The beta instalment of Ubuntu's Maverick Meerkat has arrived slightly earlier than expected.
The Linux distro team on Thursday said they'd delivered the Ubuntu 10.10 beta, when the code's Alpha 4 had been expected instead.
No reason was given for the change, but the plan remains for final delivery of the code as intended on October 10 this year.
Ubuntu 10.10 packs a number of changes on the netbook, desktop and server fronts.
On netbooks, the distro will include the new Unity interface as the default interface for Ubuntu Netbook Edition. Unity re-orientates the distro's interface so that the dock runs down the left-hand-side of the screen while offering a launch menu for frequently-accessed applications.
Also coming is integration between Unity and a multi-touch programming framework.
The desktop has seen more polish, too: the Ubuntu Software Center has been updated with "Featured" and "What's New" views to show off new applications, while the package description view has been improved. The boot process is also cleaner and faster, the team said.
On the server, the configurable initialization process for Ubuntu Server cloud images now have pluggable hooks, EBSmount, ext4 support, and cloud image instances can now manage their own kernel and upgrade kernels with APT. ®