Jaunty Jackalope

Jaunty Jackalope is the latest, upcoming version of Ubuntu.  Right now it is in its first alpha release.  On April 23, it will be released in final form, to be the official Ubuntu 9.04.

Testing alphas – and the later candidates, betas – is a way to give back to the Ubuntu community.  It can help the developers catch bugs and make the final release as bug-free as possible.  I tested Intrepid starting with the third alpha, and found the Bug Squad people – the testers’ interface with the actual developers – to be pleasant to work with.

Bug testing is not for everybody.  If you are running something mission-critical (like Christmas card labels, for instance), you might want to wait until a later alpha or even a beta.  I myself am waiting for Alpha 2 because I just got my Christmas cards out and want to be able to put any corrections in my list to bed before switching over to Jaunty.  At least, I think I will be able to wait until December 18, when they release Alpha 2!

The Release Schedule for Jaunty Jackalope has a great deal of useful information.  The first alpha was released November 20.  The dates for the later alphas are given.  The first beta release is scheduled for March 26.

If you want to participate in testing, the easiest way to upgrade your computer to Jaunty is to go to the command line (Alt-F2) and type in update-manager -d.  Once you have updated Intrepid, you will get a screen telling you that a newer version is available, with a button to click on if you wish to upgrade.  I will have further screenshots and advice when I switch to Jaunty myself, on or around December 18.  Happy testing!


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