Thoughts on Ubuntu 8.10
Considering myself most times as an early adopter, this time with Ubuntu’s new version I didn’t upgrade as soon it was released. The problem is that the last weeks I don’t have too much free time to spend on computers and other things I like. Anyway, the point of the post is not whether I have or not spare time, but the brand new Ubuntu 8.10.
For you that you don’t have upgraded yet, I highly recommend it. There are two ways for upgrading, one with a clean install and the other from upgrading via your current installation (8.04 or 7.10 etc). Personally, I preffer the first way, in which the new OS is beeing complete installed and then works just as a brand new machine. In other words with a clean everything is beeing installed from scratch. You can find a very handy guide for a clean install in Irene’s blog (which in fact is in Greek but you can find the English version translated from Google Translate here).
Tons of new features and improvements are coming with Intrebix Ibex. First of all, 8.10 comes with full 3G support you easily move between wired and wireless connections onto 3G cellphone networks while travelling or if there is no wireless signal. There is also out of the box support for PSP, iPods and other MP3 players as well as built-in uploading support for Flickr via F-Spot Image Viewer. A very cool feature is Guest session, which creates a temporary password-less user account with restricted privileges like that the account cannot access any users’ home directories, nor permanently store data. One other killer-feature is the Live USB Creator, which is a built-in app for creating Live USBs for testing and installing Ubuntu, serving like Live CDs.
Regarding the technical overview, Ubuntu comes with the latest Gnome 2.24 desktop environment, with lots of bugs fixed like Nautilus which now has tabbed browsing and shows eject icons next to removable devices. File Roller (archive manager) now supports more file types like ALZ, RZIP, CAB and TAR.7Z. There is also the latest Linux kernel 2.6.27 which has fixed lots of bugs too. Intrebix Ibex comes with the new Network Manager version 0.7 which now supports management of 3G networks, multiple active devices at once, management of PPP and PPPOE connections as well as management of devices with static IP configurations. DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support) allows kernel drivers to be automatically rebuilt when new kernels are released. This makes it possible for kernel package updates to be made available immediately without waiting for rebuilds of driver packages, and without third-party driver packages becoming out of date when installing these kernel updates. Finally, there is also the new Samba version, 3.2, which supports encrypted network transport, IPv6 protocol and better integration with the latest Windows clients and servers.
Using it in my machine for two days, I can see that Intrebix Ibex is much faster as the previous version I used the Gutsy Gibbon (7.10). I think that it’s defenitely one of the best Linux distros out there. My opinion is that this new version has made Ubuntu a bit more Mac-like, in the way that everything works together, no need for configurations etc. I don’t say that you must not do edit some settings here and there but at least there not as many as before. Concluding, I encourage you to upgrade with a clean install in Ubuntu 8.10 as you can feel the brand new Ubuntu experience.
posted: November 19, 2008