Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thoughts about Ubuntu 8.10 - Intrepid Ibex

I've not posted about a Linux distro before, but I figured I would this time... just because!

Last week my Gentoo-based work laptop (IBM Thinkpad T43p) encountered a package blockage when updating. As usual, I tried to fix it myself, failed, and then discovered via the forums that this was a particularly tricky one to navigate that was probably going to require things like booting into recovery mode and doing manual surgery.

I decided that enough was enough, and that it was time to move on. It was a day before Intrepid's release, so I just went with the release candidate: I had done the same thing with the previous Ubuntu release on my desktop machine so I knew it would be ok.

And it was. Installation was as easy as it usually is, and the grub installation correctly picked up on the Windows XP dual boot partition which came with the laptop.

The first thing that has really impressed me is the networking and wireless support. This worked flawlessly straight away. Connecting to and disconnecting from the wireless network is handled properly authatically. Very impressed with this.

I was also impressed that hibernation support appears to works too. This is something that I had got working in the past but only by using the TuxOnIce kernel. This again appears to work out of the box, which is fantastic.

It's a shame that OpenOffice 3 didn't make it, but it can be installed pretty easily using a PPA.

I'm also a fan of the new "FUSA applet" which sits in the top right corner on the panel and provides one place from which to switch users, shutdown/restart/hibernate/suspend and also affect IM online presence. I'm not really one to manually mess with my online presence, but I do much prefer this to the previous shotdown window popup: it just seems cleaner and faster.

The only problem I have had is a keyboard repeat problem which I think is represented in Launchpad in the form of bug #278078. This only happens when I am controlling the intrepid system over synergy, not when using the machine's keyboard directly. Hopefully it will be fixed soon, becasue it is really quite annoying!

So all in all, I'm impressed. The next thing for me to look at is KDE 4: but that's another post. :)

1 comment:

smeagol said...

To be honest I am using KDE 4 now on Intrepid, and its a tad buggy to say the least :/

Im suspecting that it may be to do with my GTK config - as I tried to make Firefox etc look prettier in KDE4 - the result is a lot of crashes.

The toolbars have a lot of work, their placement is limited with Dual Monitors - and theres some annoyances with Konsole... but im sure it will get there.

IMO - 3.5 is better for now. Im *almost* tempted to use Gnome :P