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Ubuntu 9.04 Beta Impressions: Jaunty is looking good

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:

Jaunty

40 Comments

  1. Pingback: Sathya
  2. Pingback: Sathya
  3. Pingback: Sathya
  4. /me stabs Sathya for liking OpenSuse :P
    Suspend/Resume and Hibernate support has definitely improved in Linux kernel( 2.6.27 IIRC). F10 does it quite well too. Ubuntu missed the ship last time for some reason but good to know that they’ve fixed it this time around.
    What’ with this new ‘feature’ of not allowing ctrl + alt + bkspace to kill X? Is it a X feature or Ubuntu one? What sense does it make? I find it very useful to kill X many times especially those buggy releases by Nvidia causing X to lock up.

  5. Pingback: Sathya
  6. Something wrong with your template. It leaves this code before the comment box. Looks like you were trying to comment some code out but left a comma. “//, ‘callback’=>’disp_brow_detl’)); ?>”

    Suspend/resume has been a problem for me too on Ubuntu. Going by what you’ve said, I hope Jaunty gives a better experience. And I also hope distro upgrade works properly this time.

    1. Distro upgrade has never ever worked for me. It breaks something or the other every time.

      Another problem is that am on Hardy and to upgrade to Jaunty, I need to go through Intrepid.

          1. I used ReiserFS too earlier, but I’ve shifted to ext3. With Namesys vanishing in a puff of smoke I think it’s better to stick with a filesystem which is more actively developed.

      1. Manish, dist-upgrade has worked perfectly for me on my sister’s PC, running ubuntu. I have been upgrading it from 6.06 to 8.10 and intend on continuing the same after 9.04 releases. Just had a small glitch during the last upgrade with display being stuck at 800×600. But, that was due to change in Xorg, which was a distro neutral thing, and was eay to fix – just remove the /etc/X11/xorg.conf

        1. Direct distro upgrade over a net connection is not the only choice you have. Pop in the alternate install CD into an already-installed Ubuntu installation, and it will prompt you to carry out an upgrade using the files on the CD. This works with alternate install only, not the usual CD with live session capability.

          1. Hmm, wasn’t aware of this option. then again, alternate CDss are not the most common ones, I’ll have to download them, which again is/was my problem

    2. @Ankur Yes, long story short, using a plugin which broke my comments template on upgrading to WP2.7.1, have to either remove the code or fix the plugin

  7. Thats neat! Gotta see if an upgrade will work.. well,, havent upgraded my 8.04 (whatever animal it is :P ) till now.

    Also, we can have graphical grub thing? wow.. gotta check it out! Been trying to puy splashimage to my grub but that thing always gives some or the other error.. hm…

  8. vpnc is a candidate for your cisco vpn client.
    It is used as an alternative to Ciscos own client at the university where I go. It’s very simple so it migth not do it for the setup at your work, but as I understands it speaks Cisco. Good luck.

  9. Dude, in the screenshot of your desktop what app did you use to display all that tech data on the right side of your screen??? Thanks

  10. Pingback: Sathya
    1. I suppose you have an Intel 965GM graphics chipset. That is blacklisted due to buggy drivers. When compiz is enabled, video playback is not possible. Will be fixed later.

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