Aimed at developers and testers, Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha 1 uses the 3.2.0-2.5 Ubuntu kernel which is based on the recent 3.2-rc3 Linux kernel.
- Banshee has been replaced by Rhythmbox as the default music player in the first alpha release of Ubuntu 12.04.
- Note taking application Tomboy has been removed.
- The Ubuntu One Music store is not yet supported as it needs to be ported to GTK 3.
- The alpha release ships with Firefox 9 beta, Thunderbird 9 beta, Shotwell and LibreOffice office suite.
Ubuntu 12.04 will be a Long Term Support (LTS) release and we can expect an enhanced Unity desktop. The release is focused on polishing and stabilising the system. After the release, both the desktop and the server edication (for the first time) will be supported for five years.
It will also be the first Ubuntu release to come on a 750 MB ISO image. It means the distro no longer fit on to CD. You need to burn the image to a DVD or you can install using a USB drive. But the first alpha release can fit into a CD as its ISO image size is 703 MB.
(Ubuntu Desktop, Server, ARM)
Additional images are also available at:
(Ubuntu Server Cloud and EC2)
In the release announcement, Ubuntu Release Manager Kate Stewart notes that "Pre-releases of Precise Pangolin are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage". Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they find.
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 1 is available to download for 32- and 64-bit systems. The current stable release is Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot from October, while the recent LTS version is Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS Lucid Lynx.