Ubuntu 11.04’s neat ‘Test Drive’ feature – which allows you to try applications without installing them – just got a whole lot better.

Earlier today Stéphane Graber has announced that the service now allows for test-driving of almost every application and utility that is installable via the Ubuntu Software Centre. That’s over 1300 different applications!

Ubuntu Software Centre adds Test Drive

The service previously allowed testing of the top 50 highest rated applications only.

Can I test anything, then?

Not quite. Not every application is available to test; any application requiring more than 150MB to install or which forms part of a ‘blacklist’ (Video editors, 3D, Virtualbox, etc) are not available for testing.

As mentioned previously the feature requires the ‘qtnx‘ package to be installed. This doesn’t come with Ubuntu by default.

Test Drive works by running an application on a remote server using the ‘NX protocol’ ” an enhanced method of providing graphical interfaces on remote servers ” in conjunction with Stéphane Graber’s Weblive – a set of packages and plugins for creating remotely-accessible virtual machines and ‘Arkose‘.

For more information see Stephane Graber’s blog post @ stgraber.org

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