Ubuntu Hardy Heron Alpha 6 is the final alpha release for Ubuntu 8.04. Let’s look at three of the new features: the new theme, Screen Resolution utility, and relatime.
The new Murrine-Human theme from Alpha 5 has been significantly tweaked. The theme’s colour is now a lighter orange. The shaded menus are gone, and buttons have a orange tint when moused-over.
There’s a new screen resolution utility that works similarly to the way display configuration works in Windows. The utility uses Xrandr (X Resize and Rotate) to dynamically configure monitors. Laptop users will find this useful for setting up projectors. Here’s a blog post with more information.
The Ubuntu installers (except the desktop CD at this point) will now mount partitions using the relatime option. What’s relatime? It fixes what has been called “the most stupid Unix design idea of all times.” The problem is how Linux keeps track of the last time files were accessed. The relatime option is a more efficient way of doing this, and using it should result in noticeably improved disk performance.
Download Alpha 6 and test it out, and don’t forget to use the BitTorrent download to save Ubuntu bandwidth.