Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 30th Oct 2008 15:28 UTC, submitted by M-Saunders
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Bang on target, the new version of Ubuntu Linux is available for our downloading pleasure. Amongst various changes it sports updates to the installer, improved networking, and a new 'Mobile USB' version geared towards the blossoming netbook market. Grab a copy from the Ubuntu website, and check out Linux Format's hands-on look. Or the one at Simple Thoughts. Or the one at PolishLinux. And probably a few other websites as well.
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I installed 8.10, but nothing to shout about
by rklrkl on Fri 31st Oct 2008 01:07 UTC
Member since:

I'm primarily a Fedora user, but I do like to try other distros and Ubuntu is usually one of the main alternatives I try. Firstly, I was a bit disappointed that the torrent link for 8.10 isn't prominent enough on the Ubuntu site (it really should be the main way people download ISOs nowadays) and secondly, the fact that a DVD version is available (yes, including torrents of DVD, not that the Web site makes it obvious those exist) is again well hidden. Fedora's is much better in this respect, IMHO.

As for the installation, I got a black screen when launching the live CD desktop using the default "Normal" setting, so I had to do the "safe graphics mode" setting to get the screen to appear. It's a Dell Vostro with an ATI 2600 XT and a CRT monitor - not an obscure combination really and quite disappointing that it ended up with a black screen by default (8.04 on the same setup was fine).

Once the installation was complete, I noticed that the promised Firefox prefs importing from my Fedora 8 partition didn't work (and no message to say it had failed), which makes me suspect the migration utility in the installer isn't up to snuff yet. I installed the ATI "restricted driver", only to find out that it wouldn't go above 60Hz and, yep, hacking the xorg.conf was the only way to go to 85Hz (60Hz gives me a headache with its flicker)...not good. I couldn't find a way to manually select your monitor, at least not from the standard GNOME menus anyway.

Amazingly, only hours after its official release, there were already 6 updates available for 8.10, *including* a new kernel! Yes, I know they probably finalise the ISO days before the announcement so that it can be mirrored, but it was still quite a surprise to see a new kernel on day 1.

I liked the Orca screen reader stuff, even if the first-time run brought up a low-tech terminal with text prompts to configure it. 8.10 also seems to be a few seconds faster to boot compared to 8.04, which is no bad thing.

I'm a bit surprised they haven't added any finer control by default for the Desktop Effects - just 3 general level settings seems a bit coarse to me. E.g. what if I want everything *but* the wobbly windows (which are cute for 10 seconds and then very annoying after that)? Yes, I can probably install a few obscure packages via Synaptic and configure it, but why not add 4-5 sub-options that are switched on at each level and allow you to toggle them on or off?

Overall, though, I don't think 8.10 is much of an advance over 8.04 - there's a few minor improvements here and there, but nothing killer (and the lack of 3.0 by default is a complete disaster!). Fedora 10, out in a few weeks, I think should knock the socks off Ubuntu - it's desperately needed after the catastrophe of Fedora 9 (beta X server for over 4 months of its 6 month life, what the freak were they thinking of?!).

Reply Score: 2

Rahul Member since:

The beta Xorg story is mostly a myth. Fedora 9 included 1.499 instead of 1.5 and that doesn't really make much of a difference at all. Refer

Reply Parent Score: 2

rklrkl Member since:

Sorry, but the server that was initially shipped with Fedora 9 *was* a beta release - claiming it's a "myth" is just completely ridiculous! Secondly, ATI does *not* support beta servers, so they didn't have a driver for it until shortly after the 1.5 server was released. Heck, even now, the repo still doesn't have the fglrx drivers for F9!! This is a messup of gigantic proportions and Fedora make a huge mistake picking a bleeding-edge X server that has no (decent performance) 3D driver support for Fedora 9.

This is exactly why I'm still on Fedora 8 and am keeping my fingers crossed that Fedora 10 won't have more crazy "broken" stuff that Fedora 9 had...

Reply Parent Score: 1