back to article Ubuntu's Karmic Koala bares fangs at Windows 7

Ubuntu 9.10 - aka Karmic Koala - is taking the fight to Microsoft and its new Windows 7 operating system. The Koala - due for its official release today - brings faster boot times, a revamped software installer, better disk encryption, online services, and quite a bit more to the popular Linux desktop. We took the release …

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Linux

@ Have they fixed/replace the attrocious network manager?

Notwork Manager is shite isn't it? Whoever writes it seems to be on a crusade against automatic logon - if you do that, NM then pesters you for the default keyring password, somewhat defeating the object (I've seen Evolution do this too).

Ubuntu now have the simpler and superior wicd in the repositories, just type wicd into Add/Remove Applications and Bob will soon be your uncle.

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WTF?

What Time?

What time can we download it? The home page still says coming soon.

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Linux

@ratsac11

-(most importantly for newbies) you can change settings without having to type stuff into terminal. This is how most help advice comes as of writing

You're right, the terminal is the most important feature for newbies. I don't know what I would do without it. Quite frankly the terminal is the best newbie tool ever concieved of. Here's why... When something breaks on Windows, have you ever looked on the internet for a solution? Or tried to walk someone through how to fix it? It goes like this: "Open the start menu, click run, no, R-U-N... yeah... now type in regedit.. click on that little boxy thing beside _MASSIVLY LONG KEY NAME_... click plus, plus, plus, pus... find the thing that say X... no, the other thing that says X... change it to Y... Make sure you change the right thing to the right thing otherwise your computer won't boot... Then close... now open control panel... find Z.... blah blah blah... and reboot.." It doesn't work? Did you miss something?

On Linux:. Type the problem you are having in to Google.... First hit is usually your answer: Open up terminal, and copy and paste "xxxxxxx" into it. There, fixed in one step with no chance for error... And you didn't even have to re-boot.

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@ It's today now - so where is it?

Today is almost over, here in Japan, and I am still waiting for it

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@ @ It's today now - so where is it?

Damn, speak of the devil, it's just appeared online

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Paris Hilton

Quit yer moaning

Reading some (if not most) of the comments you would think that hoardes of disgruntled Ubuntu users were right now at the customer service desk of PC World demanding there money back.

Sure Ubuntu does lack the polish of Vista/ Win7, however bearing in mind it is completely FREE and almost a direct replacement for WinXP it is not difficult to see why so many pro M$ sponsered bloggers are doing thier damdest to keep it hiddem from greater public awareness.

If Shuttleworth and friends really want to sink thier collective fangs, then put faster boot times on the back burner and do something about 'Sideways' compatibility to make Ubuntu more friendly towards using non-linux drivers and software.

Paris, because she can moan all she likes

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FAIL

Hold your breath and wait

It seems I am the only one having the problems. I upgraded from Jaunty, so this may be the culprit. My main gripes are:

1. Boot time. To GDM it is really fast. Then it is a slugfest. 20 something seconds for GDM login prompt to appear, and whopping 50 seconds for usable desktop. My laptop has T7200 Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2 GB of RAM, so clearly something is not right.

2. Empathy and notification area. Every review just mentions that Empathy is default. Since I use it since 8.10 I thought no problems. No luck. Before Empathy was happily sitting in the notification area. No more. Now to see whether you are online, you have to add to the panel the sesion indicator applet. To be notified of the messages you have to add indicator applet. The first applet displays your full login name and the status icon is non-colored. So instead of one unobtrusive icon to see your status and to open empathy window, now I have two applets which take up my precious panel space, and I have to click a smorgasboard of applets and whatnot to open the empathy window. A huge usability no-no from my point of view. And god forbid if you did not notice that you have a message. The panel will not indicate this now. Go to indicator applet, press it, and may be you will be lucky.

3. The password box. For some reason whenever I have to enter password anywhere, I have to use magnifying glass to see password signs. I checked all obvious places, all fonts are in order, dpi is reported correctly, so I must draw a conclusion that this was a design choice. Why display anything at all then?

So there. If you upgrade from Jaunty beware. You may have a rough ride. I made my mistake by trying too soon. Wait the usual month. And probably do a clean install. I for one will certainly do one, since ext4 seems worth it.

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Wireless and NVidia

Well, my desktop Ubuntu wireless (using a USB stick) worked first time and stays working. The other half's Vista PC with the same USB wireless stick has only just started working properly when sp2 was released. To be honest, I'm still not sure it completely right.

Nvidia has been a PITA though. Ubtuntu did work out of the box, then I upgraded to the Nvidia driver to get acceleration, but every kernel upgrade now breaks X so I have to reinstall the driver. Think its because my graphics card is about 5 years old, if not more. But still a PITA, although the blame I think lies with Nvidia, not Linux/Ubuntu.

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Qux
Happy

Re: Quit yer moaning

While I have to agree that Karmic Koala lacks the polish of Win 7 or Snow Leopard, there's really no comparison between it and the (clunky, ancient) XP. Frankly, the "free" aspect had little to do with installing UNR on this new netbook (my other machines are Mac$), but a lot to do with the fact that it's quicker, more stable, and easier to use than Win 7. (Getting a "Windows tax" refund from Amazon was just icing on an already tasty cake.)

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polish?

jon72 said "Sure Ubuntu does lack the polish of Vista/ Win7".

True, Windows is polished, but don't forget underneath the polish is a whole lot of rust...

Am looking forward to this release - my boss has just asked me to purge Vista from her home laptop as she's fed up of wating 10 minutes of startup just to check her emails (not sure she knows about suspend etc and who knows if it would work) - this looks to be the most user-friendly Ubuntu yet, so I'll try and it see if it's ready from the off, or whether I need to stick to 9.04 for a couple of months.

For my own (main) machines I prefer to use the LTS (cos I can't be bothered constantly upgrading) but this looks to be a good step towards 10.04 which should be a real killer.

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Linux

@James Hughes 1

I'm not promoting one distro over another, however, in openSUSE this problem is automatically solved in YaST update (add nvidia repository) If it's yet not in Karmic Koala, then Lanky Llama or Musty Mongoose will have it as standard, I'm sure.

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Nvidia

There's two sets of drivers in the Ubuntu repo - 180 and 173 - 180 is few "newer cards" and 173 for older. (Unless this has changed recently).

Mandriva has everything on the disk, 3d drivers, wireless drivers, flash, codecs, plugins etc, it installs much faster than Ubuntu and has the most stable version of KDE4 I've used.

I mostly gave up with Linux - I got Macs and that was that. Such is the delight of OSX that I'd rather use a single core 800Mhz ppc chip based Mac box than a dual core 64bit AMD Win/Lin one.

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Nvidia Drivers

If your Nvidia drivers aren't automatically updated on kernel upgrades then ensure the dkms package is installed. That should take care of module updates (does on mine anyway).

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May I ask...

... if "The goal is to eventually replace Synaptic, gdebi, some parts of the Computer Janitor, and possibly the Update Manager as well, with the all-in-one Software Center." why not just use Open SuSE's YAST? 'Cause that's what YAST is, the functional equivalent of "Control Panel" in Windows. Maybe it's even more than that, but I might be biased because I use Windows only when forced or to make money...

By the way, where is yast4deb project at? And where is Novell with their effort to separate the UI in YAST from the back-end scripts?

YAST is also one of the easiest tools to be accepted by a Windows sysadmin...

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Alert

slow internet bug should never have shipped

To anybody that is not comfortable with text editors and the command line I would recommend holding off on upgrading to 9.10 for at least a few weeks. There is an almost show stopper issue with ipv6 (ip6 sucks balls everyone moving to nat instead, ipv6 on the blacklist ftw) dns resolution on many computers that really slows down your internet connection to almost dial up speeds. The issue is documented at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/417757 . Note that I was able to resolve it on my netbook but following the advise posted in post #30. Still for notebooks a few quibbles (took away the shutdown and logoff areas on desktop and the above issue) but all in all is snappier and pretty slick.

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Joke

@ "Wanky Whale"

'Sperm Whale' I think you'll find.

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FAIL

ITS UGLY!!!!

OK I have to say it. Gnome and KDE are still ugly as hell.

Back in the windows 95 days they looked like crap compared to win 95. However, in recent years, I would say they have caught up with win 95, but certainly not 98.

This is one MAJOR reason to not switch to Ubuntu or Linux. Sure it's stable, sure it's reliable, but if Apple can do it, the rest of you linux developers can get off your butts and make something look good too.

And don't talk to me about getting involved - I really don't care!

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Beauty

Upgraded on my netbook and it is wonderful... using it right now, sadly too early for battery life testing and so forth but I'm one happy chappy. I may even get rid of the xp partition soon.

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@Rich 2

Actually nvidea is quite good about providing drivers to every system under the sun. On opensolaris nvidea is PREFERRED because they are so good about giving us drivers for their video chips.

It does problably help that we don't change our ABI at the drop of a hat (and I mean ANY hat). Also can't hurt that the question of license conflict is non-exsitent.

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J 3
Go

@steogede Netbooks

Very easy: use Unetbootin. Have you even tried to read the UNR installation instructions at all? It's all there, and runs on Windows or Linux.

It gets any ISO from any distro (it will download it for you, if it's available in the program's menu, or you can use your own) and makes a bootable USB drive from any 1GB key. Has worked well for me since 9.04, I think.

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J 3
Linux

@anti-brown whiners

What are you talking about, brown? My Ubuntu installations do not look brown at all.

OK, I don't like the default color scheme that much either, but what do you whiners think you are running, an Apple OS? :-P

For good or for evil, you can change all that in any Linux distro with a few clicks of the mouse. About 2.5 minutes after installation, my panels are semi-transparent, the colors are a mix of blue and gray, and the desktop picture is one of my sky photos. Looks *very* different from the screen shots in the article. It will only look brown if you want it to look brown, lazy arses.

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Anonymous Coward

Home directory encryption/automatic login

How does that work then - if you're logged in automatically, how does encryption protect your files from the stranger who picks up your laptop?

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Linux challenges Windows

Linux reminds me of Windows 3.1, and no one can argue that Linux usage has surpassed the usage of Windows 3.1! A success!

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Unhappy

huh!

does this mean the end of command line fun then?

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FAIL

Re: slow internet bug should never have shipped

My comment was not clear but the bug especially affects you if your ISP can not do ipv6 dns resolves (as most in the US cant). That is those who don't run ipv6 at all because frankly it sucks will encounter the most problems with this bug. <rant> WTF the ip6 crowd can bite my nuts I am tired of it being a security risk (if not careful and disable by default can be wide open to anyone) and am mad it is such a pain to get rid of in linux. Such a fail technology and the linux devs should not have made it so insidious to force us to have to jump through hoops to get rid of it and finally it should never ever affect ipv4 speeds. I absolutely adore 9.10 on my Samsung NC10 but all these nagging little issues don't speak highly of Ubuntu QA process and will reflect badly against the much more polished but ultimately still a turd that is windows 7 </rant>.

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Wise man once say...

With windows you can a noob forever be

With linux this you cannot.

Until damn fool shuttleworth come along.

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Anonymous Coward

Linux is the way to go

Looks like MS is using fake reviews go boost its 7 offering. Linux guys are doing much better job , that too free of cost.

Regards

Saurabh Singh

http://www.qtriangle.in

http://www.economichosting.net

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Linux

@responders to ratsac11

Another paid Mickey$shaft shill. Don't feed the monkeys.

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Gates Horns

theres a large kernel generic scheduler speed problems though

OC its interesting that on ones mentioned that theres kernel scheduler speed problems though....

http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel/889654

"...

> 20 samples/soccer_4cif.y4m -o /dev/null --threads X

> BFS CFS

> 1: 124.79 fps 131.69 fps

> 2: 252.14 fps 192.14 fps

> 3: 376.55 fps 223.24 fps

> 4: 447.69 fps 242.54 fps

> 5: 447.98 fps 252.43 fps

> 6: 447.87 fps 253.56 fps

> 7: 444.79 fps 250.37 fps

> 8: 441.08 fps 251.95 fps

After a bit of testing, it turns out that NEXT_BUDDY and LB_BIAS

features are _both_ doing injury to this load. We've been looking at

NEXT_BUDDY, but LB_BIAS is a new target.

Thanks a bunch for the nice repeatable testcase!

-Mike

"

there are several fixs apparently, but its not clear if their actually in the released version today, infact it seems like it not ,as nothing mentioned online that i can find anywere....

http://patchwork.kernel.org/patch/54550/

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FAIL

Who are these people who actually care about wireless on their desktop computer?

1. go to store

2. buy some cat5e cable

3. connect one end to router

4. connect other end to PC

5. enjoy a networking experience that will never be matched by wireless using any software or hardware combination, ever

If you must use n00bnet, sorry wireless, Ubuntu handles it fine anyway. Bear in mind though that wireless will still suck because of the inherent suckiness of wireless, and not because of Linux.

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Anonymous Coward

@Greg J Preece

Stupid names? Windows 7 when in fact it is 6.1! That's really lame!

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Headmaster

Stupid Alliterative names

I'm sure they are offputting to some, especially the later ones:

Lascivious Lemur

Masturbatory Manatee

Noxious Newt

Obnoxious Ocelot

Presumptious Panther

Querelous Quagga

Rancid Racoon

Sensual Skunk

Titanic Toad

Underground Urial

Vapid Vole

Wimpish Wolverine

eXtended Xantus's Murrelet

Yodelling Yak

Zinging Zebra

(Ok I had to cheat with the X one)

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@Pete 2

New stuff? Won't get that in standard Ubuntu... Gnome doesn't do, "new".

The, "new" stuff is in KDE. Might want to go to Mandriva or OpenSUSE for that, though... Kubuntu's fine, but not all the features work out-of-the-box (nepomuk, anyone?), which is a real ball-ache.

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FAIL

Re: AC@9:45

Yep and that attitude is exactly why windows will probably end up owning the netbooks just like it does the desktop which is a damn shame. 9.10 is incredibly snappy and perfect for netbooks if you are tech enough to get fix the flaws out of the box that should never have shipped. The problem is %90 of the general public is not and due to the lack a tiny bit of polish it becomes a showstopper, they can't be bothered and win7 wins. Oh well I don't care either way but facts are facts.

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Stop

x

xenophobic xylophone ???

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Re: Home directory encryption/automatic login

The stranger who picks up your laptop still has to enter your password. Without which they cannot use your system in any way shape or form. So just don't give strangers your system password.

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Troll

@ responders to rastac

You guys got trolled.

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Alliterative Ansanity

What will they do when they reach the end of the alliterative alphabet? Why, they'll start again, but with THREE alliterated names! Wheee, what fun! Um, or not.

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Flame

trolls need to shut up

If you don't like Ubuntu, don't use it and shut up. If you don't like Linux, don't use it and shut up. What's so difficult to understand about that?

I see no reason to bash other peoples' work, especially if you're not so familiar with it and aren't even prepared to try it, and especially if they're giving it to you for free.

Seriously, if you like Windows or Mac so much, just mind your own business and shut up. Only when you have given Linux the chance that it deserves should you come here and preach about it not being good. Bloody trolls.

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Linux

Moan moan moan

Why do all the moaners come out every time something new comes out?

I've been running 9.10 for about 3 weeks (beta version) on am Acer Aspire One 8Gig solid state hard disk.

Much better than the supplied Linux and 9.04.

Free

Not as good as windows (will not use my scanner) but much much cheaper.

If you don't like it, PAY for something better

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@ Anonymous Coward

So your idea of a workable system is to meld two operating system into one and thereby create a single unit that "just works"?

Interesting concept, but outside of the techy/guru/fanboy arena, who in the general population of desktop computer users do you think would be astute enough to even know to do that much less actually attempt it. You know, those who spend most of the money that's spent on computers. A rhetorical question, but I'm sure your get the smell of what I'm stepping in.

Goto https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/WirelessCardsSupported

Why are there so many "No" responses in the "Works out of the box" column? For that, matter why does this data set even need to exist? Yeah, yeah I know Windows has similar lists and I have the same questions there too. Hype is hype regardless of it geographical location.

My point is, the common everyday garden variety non techy desktop user who goes to Best Buy wants to be able to do the things they want to do, to do the things they have always done, and in all likelihood stick to only those things in the future.

I can make all Ubuntu versions work. I can make all versions of Windows work. But the looks on people's faces when I tell them my skills are really the minimum for all computer users are simply hilarious. People want their computer to be like their automobile: start it up and go to the store/movie/where ever. What they don't want to have to do is call a cranking expert to get it going or to have to install BMW parts oi their Volvo to be able to get the radio to work.

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@Anonymous Coward

Linux is failing in its "battle" with Microsoft for desktop dominance because of one thing: an absolute lack of organization and no common goal. If all the Linux gurus were to get together, agree on a unified future course of action and put that plan into action, Microsoft would wither and die. And that death would take place a whole lot faster than we'd all believe.

The Linux community has basically all the programming talent and the innovative thought processes that would make a joint effort utterly unstoppable. Microsoft has no real talent, they use the shotgun approach: just blow something out there all over the place. Generally, uptake will be sufficient to keep them in busines.

Microsoft is laying people off and stopping numerous projects because they are in financial straits. If Windows 7 fails, Microsoft fails. But the Linux community has sat with their thumbs up their collective butts and done nothing as a coherent group. If a Linux consortium ever had the chance to trounce Microsoft, it was during the vacuum after Vista's release but before 7's release. A golden opportunity was missed because the various Linux boys can't get it together. And the sad part is, that sort of opportunity is not likely to happen again.

Linux guys are all good guys. And I mean that sincerely. They are of a general mindset to produce a quality product that works well, is fairly priced, and serves the needs of all desktop computers users. They truly are public servants with a desire to help. Microsoft is not like that. They may say they are but in the final analysis they exist NOT to build a better OS. They exist to 1.) Grow the company. 2.) Increase the bottom line, and 3.) Increase stock holder wealth. That's what all corporations do and if they need to be cutthroat at it they will be. In that regard, reference all their legal woes. The Linux community as a whole, lacks the killer instinct and will never best any corporation who has that instinct in spades. Unless they truly organize.

One fire ant bite is an annoyance. Two is a pain in the ass. But you get a whole colony of the little buggers on you and you can die. But then, fire ants can communicate and act in unison; they can get organized and they can kill you. The Linux community needs to take a lesson from fire ants and all start stinging at the same time.

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A huge disappointment

A lot of things got changed here that didn't need changing. Audio problems are omnipresent, the perfectly acceptable Pidgin messenger has been replaced with Empathy. A wealth of X server issues have cropped up, causing black screens with hard to trace causes. Proprietary driver activation has become buggy, and program crashes are routine instead of rare.

All in all, a very underwhelming release. You can do better, Canonical.

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Happy as Larry with Karmic

I upgraded my laptop (5 year old ThinkPad T42) and my Eee PC to Karmic as soon as it was out and I absolutely love it. Everything works out of the box and is extremely stable. The look and feel is a bit more polished, the new Ubuntu Software Centre looks good and easier to use for newbies, most preferences dialogues are more intuitive and more polished (the sound preferences in particular). Nothing revolutionary but everything a bit better, which is exactly what you would expect considering that 10.04 (aka Lucid Lynx) is meant to be an LTS: I'm happy to wait for 10.10 to see the revolutionary stuff if it means the next LTS is rock solid.

And considering I upgraded the laptop's HDD to an SSD in the process, that machine is now blisteringly fast: I've never seen Eclipse start that quickly. If you want to give a second lease of life to an ageing machine, that's the way to go: swap the HDD for an SSD and install a good Linux distribution on top. Yes, £130 sounds like a lot of dosh for a 64GB hard disk but it's a lot less costly than buying a whole new computer.

Oh and for all of you who don't like the brown theme, go to System -> Preferences -> Appearance and tweak to your heart's content. It's probably the same people who complained about the teletubbies look when XP first appeared. As for me, I'll keep the brown theme because it's quite easy on the eye which is good when working on the computer all day long.

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Happy

simply, F A N T A S T I C!

I have tried over many years a number of distros, let me tell you, this is the easiest linux to date! Unbelievable achievement, I even uninstalled Windows 7 (waaaay too Vista-y for me) and use this marvel of a distro. Congrats to all people involved, this brilliant! Give it a go.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm just a stupid user, but...

I’ve been a happy Ubuntu user for a few years now, loading it up on an ancient 13” IBM laptop which would creak under the weight of XP. It works beautifully with Ubuntu and is a better option than a cramped netbook for my needs. Having just upgraded to Ubuntu 9.10 from 9.04, I have to say that I’m a little underwhelmed. By no means is 9.10 a bad release, but 9.04 seemed to boot faster (without the fanfare that 9.10 is getting). Using my 3 mobile broadband stick, 9.04 would jump onto the network quicker than 9.10. I’m wondering whether Ubuntu’s getting bloated rather than leaner?

To balance it out, I also installed Win7 onto my desktop. It’s no better than Vista that preceded it. Really.

I’m not qualified to talk about code or components. I’m just an advanced, albeit stupid user. I can make my PC and laptop do what I want them to do through use of the tools on them. Neither of the new OSs have impressed. But only one of them cost me any money.

I still like Ubuntu – a lot – but I might just revert back to 9.04.

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FAIL

Shoot the karmic Koala

My personal experience.

ok a lot of you will shoot me on this first one...

1.The sis drivers that used to work with 8.10-9.04 now don't work

2. the adobe-flashplugin intall with 9.10 is shocking and deosn't work with some websites. and god forbid you install it. It won't but then it literally ruins synaptic\software centre\apt-get

3. Audio is incredibly quiet. I mean really quiet, when it was fine on 9.04. Unless I went deaf during upgrade process

4.It decided to wreck my winxp partition. Gparted can't even "see" it.

5. Networking is really really slow. compared to 9.04. Connections would drop out, and that bloody network manager is even worse.

1,2,3 and 5 have been noted in the ubuntu irc chat sessions, and no fix is forthcoming as yet.

I backed up my /home and reinstalled 9.04, everything works fine. I'm going to wait for 10.10 I think.

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@Trevor

Mixed bag for me too.

1) Video still a problem (ATI is unstable and Intel is slow)

2) Wireless network continually drops out

3) Flash is slow, but then it always has been poor on Linux IME

4) Sound suffers glitches

5) The "notifications" appear at a weird place on screen

Fonts seem to render better, boot time is slightly faster (but not "Wow!"...not that boot times matter much).

Shame really....I was expecting so much more. I am sorry to say it, but I don't think Win7 has much to worry about.

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stinky Fonts

Give me a call when they can manage to render nice fonts, until then it will (like all linux) continue to look like a crappy 90's OS.

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