back to article Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx: A (free) Mactastic experience

Ubuntu 10.04, officially available as of Thursday, is an important update for this popular Linux distro. It's a Long-Term Support (LTS) release - the first since 8.04 two years ago - and it wraps social network with media capabilities and a brace of online services in a brand new look. As an LTS edition, Lucid Lynx will be …

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Linux

@David Lawrence

Yes we are (and have been for a while). Most applications are very easy to install (pick from the list or download and double-click the .deb file), and last time I added a disk I didn't need commandline either....

If your rant would have been about installing drivers and updates breaking compatibility (thus leaving you with only commandline), I wouldn't have bothered to reply to your post ;)

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Unhappy

Not for me...

It's been a while since I tried linux, so I thought I'd give this release a chance.

1st problem - the bootmanager doesn't like my wireless keyboard, which is pretty much a deal breaker, unless there's a solution?

2nd problem - I encountered a bug almost immediately. The restart option worked once, but after the reboot, "Restart" and "Shutdown", no-longer worked, both options just logged me out. I ended up having to power-off.

Finally, I remain (from previous linux experiences) unimpressed by how quickly I run into "You do not have the rights to access that" type messages. It's my home computer - I don't need or want to be wading through nerdy Fort Knox crap like that!

Oh, and I'm not a fanboy - I use windows grudgingly and have so far stuck with XP.

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Can't comment on first two points..

But...security is tighter on Linux, because it is, well, secure. Much more secure (not perfect though). The problem with it being your home computer is that if its connected to the net using windows, its perhaps also some pesky hackers home computer as well, unless you have enough security. Linux provides more than Windows. Hence your 'issue' with permissions.

If you want to throw away your security, go ahead. I am sure those hackers will be more than happy to have your credit card numbers.

FYI, the only time I ever need to type in my root password is when installing apps or updating the system. I rarely if ever come across a permissions issue otherwise.

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Pint

USB wireless keyboard

Plug in a normal keyboard, drop into the BIOS during startup, and turn on Legacy USB support. Then reboot to see whether Grub understands the keyboard.

Grub is a minimal OS where size is a real issue. It relies on the BIOS settings being right!

On the subject of Fort Knox. Just because it is your machine does not make it a good idea to have global write on the whole filesystem as a non-privileged user. That way lies being pwned by the first haxor who makes it through your browser with a malicious Javascript or Flash applet (and it will happen, even though you are using Firefox on Linux). I understand your sentiment, I just don't think you understand system security. Please attend the Security 101 class.

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Anonymous Coward

Fort Knox...

It's called security, and I'd rather work in Fort Knox and have to use a key to get at sensitive stuff than have the keys to the kingdom on a peg outside of the fortifications.

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Security...

Thanks, I'll admit to being a bit dumb over the wireless keyboard - it's my first wireless or USB keyboard ever, and I've only had it a couple of months, so I'd never looked for that setting before. I figured out the problem a couple of minutes after posting, though, and I accept the same thing would cause problems in any OS, so it's no valid criticism of grub or Ubuntu.

On the subject of security... I currently run just MS Security Essentials, but I've gone months without virus checkers, in the past. I only bolster security if other members of my household are likely to use my machine, otherwise, I dislike the hassle. Since I don't google for pr0n and stick mostly to sites I've been using for years, I tend to consider myself pretty safe, without having to show my credentials everytime I want to change something on my own PC.

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Alert

Oh well

That's your choice. I must admit that I'm not a great fan of wireless keyboards on any OS, even Windows. I've had one too many cock up for one reason or another.

Your Restart/Shutdown problem, however, sounds a little more serious and I'd be considering checking to see if there is any bug report relating to that if I were in the same position.

Your comment about permissions, however, is not really valid. Consider that even Microsoft aren't very keen on the idea of you running out of habit in an account where you could inflict violence on the operating system, hence the changes in the more recent versions and various attempts to do similar changes on XP over the years, often thwarted by lazy programmers who insist that their software can only run with (at least) local admin privs. One thing that is certainly better in my own experience with Linux is that in many cases, you will at least be asked what you want to do about it rather than issued with a blanket refusal, something that is only hitting Windows more recently.

For that reason, it is perfectly feasible to run in a non-privileged account, as I am right now, and elevate my privilege should I need it, hardly ever having to directly log into my administration account at all. I can do the same with Windows 7 but, in XP, that is only possible if the person behind the app has taken the time to allow for this.

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Wireless keyboard

I know this isn't going to help you any but I would also steer well clear of these. I have a (quite lovely to use) Dell bluetooth multimedia keyboard and the bastard thing is always dropping out be it on Windows (XP, not tried any later editions but it was using Dell's driver) or on Ubuntu (9.04 if I recall). They are just such a pain in the arse that I've long sinced returned to wired keyboards.

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Re:Security

Just my 3 cents: Visiting just the websites you know doesn't make you safe - there were numerous (many successful) attempts to inject malicious code into well-known websites.

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Jobs Halo

Desktop changes not extensive enough

I approve of Ubuntu's desire to produce a workable version of Linux for the desktop, but I'm afraid this isn't remotely comparable to the style and functionality of Mac OS X. Why still TWO menu bars? And why are they still using a horrible Windows-style Taskbar even though Windows itself has dropped that now in favour of a copy of the Mac Dock? These desktop changes aren't remotely extensive enough to make this worthwhile. Sorry.

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Doc compliments Taskbar

In my experience with Windows users migrating to a Mac, the Dock confuses them. The Windows user will click on the item in the doc, launching yet another instance of the application (no they don't see the little separator at one end of the dock that delineates running apps from apps to be run.. it confuses them).

The other thing that messes them up is the application menu not being attached to the application window. 100% of the time when I arrive at a Mac that belongs to an ex-windows user there are 5 or 6 instances of safari (all looking at the same web page), and the user is floundering around in the UI.

Personally I like the idea of the Dock for launching frequently used applications, but having the task bar to keep track of applications that are running, separate from the dock, is also a good idea. The user can separate the purpose of each in their mind and it gives them a location to look for in the context of what it is they want to do...i.e. look at the task bar for programs that ARE running (but might be minimized), look at the dock for programs that I want to run or perhaps run another instance of.

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Linux

Apple is Hype, not Style.

> Why still TWO menu bars?

Sorry, but a little dot under the icon just doesn't cut it. Also, the dock uses up far too much screen real estate for what it does. OTOH, having 2 bars on the screen allows for much more interesting options. Oddly enough, the taskbar doo-dads available for Linux are much more useful. When it comes to "polish", that part of MacOS fails badly. It's sad looking really.

...and it's really 3 menu bars if you want to be precise since each app has it's own on Linux.

Having the in-focus app basically take ownership of the screen (or some part) of it really is so 80s.

Unix has had some form of "dock" since Apples were running on 68k. So the idea that we would be following Apple around like some sort of lost puppy really is a misguided notion.

Taking another look at it, the menu bar on a Mac really is a crude waste of space. Too small to be really useful and cluttered with stuff that really shouldn't even be there so what space it does take up is wasted even more.

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Anonymous Coward

OS X dock nonsense and the pleasure causing a disturbance

As a user of almost every permutation of UNIX over the last 25 years plus emulators such as Primix (even pre-GUI/mouse, when one had a single VDU interface and probably just one of those per twenty or more users), various Linux versions, pre-98 to Windows XP (yet to suffer Vista or Windows 7) and a happy user of Mac OS X, it seems to me that most of you have got no idea of how to configure your systems for personal preferences or what you are seeing in front of you.

On OS X the dock takes up as much or almost as little screen space as you care to configure it to do (and that is childishly easy). The number of icons thereon is completely configurable - drag the lot to the Trash (horrible name, like Ubuntu's English version, last time I used it, much more) if you must. Have it on the left or right side instead of below, auto-hide as with the Windows task bar. For most applications, clicking on an icon of an all ready open application does NOT open another instance, though one can of course by other means. Windows and most LInux interfaces however do open up fresh copies.

Just like other systems, a general purpose default is presented to the new user, who tends to be a mail/browser/chat (if advanced) type who may watch DVDs or load his ipod/mp3 player). Clever clogs like us can then muck it about to our heart's discontent and the majority can just use it to do a job or amuse themselves.

Do you want a black terminal emulator with green Courier font? I like that too - use it for all sorts of command line things (shell scripts, vi sessions, man pages, awk, programming, make, reorganising my files, RCS ...) using OS X terminal application, or even (as I like to do in my dinosaur way) run a full X server and twm(1) with exactly the same .twmrc, .xinit etc. as at work on Solaris, AIX and others (such a dinosaur that even mwm, let alone kde and gnome are too hand-holding for me).

No, if you were serious about UNIX and free distributions, you would be using Free BSD, mailx, mh or similar and avoiding BASH like the plague (its array implementation is ghastly and ksh, even pdksh, knocks the rest into a cocked hat). Almost makes tcsh look good. If prepared to spend money (less, too, than you think), OS X is not bad at all, rather good in fact.

I am a UNIX bigot; so I like OS X because it is a reasonable presentation of BSD UNIX (downloaded GNU applications, Eclipse, Wine and installed them without problems just as on any other UNIX or Linux release and mac ports is a not bad version of the BSD ports utility). Yet, at the same time, I can go into the full GUI interface and work in a very complete developer environment covering the major languages, source code control ... all included in the basic release, without endless downloads and clicks. Oh, and security is good at the latest UNIX level and even to the extent, if you must, of encrypting your $HOME. And, what is more, usable back-up and restoration is so easy, I even use it.

Oh dear, sounding like an Apple salesman. But really, I am just a professional software engineer, UNIX specialist, who has enough problems at work without playing silly-b*gg*s with incomplete software and dodgy hardware at home. By the way, while at work ugly kit is fine, at home I pretend to be refined and have taste and I like my furnishings, stereo, computers etc. to look good. I save the boxes and wires for a workshop.

I gave up fighting Linux installations and upgrades when I was no longer being paid for it and a new distribution of Ubuntu failed to boot completely on my ancient TP21 (shame, good machine, now running just XP, perfectly well, at least till I try free BSD again).

For those who must, like me, work with windows part of the time: cygwin is excellent with a good X server for the full X experience, absolutely b-y marvellous.

Oh dear, this was meant to be a couple of lines about the dock. Got carried away or should be.

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Go

What Were They Thinking ... or Were They Thinking?

Exactly, add all the icons you want to one and delete the other. My dearly departed dad used to wear a belt and suspenders. Why? He was a safety engineer long before that became "in vogue". So maybe there are safety oriented old folks in the Ubuntu panel programming basement.

And another thing, why the frakk is a mail (actually mail, chat, and etc.) tied to the speaker volume? What brain surgeon thought up that connection? You can add a mail icon to a bar, but if you delete the stock one the speaker goes with it.

And there's no speaker volume icon to be added for the normal source. Yeah i know, just use the embedded mail icon and select email. Works, but the tie to the speaker is still stupid as hell.

And Ubuntu One is a total bust. Absolutely a pitiful attempt at off-site storage.

And my installation with nothing addition installed (accepted all the suggested defaults) has an effective 17 GIGABYTE footprint. Holy sheet! That's damn near twice the size of my bare bones Windows 7 Home Premium on the alternate drive. And here I am thinking the Lunix (huh? Lunix?) boys were all about less bloat and greater efficiencies. Guess not huh. Just can't resist can you boys?

But strangely enough I sort of like it. Well ... it is free to me. But then Help sucks.

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They're backing the wrong horse.

Pity that, to most people who use the term, "free software" means "GNU/Linux and its immediate ecosystem". Linux might not exist if BSD hadn't been slowed down by legal entanglements (lawyers ruin everything); GNU may have remained no more than a set of userland tools (I mean, unless someone actually got HURD to do something useful--hah!), and the world would likely have been better off for it.

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Alien

@ Doug Glass

"And my installation with nothing addition installed (accepted all the suggested defaults) has an effective 17 GIGABYTE footprint."

From the sound of it, you used the "WUBI" windows ubuntu installer. This differs quite a bit from a normal Ubuntu install as actually it uses the Windows file system to store a root disk image. The 17 Gigabyte file represents how much total space from the filesystem you have allocated to Ubuntu, not the size of the OS install. (Tip: while in Ubuntu, check your free space and correlate)

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Linux

JEDIDIAH

> On OS X the dock takes up as much or almost as little screen space as you care to

> configure it to do (and that is childishly easy). The number of

Except the MacOS dock takes up the entire side of the screen it's on. Plus, the "space" part of my rant was about the system menu bar and not the dock.

Whether or not a Linux icon opens a "fresh copy" of something is entirely dependent on the app. OTOH, if I want more than one "window" from the same application on different windows, the Unix approach will at least allow for that.

I still use Linux because something like unloading video from my Sony camera won't give it kittens. There isn't an expectation to funnel all video through quicktime and I am not terribly impressed by Apple apps including iPhoto and iTunes. Even iMovie manages to break basic UI design principles (but I was told Macs don't do that).

If I need to install something, it will sort itself out. There will be no dangling dependencies or dependent bits of crippleware. Basic tools won't be crippleware ether.

If my Unix requirements were stuck back in 1988, I might be more impressed by Macs.

There's a mini collecting dust under the desk. So this isn't just a purely theoretical thing.

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Linux

Try to at least make you nonsense believable.

> And my installation with nothing addition installed (accepted all the

> suggested defaults) has an effective 17 GIGABYTE footprint. Holy sheet!

Nonsense. At least try to make the FUD somewhat believable.

What you describe takes up about 2.6G.

Even a more interesting install lots of extra odds and ends installed is only going to weigh in at ~6G.

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Another answer to the question that still hasn't been asked

The problem for Ubuntu is it's aimed squarely at an audience that doesn't really exist. It's makers, like most fans of Linux, seem to assume that Windows users, and most Mac OS X users, just need their hand holding with a familiar look and feel before they fall gratefully into the arms (wings?) of the penguin. Ubuntu has the patronising air of an outfit that's trying *help* these people who are obviously much stupider than themselves. Beginning with the assumption that Linux is best, all these other people need is to be tricked into using it, right?

The thing is, outside of that particular nerdbubble, nobody cares. And I mean nobody. People use Windows, people use Mac, whichever works for them - but the idea that anyone's queuing up for a third OS choice that has none of the real advantages of either is just fantasy. A minority pursuit that's been rumbling on pointlessly since the mid-nineties, and still nobody cares.

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Nobody?

I care, for one.

I use Windows and Linux. Both work for me.

Advantages of Linux over, for example, Windows - More secure, faster, (much) cheaper, faster bug fixes,

Off course both OSX and Windows have advantages over Linux as well, but to say Linux has no advantage over either is plainly wrong.

I do find it surprising that so many people seem to want Windows to stay dominant, considering how many people seem to also want it to be toppled from its pedestal. Linux + GUI is the only mass market competitor to Windows, so why not support it instead of dissing it.

Put another way, if Windows has no competition, what incentive do MS have to make it any better? If it does nothing else, Linux keeps these monopolies on their toes.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Tim Cook

"Beginning with the assumption that Linux is best, all these other people need is to be tricked into using it, right?"

Sounds about right to me, Tim.

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Untrue..

The greatest barrier to acceptance of Linux in general is it's appearance, and you can test this for yourselves by setting up a Linux PC with gnome and applying the Windows XP theme to it so that it looks and feels EXACTLY like XP. In my experience all resistance melts away when this is done and acceptance is almost immediate. The die-hard XP user will take to Linux like a duck takes to water.

Bottom line, people dislike change, the comfortable Xp Look disarms them and they become more able to rise to other little challenges (like their new canon printer not working because canon doesn't have a driver for Linux).

When Ubuntu moved the window gadgets from the upper right to the upper left they made one of those little cuts that they claim they want to eliminate (death by 1000 cuts). This small change would so annoy the average windows user (who has no idea how to change it back, has no inclination to learn how, and simply wants things the way they were) that they would dump the newer (and perhaps better) distro in favor of the old.

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Re: Another answer to the question that still hasn't been asked

Well....ALMOST nobody. I care, and there are a few others out there too. But you're right - outside of the Linux Server community, there isn't much traction for Linux on the desktop. Pity really, because it's pretty good for most of the basic things that I do every day.

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Flame

That sounds like a generalisation to me

And all generalisations, including this one, have exceptions.

Actually, I'd be interested to hear where you get your figures from because, if what you say is correct, then Linux - ANY Linux - would have ceased to exist many years ago. The fact that this distro is gaining in popularity flies in the face of your argument, and that is before we even consider that this review has only centred on Ubuntu and its favoured GUI, GNOME, without a mention of what might be available otherwise (yes, I'm more of a KDE fan, though I'm still not convinced that KDE4 is quite ready yet).

But then I'm an old stalwart of Usenet. I'm used to seeing this sort of unsubstantiated post. But by all means, please bring out your figures and prove me wrong!

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Linux

Re : Another answer to the question that still hasn't been asked

Everyone seems to suggest that the market for a desktop Linux is very small but I look at it this way : -

Because Windows is already installed on almost every retail machine and business machine the 'free' section of the market is probably ~~10%. Of this Macs occupy about half at ~5% total market, but the various forms of Linux are about 10% of the market where people CHOOSE their OS.

I'd guess from the various contributors on the Reg. and the polls that that 10% of the free market is a pretty knowledgeable group.

Certainly the download figures for the distros are a poor guide. I've downloaded 32-bit OpenSUSE 11.2 and installed on 3 machines and 64-bit OpenSUSE 11.2 and installed on 4.

It also always needs reinforcing that a modern distro does NOT need the use of CLI for installation and routine use. Nothing NEEDS to be compiled.

I also can't believe people on a technical website whine on about the DEFAULT colours & themes.

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Flame

Appearence doesn't explain 1% Linux desktop use

Gawdshelpyou da lusr ........ should you get 1/2 step away from Ubuntu mainstream function. Just take that micro-mis.step and see what happens.

Minor Linux errors are unrecoverable by Joe Lusr. He might just as well take-an-ax to his kit as make a single_character_typo.

This happens in Linux to Joe Lusr once ... twice ... 3_times ... and whammo he's back to M$ for the next 4 years. Ubuntu Luxy-Lynx-10.04 is no better than RedHat_6 in this issue and it explains howcome modern excellent Ubuntu grabs less.than 1% of the desktop market.

Yes *BTW* both my kits are UBUNTU only.

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Go

Uh...

Incentive? To sell more to a throw-away addicted user base? To enhance the bottom line? To increase stockholder equity? To grow the company?

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Go

Appearance ...

... only gets you in the door. Unless it operates as expected, acceptance never happens. Make it look exactly like Windows, but the first DVD movie that wont play and/or the first time wireless won't connect and exit doors get clogged with people leaving.

Never underestimate the ability of the ordinary computer user to shun better new technology in favor of better running (read that as "more familiar") old technology. If that weren't true, Linux would be beating the pants off Windows. You can build a better mouse trap, but you have to make people want it. Microsoft is very good at doing that. The Linux community is dismal at it and getting left far behind.

Want more people to use Linux? Then learn to play the marketing game. Right now, the only games in town are Windows and Apple. You see, there are no Linux stores and the percentage of Linux installations on demo computers at Best Buy, for example, is well, non existent.

Disagree? Great! Get out there and make the demand happen.

And you can forget about the "free" aspect. If free was relevant, glass engagement rings would have replaced diamonds long ago.

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Alien

The Majority

Truth is this: the majority of computer users use whatever OS is on their computer when they bought it. For those that bother to upgrade, they fork over whatever the local service store asks and gets what they're offered. The alternative is they pay a friend to pirate everything that goes on their system.

Mac users are obviously different, but very similar. They buy their nice hardware, pretty software and upgrade to the latest and greatest. As long as it looks like a Mac and acts like a Mac, they're happy.

Now, if there were more Linux users, there would be more Linux users -- and having a pretty Ubuntu on a USB stick helps show off some of the free functionality anyone can get without having to pirate a thing. Dell sees it. IBM saw it long ago. Several other hardware companies see it. Google sees it (although differently). Slick sells, or why does Windows 7 want to be Mac so bad?

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Really, not for me.

Well, I solved the grub wireless issue (bios setting, d'oh), but got irritated trying to reconfigure grub to boot windows first (more "you don't have permission"). Delete partition, fixmbr. Life's just too short.

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Troll

Yeah, but have you seen the alternative?

I used Windows 7 the other day, and I have to tell you, it's complete and utter crap. I plugged in my USB wifi adapter, and after half an hour and four reboots later, I finally got it set up, but even then it wanted some obscure hex code thing to log in to my router. The printer was worse; I had to hunt all over the internet to find an updated driver just to use it, and the scanner is pretty much a bust. There weren't even any forums to help me out, that I could find.

It looks like it suspends really well - permanently, even. It doesn't come back without a reboot. It's probably the same old USB bug that XP had.

Then there's the update manager - sure, you can get updates to Outlook and Office, but what about all my other programs? If Ubuntu could do it, why not Windows?

Oh, but the worst by far is the image editor. I mean, come ON people! What is this, 1990? All you can give me is Windows Paint? They had 10 years to upgrade it, and all they do is add the ability to *fingerpaint*? Even Ubuntu has Krita, or TuxPaint for the kids...

This is a pretty disappointing release. I was expecting something better, since they've had 10 years to work on it, but no such luck - and I'm stuck with this for the next 10 years, probably. It's not like they have Ubuntu's 6 month release schedule...

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Paint...

I remember the first time I saw Windows Paint - I couldn't stop sneering. I'd come from Amiga's, where we'd had Deluxe Paint, then later Personal Paint & Photogenics bundled. It just seemed such a bloody joke in comparison. I remove it immediately, so I wasn't aware they even had updated it in the last 10 years! PSP9 is as good as it gets on Windows, IMHO. That's without moving to higher brow apps like Painter or Photoshop, of course.

I'm not surprised about W7. Once you cut through the fanboy claims of faster boot times (thoughtlessly compared to several year old XP systems) and better than Vista (not saying much), it never seemed like an OS I'd want to upgrade to.

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Go

Nawwwww

You just don't understand Windows is all. Find a Windows guru and s/he will make it all better for you.

Worked with me for Ubuntu ... it'll work for you in reverse.

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I use Win7...

and have had absolutely zero problems. YMMV of course but your router requiring a hex passcode is a product of the router, not Win7 (Windows gives you the option when entering passcodes if you want to enter as text (and convert to Hex on the fly) or start with Hex. Likewise a printer which requires a driver you have to hunt everywhere for is almost certainly (a) very old, (b) very obscure or (c) both - in any case I can't imagine you having any more luck with Linux. Ditto for the scanner; Windows 7 has generally excellent driver support for most mainstream peripherals.

Updates manager - ok, with you on that.

Image editor? Have you actually tried Win7 Paint? For a *bundled* app, it's pretty good and certainly lightyears ahead of previous versions of Paint on Windows. They've added a lot more than the ability to fingerpaint - are you sure you're even looking at the same app? Besides, don't like it then download a new one; there are only about a million free Paint apps out there for Windows.

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Until people stop referring to every distro as "Linux"...

... It won't get anywhere.

Nobody refers to OS X as "BSD". Users shouldn't have to *care* that Ubuntu is built on Linux. This is the *only* way Linux will succeed: as a foundation technology for others to build on.

As long as you try to claim that every Linux distro is somehow the same thing, you'll keep running into major support headaches which will put developers off.

The openness of Linux is also its Achilles' heel: it has resulted in a heavily fragmented market. It's been *19 years* since the first Linux kernel was released, yet there's *still* no genuinely "universal" Linux app installer. Developers have to package and support umpteen variations and builds to cover all the main bases, and that's before you start going into the myriad smaller distros and forks.

The solution is to stop seeing Linux as the end, and start treating it as what it is: a *means* to an end.

Ubuntu, Android and MeeGo—silly names aside—are Linux's future. Don't fight it. *Embrace* it.

(Before anyone starts calling me names: I run both a BSD-flavoured UNIX OS*, and Windows 7.)

Oh, and if you're going to point and laugh about Windows XP, I hope you won't mind if we all point and laugh at Ubuntu 6.10 too. Fair's fair.

*(Yes, the heavily modified distro bundled with certain fruit-logoed hardware. Some very important parts of the GNU / Linux codebase have BSD code, or owe their existence to it, so be *very* careful before you start hurling any sticks and stones.)

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Anonymous Coward

Ubuntu 10.04

Thanks for the update on Ubuntu. I downloaded the beta live CD and gave 10.04 a spin this week. Apart from the slight rejigging of the window buttons, and the (un)usual Ubuntu screen colours, I pretty much failed to see any difference between Ubuntu 10.04 and Fedora 12 which I use all the time. OK...this may just be because of the way I use Fedora, but I really saw very little to shout about in 10.04.

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Happy

My Vote....

Ubuntu has always been one of the few Linux distros that supported by Dell D420 straight off.

I've just updated to Lynx and apart from the improved look and feel (IMHO) it's also sorted out my one "problem" peripheral, an Orange E1752 mobile broadband dongle, which now works (with no magic chickens in sight!).

Is it going to replace my Mac or Windows boxes - well no but that's not the point.

Lynx runs well on an old(ish) laptop and is all I need when out and about, so it gets my vote.

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Linux

Actually...

I use the only version of Ubuntu that works properly and looks nice. It is called Linux Mint. Can we have a green penguim icon?

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Ease of use is good

As a Mac person, I'm glad to see a Linux distro take UI issues seriously. Having said that, it doesn't *have* to be Mac-like, or even Windows-like, to be easy to use. At home, I run Xubuntu on a G4 Mac mini as a guest machine, and even my son's dim girlfriend can do what she wants with it without my help. She found the little Firefox icon up in the menu bar, and was quickly off to her MySpace page. I like not having to constantly tinker with it; I'm comfortable enough in a shell but I prefer getting stuff done to futzing around in /etc.

Canonical may have found a good way to monetize (ick what a word) their free OS with the music store and premium version of Ubuntu One — the latter is a bit pricey, as dotMac/MobileMe is pricey, but I'm sure plenty of people will decide 50GB online is worth the price.

Personally, I hope Lucid takes off. Apple has had the ease-of-use + stability combination pretty much to themselves all along, and maybe this will push them to step up their game. After wasting two evenings of my life de-infesting my sis-in-law's dozebox, I may stuff Ubuntu on her computer as a dual-boot option and see what happens. It might let me waste my time the way *I* want to waste it, anyway.

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Paris Hilton

Ease of use == Unix shell

El Reg just informed us, that whereas in the computer world we distinguish among super-users (BOFH), users (programmers), end-users (typists), and abusers (don't call them hackers), Apples don't get used, but consumed.

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Back to 9.10 for me

I was waiting patiently for this release, but I was a little disappointed to be honest. I can see the potential good, but it needs to be more consistent with hardware support.

I remember my wireless didn't ever work in Ubuntu prior to 9.10, so I never used it because, well what good is a computer these days with no network connectivity?

My built in wifi still doesnt work in 9.10 but it does see my Belkin USB adapter so for the last 6 months I have been using Ubuntu more than Windows 7 because its just nicer to use.

Yesterday, I installed 10.04 and it would not see my Logitech bluetooth adapter or any of my wifi adapters, so I had no keyboard, mouse or network.

For now I am going back to 9.10.

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You'll laugh at this then.

I've done a dual install of Win7 Ultimate and ubuntu 10.4 today on my new computer. No hardware issues at all with ubuntu, but can I get a network connection on Win7? Can I ****!

I'm not talking wireless. I'm taking about the 10/100 Ethernet on the motherboard. Windows asks me to install the driver for it, by downloading off the Internet, a bit tricky when I can't connect to the Internet for the same reason.

If I had never used either system before today I would have to say that based upon today's experience ubuntu 10.4 is the more user friendly system and that includes the installation procedure as well.

Knowing what we all know about where ubuntu and Linux distros in general have come from over the years, (I'm thinking RedHat 6.0) how surprising is it to be able to say that?!

Posted using Lucid Lynx because Win7 doesn't know how to connect to the Internet. Arf.

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Silver badge

Re : You'll laugh at this then

May be a bit obvious but why not download the driver using Ubuntu ?

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Hardware support

The problem with hardware support is that if the developers don't have the same hardware as you, they can't test it. So sometimes, you will have some specific hardware that doesn't work, or that doesn't work anymore, because nobody has been able to test it. Windows doesn't have this problem because the hardware is tested by the manufacturer. So I suggest you report the bug (using Karmic) and someone will look at it. If you're not sure what to put in the bug report, you can always ask in the forums.

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Re: Re : You'll laugh at this then

Yep, that's what I've done. Didn't half tickle me though.

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Linux

f*cking title

Yep, that's what i usually do in the circumstances and yes it happens often. Windows is a dog for hardware support.

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Gold badge

Too true.

The first thing I always do when doing a Win install is catalogue the hardware on the machine in question. I then make sure that I have the latest versions from the various HW manufacturers of all the drivers necessary to get the thing to a usable (i.e. connected) state on a USB stick. It's the only way to be sure.

The flipside of this is that most Win users will never install it as it comes on their PeeCee, whereas for those going to a Linux distro the install is likely to be their first (and often last) experience of same. Thus Ubuntu, or whoever, have to be better than Windows in this area to break even.

Life isn't fair. Who knew?

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Anonymous Coward

OI dont diss my command line

When a GUI can get all the documents with the name WIBBLE in them and ending in .TXT and send those to a printer in one wave of the mouse - THEN I'll drop the comand line. Alas it can't so I love my command line. GUI's are like eating a steak with a egg whisk and a meat cleaver - doable but not as effecient as they could be.

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Efficent

I can use the Unix command line (just), but got to disagree about efficiency.

Of course, if you know the command you need to do some task, then the command line may be faster. If you DONT (i.e. havent spent 5 years learning the multitude of command and mechanisms), then its quicker to use a GUI.

Don't forget that efficiency comes from how long it took you to learn how to do something, not just the act of doing it.

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Gold badge

Kubuntu 10.04 - anyone?

What annoys me about Ubuntu is the total focus on Gnome, generating a second best cousin called Kubuntu which never quite reaches a finished state - you keep having the feeling that KDE was something Canonical would really like to go away.

Has anyone tried it so far? I've had a quick go using virtual box but that hung on reboot, where Ubuntu just worked, including the Virtual Box support files.

My aim is to get a Linux base platform and then vbox Windows XP for the Microsoft bits I still haven't managed to get rid of (ironically, that includes an application called iTunes).

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