what a change it makes.
Kubuntu feels lighter and fresher than ever before, and the outstanding gaps in features and UI are easily overlooked. Kubuntu developers consider Plasma 5 to be ‘stable enough for everyday use’, and thanks to a rapid development cadence, it is getting better by the day.
With the world’s biggest mobile operating, China Mobile, this week throwing its weight behind Ubuntu for Phones it is great to see the China-focused Ubuntu Kylin 15.04 Alpha 1 arriving fresh faced and ready for play.
It features a bunch of bug fixes including new versions of Kylin Software Center, China Music Scope, Youker Assistant and China Calendar.
Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 Alpha 1 is a little light on major changes while it waits on the arrival of GNOME 3.14 and associated apps to Ubuntu’s repositories. By Alpha 2 the spin should be shipping with 3.14 apps, features and related improvements.
One notable change you can see in this release: applications now show a ‘close’ button only, in keeping with upstream GNOME design decisions. Minimise and Maximise controls can be re-added using the Tweak Tool application available from the Software Center.
Lubuntu 15.04 Alpha 1 features a handful of bug fixes as development continues on readying LXQt for a future release.
Alpha means bugs, bugs mean headaches
Alpha releases are not suited for use by regular users, as a primary OS, or in mission-critical (read: essay due) situations. There will be bugs and breakages. There may even be tears before bedtime. Consider yourself warned.
For a reminder of the rest of Ubuntu 15.04 release schedule plans feast your eyes on the following graphic.