Monday, 22 October 2007


I installed the new version of Ubuntu ("Gutsy Gibbon" - what?) this morning. I was running the old version and tried to upgrade, but during the install I somehow lost support for my USB hard drive and various apps stopped running. I decided I'd be best off reinstalling completely (not that much of a problem if your user data is on a separate partition - most Windows users I know are only just coming round to this idea). After downloading the .iso I burnt it to a disc using cdrecord (the gnome burner was one of the apps that had died earlier) and restarted.

The installer was nice enough; pretty much the same as when I installed the previous version. One new little feature that impressed me was when the installer asked if I'd like to copy personal settings (everything from browser bookmarks to desktop wallpaper) from my Windows partition. It's features like this that make Ubuntu fans declare every new version a "Windows-killer". While ease-of-use features are always welcome, I wouldn't go that far (I'm not sure I want something to kill Windows.. unlike Microsoft I recognise the need for competition).. but I digress!

Everything installed nice and smoothly, like the previous version of Ubuntu all my hardware was detected and setup perfectly first time - even my wireless network, once I remembered where I'd put the network key :)

On to the most fun part: the eye-candy! Most of the noise about this new Ubuntu is about the inclusion of Compiz-fusion, a pretty-if-somewhat-pointless system that takes advantage of your 3D card to do silly things with your desktop. There are plenty of videos of it on youtube, have a look. There are quite a few features that are gratuitous if not entirely useless (unless you consider painting a burning particle effect over your windows useful) but the main features are pretty without getting in the way. I particularly like Expo and the shift-switcher. Now that I've written that it sounds like a band name. Anyway.

So - Ubuntu 7.10 gets the thumbs-up from me. To the various people who ask me fairly often which Linux they should try - this one!

PS I know! A post where I didn't whinge about anything! You can tell I'm on holiday :)

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