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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

By Susan Linton on May 09, 2008 (7:00:00 PM)

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I have to disclose that I have never been a real fan of Ubuntu. I've tried it about every release and had more than my share of issues with it. Ubuntu 8.04 was released last month, and the first reviews mostly spoke of how nice this version was, so I downloaded the i386 version to test. Sigh -- it's rough when you have to change a long-standing opinion.

Ubuntu ISO images serve as both a live CD and an installer. Choosing the install option boots an X server and starts the same installer found within the live CD environment. The live CD took 2.75 minutes to boot to the desktop, but things looked promising. The first improvement I found was that I no longer needed the noapic boot option to avoid a black screen at X. The resolution for my Nvidia 6150 Go graphic chip and LCD display was 1280x800 using the nv Xorg driver, and my Altec Lansing MCP51 sound chip was activated and working. I didn't expect the Broadcom 4311 wireless chip to work and it didn't, but the wired Ethernet chip did.

It was at this point that I started the same familiar hard drive installer that has been in use for several versions. The timezone screen was the first update I noticed. The map portion now zooms in as you hover the cursor over the zone markers. I found it to be a bit difficult to navigate, but the drop-down menu is still present.

The next new feature is at the partitioning screen. Now an interactive partition graphic at the Guided option allows you to adjust the size of your Windows partition by moving the separator handle. Since my disk is already partitioned, I chose Manual. In previous versions, the Migration Assistant failed to import my Windows wallpaper, user icon, and bookmarks, but it worked this time. The installer finished without issue, and I chose to install GRUB onto the Ubuntu root partition. That worked out well; Ubuntu picked up and listed all the other systems on my machine. With previous versions, only some were listed. After the hard drive install, my Ubuntu takes 36 seconds to boot to the login screen, which is equal to or better than other Linux distributions on the same machine.

This release also includes a Windows installer called Wubi that installs Ubuntu onto your Windows partition. It's a very simplified installer with just a few configuration options available, but it seemed to work well with my Windows XP on NTFS. After the install, Ubuntu is available at the Windows boot screen. It takes 51 seconds to boot to the login screen and the applications seem to function fine, even if they take a bit longer to start than they do under native Ubuntu. OpenOffice.org takes 15 seconds to start and Firefox takes six. Hardware support was also comparable. This is quite an improvement over Window installers of the past.

The look of mud

Ubuntu has become the face of Linux for most new users these days, and the first impression is important. At first boot, the first thing you'll probably notice in this release is the new login screen and desktop background artwork. The login screen is tastefully understated, but the new wallpaper features an expressionistic heron on a burnt amber background. There's a reason why no other distribution uses brown as its default color scheme. Brown is not an attractive color, and Hardy Heron is just not a pretty distro.

One of the more obvious changes this release is the new Unlock button on some of the Administrative utilities. Previously you would have to type in your password before an administrative application such as Time and Date would open. Now it will open without a password, but you'll still need to supply your password in order to "unlock" it and make changes. There is an Authorizations utility in which the default security policy can be adjusted on a per-tool basis. You can allow anyone to change settings without a password, or block any changes at all, and everything in between. This new PolicyKit has some use on a multi-user system (especially if you're sharing a computer with a child, for example) or in conjunction with a network tool that can manage multiple clients, but for a single-user it seems overkill, and for the new user the interface seems rather daunting.

Software

The 8.04 software stack is fairly complete for a starter desktop. The kernel version is 2.6.24-16. 8.04 features Xorg 7.3, GCC 4.2.3, and GNOME 2.22.1. Some of the major packages installed by default include OpenOffice.org 2.4.0, Firefox 3.0 Beta 5, and the GIMP 2.4.5. Ubuntu comes with several games such as Mines, Same GNOME, Mines, Chess, Mahjongg, and Sudoku. The Internet applications include Ekiga VoIP client, Evolution Mail, Pidgin instant messenger, Vinagre VNC client, Terminal Server Client, and Transmission BitTorrent client. Sound and video programs include Sound Juicer, Brasero for disc burning, Totem movie player, and Rhythmbox music player.

Like many distributions today, the repositories are equally or even more important when considering the software availability. There are lots of great applications in Ubuntu's repos that are not included on the CD, such as Apache, Gallery, Bacula, Nexuiz, PHP, and MySQL. You may wish to install the Build-essential meta package that will install the packages necessary to build software from source packages. Ubuntu comes with two front ends for the APT package management system: Synaptic and Install and Remove Applications. There is also a user-friendly Update Manager, but no updates were available to test this tool this early in the release cycle. The APT utilities earned points for the speed in which they downloaded and updated the package database in comparison to other APT distros.

I didn't have any trouble with applications crashing, freezing, or exhibiting strange behaviors. They seemed quite responsive. Firefox installed my choice of Flash software so I could watch online video at YouTube and Google Video. The installable GStreamer codec plugins allowed me to watch other video types I had on hand, such as AVIs and MPEGs. Oggs, MP3s, and audio CDs were no trouble either. Encrypted DVDs aren't supported, and no plugins are available for those through Ubuntu, but you can find them elsewhere on the Internet.

Even the developmental version of Firefox was fast and stable for my modest requirements. I'm not sure it was wise to include beta software in a Long Term Support release, and during my testing period I've seen complaints about it begin in blog and forum postings, but the included version of Firefox worked fine for me.

Hardware support

As I stated, Hardy Heron supported the basic hardware on my laptop with no problems. It also addressed other advanced requirements. The printer configuration wizard was easy and worked well setting up my Samba shared printer. Inserting removable media opens a Nautilus window and places an icon on the desktop.

I had to install the B43-fwcutter package and use the Hardware Drivers utility (previously referred to as the Restricted Drivers module) to enable my unsupported wireless chipset, but once enabled, it supported WPA authorization. The Network Manager applet appears in the upper panel for easy roaming. CPU Frequency Scaling was enabled by default to lower temperature and prolong battery life. A battery monitor appears in the upper panel when the laptop is unplugged. Hibernation works from the login menu or the battery monitor menu, but suspend doesn't. It wakes up to a black screen. I thought installing the proprietary Nvidia graphic drivers might help, but this is where I ran into trouble.

At install, the Nvidia driver was shown enabled but not in use in the Hardware Drivers tool. Turns out the Nvidia drivers weren't actually installed. Enabling third-party repositories allowed them to be installed. I was instructed to reboot, at which point I was presented with an Xorg configurator, and I set up my graphics at the optimal resolution and recommended refresh rates. However, X started at 800x600 resolution, and nothing I did would change that, short of installing the Nvidia proprietary drivers from Nvidia.com. After that drastic measure I was able to suspend as desired and enable the 3-D desktop effects.

In the menu under System you'll find an entry for Help and Support. Clicking it opens a Help browser with information on lots of topics of interest to new and experienced users of Ubuntu. Topics range from basic computer skills and principles of Linux to using the command line and writing your own programs, and everything in between. This information is also available online at help.ubuntu.com. In addition, there are mailing lists, paid support, IRC channels, and online discussion forums.

Conclusion

Ubuntu 8.04 has still not won me over completely. Though I realize I can change the look and feel of my desktop, I still think the "Ambassador of Linux" should be prettier upon first boot. I'm disappointed in the Ubuntu Nvidia driver handling, but happy that I can finally use my wireless connection in Ubuntu. The functional Migration Assistant, the available Help tool, and refined software stack earn Ubuntu points in helping new users adjust, while the new PolicyKit loses one for overcomplicating an already confusing concept.

However, I found little to complain about this release. In the end, my experience with 8.04 was much better than any version previously. I was actually fairly impressed, darnit.

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on Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 155.69.181.162] on May 09, 2008 07:40 PM
I also don't like the Ubuntu default brown-colored desktop, it's really ugly as heck! Not to mention all buttons are so huge (maybe good for accessibility, but I have normal sight without glasses)

And I also think that every distro can be configured to support every hardware supported by Ubuntu, since they all use one Linux kernel (and maybe some binary blobs), it is just a matter how the distro configure itself to detect hardware out of the box. And Ubuntu is the real winner in this area.

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Re: Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 194.192.22.33] on May 12, 2008 01:09 PM
I love kubuntu.... much more beautifull... more configurations, apps are better for my taste

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.6.6.10] on May 09, 2008 07:46 PM
used to love Ubuntu but heron makes new strides in instability esp on 64bit

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 216.70.10.75] on May 09, 2008 07:57 PM
Ugly? I don't mind it... it is a nice change from the cold blue that is so common. Some icons certainly could be nicer looking.

I've not yet read a review that noted the graphical trick in the heron screen graphic of the spiral feathers that recall the Debian spiral logo. I think it is rather nice that they did that.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.248.89.66] on May 09, 2008 10:31 PM
The real test for wireless is WEP, since so many people have troubles with it in Linux. In my opinion you should have walked down the street and tested this for your article.

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Re: Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.203.171.205] on May 11, 2008 10:11 AM
I have been using Heron since just before the official release, and after following a guide on ubuntuforums to get ndiswrapper working properly on my HP dv2415 laptop, wireless has been working exceedingly smoothly. I use WEP and WPA with no issues whatsoever - scratch that - I might have had to enter one WEP key in hex. However, I was not able to get my wireless card working with previous ubuntu versions, nor was I able to get it working with SuSe. Bummer - I like the look. In fact, it was significantly less work getting Heron to work fully on my rig than it was downgrading it from Vista to XP pro. Even considering the googling and terminal usage, I think I spent maybe 1/4 the amount of time trying different methods to get the wireless driver to work than I did trying to find the full set of XP drivers.

Thumbs UP.

if you're having trouble with your Broadcom card on ubuntu, try this: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/bcm43xx/Feisty_No-Fluff

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Re: Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.93.55.3] on May 30, 2008 03:01 PM
Not WEP, but WPA. WPA is the difficulty when talking about Linux Wireless

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Michael Shigorin on May 09, 2008 10:59 PM
There's a solid reason for including almost-FF3 into longer-support-term release as FF2 will probably be unsupported before 8.04 EOL (just as it came with 1.5).

Said that, I prefer the lack of driver/codec/clue problems in ALT Linux to the whole Ubuntu. :)

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.199.122.248] on May 10, 2008 12:38 AM
I've been running Hardy since the 1st beta and I haven't had any issues playing encrypted dvds. Simply checking the gstreamer plugins in add/remove enables everything needed to play all media formats.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 198.207.0.5] on May 10, 2008 01:10 AM
Frankly I love the brown color scheme. I was fully planning on buying a Hardy Heron T-shirt until I saw how much it costs in USD. I agree with another Anonymous poster above, blue is so boring (not to mention way overdone) and I'm not a huge fan of openSUSE's green either. But then, I have brown bedding, all brown furniture, and even brown casual china, so I guess Ubuntu and I are a match made in heaven! I've been using it since Breezy Badger (5.10), but I haven't yet made the jump to 8.04.

Great article Ms. Linton, I always enjoy your nice thorough reviews on here and on DistroWatch Weekly. At this point I think I know more about your laptop hardware than I do about mine!

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 99.229.127.91] on May 10, 2008 03:12 AM
Its great! I have been installing Linux distros and then uninstalling them since 2000.

Think of me the next time you read about the thousands of times Linux has been downloaded.

I am prepared to spend about 1 hour getting my wireless card to work and I think that is being both patient and generous. To those who find that comment offensive - boo hoo.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.215.141.27] on May 10, 2008 03:36 AM
I think that Linux distros are judged too harshly when it comes to initial driver installation. When I reinstalled XP a month ago, it booted into a low-resolution desktop and did not even have ethernet working out of the box. I needed to install a few chipset drivers, usb drivers, sound drivers, etc from the drivers CD that came with my motherboard. The installation of those drivers required three reboots. After ethernet was set up and I had an internet connection, I also had to grab NVIDIA drivers off the manufacturer's website to get the graphics working properly.

Of course, without that CD installing drivers becomes an easter egg hunt. It's somewhat better in vista if you have well-supported hardware, because you can get drivers off of Windows Update. However, the process is not nearly as seamless as on Ubuntu; I'd wager that a "typical user" would be stuck pretty quickly during a fresh install.

Certainly, when something refuses to work in Linux it can be very difficult (or impossible) to get a proper fix, but even in the two years I've been using Linux, hardware compatibility has improved dramatically. For most mainstream hardware, almost everything works within one reboot on Ubuntu (or immediately if you have Intel graphics), and the things that don't are largely from a lack of manufacturer cooperation (which also seems to be improving, albeit slowly).

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.189.96.86] on May 10, 2008 05:21 AM
Would you have preferred a nice Aryan white? Funny huh? Anyone culturally aware enough to realize that Ubuntu comes from South Africa? Brown is the predominate color there.
How about a pastel pink release?

One of the coolest things about Linux is it's configureability....so configure it....make yourself happy. Value the thing for what it is and can be and not the color of the bow on the package.

Like kids at Christmas that can't be bothered with the smaller packages 'cause they aren't the 'big' ones.
This isn't like car shopping or buying clothes....the desktop is what YOU make it.

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Re: Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.0.207.178] on May 14, 2008 09:23 AM
Well said :)
I agree with you. I, like others here, am fed up with the 'any colour you like so long as it's blue' mentality...
As you say, "configure it....make yourself happy". It's simple enough and part of the joy of customising the desktop to ones taste.
Still, I guess it's encouraging when people are moaning about the default colour above anything else. The OS must be pretty solid for most people.
Like many, I'm a distro hopper that sees the critical mass (in Linux terms) that Ubuntu is gaining due to its ubiquitous marketing. For this reason I now stick with (K)Ubuntu. Add to that
the wealth of Debian and its APT system, what's not to like?

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 201.217.125.247] on May 10, 2008 07:17 AM
I actually like brown quite a lot :) It matches my HP dv6780se it's also a reddish brown on the outside :p
I agree with all the comments about not really caring what the default color is... Don't like it, change it. I don't see why all the fuss.
Wait!!! The default terminal has a white background instead of black... Argh! Now THAT just ruined my day.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.186.237.73] on May 10, 2008 10:16 AM
Brown is for the UPS guy, dirt, and turds. Frankly, their zealot like adherence to this color for the sake of crappy tradition exemplifies everything wrong with linux. Indefensible, and those that do are brainwashed.

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To all those bashing Ubuntu's default theme!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.65.216.169] on May 10, 2008 10:58 AM
You guys are ridiculous and make me sick. Your assosiations with brown are absurdly immature, as well as the fact that you keep whining about the feature that takes 10 seconds to change. Perhaps consulting a shrink would matter. The good news is the default Hardy Heron's installation has three brown themes instead of one. There you go, enjoy!

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What's the fuzz about colors?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.8.160.115] on May 10, 2008 12:25 PM
When a debate about Linux and a distro turns into a discussion of colors there must be a point missing. Get a new wallpaper! Ubuntu 8.04 is a step forward in many ways, but it's merely a release candidate for Ubuntu 8.07 aka the 8.04.1 due in July. Bugs (near 250 in the "mainlist" alone) are popping up in Launchpad and the bug focus seems better than on previous releases. It makes sense wrt LTS. Yesterday I replaced my kernel with the Debian one and much to my delight the B43 kicked in and my wifi was working again. Back to the Ubuntu Kernel - not so lucky. For a while flash was a problem, but I sorted out that - and by following an excellent howto Java is working well in FF 2, 3 and Opera 9.5B2. FF 3, Evolution and Prism still starts in offline mode though. Automounting of devices works perfectly for me in 8.04 - that was not the case with 7.04 and 7.10.

What puzzles me a bit when it comes to Ubuntu is the abcense of critical reviews beyond the hype. By someone pro Linux and preferably pro Ubuntu. Are Linuxwriters cautious in fear of providing Msoft with ammo?

Many of the issues affecting Ubuntu appears to be rather simple to solve and it would be interesting to learn whether it's sloppiness, lack of priority or a shred of arrogance that causes these failures. (Basicly it works in other distros - so I believe it resides with Ubuntu)

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.254.84.207] on May 10, 2008 04:04 PM
I've installed Ubuntu Hardy on my dad's laptop, it seems ok. He didn't note any major changes over Gutsy (he's been using Ubuntu for a year now), and neither did I tbh. It hasn't converted me over Arch Linux though, since it still can't suspend/hibernate his laptop! Wallpaper looks good..And I don't mind the brown.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.166.80.113] on May 10, 2008 05:25 PM
Hmm i guess it would be prettier if it was pink....

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.8.78.65] on May 10, 2008 06:42 PM
Brown is also the color of Chocolate...but enough about the color...who cares..if Linux Distributions were bug-free and everything worked properly then we could discuss colors... Personally I don't like Ubuntu, it's too bloated. I also get boot errors on my laptop because its searching for fd0 which isnt there, and gets stuck for 15 seconds. Ubuntu has its place for newbies and some will learn that other Distros are better.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Dummy00001 on May 10, 2008 09:57 PM
720p video playback support is "crappy" at best.

Soft-subtitles - ASS - are still not supported.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.70.57.87] on May 10, 2008 10:28 PM
Are you human?
Brown, in all its shades, is the meta-color of all human skin. Ubuntu's brown theme is the warm color and Spirit of humanity. Above all, beyond even it's superiority in so many areas to proprietary software, the Spirit of Ubuntu is why I love Open Source/GNU/Linux. The Spirit of Ubuntu is about living the connection, 'I am who I am because of all who are, so I do what I do for them too.'

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 200.105.169.233] on May 10, 2008 10:37 PM
I love the brown themes ubuntu has made, and the heron wallpaper is awesome. I think many people confuse familiar with beatiful. Probably for the same reason Edipus complex exists :P . Anyways, I hope they don't ever change their decision not to be a wannabee distro copying colors from windows/OSX.

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Re: Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 200.105.169.233] on May 10, 2008 10:39 PM
Oh, and your link seems to state that most (53%) of the people are fine with the theme, which is something hard as heck to accomplish. Nowadays everybody thinks their favorite theme should be the default. They don't figure out a lot of people don't like their theme either, for some themes I've seen promoted as better than ubuntu's I would say the "ugly as heck" percentage would be much higher.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 79.114.68.54] on May 11, 2008 03:37 PM
If you have issues using the Broadcom Wireless take a look at this URL: http://www.myscienceisbetter.info/2008/04/configure-broadcom-wireless-using-compat-wireless.html

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 10.176.247.39] on May 12, 2008 06:18 AM
I agree with #2. Serious issues with nvidia card on 64bit version. Every time I reboot, the X falls back to 800x600.

But this review has given me hope because my laptop has Geforce go 6150 and the same broadcom chipset. Wonder if the test laptop is the same model as mine. Mine is a compaq 3425.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 10.176.247.39] on May 12, 2008 06:23 AM
Contd from previous post:

From the review, it looks like the 32bit version of the Hardy is stable on 6150.. should give it a try...

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.77.55.12] on May 12, 2008 09:20 AM
The last time I tried Ubuntu was version 7.10, frustration after frustration trying to get my nvidia video card to work with it and the laggy video playback once I got it to work lead me to major disappointment with Linux in general. I cracked the dvd and went back to xp and vowed never
to try Linux again. Then came along 8.04 and wow everything worked this time out of the box and my videos play better on Linux than they ever
did on xp now I personally think Linux is superior to windows and can over take them once and for all as It converted me. Thanks to all who make
up this community and god bless.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 189.27.129.95] on May 12, 2008 02:45 PM
Hi Susan!
What distro is your choice? In your opinion what distro is the best today, for use in laptop for general use and development on LAMP?
Thank you
Alexandre-Brazil

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 149.149.120.149] on May 12, 2008 02:48 PM
I'm using Ubuntu Live this week to fix several Windows XP machines which were formerly Vista machines. Something about my partition images fails to bring along the NTLDR so I go in with the Live disc and copy the NTLDR files over. Sure, I could do it from the Windows command line I am sure but Ubuntu is easier and I start it loading while I work on another computer so no time lost.

I really like the brown theme. It's a golden brown and easy on the eyes. I understand that in 2008 brown is not a popular color for things but who cares, like so many people before have said, it takes seconds to change it. I really don't like the default Windows desktop but it too is easy to change.

This version of Ubuntu is really "zippy" and responsive. Everything just works from the LiveCD on every machine I have tested it on. I think the store bought default OS (you know who you are) has some real competition on their hands (and have for several years but now people are noticing). I'll prob stick with Mandriva (user for 5 years now, am very sued to it now) but will add Ubuntu to my recommended list.

I'll never go back to store bought OS software! Am recommending Linux to everyone now and have converted several people over who have gone on to convert a few more of their own. I think the current round of distros are setting the bar ever higher for Linux and this is very, very good.

Was excited to read a week or two ago that some big, big hardware/software companies are demanding Linux drivers from their hardware suppliers now. The Linux desktop is now - today - and whether you and it work well together depends on how adventurous or how much hand holding you require to get things done. We can do much more in Linux than we could ever afford to do in Windows. We are certainly happy users and try to help by spreading the word.

Setting up Windows about 8 times in the past week at work required much Easter Egg hunting for drivers and updates. I wonder how long until the Windows community starts some sort of update service that is something like Urpmi in Mandriva.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.203.244.197] on May 13, 2008 03:03 AM
I think that castigating Ubuntu over drivers etc is ridiculous especially considering what I've gone through in the past with XP not to mention Vista (please don't mention Vista, it still hurts too much). To give you an idea of the torture test that I've put Heron through consider my last install. The Toshiba Portege M200 tablet is about the the most obtuse and non standard 'Windows' laptop/tablet out there. The hard drive on this machine had self destructed and needless to say I couldn't find the M200 XP install disks (too many house moves) after I replaced the drive. No matter, a clean XP install should begin get things going right? After 4 BSOD's I gave up and decided to download Ubuntu. I didn't realize that it was Hardy or anything else; all I knew was that after putting the tablet in the docking station and booting from the DVD drive in the station Ubuntu loaded into the tablet first pass. Wireless, network, sound, wacom, graphics and everything else worked great. I mean, first frigging time!! Sure, I subsequently updated the Nvidia driver but Ubuntu handled that for me. No command line, no compiling, no crashing, no kidding! I'm stunned, completely stunned. I believe I'm referred to in the Linux community as a complete noob. No matter, I'm exploring this third option between MS and Apple and I'm a happy camper. I ran afoul of the Sudo 'host not resolved' bug and because of the Linux community I had that cleared up in 45 minutes (remember, I'm a noob ok). I've had similar bugs with XP (actually Office) that have taken months to resolve with MS. Sure I've had to reboot the tablet after installing something once or twice just so the O/S can get itself straight but nothing like what you would go through with Windows. No wonder MS is gagging to get in the online advertising business, if Dell or HP adopted this O/S as their primary platform it would be all over for MS. Yes, the brown scheme is not the prettiest but It didn't take me long to learn how to screw around with the user interface schemes. At least you can change your scheme unlike XP or OSX. I'm not sure, but I have a suspicion that Ubuntu Linux rocks. Now if only I can get the video on CNN and the Daily Show to work....

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 130.130.156.21] on May 13, 2008 09:06 AM
@Previous
Welcome to Linux.
But it's spelt n00b (with zeros). [sorry, couldn't resist ;-)]

Nice review Susan. Really, all one can do is test an OS on their own machine(s). I've read many Ubuntu news articles trolled by Mandriva, OpenSUSE and Fedora users who couldn't get Ubuntu to work as flawlessly as the Blogger/writer. Haven't we got past "My OS is superior & your OS is crap because..."? Clearly if <insert OS> didn't work on my machine, it doesn't mean it doesn't work anywhere.

For the record, I quite like Ubuntu and have yet to try another linux Distro (I also use XP, Vista and Solaris). I don't have any idea about other distros - had I time I'd try some of them. A large point of the Ubuntu ideology is to support other users and contribute to its functionality. Why is every article about how well it works out of the box on some person's machine? Isn't the methodology used to gain this functionality a better, and more far-sighted, comparison between distros?
/end rant

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 209.244.4.189] on May 13, 2008 12:59 PM
Ubunturd is really too ugly for my taste. Its especially bad because its specialized as a "desktop" OS. I personally would rather stare at purple CDE on a Solaris box. Its not just the wallpaper that has to be changed its many elements of the window manager and log in screens too. Rather than muck around with changing all that stuff I would rather install Debian which is essentially the same OS without the ugly packaging and annoying training wheels with "protecting" you to death with "sudo".

Ubuntu seems to be a love it or hate it kind of thing. I'm certainly not one of the fans. While its great for noobs its exactly the wrong direction to go with linux. With all the other distro's out there that are attractive such as Debian and Fedora and CentOS why bother with Ubunturd? I installed Fedora on my Thinkpad and for the first time ever with a linux distro everything worked the first time. Its not Ubuntu that is making big strides in getting hardware to work and making things "easy" its the Linux community.

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Re: Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 128.253.201.79] on May 20, 2008 04:44 PM
"Ubunturd" Oh gosh you are clever... Moron. Why bother with it then if you can use so many other options? Go use them. Every release of Ubuntu improves and it's not just the "Linux community" making those improvements. Canonical has put a lot of money into making Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular, better products.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.245.46.39] on May 14, 2008 06:25 AM
I love it! In the past, people would complain that this or that device was not recognized, or that they couldn't read MS Office docs on Linux. Now the complaint is that it is BROWN. We have won.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 125.161.246.55] on May 14, 2008 07:21 AM
I put Hardy Heron on my Acer 5315, it's 100% allright! At first I install the Kubuntu, although it's beautiful in appearance it performs slightly heavy because I only have 512 gig. now I switched into the original Ubuntu and it works just perfect. I really don't mind about its simple style, though. This is Linux, man! Not some fancy must-pay-first expensive operating system with zero-applications!!! When I upgrade my memory then I'll be sure to change back to Kubuntu.

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Brown?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 216.75.130.90] on May 21, 2008 05:33 PM
Folks!

No matter how you feel about the brown wallpaper, you're one click away from having it *your* way. Right click on the desktop and select "Change Desktop Background".

There. Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?

Just think...you've probably spent more time in the "brown" flamewar in this thread, than it took you to change your background to something that makes you happier.

Sheesh!

(no, I don't particularly care for it either, but I do like the heron)

Peter

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 219.95.197.121] on May 29, 2008 11:27 PM
Works well with my NEC notebook. 100% hardware compatibility.....a first for a Linux distro for me.

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Review: Hardy Heron converts an Ubuntu skeptic

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.213.218.195] on June 05, 2008 04:32 PM
Brown = who cares? Get a life, all of you.

Ubuntu wasn't stable enough for my tastes (too many crashing programs and headaches with the "new" xorg) but I like where it's going from 7.10. I just hope the whole thing smooths out for 8.04.1, which I will be in line for.

It doesn't always work for me, but that's okay. I can live with other distros. I don't have to flame it.

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