Sunday, March 28, 2010

Living up to the Lucid Lynx Hype


Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx has a lot of hype. Usually I find the hype in anything, less than true.
However, not in this case. For once Canonical got it right and made good on making a better Ubuntu.

First Ubuntu 10.04 is a LTS (Long Term Support) release and they usually make the extra effort because of that. It shows with Lucid. Keeping in mind the next LTS isn't until the 12.04 release which is in two years. Previously canonical didn't get to radical with an LTS release. This time, well radical is putting it mildy.

Big pluses: More hardware support, astounding graphics and sound has improved. Updated software with new featues (including my favorite system monitor gkrellm)

Major problem: Firefox is flakey (I had to make Google Chrome ny default browser.) I should state this is not Canonical's fault entirely, as Mozilla made some severe changes with 3.6 and I had same issue with 3.6 in Karmic and had to revert back to 3.5 to have a stable copy of Firefox.

For the record I want it to be said despite the Firefox issue I am very impressed with the Lynx. It definitely boots faster and is a lot more responsive and smoother than the Koala was.

This was the first time I have ever done an online upgrade where something didn't blow up almost immediately. Canonical went to a lot of trouble to make this proccess a lot better. In the past a lot of software was removed. This time however only a couple of programs were removed and it was not an issue getting them reinstalled. However, I still had to go in and remove unwanted packages. Even so it wasn't all that bad. For once I will recommend the online update for those who don't want the hassle of retweaking their setup.

Yes its definitely worth the upgrade. Yes I highly recommend doing so, even using the online update though a fresh install is probably faster as it took me nearly 4 hours to get through the complete proccess.

The thing I like the most: usplash is finally deprecated. I have never been a fan of usplash and with plymouth now taking over the boot splash procedure I think were finally going to see some really neat boot splash screens.

I have been playing with Lucid now working with it and its really very pleasent. None of the little glitches from Karmic seem to be present and so far only Firefox has given me any real problems, but I wasn't surprised by them. Since I am finding Google Chrome to run a bit better than Firefox ever did I am not to upset.

The only other thing I had a problem with was getting the GDM greeter to look like I wanted, the run gnome-control-center at the login screen trick like we did in Karmic, well doesn't work. So I found a neat little program called python-gdm2setup. To get it, do the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gdm2setup/gdm2setup
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get-install python-gdm2setup

to use: gksu gdm2setup

The only thing it doesn't do is change the cursor, gonna ask them to add that ability though.

Ubuntu users are going to find themselves using a vastly improved and more friendly (to both the casual and power user) desktop that stands out beyond just your typical Linux system. Thoughs new to Linux will gain access to many new features they never had before.

10.04 is not the MS killer Linux system but 10.10 just very well maybe.

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