The next version of the Linux distribution Ubuntu is scheduled to be available for download tomorrow, April 26. Ubuntu 12.04 will be a so called LTS (Long Term Support) version, which means that it will be supported longer than the regular versions. For 12.04 the support will last for five years, both for the server and the desktop version. Previous LTS-releases were supported for five years for the server version, but only three years for desktop. Non-LTS-releases are supported for 18 months after release.
Ubuntu 12.04 is using version 3.2 of the Linux kernel. Below is a list of other changes, taken from the Ubuntu website:
New Applications and Defaults
The default music player has been switched to Rhythmbox, which again includes the UbuntuOne music store.
LibreOffice has been updated to 3.5.1.
The System Setting's "Appearance" panel now allows users to easily configure some properties of Unity.
Nautilus quicklist support has been added to Unity launcher.
There is a new way to quickly search and access any desktop application's and indicator's menu, called the "HUD". Tap the Alt key and enter some letters and words, and it will show the corresponding entries, including some fuzzy matching. Press enter to execute the action. This one is executed on the current focused application as well as all indicator facilities (like managing emails, sound list, quit…). Also it learns from your previous choices to make the search more and more accurate for you.
ClickPad devices are trackpads where the physical button is integrated into the trackpad surface. Ubuntu Precise now has enhanced support for these devices. When the button is pressed on a ClickPad device, a second finger may be used to drag the cursor.
ClickPad support requires extra handling that conflicts with "Click Action" support. Click Actions allow for separate actions when multiple fingers are active on a trackpad. The default Ubuntu settings enable right button behavior when two fingers are in contact with the trackpad surface and the physical trackpad button is pressed. Because of conflicting behavior, ClickPad devices do not support Click Actions in this release.
Most Synaptics brand ClickPads are recognized out of the box. Apple MacBook trackpads are recognized as well. Support for Apple Magic Trackpads and more Synaptics brand ClickPads will follow in the next release.
All new Control Panel provides an installer, setup wizard, ability to add/remove folders to sync, and more
Proxy support is now fully functional
Ubuntu One music store in Rhythmbox
Ubuntu One contacts sync has been removed
Nautilus ribbon with enable sync check box has been removed
Until Ubuntu 11.10, the Unix group for administrators with root privileges through sudo had been admin. Starting with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, it is now sudo, for compatibility with Debian and sudo itself. However, for backwards compatibility, admin group members are still recognized as administrators.
Automatic Apport crash reporting now checks for duplicates on the client side, which will avoid uploading debug data and creating Launchpad bug reports unnecessarily in many cases now.
When installing new software through software-center, corresponding language support packages (translations, spell check modules particular to that software, help files, etc.) are now installed along automatically. This removes the need to open "Language Support" after installing new software.
pm-utils now has two new scripts to power down USB and various PCI devices in battery mode. A number of desktop packages were fixed to wake up less often. Both of these reduces power consumption and thus battery lifetime.
resolvconf is now used to manage /etc/resolv.conf on all Ubuntu systems. For systems using Network Manager DNS resolution is now done through dnsmasq, which should help split-DNS VPNs and faster DNS resolution. You can learn more here
You can download it (starting some time tomorrow) here. But be prepared thatthe servers might be busy for the first few days.