Ubuntu’s latest release moves it closer to making it a credible OS for the masses.
Having now used Ubuntu’s various versions for about the last two years, I did a clean install of Ubuntu 9.04 (took 11 minutes) on a spare drive to check it out. Satisfied that it did everything I wanted and presented no issues, I upgraded my main drive in 35 minutes. I am pleased to report that everything I had installed in the previous version migrated without a hitch to the newest version – a totally seamless OS upgrade.
What’s interesting about this version is that if you’re looking for some “WOW” factor, it’s not there. What this version accomplishes is “under the hood” changes which make it boot faster, run faster and cleaner – there is no way to describe this “feel” except to try it out.
One thing you see right away is faster boot time – this is what I found:
Boot Time (sec)
Not bad – 30% faster than the previous version; some are reporting boot times under 20 seconds, which is almost instant-on. One of the objectives for this release was to do fair amount of tuning under the hood, and it worked out. The graphics are “cleaner” – as an example, switching desktops feels smoother than before. I also noticed that apps seem to load quicker and run “better”.
There are some new features, including “Computer Janitor”. This is a tool that finds stuff that is deems can be deleted; however, it identifies programs that have been manually downloaded as detritus, so I think this needs some work – use this one with caution. Adding apps is trivial – expect to use the command line about as often as you do in Windows.
So the bottom remains try it out – you can do it without installing it by using the Live CD function; if you like it but want to keep Windows, you can install it in a non-threatening way in a separate partition. It’s NOT Windows and using it as your one-and-only OS clearly means that Windows-only software is out. Frankly, the more I use it the more Windows becomes irrelevant for me personally, although I have to use it for writing about Windows apps.
The following links are useful and will save you time in adding useful apps:
This is a very nice list of apps that enhance Ubuntu in various ways. As an example, because it’s open source, third party proprietary codecs are not included – adding them is drop-dead easy.
If you want eye-candy, there are a number of videos on YouTube that will demonstrate what’s possible – you won’t be disappointed!
Also trivial but nice to see how to do it.