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Distro Hopping on the Acer Aspire One

Posts Tagged ‘Linux’

Ubuntu – Xubuntu 9.10 Beta: first look

Posted by x1101 on October 26, 2009

I has been awhile since I have had the time/opportunity to do a distro review due to other projects I have been working on, but I will get to that later. I am currently testing the beta for Xubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Kola) which is set to be released on October 29th. I have not gotten the ‘Netbook’ remix of this version yet, so that will have to be saved for another time. So here goes, first look at Xbuntu 9.10 on the AAO.

Speed:

Karmic seems to be getting a lot of press regarding boot speed,but I cant say that I notice much of a difference.  In fact, the new login window and GDM seem to possibly be slower (right now I am comparing this to Linux Mint GLORIA). But it does seem to be faster doing a suspend/resume. It also seems to be a small amount faster in all around performance.

Improvements:

One of the things I have always liked about Ubuntu is how well the ‘Add/Remove Programs’ has worked. This has gotten even better with the introduction of the Ubuntu Software Center . This combines all that was good with the old system and improves upon it. They have also improved the mechanism for adding a PPA (personal package archive) for software that is in active development (such as chromium). This is now accomplished with the simple line: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:x where x is the name of the project (chromium daily). I will (hopefully) be doing a full how-to on PPA’s (both for pre-Karmic, then Karmic) shortly. Another improvement is that at least in the main line version of Ubuntu which has always been very much into integration of the different desktop apps, you now seem to have the ability to remove any one of these applications without causing any problems with the rest of the suite. Specificaly, if you chose to, you can now remove Evolution/Empathy without complaint from the ubuntu-desktop package. This is good for the users (like myself) who appreciate the effort made to integrate all the applications into a cohesive desktop, but disagree with the choice of software used (I personally prefer Pidgin IM client and Thunderbird mail client) .

Theme:

The new them for Karmic seems to have finally gotten past the Brown/Orange theme and gotten into the realm of a darker theme for the desktop. This includes a more streamlined GTK theme (smaller buttons, smaller borders). The Xubuntu theme sticks with blue, but also brings a darker feel, which I personally enjoy.

Other Thoughts:

The new release seems to boast better battery life (have not confirmed yet, still testing this) and required no additional work to get all of the usual features working, though it seems that microphone support (for the built in mic at least) is still non-existent.

This is my first look of the beta, and I will update this post once I have used it longer. My initial reaction is very hopeful, and if the final release shapes up to be as good as the beta promises, Karmic will be a bit hit. I hope to be doing more distro-hopping in the coming weeks, as well more general how-to’s. As always please send me any suggestions for new distros to try, or any how-to’s you would like to see.

-x1101

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