It’s still a bit too early to confirm the statement of the title — if you’d have a look at the release schedule (Where did the artwork drops go to?) you can see Alpha 2 is not going to be released until 14 January — and it is probably not wise to switch to Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx already, but I still risked the chance and upgraded my production environment to the development release.
So far everything’s going quite fine actually, booting has become a lot less scary now the “Segmentation error” message that was the first thing you saw on boot is gone now and I found a way to solve the issues with the NVidia drivers.
Currently the package ‘nvidia-glx-185’ in Lucid is incompatible with the Xserver — ‘nvidia-glx-185’ provides the virtual package ‘xserver-xorg-video-5’, and that conflicts with ‘xorg’, which wants ‘xserver-xorg-video-6’. Fortunately Collin Pruitt came to rescue with his blog post “Problems With Xorg and the nVidia Drivers“, which explains that you need to use the PPA ppa:nvidia-vdpau/ppa to get newer versions of the NVidia driver, nvidia-glx-195 is the latest release available from this repository, but legacy drivers are also available and should work on Lucid.
If you still get error messages from the Xserver and you can only run it in the safe-graphics mode you should make sure that the NVidia driver is enabled in System->Manage->Hardware Drivers and try again.
Understandingly there isn’t much new in Lucid currently, the most striking difference I found was the new lay-out for the Users and Groups (‘users-admin’) configuration utility. The interface is cleaner and simpler and shows details that previously were limited to the About Me-dialogue. I reckon this is part of Canonical’ effort to make account managing easier and more consistent across the desktop, as outlined in the User Account Management-blueprint.
Usplash is now definitely gone from the default installation and ‘libplymouth2’ is already a dependency of ‘mountall’, we’ll see probably more of that in the future. Currently there is no splash whatsoever before GDM is launched, but this is probably going to change. Keep an eye on the Boot experience work-blueprint for updates on the work being done.
I end this blog post with a Warning: the system might seem stable now, but this is because a lot of the changes still need to be made. Do not use a development release in a production environment unless you’re prepared to face the risks.