Ubuntu 10.04 – Perfect

10Six months ago I declared Ubuntu 9.10 to be the best version of Linux I had ever used on a desktop computer.  In fact, I went on to call it “almost perfect“.

But, and I hate to say this about any release of any Linux distribution — Ubuntu 9.10, no matter how good it was, really didn’t matter all that much.  Why, you ask?  Because Ubuntu 9.10 was not a “Long Term Support” release.

How it works is this:

Every six months a new version of Ubuntu is released.  That given release, 9.10 for example, is only supported for 18 months.  A year and a half of fixes for security vulnerabilities (among other things) is simply not long enough for most people to consider viable.

But every two years (give or take) we get a Long Term Support release of Ubuntu.  Those versions are supported and updated for a full 3 years.  Thus making it a possibility for businesses and the non-geek home users to consider installing on their desktops and laptops.

Ubuntu 10.04 is our first Long Term Support release since early 2008… and it feels long overdue.  And that is because desktop Linux has come a long, long way in the last two years.

Just to give you one great example: Those amazing 3D desktop effects we all know and love?  Those were not a part of Ubuntu 2 years ago.  That’s right.  Out of the box, Ubuntu in early 2008 was horrifyingly 2-Dimensional!

So Ubuntu 10.04 is important.  This is a release we are going to be “stuck” with (for many) for the next two years and is the release that many companies will measure up against Windows and MacOS X.

But how does it stack up?

The short answer: This is the best operating system currently available.

And here’s why.

desktopplacesLook and Feel

This is a huge improvement over past versions of Ubuntu.  Gone is the dreadful orange/brown theme of yesteryear.  In is the new, super smooth dark look and feel.

The new look of Ubuntu is classy.  Elegant.


I would call it far more pleasing to the eye (in an “ahhh, that’s soothing” sort of way) than Windows 7 or MacOS X 10.6.  Of course that is a purely subjective thing, but that’s my take after sitting in front of all of these operating systems every day.  Ubuntu 10.04 is just plain easier on the eye.  Almost… calming.

There have, of course, been some controversy around the new look.  Specifically the fact that the window buttons (close, minimize, etc.) have now been moved to the left side of the windows.  This… has made some people cranky.

I, myself, was one of those people.  I disliked the change.  But I am now used to it and consider it not a big deal.  It certainly isn’t a deal breaker.  In fact there are already tutorials for how to move those buttons back to the right hand side.

More Ubuntu One

05Ubuntu One, Canonical’s online file storage service (similar in many ways to services such as DropBox) has been integrated far more tightly in this new release.

It now auto-magically syncs your contacts, Tomboy notes and bookmarks across all of your Ubuntu powered machines.

And, of course, it still provides 2gb of free storage for every Ubuntu user.  (For $10 per month you can upgrade to 50gb of storage, syncing with mobile phones and Windows/Mac desktop applications).

In my testing (using the free version of Ubuntu One) this worked astoundingly well.  Syncing of data was incredibly fast and getting setup was a snap.

Will I be switching away from DropBox (which I have been a loyal customer of for some time)?  It’s looking that way.

The Ubuntu Software Center

appstoreThis is the big one for me.

I’ve often lamented about the lack of a good, easy to use software store application for modern Linux distributions.  This is, I feel, one of the biggest things that can be done to further Linux as a desktop platform.

And with Ubuntu 10.04… it’s not here yet.

But it’s getting closer.  With this release, the Ubuntu Software Center has become my favorite way to find and install new software.  It’s fast.  The user interface is clean and easy to navigate.  Finding new applications is incredibly easy.  Certainly a huge improvement over solutions such as Synaptic.

The public plan was that the ability to purchase commercial (non-Free) software via the Ubuntu Software Center with the Ubuntu 10.10 release later this year.  And, if their progress with 10.04 is any indication, they seem to be right on track.

And that has me excited.

The Ubuntu One Music Store

musicstoreContinuing on the theme of expanded Ubuntu One services, Canonical has introduced the Ubuntu One Music Store.

The prices are reasonable (typically seeming a little cheaper than iTunes), and the files are all provided in DRM-free MP3 format.

In an interesting twist, when you purchase songs from the Ubuntu Music Store, those songs are download directly into your Ubuntu One online storage.  Which makes all of your music available on all of your Ubuntu-powered PC’s without needing to manually re-download or copy over your music.

Which is, I must say, fairly cool.  Plus, the store seems to work great.  Good speed.  Good sound quality.

My only gripe?  The Ubuntu One Music Store is built in to Rhythmbox.  Now, I like Rhythmbox, don’t get me wrong.  It’s a good music player.  Does the job.  I just prefer Banshee so much more.

Social Networking

socialLets talk for a moment about the new “Me Menu”.

By default it sits in the upper right hand side of your screen.  And, from there, you have quick access to your instant messaging accounts (via Empathy, my favorite little IM client).

That, by itself, is nice.  Not earth shattering.  But handy enough to be worth while.

But you’ll also notice a “Broadcast Accounts…” option there.  From this one spot you can post updates (simultaneously) to Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and more.

Once set up you will also receive message alerts from these services in the form of nice looking system notifications.  Plus, with the pre-loaded Gwibber, you can directly interact with all of these services.

This takes Ubuntu from being a totally acceptable platform for interacting with social media (on par with Windows or MacOS X)… to become the platform for interacting with social media.  The other platforms don’t even come close.

It is simple, elegant and very well designed.

Working with Media

pitiviUbuntu has been great at managing photos for quite some time. F-Spot is a fantastic application for this task (and integrates awesomely with Facebook, Flickr, Picasa and more).

But video editing.  That’s another story altogether.

Before now, Ubuntu has not shipped with any way to edit video.  And that is, due in large part, because there simply was not a good consumer oriented video editor, built for Linux, to include.

Thankfully, that has changed.

PiTiVi is now included, by default, in Ubuntu 10.04.

Sure.  PiTiVi isn’t the most advanced video editor on the planet.  But it’s capable, well designed and will serve the needs of the individuals who need to edit together some family video quite nicely.

Interesting to note: As of this very moment, MacOS X 10.6 and Windows 7.  Neither of them ship with a video editor of any kind out of the box.  That’s right.  Of the three operating systems, Ubuntu is the only one that ships with any video editor at all.

The Rest

Most of the rest of Ubuntu 10.04 is pretty much what you might already be used to with previous versions.

You get a full office suite with Open Office 3.2, the latest version of Firefox, great CD/DVD burning tools and a handful of games that are completely adequate (though improved over past releases).

The Bad

Are there problems?  You betcha.

There have been reports of many people having significant trouble upgrading from past Ubuntu releases.  We’ve also heard several reports of display driver issues causing a fair number of issues.

So it certainly hasn’t been a 100% painless upgrade.

That said, I’ve got three machines in front of me (including two netbooks) running Ubuntu 10.04 with 100% support for every device attached to them.  Wifi, video card, webcam… everything has been working and running great.

Oh my HP Mini 1000 netbook I had to enable restricted hardware drivers (a simple checkbox) to get my wireless working.  But that’s been the extent of my “tweaking” to get things running smoothly.  Both of my other machines worked 100% on first boot.

But, and this can’t be stressed enough, if you are upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04: Back up your data first.  It looks, based on feedback so far, that things are mostly going smoothly.  But it’s always best to play it safe.

The Final Verdict

Ubuntu 10.04 ups the ante significantly by bringing polished features that Windows 7 and MacOS X users simply do not have.

The user experience is clean and elegant, with an almost timeless quality to it.  The functionality is advanced and the integration between applications superb.

Add to this the fact that Ubuntu 10.04 has 3 years of full support ahead of it, and I’d say, with out a doubt…

Ubuntu 10.04 is, by far, the best operating system for desktops, laptops and netbooks available today. I highly recommend this release both both personal and business use.  For existing Linux users, Mac users or Windows users.

This is a big freaking deal.

This is not a matter of “one day, Linux will be ready for the desktop”.  Nor is this a hopeful proclamation of “This year… this year will be the year of desktop Linux”.

This is it.  This release, of this particular Linux distribution, is astounding and competitive with both Windows and Mac.  No.  Strike that.

Ubuntu 10.04 blows them out of the water.

Sunday, the 2nd, we’ll be recording our video review of Ubuntu 10.04 for the Linux Action Show.  Feel free to join us live and take part in the discussion.

In the meantime: Go.  Download Ubuntu.

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  • http://www.kindnessinc.org/ Eru

    Even I wish that they include DVD playback someday. I’m sure there are many others like me, who want the same. I hope they pay heed this time :-/

  • MikeA

    @ Wayne Moaha

    From what you’ve written I’m assuming you have no experience setting up an Ubuntu Linux desktop. Where are these DVD .iso’s you speak of?

    Spend the next 2 hours struggling with answering obtuse questions about sound cards and account settings.. Where was this? Did I miss something?

    50 reboots later you may have a basic desktop running if you are lucky.
    You seem to be trailing off here, maybe you’re speaking of Windows 98?

    Your an odd one.

  • George Herberson

    Works great on my Dell Latitude D610. Everything JUST WORKS… hardware, audio, video, etc. I haven’t needed to go to the command line ONCE since installing 10.04 a week ago! The startup/shutdown times are closing in on OS X / Windows 7, and the suspend/resume time is closing in on OS X. Excellent work!

  • http://hardc0l2e.wordpress.com c0l2e

    Please support FOSS and Linux and stuff. Not just using it but also to donate in cash or in availing supports..In that way it will exist much longer.

  • http://beachampaints.blogpsot.com Chris Beacham

    I love Ubuntu and I’m very happy with the new release. I had zero problems with the install.

    But perfect? If we are talking about making an OS usable by non-geeks….I don’t think so.

    I’m not a uber-geek but I’ve used Ubuntu for a long time. I cannot believe that I actually have to edit the fstab to have access to both of my hard drives by default! That is so frustrating. All I can say is WTF?

  • Gnobuddy

    @Wayne – yes, OSX is perfect – which is why OSX on my wife’s $2000 Mac has *never* managed to print to either of the two networked computers in our home, while every Linux distro I’ve used in the last six years – on DIY $400 PC’s built from whatever mobo/case is on sale at Fry’s Electronics – has done so with less than five minutes of setup.

    For that matter, OSX just died completely on my wife’s Mac two days ago. I popped in a Linux Live CD (PCLinuxOS 2010, LXDE version) and got her going in minutes. Those two networked printers, of course, worked immediately. One of these days we will dig up her OSX install DVD and reinstall from it, after which she will again lose access to our color laser printer. Nothing like paying five times the money for the same PC hardware only to end up with less functionality – you go, Apple!

    On the topic of this article, I have used several Ubuntu/Kubuntu releases. Every one has had various nagging issues, mostly with sound and multimedia. Kubuntu 10.04 was also dog-slow compared to OpenSUSE 11.2 on the same hardware, and K3b in Kubuntu could not burn anything successfully, though command-line burning (cdrecord) still worked. In short, Kubuntu 10.04 felt like being dumped back into 2002, when I had to type “cdrecord -v –eject -speed=4 –device=/dev/hdc……” and so on just to burn a CD.

    I will try out Ubuntu 10.04 as well, in case it works any better than its portly Kubuntu sibling. But to this point I’m still preferring the now ancient PCLinuxOS 2009 with KDE 3.5.x to ANY of the newer Gnome or KDE distros with their bloated and slow new desktops. PCLinuxOS 2009 is not as flashy, but it runs much faster, does what I need, and doesn’t seem to break. A Gentoo install would surely speed things up a little more, but I’ve suffered through that week-long tedium enough times this decade – I’m not keen to do it again!

    I’ve been using Linux only (no Windows) since 2001, love the Free/Open Source philosophies, and would be very pleased to see Linux succeed more widely on the desktop. And yet, after 9 years of continuous Linux use, I’m sad to say, I still find the majority of Linux distro’s out there are just garbage when it comes to quality control, including some of the big ones (Fedora, OpenSUSE, I’m looking at you now – shame on you for some of the things you’ve released lately!).

    It seems to me there are now only a handful of distro’s that are even worth trying – Mint, PCLinuxOS, maybe Slackware or Arch if you want to invest the time. I know K/Ubuntu is the most popular distro out there, and I’ve used both, but I always find something (or many somethings) missing from the experience. For instance, every *buntu I’ve used had sound issues – forget to quit that Youtube page before starting Amarok, and you would get no sound, because only one app at a time could use the sound card. No such problems on PCLinuxOS 2009.


  • Guy

    I am an Ubuntu LTS user. I like Lucid in many ways but I do consider pulse audio a step backwards. I use Ubuntu as a music studio & I am having problems that I have never had with Ubuntu before (& I have used every LTS release).

    Good yes, perfect … no.

  • JonScott

    Well I own an Acer Aspire One netbook with Windows XP installed and I also own a first generation Intel Macbook.

    The Macbook is fantastic and in over 4 years, I have never had a problem with Tiger OSX. Excellent software and bullet proof hardware despite the debatable white plastic shell.

    I hate Windows XP. It´s slow, unpredictable, and has terrible security issues. I installed Ubuntu 9.10 on it last year but removed it soon after as I found it too buggy. Too may issues with sound, display settings and the software updates were a nightmare. I continually received corrupted file messages so Windows for me ended up being a much better option. Compared to Mac OSX, it´s a bitch to use but it is my only option.

    I tried installing Ubuntu 10.04 earlier this week and guess what…. more problems!!! My wifi card isnt detected! What is the point of producing Ubunt 10.04 full version or Netbook remix if it cannot identify wifi cards??!! I ten went to the help pages and the downloadable file to fix the issue…. didn´t fix a thing. Ubuntu´s driver files are corrupted!! I´ve had enough of trying to get to grips with this system.

    Mac OSX rules everything around in my opinion. I have used Windows 7 and I think it´s pretty decent. Windows XP is awful. Ubuntu…. is just a pain in the ass. I´m sticking with XP.

    You need to be exceptionally technically proficient to get on with Ubuntu. I´m no beginner but I´m no geek either., Ubuntu just doesnt cut it for me. I have all the free, quality software I need on my Mac for power usage. My Netbook will be fine for my writing tasks supported by XP. I also recall Windows having better power efficiency than Ubuntu. This especially important on an Netbook.

    Ubuntu the best OP system in the world? It is know where near this accolade my friends. Nowhere near.

  • http://www.techwatch.co.uk/ Techwatch

    18 months is certainly not very long in the big scheme of things

  • Steve T

    Respect our differences!!!

    Have installed Lucid on 3 computers as dual or triple boot, some slight problems resolved – don’t use Windows much. Ubuntu loads faster, works faster, doesn’t have viruses and is free – so is the vast array of software.

    No that I am being critical of Windows, we would not all be computer users without it. I certainly would not have tried Linux without being proficient in Windows OS.

    Ubuntu lives and progresses because of broadband and the Linux community for which I eternally grateful. Choose which OS suits you – don’t criticise the others – and help where you can.

  • John A

    Respect our differences, sure. But abandon all standards of quality control? Nope.

    I’m backing out of 10.04. There’s a runaway kernel process eating 100% of one of the two CPUs, typing at speed is impossible. The machine is unusable for serious work. I’ve been using Ubuntu since 7.04, Linux of one variety or another since the early 2.2 kernels, and this is the first time I’ve backed out of a upgrade.

    (The bug is known, and reported.)

  • http://gansvv.blogspot.com gansvv

    A long time linux user, I jumped at the opportunity to upgrade to 10.04 Lynx. The upgrade went well and the system rebooted. That was all that went well.

    Each bootup operation takes ages now. Windows 7 is a clear winner for bootup time.
    Also, I got an “error while mounting /proc/bus/usb” message and it required me to press S to continue booting up each time. Accepted it was a quick fix and editing /etc/fstab solved it, but do they expect everyone to go through this step after an upgrade?!
    Third, I do not like the default color scheme. Reviews say it is classy and elegant. I say nay nay. It is another one of those weird colors only Ubuntu can throw up on you. Dark and unattractive, the “Lynx Violet” is akin to Win’s Blue S-O-D. Fourth, what is up with Thunderbird 3??!! The cool ajax style search feature is gone and in its place is an antique search that opens a new tab and shows a crappy interface for messages with preview. Did they not learn anything from scrolling the mouse over bing.com search results?
    I could go on and on.. but my point is that 10.04 Lynx is the worst upgrade decision I ever made. Hopefully it will not make it abandon linux altogether.
    p.s: Whose decision was that to put the window buttons on the left? Awesome! (surprised?) Yes, I think thats a bold UI move and it saves time to perform those tasks once you get used to it. Probably the only thing I like here.

  • Bill Melater

    Wrong. It won’t run certain critical .net apps, turning a winXP computer into a door stop.

  • Terrance

    Not everyone has the luxury of spending all day and night testing, exploring, and configuring a new OS. I am not a IT, but have had the opportunity to spend countless hours doing just this. Here is an absolute truth. The OS you use, is strictly contingent upon your needs and desires. Let’s not forget the state of the US economy. Many individuals simply do not have the monetary resources to purchase a big boy OS like Windows7 or Mac OS.

    In so far as the Linux-Unix-Windows-Mac comparison goes, I can only comment on Linux and Windows. Like many others, I love Ubuntu 10.04, and did not have any issues installing. I used the Wubi installer for Windows, and utilize dual boot.
    This procedure goes off without a hitch for me, and allows me to have both Windows and Ubuntu without the need of CD. More importantly, booting directly from the hard drive is much quicker.

    Recently, I downloaded, burned, and installed PCLinux2010 KDE, so now my boot menu is of that flavor. In short, I now have 3 OSs installed. At first the KDE desktop was a nightmare to configure. Setting up panels, learning how to use multiple desktops, etc. Once again, I have nothing but time on my hands, and embrace all the challenges that arise with each new install.

    Here is the conclusion to the matter. If you have time, and a decent level of patience, give all the available operating systems at your disposal a go. Not only is it fun for someone that has the ever elusive gift of time on their hands, one will discover a much more diverse, expanding, enhancing computer experience.

  • John Galt

    I’m new to Linux/Ubuntu and just loaded up a fresh built Shuttle with Lucid and love it. After Vista I decided that MS would never get another penny from me.

    I would like to give Ubuntu 10.04 a five star rating, but I noticed that it didn’t have a foot massage function, it wasn’t ready to cook me dinner, and it was useless when I tried to use it to paddle my canoe. In light of these shortcomings I have to give it a 3 star rating.

    If anyone from CNET is reading this, consider this my resume and please consider me available for a job as a reviewer.

  • Ruther Ang

    I just install my ubuntu 10.04 64 bit

    everything works fine except the sound

    the sound was loud -> good
    but the sound sounds like it was under water or something very horrible.

    Anyone knows how to fix this, the previous versions doesn’t sound like this… and the sound preference… where is the control there?

  • http://www.jackiesjungle.com Jackie

    awesome review, I upgraded my web server with no problems 😉

  • Patrick

    Liked the review.

    My only problem was tweaking wireless a bit,
    but little.

    I do have one issue though. When I run my HP G61
    series laptop with AMD chip in Ubuntu 10.4 its
    fine with the electric current. However, on battery
    it freezes at the sign in screen every time. Anyone
    experience this problem on their laptop?

    Thanks again for the review.

    Appreciate the review.

  • Bill Melater

    Give me Office2010/Outlook/Nokia Ovi Suite…And .Net 3.5 or 4/ClickOnce. Then We’ll talk. To use that, have to run a vm xp, or log on to a windows box. Still not ready for primetime.

  • imnotrich hartley

    A release that refuses to install on laptops or desktops is hardly perfect. I’ve tried the i386 and amd64 version on various hardware and the live cd never gets past the splash screen with the “dots.”
    Kindofa dealbreaker if I can’t get to the command line or a gui. Back to the drawing board, Ubuntu. Please don’t release versions that are not ready, it’s environmentally unfriendly. I have ruined many cd’s with this pathetic version.

  • Robert

    Great review. As for installation I had no problems installing it on my Acer desktop in dual boot mode and a full install on my Acer 5510 laptop. Boot time is about 45 seconds.

  • tausef

    Greatest release by ubuntu ever.

  • http://n/a Technet Computers

    In responce to network shares not being seen, Jason sounds like you need to install SAMBA, that has solved all my network shares issues

    Regarding the following post:

    My biggest issue with ubuntu is networking. It won’t see computers on my network. Certainly won’t see my WHS box. OSX sees it just fine but for the life of me I can’t get ubuntu to see. Posted on the official forums and never got a response.

  • craig davidson

    love the look of 10.04, but had to revert to 9.10 as new version would not work with netgear wifi card, also ubuntu still needs to develope it dissability options, it is getting ther but still keeps a lot of willing users away.

    Generaly all good with the newone as it works very well on home PC and even the wife like it

  • ray hartman

    Well … no! Ubuntu 10.04 LTS just doesn’t cut it for Lusrland.

    It’s been a month since I first installed LuxxyLynx … and the common services ** printer/sound/vidcam ** still randomly appear/dis-appear on my system. Like sparkley will-o-the-wisps on a foggy lake — so vanish those basic functions; hahaha the poetry is totally lost on 6-G Crucial & AMD_quad kit.

    Face it palsies: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is a failed experiment in non.structured sys.coding that honestly would make DOS_6.22 blush!

  • Griggz

    I updgraded both of my desktop from 9.10 without a problem — loving it.

    Also and experimenting with it on my wife’s Acer Aspire One netbook. Works well booting from a USB. Who knows I might be able to convince her to wipe to that other OS in favor of Ubuntu.

  • dan

    ubuntu 10.04 is really good and work well on my old pentiun iii machine. will definently be deleting windows if favour of ubuntu as my windows is falliing apart and there are errorrs all over the place. having a problem getting wine and setting up wired network connections as they allow access to printers and computers but not the internet. any one know why this is

  • jez

    I have been using ubuntu on my laptop since 8.04 was released. I have an old toshiba equium L20, which has been upgraded with 2gb of ram instead of the crumby 256mb. From 8.04 i went to 8.10. Both worked flawlessly out of the box. I had graphics and the utter useless pulseaudio issues with 9.04 and 9.10, so i was hoping 10.04, being an LTS would be the answer, how wrong was i!

    I am just another average member of joe public, i don’t do programming, i don’t do IT, and i don’t faff about with computers, in other words, i am one of those that ubuntu is trying to convert over from M$.

    I did a fresh install of 10.04 a month ago, and i say right now, that 10.04 is the biggest pile of excrement i have ever had the misfortune to use. Not so much that window buttons being on the wrong side or the fact gimp (which i use alot) was missing, and that purple is not a pleasant colour for any os, but the fact that wireless no longer worked, and even using ethernet, the net was like being back on dial up. Changing ipv settings in firefox stops firefox from remembering passwords (when you use forums alot this is extremely annoying). Youtube videos are unwatchable. Cannot use desktop effects as it freezes the system within seconds of startup, so compiz was a big no no. ATI graphics card drivers? Hahahaha!!!! Software centre very slow and crashes, Amarok 2 wouldn’t play anything, oh dear, 1.4 no longer available, unless of course i start faffing about with it….boring!

    As 8.10 is no longer supported i ended up back on 8.04. And guess what? It all WORKS! But i’ll be buying a mac when 8.04 is no longer supported.

    Maybe, if they spent more time making it work rather than super dooper fast boot times, then ubuntu may make it into the mainstream.

  • Janus Daniels

    jez, I’ve never heard of problems like yours with 10.4; have you tried fresh reinstalling?

  • Jack Perez

    Yesterday I installed Ubuntu 10.04 and it work fine, and every thing work on my Asus Eee PC 1005 HAB netbook. I was very happy, but today I install the updates and the screen keeps flashing off and on. Not good. I am going to search for a solution, and see what happens.

  • Josh

    Hi Ubuntu does have options for people with disabilities. try the universal access menu, or press alt f2 type orca hit enter. You might also try vinux at http://www.vinux.org.uk and http://vinuxvirtual.org.uk . I run vinux based on Ubuntu in vmware under windows7 with no problems at all. Had trouble installing office that is open-office, but once I hot control alt tab, went to update manager and updated then openoffice was installed fine.
    Oh and guys one other helpful tip if you don’t like typing in commands into command lines then why not just copy and paste? and did you know the tab key will autocomplete commands for you so you don’t have to type them out? In gnome alt f1 gets you to the application menus alt usually brings up menu bars. All we need now is good speech recognition for Ubuntu/vinux.
    Oh and to you people who say you will not use linux unless you can use adobe photoshop and dot-net and ms-office 2010. Then just stick with windows or use windows inside of vmware. Linux is not windows and windows is not linux and mac is not windows either. that’s why they make virtual machines people. In fact I myself run windows xp inside of vmware in windows7 on my macbook pro where windows7 is installed onto the bootcamp partition. Why do I do this? I run windows xp inside of windows7 in vmware because I cannot play most of my audio games such as entombed or games from http://www.kitchensinc.net in windows7 64bit. they don’t work. But I really like windows7 because by using http://www.satogo.com I can dictate text into my computer and get stuff done faster. Normally I use NVDA and I also use the nvda screen reader in my windows xp vmware virtual machine. I also downloaded a windows98 virtual machine so I can do some podcasts about some older software that only runs in windows98 and also inside of ms-dos. So I need a windows98 vm to do that. I’m gunna try putting vinux3.0 onto my netbook and if I like it–next machine I get I’ll just make sure it has 4gigs of ram and I’ll use Linux as the host and Run multiple windows systems inside of vmware for linux. Oh and for braille display support Ubuntu and vinux come with brltty. Why not give vinux a try? since you can all see just go into orca preferences and tell it not to start at log on and you’ll be fine. Oh and on my mac I use the free voiceover utility screen reader accessed with command f5 on tiger, leopard, and snow leopard. Also supports braille displays. Oh, also instead of complaining about typing in tons of commands in the linux command line, why not make a script that does it for you when you run it and put a shortcut on the gnome desktop that’d solve your problems. a script is a file containing commands that you want to run in sequence. when you run it all it does is execute the commands. so that is a script in its basic form. Only complaint I have with Orca is the voice but for $5 from oralux.org I can get voxin which sounds much better. But as long as http://www.kitchensinc.net keeps developing in visual basic6 I guess I’ll be running my windows xp virtual machines for a long time. And as long as humanware refuses to upgrade their keynote gold multimedia speech synthesizer I’ll be running my windows98 virtual machine for a long time also because I like that software speech tts synthesizer.

    Josh Kennedy email: jken337 at sign gmail dot com

  • Sandra

    This review on Ubuntu is very strange and funny; claiming being able to compete with the big guys is just not true. At least not if you are targeting the “normal human user” out there.

    a) You can’t play DVDs right out of the box. You have to buy Power DVD Linux in most cases (if using those lib xxx plugins isn’t allowed in your country), which requires you to install the prop. NVIDIA driver, which messes up Plymouth bootup for good. Bluray ppl? Don’t even think of it.

    b) Wanna play a game? Oops, just Wine and Crossover or even Cedega around? The last two being easier for noobs and all but costing you, together with the DVD software, much more than any Windows would cost you PLUS the fiddeling and fighting around to get things to actually just work? Too bad. WINE or anything like that: Performance sucks balls and games are very unstable and can break when updating things. Not even DX9 or 10 are known to work good. Building on weak sticks holding your entire house is not wise.

    c) Want to use something like Quicken, Photoshop or even open up .doc documents, without those getting messed up by Open Office and then being ashamed when sending them to partners and customers using MS WORD (which is still the standard thing to use today), because they look like something went terribly wrong? Yeah, you have alternatives, but they lack most good features and there is only forum support; which brings me to:

    d) Support only in ENGLISH (by phone) and you have to pay via credit card or Paypal. YEAH, right, that’s just great. Reading and writing through forums just isn’t funny after you have done it a thousand times…or if you’re new to this kind of stuff (human).

    e) Most languages are in the system to be used, but many of them aren’t translated to 100%

    f) Lots of tearing on the desktop (with and without Compiz) – reminds me of Windows XP: NO Vsync. IF you use it (for example via Compiz ; Nvidia only), then you are in for some major performance probs, eventually a not working sleep mode due to this and a “not an option” solution for ATI and Intel GMA users. All this transfers over to videos and flash = looking at a video tear on a 42″ (or any screensize for that matter) just makes things..well.. unwatchable? Compiz is nice to play around with, but I see it as a powertoy or sandbox thingy. Just makes things too buggy or sluggish or gives probs (such as tearing).

    g) There are some good enough features for ppl with disadvantages in life, but stuff like “voice command/recognition for the OS” or being able to “dictate to your computer via voice” (in as many languages as possible) is not there. The only solution is poor and in ENGLISH only.

    h) Windows still has it’s prop. – Windows only – software AND all the Open Source software to choose from.

    i) Upgrading from previous versions of Ubuntu still has a bunch of problems. Never worked well for me on a ALL of my computers.

    j) Whoever said Linux or Ubuntu and co. are more stable than Windows or OSX, well, that is not true one bit. It has the same problems, if not more, than the others.

    k) More secure atm, but already a few threats known (having that small user base on desktops) to be able to easily infect the system. No system is 100% secure.

    l) Thousands of Linuxes to choose from (Suse, Ubuntu, Mint, Mandrake,………all that x500 = too many for the normal user) makes things confusing for normal humans.

    and so much more…

    I could go on forever. Many of the mentioned things here are critical things for normal users or business ppl. Ubuntu is getting better but it is still no where close to being a true rival or competition for Windows or OSX. It might one day, but maybe not. I have been hearing that since the 90’s and it’s getting very old now. While Linux is drawing the sky….the others are reaching for the stars and above. It has always been this way (on the human desktop), is this way and even might stay this way. Anyway, no bashing here, just a honest note from my side. xXSandraXx

  • Sandra

    OH, btw, this experimental Nouveau driver; I do not like that kind of stuff in LTS releases.

  • nate

    Just tells us that this review is a joke. Please? Windows 95 is more usable than this mess.

    You know, after watching your linsux presentations I thought there was at least a sane person in the community, still able to keep an objective and critical view. I was wrong, it seems.


    This is one of the awesome operating system i have never come across and i find that it is a best suite for all the desktops and laptops among all the operating systems available today.

  • yman

    Summary of my post (so you don’t have to read through all my rambling): I’ve used Ubuntu for 4 years on 4 machines. Only one piece of hardware stopped working altogether. I’ve had many other issues and annoyances, but none was major enough to make me think of going back to Windows. Lucid has for me been almost annoyance-free, and considering the fact that all the usual suspects for bad drivers (WiFi, Video) in my case have fully-functioning open-source drivers, I don’t expect to experience any more regressions in hardware support on my main machine. BTW, the non-functioning piece of hardware might be supported now for all I know. I haven’t tried it with any release later than Hardy.

    Lengthy rambling version:
    It’s odd. I keep reading all these complaints about Ubutnu, and yet I don’t encounter anything as earth shattering as what is being mentioned here. In regards to PulseAudio trouble: we got Vista at about the same time as PulseAudio, and I Pulse was hardly more annoying than the sound issues on Vista. Aside from that my video drivers had a slump in performance during Karmic, and a network card that I think was known to be problematic and require hacks stopped working. There were other regressions between releases, but they were so minor I barely noticed them, only realizing they existed when I tried to think of bad stuff in Ubuntu. Just remembered one: Hardy and Intrepid didn’t like going to sleep all that much, so I had to disable Compiz. And I think there may have been a problem that required me to manually turn my Wifi driver, something that the release notes warned about but I decided to go with the upgrade anyway.

    That’s my list of major complaints, of issues that bothered me enough that I would take notice of them, after 4 years of using Ubuntu on 4 computers. That’s 9 Ubuntu releases, for which I have had many complaints about many issues, yet non of those issues really bothered me. Maybe it’s a difference in attitude and expectations. Maybe I don’t expect Ubuntu to run perfectly on computers that were not built for it, and yet am (almost) always happy to discover it runs well enough for my needs. Also another major thing is that while all previous releases of Ubuntu had issues that bothered me, Lucid had not one single problem. PulseAudio runs almost perfectly, the only exception being when Osmos crashes, a problem I only discovered this week. My video drivers are back to their usual performance. The one thing that really is annoying in Lucid is Firefox. I have it remember my sessions, and after a few weeks it starts becoming super sluggish. PlayOnLnux requires me to force it to quit in order for the installation wizard to appear. Deluge can become unresponsive for several seconds when it has a few dozen torrents open.

  • lg205

    Upgraded from version 8 using the updater tool and wrecked my system, Kernel Panic – VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block (0,0). Not Perfect by any stretch of the imagination…

  • .haNk

    10.04 was HORRIBLE. 9.10 was way, way better (screw the boot time). i’m just getting around to installing 10.10. so far it’s looking much better.

  • http://debian.org Jimmy

    They have been scewing somehtings little by little at the expense of dessig an look. But now, with Oneiric, they finally screwed EVERYTHING

  • omar

    The perfect ubuntu version (especially for servers) and still using it.