Ubuntu 9.10 – Almost Perfect

ubuntu910bootI can be a rather harsh critic.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve given a really glowing review of any Linux Distro on the Computer Action Show (previously the Linux Action Show).

In fact, I’m pretty confident most people on the Fedora team view me as the biggest-jerk-face-ever for my — let’s just say… “not overly glowing” — reviews of recent Fedora releases.  And I’ve given folks on the Ubuntu team a fairly hard time over the years as well.

Keep that in mind when I state the following:

Ubuntu 9.10 is as close to perfection as any version of Linux I have ever seen.

A little background:  Back in May I wrote an article titled “The Perfect Linux Distro” where I laid out what I would view as, well, the perfect Linux distro.

And, while Ubuntu 9.10 certainly doesn’t implement everything I’d dreamed of in that article, they hit some of the key points.  Let’s take a few minutes and go over the good and bad.

The Good Things in Ubuntu 9.10

ubuntu_software_center

The Ubuntu Software Center

The new Ubuntu Software Center is (or will be) a combination of Synaptic (the current Ubuntu package manager) and an Ubuntu-specific Software Store.

At present it is merely a standard interface for installing packages from the Ubuntu repositories… with a little nicer look and feel than Synaptic.

Canonical has set the goal of developers being able to sell their own commercial software from within the Software Center by the Ubuntu 10.10 release (next year).

This is huge.  Services that allow users to find and purchase software for their platform (such as Apple’s iPhone App Store) have become an almost necessity to support a thriving software ecosystem.  For me, as an independent software developer focusing on Linux, this is a really big freaking deal.

ubuntu910themeThemes / Icons

I know, most of you probably don’t care what the default theme is for your OS.  But, whether we want to admit it or not, the initial look and feel is critical.  This is the first impression people get for a new piece of software.

In the past, let’s be honest, Ubuntu was lacking in this area.  It was… orange.   And brown.

Orange and brown don’t exactly scream “advanced, super-attractive, cutting-edge software”.

Well, I have to say, Ubuntu really stepped up their game in 9.10.  The new default “Human” theme is a smidge darker and a lot classier than what we previously were seeing.  The older, brighter, more “orange-y” Human-Clearlooks theme is still available for those nostalgic for the old days.

On top of this, the default icon set is the new “Humanity” icon design.  Which look fantastic.  Polished.  Modern.  Nice, understated gradients.

Desktop Backgrounds

I feel almost a little silly including something as simple as “Desktop Backgrounds” here.  I mean, it’s just pictures, right?

Well, if you’ve been using past versions of Ubuntu, you’ll know that it has typically only shipped with a very small selection of background pictures.  We’re talking like 2 or 3.

Now, in 9.10, they have a respectable collection of nature and space backgrounds that look as nice and polished as any you’d find shipping with systems from Microsoft or Apple.

ubuntu-beta-install-12The Live-CD Installer

The installer for Ubuntu 9.10 has not changed significantly.  Functionally it is roughly the same as the one we have had in both Ubuntu 9.04 and 8.10.

What they have done, however, is polish things up.  The installer window now fits properly on smaller Netbook screens.  And they’ve added a series of pictures that show you what you can do, with various applications within Ubuntu, as the installer progresses.  Other software makers have been doing this for years (with varying degrees of class)… the Ubuntu team has done this very, very well.

This is a critical piece that has been missing — as many “non-nerd” users will not know to launch something called “F-Spot” to manage their photos.  Now the installer helps these users over that initial learning curve.

New Instant Messaging Client

Pidgin has been the defacto IM software for many Linux distros for years now.  However, it has stalled a great deal and was feeling a big long in the tooth.

It has been replaced by Empathy (which is something I recommended back in May and am incredibly happy to see this is the route they have gone down), which looks and works great.

Built-In Ubuntu One

Ubuntu One, a service that currently offers file storage and synchronization between different Ubuntu powered computers, has been in beta since earlier this year.  With Ubuntu 9.10 this service is now shipping by default.

What’s so great about this?  Two things:

  1. It’s a great piece of functionality that both Apple and Microsoft are providing in various forms for their customers.
  2. It provides a critical revenue stream for Canonical.  (Which is kind of an important bit… considering the system itself is 100% free of charge.)

This, to me, is a sign of maturity.  And I quite like the direction this (combined with the Ubuntu Software Center) is heading.

The Things Missing In Ubuntu 9.10

Notice I didn’t say “bad things”.  Because, in my opinion, the main problem with Ubuntu 9.10 is that it’s missing a few key pieces of functionality.

yofrankie10The Games Are Weak

There are so many great, free games that could be included in Ubuntu.

Yo Frankie, Hedgewars and Frozen Bubble all are great open source games that could give a good representation of some of the great quality of games that are available.

Sure, shipping with a simple solitaire and sudoku game is great.  But let’s step it up a notch!

Video Editing

I don’t fault Ubuntu for not having a built-in audio editing suite.  Sure, I might use it, but it’s not something that most people are going to need.

But video editing?  Windows and OS X both have their defacto tools to let people do at least basic video editing out of the box (or, at least, semi-out of the box).

Grab PiTiVi and either include it as a default application or make it a featured application to install.  The lack of video editing on Linux is often given as a reason why people don’t “switch from Windows”… so take away that reason.

banshee-slide-podcastsBanshee

Rhythmbox is an okay music player and manager.  That’s what Ubuntu ships with right now… and it does the job.

But it’s no Banshee.

Banshee is the bees-knees of music players.  Make haste and get that application in there by default.

As you can see, not exactly a big list of “problems”!

Overall I’d call this release polished, smooth, easy to install and with an improved feature set (new applications that are incredibly promising).

Is it perfect?  No.  But so, so close.

I’d take it so far as to say I see very little reason that Ubuntu 9.10 would not be an excellent choice for the vast majority of computer users.

… Other than PC games.  But that’s a different story…


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  • Daniel F.

    I agree and disagree with many of the comments, I have been using GNU/Linux Distros since 2000 and Ubuntu is clearly the winner.. but, in one way or another I have always managed to fuck up my linux setups, this is probably because I love to tweak and try things. I never obey to the rule: if it works dont touch it.

    The problem is mainly that I use my computers for work and for hobby purposes… I know.. I shouldnt play so much with the OS!

    I must say that in windows this also happens, like today when I simply installed the latest official nvidia drivers on a PC i use for casual gaming, on reboot I was (surprised) forced to 640×480 4 bit color… for an average user this would be a problem if they dont know how to roll back to the previous driver. Official Drivers and broken ?? On OSX these kind of things dont really happen. OSX is professional but all that iLife, iPhones.. sorry but for me its not even half as cool as the vibe you get when working purely on linux.

    In 9.04 i experienced glitches in some of the gnome applets but in general i would say its the cleanest and best looking desktop for everyday use. Its what Im running on my main desktop computer, so Im looking forward to install 9.10.

    I use other OS too, I just separate the tasks I do with my machines.. I own about 50 computers ATM… No OS is perfect!!

    Im running at home all the classic mac OS (from System6 to OSX) AmigaOS, BeOS, WindowsXP, Ubuntu 9.04 and lots of 8bit computers for fun! They are all cool!!!

  • http://www.ubun2.com ubun2.com

    Absolutely agree. All the new features that are shipping with 9.10 is awesome, can’t wait to get hands on and try out.

  • grabus

    Looking forward to trying 9.10, I’ve been with Ubuntu since 7.04, and settled on 8.04 – which I’m still happily running as it just works (almost to perfection).

    I used to be a tweaker, now I just want the OS to work out the box.

    I still have a load of usability issues with Ubuntu, but I also use Windows and OSX and have issues with them too.

    A lot of drag and drop stuff was nailed on Windows 98, no excuse for it not to work flawlessly on Ubuntu. Associating extensions with Apps, this is crap. The UI layer needs alot of polishing. And I don’t know if that’s a Gnome or Ubuntu issue.

    I rely on Compiz – which on Hardy is buggy, but couldn’t live without screen inversion and desktop zoom. I hope this has been added to Windows 7.

    Synaptic, and add remove are crap. Software Centre, better be better. Apt-get rocks. Relying on repositories can be great, but this needs to be improved. I’d like to see DMG style support too. Or desktop app jails.

    As far as I’m concerned the install CD comes with too many apps. I’d rather a bare bones install that I add to. I don’t touch fedora as it comes on a DVD. Keep it CD sized. Remember some still install on aging hardware.

    Big gotchas for me:
    *No ZFS in kernel – This is a big one. Try Open Solaris.
    *Hot plugable displays – and interface profiles?
    *Network profiles (I think this has been addressed in newer versions – finally addressed on windows 7)
    *Pulse audio not being totally polished
    *Poor office suite
    *Suspend and resume woes – I want fast hibernation.

    But right now I can live with the bugs.

    If you have money to buy Photoshop, you have money to buy windows 7. But add office into the mix, and it becomes slightly pricey. Software costs money, and you want it to last. I.e. get free updates.

    I think licensing is the issue here. How about if I have a copy of software at work, I can run it at home for free? Or I can run my windows copy in a VM and on another PC.

    If you are tied to Windows Apps, OSX isn’t going to even cut it. Every apple user I know, dual boots or runs vmware or parallels. In fact if I could afford a mac at hoe. People can always run Linux in a VM.

    I’m most happy when the OS doesn’t get in the way. When apps work well and any freezes crashes are recoverable. And that I can configure my machine on the command line as well as the desktop.

    At least developing nations can get most of the functionality they need for free. That’s amazing, Ubuntu provide an easy way into the Web.

    Despite my gripes (my desktop occasionally freezes, never used to), I celebrate all the things that are great about open source, Gnome and Ubuntu. Most of Ubuntu works amazingly well for me. And given the choice of OSX, Windows XP (haven’t tried 7 yet) or Ubuntu, I’ll stick with the latter.

    It would be great if Google or Ubuntu could put a little money into the Wine project. You might argue that an operating system is worth 100 pounds and up, but with a billion installs of windows (Balmer MS Anuual Report 2008). That complete monopoly is a farce and should be illegal. The best thing MS could do is to give their core operating system away at least for free or at no profit. And if they did, where would it leave Ubuntu?

  • http://www.kernelhack.com David Kirby

    Agreed! Just upgraded from 9.04 and I’m impressed by the new additions. Looks like version 10 is going to be killer…

  • http://energyblog.wordpress.com energyblogwalter

    with the 9.10 popup notice I am once again faced with an improved Ubuntu in all areas but one: video card support. For laptops in Ubuntu, ATI in its wisdom depreciated the available drivers such that an older video card cannot function beyond 60 Hz. Until OEM get their act together and support Linux without reservations, I’ll have to load Windoze up just to play a game. That is literally the only thing left keeping Windoze around. Until then I cannot support ATI nor Canon (printer setup also outside of Ubuntu) outright for their attitudes.

  • O2BNTN

    The Future of the new OS models lies IN the future. Not with us trying to scrap between Windows marketing machine an Ubuntu. The youth that have grown up with free software and free downloads will be embracing this as well as leaning institutions because of Microsoft’s antiquated licensing model. I have installed it exclusively at our school and it is all the kids learn on. We teach software analysis not software branding which will serve them better in the future since every time Windows fails it goes away (why learn that). Focus on the youth and they will direct the market. Ubuntu may just be the little engine that could.

  • Torquemada

    If you have a dual boot config with Vista/Windows 7 and Ubuntu, forget installing Karmic. GRUB2 will often hose your Vista/Win7 bootloader and not add it to the boot menu. What you end up with is a PC you can only boot to Ubuntu.
    Ubuntu 9.10 + Vista/Win7 = Fail

  • Gerald

    I’ve been with Ubuntu for over 3 years now. Back and forth from Ubuntu to Windows. I am a bit geeky, installed 9.10 last night and was blown away with the crispness of the system. Everything flies on my system. Dual boot with a version of windows for my wife but I intend to do more with Linux Ubuntu. The Developers should be awarded for a job well done dispite the wimpy complaining from what seems like intelligent people. My take on the comments; complaint for what you pay for, what’s free should be considered with more sense.

  • a579598

    107. Had no problem at all with W7Starter and UNR in a netbook, not yet tried in the main computer but it only has xp.
    I still use windows for gaming and specific sw (and as the last option after trying wine and vmware), for everything else Linux is more than enough for me.
    Judging UNR, Karmic seems great to me.
    For that windows trolls, I’m considering returning W7Starter for xp home or whatever is available.

  • Demaster

    I haven’t upgraded from 9.04, but will do it today. What I’m most shocked about is the vision that no one seems to have on the future. I’m finding that people who use Linux look at how Linux affects them personally, and if they thought about how much of a change Linux could truly make in the culture of the Windows/Linux/Mac OS battle we could stop paying for beta versions of Windows releases. Linux will never be what it needs to be until there are enough users that demand applications developers to begin developing software for Linux. What needs to happen is that the transition between Linux and Windows needs to be bridged more and more, and Ubuntu is definitely on that track. I’m a tech, and I’m sick of having to reinstall infected Windows OSs. Let’s work hard to get as many people to dual boot as possible so we can demand Microsoft create an OS that isn’t so vulnerable, and software developers want to create application for Linux (Ubuntu preferably).

  • sharl

    First of all those who says that Linux is garbage are nuts. I am a .NET software developer that means that i use Vista on a regular basis while my own personal laptop is Ubuntu based since version 7.04. Why isn’t garbage. Okay let;s talk about stability Ubuntu is far stable compared to windows vista very infrequent crashes that affects only the crashed application not the whole OS like crashing windows explorer crap in addition. Let’s talk responsiveness Ubuntu is far more responsive when using applications or browsing file system (even when browsing NTFS drives). Lets’ talk lightweight i am running Ubuntu with full 3D effects on an old Acer/Turion single core machine and i could not be happier (despite crappy ATI drivers) in additions to memory usage and hard drive utilization. Let’s talk compatibility Ubuntu can run with almost all operating system and tried integrates with windows networks and domains (even better than Vista itself) completely compatible with Microsoft RDP protocol. Lets’ talk about driver compatibility who says that Ubuntu has problems with hardware ??? it detects nearly 90% of all hardware i have dealt with far much superior when compared to microsoft. Lets’ talk application support enough to say there are at least 5 good media player out there that you can use like exaile, banshee, listen, songbird etc… want an office open office is adequate enough. Development wise if you are using open source development not .NET based ones then you have no problem hell i am developing J2EE with seam using flex GUI under linux. Enough to say that since i used linux i need not worry about viruses or worse stupid anti-virus applications that sometimes are much worse than worms and viruses. One final thing is Ubuntu perfect? hell no it is not it still needs lots of improvement and tweaking. But let’s ask another question is Windows perfect Is Apple perfect? Concerning gaming i agree this one field that ubuntu fails and will always fail because games is a business and like any business it is about money and to convince a business to take a risk of targeting a OS that has virtually no good sales outlet is just a very stupid move. I hope that Ubuntu software center would mature and become that one outlet where 3rd party game developer even small ones could venture and slowly would follow the big companies with big titles and real games. One final thing Open source PEOPLE PLEASE think twice before naming your software :) Ubuntu is a horrible name whichever it means in whichever language sure you could pick something more marketable

  • Magnus

    Personally I think the default theme is really ugly. Brown? What I did like with the new release though is that it seems like Pulse Audio is finally centralizing the sound configuration, which has been a tad convoluted, to say the least.

  • zebala

    All the people who are complaining that there are too many apps in Ubuntu, install from the alternate install CD. At the boot press f4 and choose “install a command line system”. You’ll be able to choose every app and the window manager yourself and youll have zero crap. I did this and works like a charm! I recommend using aptitude to install stuff, since it handles dependencies so well.

    Cheers, zebala.

  • http://www.martezcg.com marcin

    Almost perfect?? I don’t think so.

    If it was even almost perfect it wouldn’t require from me putting a bunch of commands I don’t fully understand in terminal to make my wireless or graphic card work properly. Let’s face it, Ubuntu as any other Linux out there is still for Linux nerds. Not everything works out of the box in Ubuntu and it should if you want people who aren’t computer nerds use it.
    I have dual boot with Linux and Windows. I always get frustrated how much time I have to waste to accomplish some tasks in Ubuntu comparing to Windows…

    Just my two cents.

  • http://loadx.org eric

    erm. you’re focusing on pre-installed software.
    that should be the least problem with a linux distro.
    the _whole_ point is that it’s easy to install any software..

  • kawan

    i’m a songbird fan and i think it is the better choice of music player for linux. and hey, it also runs in ms windows!!!
    if i’m not mistaken , some of its programmer are also the guys behind winamp .

  • thornton72

    what about wanting a OS to simply run basic applications with out the bulk of huge amount of software? I’m not a super tech by any means but something just to email, chat, office docs and cruz the internet. And maybe a little photo editing? i think an OS has to be compared to the functions of windows by default just because windows owns 90% of the market. Most windows users have no idea there is an alternative to the blue screen of death.

  • Gchase

    I just installed the released version of 9.10. It’s beautiful. I have been using Linux since ’95 and this is the best one I have seen. The biggest problem that I see is that people are expecting it to be all things to all people. I see rants about not including sshd and a programming environment by default. Mmmm … don’t remember ANY version of Windows including either … or even offered them as options. 4th year project? Mmmm … I would’nt mind hiring a slew of programmers that can push out something like 9.10 and do it for free. I listen to my tunes on it, do my programming on it, and run my virtual machines on it … oh and yeah, that’s all at the same time. No lag, no crashes, and no cost.

  • Grumpy Old Man

    My problem with Ubuntu is the emphasis on whizzbang rather than fundamentals. I honestly don’t give a flying fuck about wobbly windows. I do care that it lists both halves of an already-mounted RAID mirror twice as mountable volumes in the file browser; that PulseAudio randomly crashes; that audio configuration is absurdly complicated (ALSA +OSS +PulseAudio) and constantly changing (remember Jack and ESD); that runlevels have been abandoned; that there’s no text-only login; that startup is non-deterministic (I’d rather go back to initd, wait a little longer at boot-time, and have sshd and SaMBa start reliably than have to log in half the time and start them manually); that suspend/hibernate doesn’t work properly; even little things like that the Gnome icon change dialog is massively counter-intuitive; … there are so many really basic things that have been b0rked since Breezy while chickenshit eye-candy and trifling crap gets the grease.

    I’ve been using Linux almost exclusively since 1997 and have installed various distributions on dozens of machines. Time was, distros got the fundamentals right but lacked polish, but it didn’t matter much because the simplicity and consistency of the basic Unix philosophy allowed anyone who grokked it to get down to the nuts and bolts and fix anything that was wrong. Now it’s all polish… and bloat.

    As a desktop OS, it’s still not at the races (for server and HPC, it’s great, though). People have been talking about Linux as a desktop OS for as long as I can remember, but it really hasn’t improved at all in any meaningful sense. I wanted to do some very basic video editing, and the super-crappy simple default Windows XP VE app is light-years ahead of any Linux VE in terms of usability. What company would invest in developing a game, a VE, or anything substantial for the Linux desktop when the APIs are about as stable as a bottle balanced on a broomstick balanced on a basketball?

    Meh… I should’ve stuck with RedHat 4.0.

  • Rob

    My problem with not just this is all distros you need it to be more gui based so everyday users can get to grips with it i know you the luinx community hate it when they use a gui instead of a line command system but as has been pointed out before only a handful of people know the all the commands. I have an IT degree we used windows thru some tinkering i have learnt a few bits here and there on luinx but it still needs to be more user friendsly

  • Daniel

    I was quite pleased with 9.04, which is why I am “downgrading” back to it. Although it is actually an upgrade because 9.04 doesn’t delay 0.5 seconds any time a window gains focus, a tab is changed or scrollbar is activated.

    9.10 is unusable for me, perhaps it is all the crap the distribution managers continue to pile up on X11. I’m done with kubuntu as of now.

  • rodger spooncer

    I still need to use Windows XP for some files. Upgrades on previous Ubuntu products has required reinstalling of VMware to run the virtual machine and XP. Will this be an on-going issue with 9.10 ??

    Any comments please

  • http://timngeek.blogspot.com/ Timn

    In my opinion Ubuntu 9.10 is far from perfect. Now before you say anything I have been using strictly Ubuntu on all of my machines except my work computer since 7.04. While Karmic is very polished it lacks a lot of what Ubuntu has been built on… stability, speed, and customization. As each release of Ubuntu comes out they focus on the looks and less and less about how stable the system is (each release I see my system crashing more and more). I recently switched to Arch Linux and it has been running for about two weeks straight with heavy use and is still rock solid and has not had a single crash. Also with each release Ubuntu gets more bloated (back in 7.04 my memory usage was under 300MB while idle compared to the almost 500MB in Karmic). Again in Arch I am under 200MB while idle. Finally, Ubuntu makes it more and more difficult to change anything in the system. You now have to find a hidden GUI for anything you want to change. In Arch anything I need to modify I just open the text document that controls it and change what I need.

    Now before you all start to complain with “no one will use it without a GUI” or “we arn’t linux nerds”. SHUT UP! First we prefer being called Geeks, second Linux is a command line OS. I like what Ubuntu is doing for the Linux community but I think they are doing it too fast and not focusing on what makes Linux great. Instead of getting the average user to switch we need to focus on those who are willing to learn and children. Our world is already full of idiots who think everything should be theirs and “just work” we need to stop letting them think that way. I was able to switch to linux and learn from scratch and I am now able to do things faster in linux than Windows. Do you think Windows became the number one OS in a year? No it took quite a while so I don’t know why you would think Linux would be any different.

    If all you want to do is complain Ubuntu isn’t Windows then guess what Linux is not for you. Go back to Windows and be happy.

    Timn

  • heckarim

    I think Ubuntu Software Center too simply, It give less information than Add/Remove, it remove the rate viewer, and the download speed when install software no longer visible.

  • http://www.linux2u.co.cc Sanjay

    I know ubuntu 9.10 is mind blowing. Its is the best OS now.
    I don’t think windows any version can compete Ubuntu now, only Mandriva 2010 and openSuse 11.2 can do this job , but future will tell which one is better among these three.
    Red this review at

    http://distrolove.blogspot.com/2009/11/ubuntu-910-karmic-koala-better-than.html

  • Chris

    Well I am looking forward to getting to the end of my curent urgent and important task that I am relying on a stable 8.04 for so I can see all this new stuff, and hopefully discover some of the inconsistencies in 8.4 well and truly ironed out.

    I was a Windows user, but am now very happily a Ubuntu user. Maybe I cannot do everything in Ubuntu. I could not do everything in Windows either (and not simply because I could not afford it).

    I wanted to comment on an issue raised way back about no root login. having a root log in as the default way of adminitering a system is crazy. If you are relying on the system and someone, for whatever eson, starts messing up, and everyone uses the same uid (root) and password, how the hell do you track back who is the bad apple. Each admin MUST have their own user name and password. On other systems the onyl way is to have two uids, one for day to day and one for admin. The Ubuntu way is WAY better as far as I am concerned. I am protected from my own stupidity UNLESS I re-enter my password. And of course it’s good that if I forget and leave the PC logged in when I leave my desk, I am not leaving the whole shebang unprotected.

  • Matt Needes

    I’ve just starting using Virtual Box to run a lot of Windows applications under Ubuntu such as Nikon Capture NX/2 (raw photo editing) and Garmin Mapsource. Virtual Box has surprisingly good USB connectivity–I have no problem connecting my Garmin GPS to Mapsource or my Nikon camera to View Nx. As soon as I complete the last PC game I care about, I am going to get rid of my Windows XP dual-boot and just run Ubuntu with virtualized windows. Sick of dual-booting windows garbage.

  • Brian Barnes

    This is absolute garbage. Ubuntu 9.10 is perhaps the worst distro ever. And that’s saying something.

    The number of complaints and recriminations over the last couple of weeks has been staggering. So much for your “expert” opinion.

  • dimitris

    I’m sick and tired about all that noise for which is the best OS. Some people claim Windows is the best, others Linux and some others MacOS.

    I am an expert user (or at least I think I am) and I have tried all three OS. My conclusions are:

    - Windows:
    Pros: They are friendly, easy, there is good support, they are compatible with the majority of s/w and h/w.
    Cons: They have a small cost, they become “heavy” sometimes

    - Linux:
    Pros: It’s free, it’s stable, it’s lightweight
    Cons: There is no official support except the community and some fora, there are compatibility problems with the h/w (e.g drivers), it is not as user friendly as windows since there are MANY MANY times that someone has to go to terminal window to run simple tasks.

    -MacOS:
    Pros: Awesome look, stable (btw, great hardware)
    Cons: Very expensive, have to adopt Apple’s philosophy in some things (e.g no cut-paste for files, no button for maximizing a window, etc)

    Conclusion:
    There is no winner or a looser. Each OS has it’s pros and cons and each user has to decide which OS is right for him. I believe that Windows are still a great package despite their problems (personal opinion). Linux is good and potential but surely not yet perfect. It will be when someone won’t have to go to a terminal window and it won’t bother for drivers and support. MacOS is also very good but Apple has to decrease prices and offer a more “open” philosophy.

  • JoeBlow09

    Started reading this last night and finally got to the end today after work.

    I must admit I like 9.10 and installed it on an old Inspiron 6400 laptop to play with at home and maybe give to my daughter.

    My only issues are the compatibility issues with Silverlight, Move media and parental controls. Its a great free OS, but honestly I may put Win 7 on this laptop to allow access to these sites which are crucial in my home laptop experience. I couldn’t watch Sunday Night Football or ESPN360.com because there are no plugins. Don’t want to wait 6 months to never to do so either.

    I agree with Dmitris is the sense that there are pros and cons to every OS. I use all 3 in my life experience. While you can’t beat what Ubuntu offers for free, there still is no such thing as a free lunch.

    For me the trade-off of not having MS Visio, project and television sites is a deal breaker. If I have to run it virtually at 1/2 the performance i might as well get a full client. For my wife, Facebook works fine on Ubuntu and Openoffice or google docs is perfect for her occasional letters.

    Choose your poison but i say kudos to Canonical for pushing the envelope.

  • TheMonitor

    I love this distro of ubuntu. No, i am not a theme, or games, dude. All i want is functionality. If it need coding, i’ll do it. If i need a driver, i’ll make it work. Windows worked me well for programming until my AV picked EVERYTHING I coded up and deleted it!!! As to functionalilty, its getting close to Micro$oft. By far owns Mac. All we need is a tad more publicity, and it’ll catch. Hey, never know, ubuntu might rise in economic tough times when people can’t afford hundered doller CRAP. Gotta love other distros though, they all have their place.

  • peterout

    Well, based on some of the enthusiasm here I have installed 9.10 (having installed and binned a load of distros over the years). First impression – excellent, much better than before and it looks good and offers to install my video card drivers. Brilliant! And then … wont play my mp3 music; offers to install files to fix it then says it can’t install all the files needed. Last FM in Rythmnbox doesnt work saying it needs a text/html encoder or something. Cant find it. My network printer works! Great! But the scanner isn’t found by XSANE. No fix available. Can’t play movies from my mobile phone. And so it goes on. If this is nearly perfect then I guess a perfect Ubuntu release has load of things that just don’t work. I don’t like windows or microsoft particularly and can’t afford a Mac, so Linux is my escape from windows. But Ubuntu still doesn’t work out of the box – and it needs to if it is to reach a wider audience. The frustrating thing is that there is so much right about it and so much that is better than windows but in the end it still falls way short. So, not ‘nearly perfect’ for me, rather ‘still doesn’t work’. Harsh, yes, but when Rythmnbox is installed by default and doesn’t work what is a user to think? And yes, its a hardware driver problem that stops things like my scanner working. But I was told a while back to consider Linux compatibility when buying new hardware. So I did, and I bought HP which has excellent Linux support apparently. But the scanner still doesn’t work.
    I guess if you do internet/email/messaging and basic Office apps then Linux may be for you. For everyone else its OSX or Windows. Damn.

  • peterout

    I know this is an old thread and probably no-one has read my previous post, but I feel I should update it anyway. As I said several things didn’t work so I was dissapointed. But being a persistent sort of chap I tried to rectify things. A download of the latest HPLIP from HP site sorted out the scanner – now works great. Off to Synaptic to get hold of various codecs and now Rythmnbox works fine. Also got hold of latest Wine and now can play Half Life 2 and run Photoshop Elements. Never been able to do that in Linux before. So I change my mind. This is great! But of course I wanted it to work out of the box, but I forgot that with Linux you have to work for your fun! But less work was needed with this release than ever before and I will keep it on my PC but will still have to boot into Windows for various things like iTunes and my mobile phone software. For me its still not anywhere near perfect but it is certainly the best Ubuntu yet.

  • http://www.sergiodeathstar.tk Lester

    Recently the hard drive went on my 5 year old laptop. I put a new one in and replaced XP with a freash install of Karmic. I’m happy with it, and happier still that I’m happy with it. I’ve never used Ubuntu or linux before.

    1) Install was easy and nice looking. I’m a fan of brown.
    2) Most things worked straight away, and after learning a few command lines I got everything up to date and all the programs I needed. Awesome! Thanks Dev team!
    3) I’m still struggling to get my wireless to work, but I remain hopeful. In the mean time I’ve got a cable.
    4)I feel finally feel clean. This operating system has increased my hope for the future of humanity. Imagine if we could build hospitals and schools like this. It’s like socialism that works.

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  • Clinton Baldridge

    Ubuntu Studio is a good choice if you need to edit video. It comes with most of the necessary libraries to manipulate and encode video, plus kino for basic editing. It is easy to install cinelerra if one needs compositing and more advanced non-linear editing. I imagine it would be fairly easy to add these tools to a standard Ubuntu 9.10 installation.

  • knobcottage

    Well I’ve used Ubuntu and various ‘easy’ linuxes for years. This upgrade was a nightmare! It effectively wrote of the hard drive on my eeepc 900. Needed to google to find out how to fix it with a DD command. Tried it several times with several derivativs, each time the same. Disc disappeared completely. Ah well, shouldn’t do that on my big laptop, ….. upgraded from 9.04…. and it made a real mess, and yes, I did updtae full y first. Firstly it packed in during a few of the first attempts at the upgrade using the UK server. Fixed that by changing to the international one. I was then left with an odd mix. Now when it starts up I get a Xubuntu splash screen and loads of stuff does not work. I used to be a happy ubuntu bunny. Now I can’t recommend it to anyone. Personally I think it was not quite ready. I ended up with grub 1.7? BETA on a full installation on the eeepc! It really trashed my eeepc….but where do I go from here. Ubuntu was poor in 9.10. and many of the other distros built on oit suffer the same problems (e.g.Mint) did exactly the same but lasted a few boots longer. REAL SHAME.

  • Barry Schinnerer

    Lets compare 9.10 to Windows 7. Ones free the other is not. I can install Ubuntu on 5 million computers for free, Windows 7 would cost many millions to do the same thing. Ubuntu 9.10 is very polished. I am running my Oregon weather station on it and doing every thing the average Joe wants to do. If your a gamer then you are a slave to Windows – enjoy your slavery!!

  • http://sites.google.com/site/geekreviewsarticles Joseph Schwenker

    You forgot to mention Ubuntu’s deep integration of PulseAudio. So deep, in fact, that no WINE applications will have sound unless you kill or uninstall PulseAudio, which leads to overall system instability, leading to data loss and no volume control applet. The ease of use of the new audio system is great, but PulseAudio sucks. No sound in Blender games or WINE, OpenArena crashes the whole system… wow. Of course, since everyone is using 9.10, most of the stuff in the 9.04 repositories is outdated. Great. PulseAudio sucks! I will not upgrade to any future Ubuntu release unless PulseAudio is fixed or removed.

  • Aaron

    What an awesome review. I was looking for a good distro to use for our church music and preaching both to record and burn to cd’s for people. And you included some great alternative apps at the end that look excellent! Thank you sir.

  • FredZ

    Ubuntu and anything else that uses pulseaudio is a crock of shite. Here I am, well into what is supposed to be 9.10 “stable” and no sound in most applications. Just that equally useless amarok 2.

    Jeeezzz Win7 is starting to look tempting. Bugga the cost!

  • cloyd

    Ubuntu NBR 9.10 is a great replacement for Vista on a 2 gig netbook. The machine was practically useless under Vista, crashing, locking up, slow and bloated. Ubuntu NBR worked as it should right out of the box. Yes, there is a learning curve, and I learn more every day. I’m really looking forward to getting rid of Vista on this machine. Have 9.04 on another machine, and prefer using Ubuntu even when it means rebooting in Vista when I must print (Lexmark doesn’t seem to like Linux –NOT the other way around). My office printer works fine with Ubuntu (cost $40). My home printer won’t print in Ubuntu (cost $80).

    Ubuntu doesn’t crash, boots quickly, shuts down quickly, runs better . . . one reason for running better is no resource hogging anti-virus is necessary. Open Office is sufficient for my needs as far as word processing and spreadsheets go, and fairly compatible Microsoft Office. Ubuntu surfs the net well, rips and burns cd’s well, and plays my music well.

    I am not a Geek, though I wish I was. But I can buy an “Idiot’s Guide to Linux” and read the instructions over and over until I understand them; I did have to read them several times. I was able to partition two drives and install ubuntu on two system without mishaps.

    There is tons of software available. It is different, one must learn to use it, but it seems to be very good. The Ubuntu software center works flawlessly for me, for effortless both installs and uninstalls.

    I have every intention making sure all my future hardware purchases are Linux compatible. Unless I am somehow forced by special software needs, I don’t intend to buy Windows again.

  • http://krasnovmebel.com.ua харьков мебель

    I am running about 10 web sites on home server using Ubuntu, it really rocks!

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  • Bob

    Can someone tell me why I can’t highlight, then hit copy, move to another page & paste with Ubuntu Studio 9.10 ? I need to copy from my programs (databases) that I’ve installed with WINE. (they seem to work there, except I can’t copy from them, to anything. They run there & find what I need, but I can’t move it to an email.) Also, I can’t copy & paste with Firefox at all, even with my XP computer. I hate it. I need to copy & paste data (I don’t have two days to type it out, word for word, from a database, to an email). If I can fix this problem, I can use Ubuntu Studio, if not, I’m back to Windows XP (I hate Vista, I used those DVD’s as Frisbees) I haven’t tried Windows 7 yet. I hate bells & whistles, which Windows / Microsoft thinks everyone wants. I ‘do’ EMAILS & DATABASES (60+ gbs of it, compressed), the rest is bull-shit. I need to put what I find in one, into the other, without learning a million new tricks. Like yesterday. I like Ubuntu, have had it installed for over 2 year, up-dated it, but now I’m ready to use it everyday & the copy & paste problem stops me. I’m not a tec type geek, but I’ve used a computer for 12 years doing what I do. I’m fed up with Microsoft & a Mac won’t work with my databases. They are old & designed for Windows, but WINE got them working on Linux. The reason I ‘spelled’ this all out is, I can’t find anything on the internet that solves my problem. I preform a FREE service, so, Linux fits that budget real well. I tried installing Internet Explorer 7 with WINE, got it on there, but not working, no internet. It will copy & paste. I need to use my mouse to do this, not go looking around for hidden buttons & things like that. The damn security bull-shit with Firefox is a pain in my ass, I don’t need it. It removes the copy & paste buttons in my email, a business type email. ???? Where they went, I don’t know, but they are there in IE ! Thanks in advance if you can figure this out.