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Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex raises the bar

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on November 04, 2008 05:11 PM
After not having done much in/with/to a ubuntu gutsy installation on my 'super-multiboot' desktop pc (6 or 7 OSs installed & many more virtualized), I decided to nuke it an try out kubuntu intrepid. The installation went pretty smoothly apart from a dangerously un-intuitive bootloader option that I almost passed by until I clicked on the 'advanced' button out of curiosity. The unintuitiveness continued (it would not let me install grub to "/", or (hd0,5), or anything except the mbr -- the one thing I did NOT want), so I did not install it at all. Pos-installation efforts to use a new (to me) settings control panel also failed, eventually I may essay a manual installation, just so I can chainload it from my preexisting mbr grub's menu.lst.

That right there is a total showstopper for me recommending Ubuntu to noobs...

Post installation, and a manual edit of menu.lst I was able to boot into kubuntu-intrepid in all it's fully-loaded-with-desktop effects kde4 glory. Problem was, my older -ish Radeon 9550 can't seem to cope with with these effects at all well, and efforts to do things such as resize the screen resulted in hard lock-ups that only alt-prt scr s-u-b could recover from. This happened even when I just tried to launch (click on) krandr, and the display settings control panel. An apt-get update and apt-get upgrade seemed to settle things down a bit, and I was able to disable the useless and harmful effects, and even (against all expectations) enable the non-free fglrx driver.

I might charitably chalk this up to kde4 immaturity, except my Mandriva 2009 kde4 installation has shown no such instability or really, any problems. In fact, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Mandriva over Ubuntu as a noob-friendly distro. I'm not even sure if I would call current incarnations of Ubuntu notably friendly to more experienced users (including 8.04, which I just installed on another pc with a host of xserver problems to overcome, but that's another story). Still, I will continue to evaluate this most popular Linux distro...


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