My experience with Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron Beta

After a few tests with the new beta from Ubuntu, I decided to write some of my thoughts about this release.
Please note that this is a BETA release, has many unresolved bugs and needs to be polished before the final release.
Overall, everything seems better. A new host-based firewall application, the new Vinagre VNC client, Firefox 3 Beta 4 replaces Firefox 2 as the default browser, PulseAudio is now enabled by default, PolicyKit is now integrated in the administrative user interfaces, linux kernel 2.6.24, Xorg 7.3, GNOME 2.22, a few new compiz plugins.
In my opinion, there is a downside in this release regarding the PulseAudio sound server. Some non-GNOME applications still need to be changed to output to pulse/esd by default and the volume control tools are not yet integrated. Users with Audigy1 sound cards will be suprised to find out that the 5.1 output is not so good as it was in ALSA. It will be very difficult for a beginner to configure by hand the audio for best results in sound quality.
Anyway, many of this bugs will be resolved until the final release. Can’t wait!

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