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Quick Look at Ubuntu 7.10 Release Candidate

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Those that know me or my work in the Linux community know I always see the good in Linux distributions and open source software. I'm a "glass-is-half-full" kinda gal where Linux is concerned. But I'm having a hard time finding anything good at all to say about Ubuntu. Why the h-e-double_hockey_sticks is it so popular? It's the next thing to running nothing there is.

Okay, with that off my chest I'll defend the rights of anyone to use whatever they wish. If they can make Ubuntu work for them, then more power to 'em. It's better than another Windows machine on the net being taken over by hackers to flood our internet with more garbage. But hard as I try I've come to the conclusion I'll just never understand it. But I try. I continue to try. I'll boot a version of Ubuntu every now and again to see if I can finally see what at least some of the hype is about. That's why I booted Ubuntu 7.10 Release Candidate this morning. This is what I saw:

I still have to boot Ubuntu and its derivatives with "noapic" on my laptop when no other distros require it. It's slow even by liveCD standards. The silent boot splash is attractive with its copper colored busy indicator and rounded font Ubuntu image. The wallpaper is much improved this release with its metallic coppery swoosh abstract imagery. In fact, it's almost pretty. The menus are still highlighted by an ugly orangy color, but it's not too distracting. I wish coloring was all that was wrong with this distro then there'd be some hope.

Where should I start? Let's begin with the lack of applications and software. How can other developers, like those of PCLOS or KateOS, include so much on their one CD live systems and yet Ubuntu by comparison is so limited? This leads to my biggest complaint.

It doesn't even include Ndiswrapper? How much space does that take up for crying out loud? Like 3 MB? So, this began a spiral into a abyss of uselessness. I couldn't connect to the internet, which stops any distro in their tracks on the way to my recommendation and hard drive. What good is it then?

        


In checking out the menus, there's not much here. I suppose there is one app for the most common computer tasks such as email, instant messaging, voip, image viewing, image manipulation, document creation, and internet browsing. Admittedly OpenOffice.org and GIMP take up quite a bit of space. Let's see, there's Evolution for email, Pidgin for instant messaging, Ekiga for internet telephony, and Firefox for browsing. Besides the GIMP, there's gThumb and F-Spot for photo or image viewing. There are some handy accessories like an online dictionary, search, and calculator. There is a graphical software manager.

        


And there are some multimedia applications for movies and music, although none could play anything. You say, "well you can download the codecs. It'll install them for you." Yeah, right, if I had an internet connection, but thank you.

So, I wasn't able to test most of their applications. In fact, it seems like Ubuntu is primarily a "I just want to email, instant message, and surf the web" kinda system, which makes not being able to connect all the more ironic.

It was stable in the short time I tested it, what little I could actually test. Most notably, it was slow in operation. Even the menu had an annoying two-second lag in opening and in moving the highlighter. It did get my screen resolution correct out-of-the-box.

So, anyway, for fans, I'm sure they'll be drooling all over this release. At least it does have a prettier wallpaper. But as for me, Ubuntu still sucks in my book.




I find it quite hard to

I find it quite hard to believe that you are a "glass-is-half-full kinda gal", as you had obviously seen the bottom of a few too many empty beer bottles around the time you wrote this garbage.

Wow, less then a hour to storm the castle

Apparently the vast unwashed horde of Unoobtu fans have nothing better to do then watch for new reviews and then attack the reviewer instead of blaming the crappy coders.

Hang tough SRLINUXX, everybody else knows (and appreciates) your "tell it like it is" review methods.

Amazing!

Just like a politician. If you can't argue the facts attack the reviewer.

Ubuntu has done a lot for Linux but it is not perfect and not for everyone. But everyone is allowed to express their opinion. You have the choice to not listen or to disagree. But to go immediately to a personal attack is reprehensible. I didn't hear Susan personally attack anyone.

Instead of your tripe, how about posing some desenting opinion. Make your point with facts and counterpoints, not slurs.

Glass Half Full....

Naturally the engineering approach to the glass being half full is the glass was twice as big as it needed to be.....

Seriously both Ubuntu and SuSE needed to change the kernel and add the non-oss driver feature on demand.

These are serious point upgrades.

In the windows world this would be XP SP3 fortunately it will not lock up your computer and require a 2 hour support call like XP SP2 did. (And that did require that support call.)

Hasta Le Vista Baby!

I'm pretty optimistic too...

Personally, I think Ubuntu has potential, but the Ubuntu team is mostly about marketing their version to the general public of which the collective intelligence seldom tips any scale. However, we should be glad that Ubuntu has reached the masses to give more popular recognition to the Linux operating system. Myself, I have tried some 30 different distros of linux and have concluded that Ubuntu is near the top of choices, but not nearly as I'd like the most popular distro to be. Although I have not tested the 7.10 version yet, I dare say it will not touch PCLinuxOS in ease of use and minimal system resource usage. Too much tinkering has to be done with Ubuntu to make it usable for the average person.

Not having gotten a chance to play with the new Ubuntu, I still may be inclined to agree with srlinuxx and her comments, I mean, what? It still doesn't have Ndiswrapper? I installed the 7.04 version on several computers at my school and they ran like sick dogs until I discovered Mandriva 2007 and Finally PCLinuxOS. I can't quite recall, but isn't there some configuring to do to make Ubuntu dual boot on your computer? Gosh, just make the thing simple and not such a resource hog. I hope they have done that with this latest distro. But, competition is good, that's why we don't just have one flavor of soda or ice cream. We have choices. If you started with Ubuntu and think you are stuck give Mandriva or PCLinuxOS a try before you get too committed.

Surlybuntu

Our reviewer knows as well as anyone else here that she could connect her laptop's ethernet port to her router, and get on the Internet that way. Then again, I wouldn't want to, either, just to test a live CD.

I've never been a GNOME fan, and the Kubuntu devs dumbed down simplified KDE too much for my taste. But look at the bright side: once you've installed Grumpybuntu Ubuntu and gotten your Internet connection working, you can fire up Synaptic (or - horrors - use "apt-get" at the bash prompt) and install as many apps as your hard drive can hold. And it is a Debian-based distro, which is a plus.

I'm mystified too...

It derives most of its stuff from Debian.
It has a millionaire funding development.
It has a large community of volunteers.

Why are the 'buntus so popular, and so mediocre?

Kubuntu is certainly one of the worst distros for a KDE centric user.

Ubuntu is internationalized

The Ubuntu LiveCD comes with basic support for a lot of languages which uses a lot of space on the disk. It's far more important for non-english speaking users to have a basic desktop in their own language than a complete desktop they can't use because they don't understand it. I agree that not including ndiswrapper is a huge mistake, though.

re: internationalized

hmm, that is a good point.

re: re: internationalized

So you're saying it's sucks, but it sucks in numerous languages.

Seems like Unoobtu has the mouseketeers marketeers from Segway working for them.

re: re: internationalized

vonskippy wrote:

So you're saying it's sucks, but it sucks in numerous languages.

<snicker, snicker>

I'd say this was an honest

I'd say this was an honest review as I know how frustrating it can be not to be able to connect to the internet with any GNU/Linux distro which pretty much depends on internet. So I'd agree ndiswrapper might have been a smart thing to include...

However, to be honest, I have a feeling that you're writing off Ubuntu too easily based on this problem and indeed focusing a bit too much on what you see as negative about it - which are pretty much relative things like inclusion of software by default, having to pass a noapic option.. and.. er.. well not much else.

All this said I can't escape the feeling of expecting a negative review from a site like this. I mean it doesn't take much guessing to see that this site is packed with PCLinuxOS fans which are basically the biggest "competition" to Ubuntu and sort of set in their ways just as Ubuntu users are set in theirs.

This may be the reason why it becomes so easy for you to dismiss Ubuntu as a whole as a bad distro.

I for one use it because it works and because it is well supported and because I like Debian based package management.

But to each his own. My score for the review isn't very high though. You may disagree, but I personally think it lacks objectivity.

Thank you.

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