Linux distributions and goofy names go together like peanut butter and jelly. There is a method to the madness though, as code names make it easier to search for version-specific issues. Still, I wish the names would be a bit less silly. Case in point, the new version of Ubuntu, 14.10, is code-named "Utopic Unicorn". Sigh. Whatever.
Regardless of what it is called, Ubuntu is a great distribution, especially for beginners. Today, Canonical announces that Beta 1 of 14.10 is available for immediate download. However, only the alternative flavours are available; the default Unity version no longer participates in official beta releases. Gentleman, start your downloads!
"Pre-releases of the Utopic Unicorn are not encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu flavour developers and those who want to help in testing, reporting and fixing bugs as we work towards getting this release ready", says Stéphane Graber of Canonical.
Graber further explains, "While these Beta 1 images have been tested and work, except as noted in the release notes, Ubuntu developers are continuing to improve the Utopic Unicorn. In particular, once newer daily images are available, system installation bugs identified in the Beta 1 installer should be verified against the current daily image before being reported in Launchpad. Using an obsolete image to re-report bugs that have already been fixed wastes your time and the time of developers who are busy trying to make 14.10 the best Ubuntu release yet. Always ensure your system is up to date before reporting bugs".
Home users should act cautiously. While it is probably safe to install, it is not recommended for production machines. If you have important files on your computer, I urge you to wait for the final version. Hell, you probably won't notice any difference anyway. However, if you are the Evel Knievel of the Linux world, definitely give it a go.
If you are a fan of the Unity environment, I'm sorry, but like I stated earlier, you cannot join in the fun. Only the alternative flavours are getting the Beta 1 treatment. Unity haters, please download your preferred flavour below:
Will you download? Tell me in the comments.