Ahoy there, it’s (belated) release day for Ubuntu 17.04 Alpha 2!
But don’t get too excited.
‘functional and ripe for testing’
As is typical of this stage in the Ubuntu development cycle there’s not an awful lot of change apparent in some of the participating flavors. Don’t get me wrong: they’re functional and ripe for testing, but they’re just sort of ‘there’ at the moment.
You can download alpha 2 images of Kubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin and Ubuntu MATE from here.
Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 Alpha 2
Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 Alpha 2 ships with GNOME 3.22, though a few apps (notably Nautilus and GNOME Terminal) remain on version 3.20.
As well as supporting the installation and management of Snap apps Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 also has Flatpak installed by default. If you’ve been itching to try out Flatpak’d apps and runtimes, this release makes it super easy to do so.
Finally, ahead of Firefox 52 dropping NPAPI plugin support, the nifty chrome-gnome-shell system helper is installed by default. When used with a browser add-on or extension, this helper lets you install GNOME Extensions in Chrome & Firefox, as well as update and configure them, on the GNOME Shell Extensions website.
Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 Alpha 2
Of all of the Ubuntu flavors that take part in the Ubuntu 17.04 Alpha 2 release is worth giving some spotlight to: Ubuntu Budgie
Why? Well, for one, it the first testing snapshot that the distro has release since it was made an official Ubuntu flavor.
But secondly, the feathered one also has some ‘new stuff’ that
I can screenshot is worth mentioning, like an updated Budgie Welcome app that includes — choice, ahoy — a browser ballot screen:
Ubuntu Budge 17.04 ships with Chromium as the default web-browser, but the handy ballot screen helps point those who want to use something else, namely Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Vivaldi, in the necessary direction.
Elsewhere, Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 Alpha 2 ships with Budgie 10.2.9 (the latest stable release) and bundles in AppIndicator support by default (something upstream Budgie doesn’t).
If it’s your first time toying with the bird you’ll also notice a number of key app differences, such as the use of Terminix as the default terminal emulator and GNOME-MPV in place of Totem, and a souped up version of Rhythmbox that looks (imo) much better than stock.
Like other Zesty Zapus snapshots there’s the Linux 4.9 kernel to enjoy, too.
Remember that it’s early days for this distro and, as it kicks the tires on the infrastructure, testing and QA, you shouldn’t be too surprised if you’re left holding broken pieces. (Psst, take a read over the known issues too.)