The second Alpha version of Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) was released a few days ago and made available for users to test and give their impressions and feedback.

This alpha version is packaging more drivers and can support a lot of hardware thanks to the Linux kernel 3.0. Ubuntu developers decided also to include by default both Thunderbird 5.0 and Firefox 5 on Ubuntu 11.10.

GNOME 3 is still the default desktop environment side by side with Unity. Having a lot of improvements, Unity can now be tweaked more by users. Also, users can now backup and restore their data using Deja Dup, which is included by default in this new release.

For managing packages, you should know that Synaptic Package Manager is still available on Ubuntu 11.10, not removed as has been said across the web.

The release date for Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) will be on October 13th, 2011, but the final Alpha version (third version) will be made available on August 4th, 2011. To download Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 2, click here.