Linked by Christian Paratschek on Mon 25th Apr 2005 20:11 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Welcome back to another issue of my reviews of Linux distributions. Not really surprisingly, this time I decided to take a close look at the second version of the most popular Debian offshoot, Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu's performance probably was the biggest surprise that 2004 had in store for Linux users. Just 9 months ago, almost noone even knew that there was a new project underway, but then things went really fast: after a preview version in mid-September, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, released version 4.10 in October. Being based on Debian, Ubuntu has a solid base and, despite not being supported officially, all the (18.000) Debian packages available. Ubuntu 4.10 proved to be a decent operating system (especially for a first try) and had overall pretty positive reviews (here's mine).
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Good potential, but still needs
by Martin on Mon 25th Apr 2005 20:34 UTC

I like ubuntu's philosophy and sane defaults. The aesthetics are also unique, but those who prefer a different look may easily change to one of the other preinstalled themes.

The part that I found kind of hairy... is that, to get the level of functionality that many come to expect from a desktop OS, you have to enable external package repositories. Following the documenation on http://www.ubuntuguides.org, I was able to install just about everything I needed... but this came at the cost of stability. Enabling GLX and the nvidia driver, in addition installing some multimedia packages, left my system highly unstable. The machine locked up frequently at seemingly random times.

Oddly, I have not experienced the same level of instability using the same software titles and NVIDIA GLX on other distros. Particularly, Xandros and Linspire (both debian-based) worked fine. Even my Gentoo install, using all "unstable"/"bleeding edge" sources exhibited greater stability.

regardless, I enjoyed what I saw in Ubuntu, and i look forward to their future releases. I would just suggest that they try to expand their Ubuntu-repositories, so i wont have to "taint" the install with unsupported debian packages.