Posted by: harrysachz | October 20, 2007

My “Gutsy” Review

LoooogooontuSo by now, if you’re a Linux user, you’re well aware that the most recent version of Ubuntu Linux has been released. Version 7.10 is their latest entry into the free and open source desktop distribution market. Being the all-supreme hater of Windows, I’m always looking for stable, feature-rich, alternatives to the obviously broken operating system that dominates most computers.

Linux has some very easy installs when it comes to ‘customer requests’. I remember when XGL first came out, it took me at least 3 attempts and a few format / installs to get it working; and after that it was highly crash-prone. In the most recent versions of the more popular distros, CompizFusion takes no more than clicking “enable desktop effects” to turn your windows wobbly and your desktop transparent. Ubuntu has this option as “turn desktop effects off”, “turn them medium”, and “go all the way”. Granted, my test computer with Ubuntu installed doesn’t boot right now and I’ve started working on my first few beers of the day, so I can’t exactly remember what it said; but that’s the jist. I understand that with Vista being released to market, its important to have all kinds of incredible effects when opening and closing windows; but I just don’t understand the market. The typical Linux user is switching over because they’re looking for stability, a no-virus platform, and software that could breathe new life into their old hardware. Visual effects, like whales swimming inside a transparent desktop switcher 3d cube, doesn’t exactly fit the old hardware scheme or create a stable platform. With every unnecessary addition to the OS, you’re just asking for more problems. They look great, but where is the market?

Gibbuntu - One major issue that I had was during the install. After my first clean run, for some reason all my repositories were commented out. It took a while for me to realize this, but it resulted in a large headache that stuck with me the rest of the day. Why would that happen on a clean install? I couldn’t do simple Synaptic package installs or system updates with my sources.list in their default condition. Even after I thought I solved it, Automatix2 caused the synaptic manager to crash and rendered it unable to startup. This was all within the first 15 minutes of finishing the install. I may be a semi-Linux n00b, but this is recockulus.

Eventually, I got Flash to install and I was listening to Pandora on my work’s speakers. With these minor hiccups, which wouldn’t be minor for someone trying to switch from Windows, everything seemed to be working okay. So I install Gnome-art from the package manger. In every other version of Ubuntu, this particular app has proved very functional and simple to use. This time, however, simply changing my theme and my login screen caused the OS to crash on next boot and eventually killed it entirely. Now I’m looking at a console version of Ubuntu with a prompt awaiting my commands. This hasn’t been easy at all, and now I’m choosing to switch back to Suse. Most everything worked out of the box with that distro; and that’s a good thing, because I’m looking for something simple at this point. Too bad, I really liked the minimalistic style Ubuntu’s Gnome interface has always sported.

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Responses

  1. Granted, I haven’t installed Ubuntu “Gutsy Gibbon” yet (I’ve still got CentOS 4.5 on my home server, since that’s what I’m supporting in the lab at work), but I’ve seen 7.10 running and never heard a peep about those kinds of issues. What hardware have you installed it on?

  2. Installed on my Gateway laptop that has taken every operating system from Windows Server 2003, OSX, and every version of Linux I have ever played with. Its the only distro that has ever given me any issues. 7.04 Feisty ran just fine.

  3. Well, Ubuntu severely upped the bling-enabled-by-default factor in 7.10. What processor/RAM/video card do you have in that Gateway?

    If it has onboard video, that’s probably the reason changing themes caused a crash. The sources.list issue, though, is (as you say) recockulous.


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