Canonical has changed its approach and process for testing and developing the new Ubuntu 13.04 distribution. Known as Raring Ringtail, the distribution recently completed the Beta 1 testing phase and a beta preview was released. However, the creators have not been exactly open with releasing milestone versions even though the distribution is getting through them with ease. This approach was outlined by Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, near the end of last year.

Ubuntu Linux 13.04 Achieves Beta 1 Milestone

Even during the alpha testing, the company refrained from releasing any versions of the software for the people to check out before they make a decision regarding whether they want to use it or not. There were some peripheral releases for distributions like Kubuntu and Edubuntu but none at all for the Raring Ringtail. This deprives webmasters and users from using the software before it is released in its final form in the near future.

This approach is being called the ‘skunkworks’ approach. However, it doesn’t appear as though Canonical is doing anything different from the past. The only noticeable change is that fewer milestone versions of the upcoming distributions are being released. This is also the case with the beta 1 milestone. You cannot use the main beta 1 version of the distribution. The only way you can catch a glimpse into the distribution is through variations like Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu.

This move was explained by some of the developers who are working on the latest version of Ubuntu. This was not the case with the previous version of the distribution, the 12.10. It was after its completion that they decided to tweak the development cycle and not release as many milestone images as they did before. The focus of the development phase would be on ‘cadence testing’. This means only the final beta version of Raring Ringtail would be made available as a milestone release in April.

Yet, the developers continue to update users of the progress they are making through the ‘Daily Builds’ section of the main Ubuntu website. So, even if you decided to check out the images which have been released as yet, you wouldn’t be able to get a clear idea of what to expect from Ubuntu 13.04. The ideal option is to wait until the final beta version is released in the beginning of April. But what is so different about the new version of Ubuntu that is being kept under wraps?

There are a number of additions to the existing distribution and several features have also been included this time around. One of these is the new and better Linux 3.8 kernel. Among the other additions is Applications 4.10.1 and KDE Plasma. Canonical has also added Secure Boot Support for the Ubuntu 13.04 which you can preview on the Kubuntu variation. You can easily find and downloaded the new flavors which Ubuntu carries this time around.

Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail has completed the beta 1 milestone testing stage but this time around, it wouldn’t result in a milestone version being released. Users have to wait for the release of the final beta version.

[Image via pianetatech]