It’s been a while since I last used Ubuntu – I have generally shunned away from Ubuntu since Fiesty – for the main reason that I’m more of KDE guy, I never really liked Gnome, and my experience with Fiesty was rather unsavoury. You might say ‘hey you want KDE try Kubuntu’ – Kubuntu – well I won’t get started on that. I’ve been using Sabayon and was pretty darn impressed with that. With Jaunty being due for release soon, I decided to check Jaunty, even more so after Manish kept raving about Jaunty’s performance.
So I proceeded to download the AMD64 version on Jaunty – though I don’t have enough RAM for a 64-bit OS to take advantage of. Once download was completed, burnt the iso onto a DVD-RW and booted off it. First thing – yes you’ve heard about the bootsplash screen, Jaunty comes with a new bootsplash screen with a more slicker looking, narrower progress bar. One thing *still* bugging me about Ubuntu – the text mode screen at Grub – for a distro emphasising a great experience for new users, I still can’t figure out why text mode bootload selection screen is used. I know, I know, its easy to change it, but c’mon! Most distros have graphical grub OS selection screen – and so far no distro comes nowhere near openSUSE’s.(kill me, I’m an openSUSE fan). This might seem minor, but trust me, these minor things makes a *whole* lot of difference.
The bootscreen gave me a (much needed) option of installing directly, rather than booting into the Live session and start the install – I really had no reason to try the Live session, because I was fairly confident that most, if not all of my hardware would be detected and work out of the box. The install took about 45 minutes (no thanks to my DVD drive, which can be rather slow and troublesome). During install, I was asked if I wanted to migrate my Vista install documents into Ubuntu, and I selected yes – this was another unexpected thing for me, as Fiesty and Gutsy never seemed to detect this.
Once the install was done I booted into my installed desktop – and yes boot time is pretty impressive, from a coldboot to fully usable desktop in little over 40 seconds.
If you are looking for a new look well you’d be disappointed, the much loved and hated brown is still the standard colour scheme, though the awesome looking Dust theme is available, and I switched directly to it.
So lets start with the hardware: As expected, all of my hardware was detected and usable out-of-the-box. One little peev that I had was that I manually had to create a connection for my WPA2’d WiFi, though I had no problems connecting to it and future boots connected to it automatically. I proceeded to install nvidia’s drivers for my 8600m GT, enabled Compiz and trimmed it down to the effects I need.
Software wise: Jaunty comes with the usuals: Nautilus for the filebrowser (and YES! gvfs! Something Gnome desperately needed, atleast IMO), Firefox for browser, Evolution mail client(though I proceeded to install Thunderbird), Pidgin for IM, OpenOffice for your Word processing and Spreadsheet needs. Multimedia-wise, Jaunty features Totem movie player, Rhythmbox as your audio media player – I proceeded with installing Exaile and SMplayer. Transmission features as the BitTorrent client – though its simplistic, its pretty good enough for most users and hey I get a Web interface for controlling my torrents from anywhere in the world.
I also needed some key apps which are vital for me – a Terminal Services client, and a vnc server running. I’m still trying to find a way of connecting to my office VPN (Cisco client, anyone ?).
Performance wise- Jaunty is indeed very impressive, very slick, extremely responsive. And something with caught me totally off-guard was Suspend/Resume and Hibernate – all of these worked flawlessly.
One more thing to note that in Jaunty, the usual Ctrl + Alt + BkSpace no longer kills the X-Server, there is a workaround this though. openSUSE has had this disabled but openSUSE’s way was to hit the keys twice to Kill the X-server, this unfortunately doesn’t work. As mentioned above, the workaround is to install dontzap, here’s how you can enable this feature.
In conclusion – I’m very impressed by Jaunty – I think Jaunty just might be one of the best Ubuntu releases. Think I will stick to Jaunty for a little bit more, and switch to it completely once its released. What’re your view ? Do post a comment or two and let me know!
Here’s my Jaunty desktop right now: