Ubuntu 7.10

october 19, 2007

Sooooooo... Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) was released a few days ago and I just had to try it. Maybe, just maybe this was the winner. I have been running Scientific Linux 5.0 for the last few months -- and have been quite happy with it. It was stable, had all the stuff that I used (though, older versions), and, well, was stable. SL5 also worked out of the box on both of my notebooks, so it made me very happy. I downloaded Ubuntu 7.10 yesterday morning and had both my notebooks reimaged after the ISO was burned onto a CD. This is the version of Ubuntu that I had been waiting for. Let me gush:

  1. Everything worked out of the box. Previously, almost everything worked out of the box with Ubuntu. The sticking points were with the Intel graphics chip I had in my main notebook. With 6.10, I had to get a separate piece of software (915resolution) so that the widescreen resolution was recognized. With 7.04, the widescreen resolution was recognized, but the box always froze up when I shut it down. Now, it all works. And, the keys for volume and brightness work also! Nice.
  2. 3D desktop on install. With my main notebook, Compiz Fusion worked on install. It is done in a very elegant fashion: Not too showy (like windows that burn down), but just enough to make things more usable (shadows on windows is the nicest). 3D desktop does not work on my old P3 notebook, even though it worked with Scientific Linux. That is OK though, since when I did have it turned on with SL, it was slower than molasses.
  3. All the latest software. As much as I love stable software, I still love the latest and greatest more. It is nice to have a supported version of Firefox 2, OpenOffice.org 2.3 and Gnome 2.20. Yes, Fedora 7 has all these goodies too, but it does not work with my hardware on a fresh install. I have to jump through all sorts of hoops to get wifi working -- which, I totally understand because the Fedora Project wants to keep their distro "free" as part of their philosophy.
  4. Shiny Blue! There is a theme that is the same for both the 3D and 2D desktop which is named "Glossy". It is glossy. It is shiny. It is blue! Yay! Pair that up with the SimplyFree and it makes for a nice blue Ubuntu experience.
  5. Wifi Network Password, Gone! NetworkManager is one cool tool. But, in previous incarnations it tied in with the keychain and I had to type a password to authorize connecting to any wireless network which required a password. Very. Annoying. I think there is a way to disable that, but that's too much work. With Ubuntu 7.10 they disabled the need to type a password everytime I want to connect to a wifi network. Yay!
Anyways, lets see how long this lasts.  So far, I am liking Ubuntu 7.10 -- but, I have been known to like Ubuntu releases before.