First Thoughts on Ubuntu 10.4

My first tests with Ubuntu 10.4 are in Sun's virtualbox. I had a bit of trouble but that was because Virtualbox needed updates. After that It went smooth. The polish on the Ubuntu installer is impressive. It looks as good as apple's installer for OSX and is very clear and easy to understand for even a non computer expert. I give them an A+ for the installer, It's simply fantastic.

Installing the Virtualbox Guest Addons worked. although I still wish there was a left click context that was "run with admin privileges" instead of having to go out to a shell and sudo to run it as admin. A reboot was required but only because of the kernel modules, and I am sure I could have skipped the reboot, but it's simpler to just reboot the box. Running Ubuntu on virtualbox on my outdated and under powered Dual Core 2.8ghz laptop with only 4 gig of ram was sluggish. but that's probably because of the Windows 7 install that is the Host OS.

Overall I really like the clean new look to the theme. Nice default for newbies to enjoy. Seeing that Transmission is installed by default is a nice touch as well. Problem though that I am not introduced with any easy and obvious way to get the non-free "illegal" things installed like mp3 playback. video codecs, etc... so a newbie will still have to find a Ubuntu guru to get the fresh install up to speed and ready for the internet. medibuntu is still your only easy way of getting all that done.... It needs to be a single click though.

My first stop with firefox was to download and install google chrome. Simply because I prefer it above Firefox now and it's significantly faster. (Plus flash does not crash it like it does firefox) It was easy as pie to install with a single click from the web page. gone are the days of linux software installs where you had to spend 20 minutes hunting where the thing went and manually adding it to the software menus in X. It's magically there on it's own.

I was glad to see open office and evolution installed by default. The rumors of the switch to the awful "could computing" office apps would have been a bad thing. Honestly, until we all have free 100% reliable wireless Gigabit internet cloud computing is simply a pie in the sky thing. Give me a word processor that runs on my machine and saves to my machine. It is nice you now have a section of "partners" for other software. Adobe's real flash is available there for a single click install. you still have to go digging for it though. Most users will not know it's there.

I'm not sure about the social networking integration. But honestly Ubuntu 9.10 had this just without the Ubuntu one service defaulted. It's kind of neat that the app is hidden as a single icon. Cleaner in a way.

Ubuntu is still borked when it comes to windows networking. Just like 9.4 and 9.10 it still fails to browse a windows network without having to fix it by hand. I have a domain and a Workgroup here and ubuntu out of the box fails when you click on the windows network icon in places... They really need to fix this ASAP. It's been an open bug for over a year now.

Overall It's just like 9.10 Clean, mostly stable, and very easy to use IF you dont have a windows network you have to interface to. Most home users where they can only afford 1 machine will never see this as a problem. Add a NAS and now you have issues as many dont do NFS out of the box without configuration.

I like what I see, I probably wont upgrade my wife's 9.10 install until this october when 10.10 comes out. hopefully by then they will have fixed SMB networking issues.


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