Monday, 7 June 2010

Ubuntu 10.04, impressions after a week

As a part of doing a general clean up of my laptop, last Wednesday/Thursday I carefully backed up all of the data accross all of the 5 different partitions (all of which had different operating systems, including three versions of Ubuntu), before deleting the partitions and installing Ubuntu 10.04 LTS as the only OS on my laptop. The process was quite time consuming, having to log into each and every OS and copy anything useful over to the "Data" partition. Ultimately, the effort did pay off in the end though and I'm left a feeling of great satisfaction at the fact that I didn't lose any data and managed to clean up my system.

As for the OS of choice for this rebirth of my laptop, it had to be Ubuntu 10.04. I had used Unetbootin recently to trial both the latest versions of Ubunut and Kubuntu, but ultimately settled on Ubuntu due to its better support of the wireless chipset in my laptop. The wireless is something I've constantly been struggling with over the years, with it behaving strangely, such as reducing power until the connection dies at which point it tries to reconnect. With 10.04 these problems seem largely solved (cross fingers), although my connection still sometimes drops out when I'm on the other side of the house. The other neat little thing is that this newer version of Ubuntu supports the status LED of the wireless chipset.

The few problems which I ran into after the install were to do with third party software and importing items from the previous installs. Google Gears failed to install, and after tracking the problem down it seems that Google is only providing a 64-bit version of the software, meaning that 32-bit users are out of luck. The fix was simply to install the 'xul-ext-gears' package from the repositories, but this could have been better integrated into the interface. The second problem I faced was to do with trying to import all of my old Tomboy notes. I have yet to find a script/program to do this for me and just pointing the synchronisation to the directory containing the old notes doesn't seem to work. It looks like I'm going to have to write some code for this one, not that I mind too much :)

Overall, 10.04 is a very impressive release. I'm more impressed with the stability improvements than any of the new features (social media anyone?).