Ubuntu 7.10 let’s YOU choose your level of freedom

People seem to have quite high expectations of Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy), and to be honest, I don’t think they’ll be disappointed. Gutsy seems to be shaping up to be the best Ubuntu release ever, and it’s due for release next Thursday (18 October).There’s one particular aspect of Gutsy that I think is more important than most, and that is that it allows you to choose your level of freedom. I’d even go as far to say that this is an historic Linux distribution release, because of that.

1. Restricted manager

While not new in Gutsy, it does have a good deal of improvements. Restricted manager educates the user about proprietary drivers, firmware and other software that is required to make their hardware work. In the screenshot below, Restricted Manager warns me that my laptop requires non-free drivers if I’d like to use my modem. I haven’t had a use for a dial-up modem in years, so I just leave it disabled.

2. Firefox integration for downloading flash plugins