Ubuntu 8.10 – A Positive Evolution

[ Thursday, 30 October 2008, Adrianot ]


Ubuntu 8.10 has been installed on my computer for over two weeks now. The tests began with beta version through RC and finished with the final release today. Usually I do not install test versions, however, favourable opinions of my friends convinced me it was worth trying. I have to admit, I am not disappointed with the latest version of Ubuntu, 8.10. And here is why.

The author of the review is Adrian Nowak who maintains the Ubuntu blog UbuCentrum.net

Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex

Installation & Upgrade

I have Ubuntu installed on two computers. On the first, there is a fresh installation and the second has an upgrade of previous version.

Upgrading has always been connected with a certain risk of failure. I have often encountered the situation where a system did not start after attempting an upgrade. It was exactly the opposite this time. The newest Ubuntu loaded even few seconds faster the previous one.
The minor flaw is that one needs to download almost 1Gb of packages which takes a lot of time.

The installation routine of Ubuntu 8.10 looks almost the same as of the previous version. The only innovation is a refreshed and colourful partition manager. The new appearance of it should make this highly liked by newbies, as it makes partitioning far more pleasant.

partition.jpg

New apps

There are no new applications in Ubuntu 8.10. As indicated earlier, improving the already available applications and services was the main goal. So, as far as improvements in the apps are concerned, there are dozens of them.

One of interesting changes is new versin of NetworkManager which includes the long awaited support of 3G networks. Nautilius is now equipped with tabs support, just like internet browsers such as Firefox. Furthermore the newer versions of popular apps such as GIMP or OpenOffice.org can be found in the system (although OpenOffice.org 3.0 didn’t make it into Ubuntu 8.10).

nautilus.png

Guest account

Introduction of a guest account in Ubuntu is in my opinion a perfect decision. It highly influences the safety level or the system. Almost everyone has at least once made his computer available to his family or friends. Any user who is logged in at the moment has the access to all the users personal data, including browser history. Very often, in the case when the browser remembers the passwords and cookies, logging on the internet services’ accounts is possible, including mail accounts.

The guest account helps to prevent the risk, and limit the functionality of the system to the minimum for temporary users. The restrictions are really strong as the guest has almost no rights. What is interesting, the guest account is not able to save any files on the hard drive permanently, as the guest account is tempory, and is fully erased after logging out.

Encryption of home directory

Another interesting function which positively influences the safety of the system is the encryption of the home directory. Only the specific user gains access to this folder. It is a long awaited function. One does not need to install TrueCrypt any more, however the inbuilt ciphering functions will not satisfy all the privacy freaks :)

New theme

Although many users will not see any difference in the default appearance of the system, huge progress was done on this field. A darker theme has been simultaneously developed with the default one. It is installed with the system and can be set in the appearance menu. The darker theme should positively influence not only the aesthetic qualities, but should also reduce eye strain by not having to look at bright surfaces.

wyglad-thumb.png

Convenient details

The Ubuntu (or GNOME?) teams are still touching up the interface of the system. A new function will be available after installation of Ubuntu 8.10 called: “change system status”. This sounds weird but all it does is changing the status in several messengers at once, thanks to the redesigned switch off menu.

Summary

In my opinion, the decision to focus on the evolution and bug fixes instead of stuffing too many (often unstable) packages into this release of Ubuntu, is a correct one. After over two weeks of using Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex I can state it is a carefully prepared and stable system. It is difficult to find any bugs in it, which is a novelty, as far as previous versions are concerned. Thanks to a new kernel, Intrepid is able to manage majority of hardware, which demolishes another argument (myth) of Linux opponents and makes Ubuntu a perfect system for computer novices.

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24 Comments

fold this thread JJMacey  Thursday, 30 October 2008 o godz. 11:55 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

Well,

I stopped reading from here…

There are no new applications in Ubuntu 8.10. As indicated earlier, improving the already available applications and services was the main goal. So, as far as improvements in the apps are concerned, there are dozens of them…

UBUNTU, and some of its followers like Linux Mint might be loosing the “edge” here. I run openSuSE 11.0, and will try the Fedora 10 when it is launched.

I think that these .deb based distros are starting to lag behind what is going on in the .rpm Universe.

JJMacey
Phoenix, Arizona

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fold this thread matt  Sunday, 9 November 2008 o godz. 8:30 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

Well,

Try to do similar with an .rpm distro: while running the system upgrade it to higher version (I mean the whole distro like from Fedora 9 to Fedora 10). I wish You good luck. From my experience (I was using SuSE, Fedora, Mandrake in the old days): .rpm based distros are probably more up to date regarding the bleeding edge software, but that doesn’t come in pair with the quality of those packages. Now I’m stuck from one and half year with debian (testing/unstable and now KDE 4 from experimental) and I must admit thats the best distro I’ve had the pleasure to work with.

MJasinski
Poznan, Poland

fold this thread Mrugesh Karnik  Saturday, 22 November 2008 o godz. 3:54 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

Uhh, zypper -v dup in opensuse 11 :-)

I actually did a `dist-upgrade’ from 10.3 to 11.0 using the backported zypper packages. So, yeah, don’t know about Fedora, but opensuse can be upgraded Live.

 
 
 
fold this thread FlorisV  Friday, 31 October 2008 o godz. 12:23 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

It’s going the wrong way. Mounting my My Book NAS using cifs is not working anymore. I can read files, make new ones, but changing an existing one is not working anymore. It works with 8.04 flawless.

Most of the extra keys of my multimedia keyboard (sorru, microsoft wireless laser 5000) don’t give any response at all when i try to configurate hotkeys. So volume up, down, next tract etc stopt working with this new release.

My new SATA DVD burner is a complete stranger to my 8.04 installation so i think the only way is going back to xp/vista to get anything working as it should.

“It’s difficult to find bugs”? Not really.

(To be honest. Mandriva 209.0 and Fedora 9 after kernel update from 2.25 to 2.26 have the same problems)

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fold this thread Kyle  Friday, 31 October 2008 o godz. 12:25 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

In regards to the Deb based distros lagging behind, perhaps they are… I see the rpm world moving more towards the vista corporate model (Fedora encourages you to BUY the codecs). I admittedly dont know much about Suse, but have never liked the microsofteque installer.

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fold this thread Nick  Sunday, 2 November 2008 o godz. 3:37 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +2

“Fedora encourages you to BUY the codecs”

of course they do, they have to, they are based in the United States and any distribution in the public eye must at least offer a way for you to download the codecs legally, unlike other US based one’s such as sidux. As for suse, they include mp3 support out of the box, another kind of codec (wma, aac, m4p, etc) is on your own.

 
 
fold this thread dbmuse  Friday, 31 October 2008 o godz. 12:26 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

polish, fit, shine … style
thats not a lag
thats quality…
a distribution of class.
rock on

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fold this thread Stomfi  Friday, 31 October 2008 o godz. 2:04 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Well there might not be any new apps but there are a couple of new tools. One is a USB key startup disk creator, and the other something called a Cruft Remover that cleans up a system so it’s more like a freshly installed one.

I reinstalled the beta from scratch as I have found in the past that upgrades tend to mess up my rather extended system. I keep all the important changes in separate partitions so a re-install doesn’t over write things. /home, /opt/, /usr/local, being the obvious choices.

I do have to create a new user however, as the tools don’t give the option to not create a home folder, something that Mandriva has got, and I have to manually add things to /etc/passwd and /etc/group to reflect the old /home situation. If I did not do this I would lose my Firefox and Thunderbird setup which contains all my email from the last 10 years.
I also set links from my home to an extra drive that contains all my documents, images. and media collections.

I have noticed that Ibex seems faster that Hardy. Faster application start ups, and faster application responses. Is this the newer kernel?

I didn’t have any problems with SAMBA networking. I had to reload all the gstreamer codecs and libdvdcss to play encrypted DVDs, and some other software from the repository like Wine and a list of foreign stuff I keep for re-installs like Webmin.

I haven’t got round to testing all the compiled stuff I keep in user local, but the major things still work without recompiling.

I’d say that because of the speed increase I will be using Ibex at home, but for other installs I’ll stick to Hardy LTS until Ibex has matured a bit, probably early 2009.

I did a clean Ibex beta install on a Dell XPS M1330 and everything works including both the wireless and Ethernet out of the box, which is more than I can say for Vista which gets itself in a knot when both are trying to be active.

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fold this thread Rgr  Saturday, 1 November 2008 o godz. 7:01 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

I upgraded both my desktop and laptop to Ubuntu 8.10 starting about Thursday noon here in Florida. The desktop torrent download of alt install disc was quick and upgrade has no problems so far. For the laptop I used the update manager. Much slower download but everything was ok except couldn’t get sound with You Tube Video. Right click on video said Adobe flash player 9. Synaptic said flash player 10 was installed. Removal of installed flash player then install flashplugin-nonfree fixed problem.

I’ve noticed laptop updates are now from intrepid but the desktop updates are from Feisty. Problem solved by deleting Feisty Cd from list on 3rd party software tab.

 
 
fold this thread Abdul Haqq  Saturday, 1 November 2008 o godz. 12:11 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

On the Ubuntu Forums prior to the release of 8.10 there was quite a few comments that Ubuntu was becoming bloated. I agree with the now after tring to get 8.04 and 8.10 working on my Asus X50RL laptop.

In brief unstable and more unstable.

Producers of Distros seem to be following the Microsoft policy of developing an OS that has everything in and this will lead to instability.

I gave up on Ubuntu for my laptop. the AR5007EG WiFi card would not work even with the latest MadWifi drivers.

In contrst I am running Debian 5 ‘Lenny’ Testing. All I will say here is that it is as stable as. Very basic but I can add what I need and made it look what I want.

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fold this thread Howard  Saturday, 1 November 2008 o godz. 6:22 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --2

So, let’s see … the file browser (finally) got tabs, there’s no new apps, and the default theme and wallpaper has changed.

Zzzzzzzzz. What? Sorry, did I doze off?

Am I the only one suffering from ‘release let-down’? Sounds like there’s really not much to get excited about here.

*colourful partition manager
– I use the Alternate Install CD so I can get install-time full disc encryption – a feature which *still* isn’t available on the regular Desktop CD – so this feature doesn’t affect me at all. Nice colors, though.

*3G on NetworkManager
- I don’t use 3G networks.

*guest account
- If you learnt how to change your home folder’s default permissions, other users wouldn’t be able to read your files.
$ chmod -R o-rwx /home/yourHomeFolder
(Also see Ubun2ideas’ comments at the bottom of http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/14818/ )
The guest account is ‘a nice touch’, but is otherwise completely unnecessary with proper use of permissions. Just follow the above steps, then add a new user account with limited permissions. Done.

*change system status
- I don’t IM.

* Encryption of home directory
- This is a false sense of security. The steps I mentioned above are sufficient to keep other users’ preying eyes from your files and folders. If you want better privacy, use TrueCrypt and/or install-time full disk encryption:
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Encrypted-Ubuntu-7-10-68383.shtml
and
http://learninginlinux.wordpress.com/2008/04/23/installing-ubuntu-804-with-full-disk-encryption/

Sounds to me like Ubuntu has run out of ideas. All that is left now is the long, slow slide into decline.

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fold this thread John  Tuesday, 4 November 2008 o godz. 6:03 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Pleezzze!, take some time and read the development change logs from 8.04 to 8.10 made by Canonical engineering team before you post such nonesense!

 
 
fold this thread Chrisby  Saturday, 1 November 2008 o godz. 11:15 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I have had just the opposite experience. Intrepid doesn’t seem to add much for me other than stability. I have a broadcom wireless chipset and the integration with the newer kernels is amazing. On top of that, hibernate and pulse audio are working great, which was something that I had to fight with in previous releases. I don’t see much bloat, but the great thing about linux is choice in distros.

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fold this thread Scrobblix Valdevinos  Sunday, 2 November 2008 o godz. 1:42 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

You have to get the first “apt-get update” to make wireless networking work! That’s very bad. There is a ndiswrapper module, but the original setup doesn’t have the “ndiswrapper-tools” packages! hehehe And the “ath_pci” that comes with the original setup is USELESS. You have to grab the source and compile it, after you get BTW, by a WIRED connection, the “build-essential” package… Is that a joke???

But after all that trouble, Ubuntu 8.10 is a PERFECT operating system. Too bad the newbie still must have a helping hand at his side to set up a wireless connection! It’s really Ubuntu’s luck that PCLinuxOS lagged behind in releasing a new version or failed at least to have included newer kernels more timely.

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fold this thread Aberinkulas  Friday, 14 November 2008 o godz. 8:31 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Build-Essential and Ndiswrapper are both on the Ubuntu CD; they aren’t installed automatically. Just put the install CD into the drive and install them through Synaptic.

 
 
fold this thread david  Sunday, 2 November 2008 o godz. 4:05 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I just changed over to 8.10 from Windows and think it is great. Happy to get rid of xp from my box.

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fold this thread Scrobblix Valdevinos  Sunday, 2 November 2008 o godz. 1:25 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

A workaround for the shameful wireless PITA is in here:

http://www.eeextra.com/linux/installing-ubuntu-810-on-the-eeebox.html

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fold this thread Zac  Monday, 3 November 2008 o godz. 3:23 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Nice review. I am running 8.04 which I am very happy with but I quite like the 8.10. I may do a clean install to 8.10 soon. The more clean installs I do the easier and quicker it will become.

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fold this thread Olmec Sinclair  Tuesday, 18 November 2008 o godz. 10:59 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

I have been using Ubuntu distribution for several years now and recently upgraded with a fresh install to 8.10

It feels like a well polished operating system and as a power user I love it. My biggest complaint now is around the applications. While there are thousands of promising sounding programs for the open source enthusiast, very few of them are actually offering a comprehensive level of function.

I realise that their development is for the most part done free of charge. In my opinion, this is where focus needs to be now, to polish some of the authoring tools (multimedia, graphics etc.), accounting / budgeting software and other small business tools.

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fold this thread Armand  Friday, 21 November 2008 o godz. 8:59 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I have also ubuntu 8.10 installed on my PC, I love it so much. It’s also enhanced with the ability to support 3G networking which easily finds and detects my devices although I should make some settings with my Wifi card, but it’s perfect at all.

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fold this thread Fritz Holcomb-D.  Thursday, 27 November 2008 o godz. 1:55 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  --1

What would be nice is if a) Ubuntu 8.10 had something over the previous release and at least ONE Linux distribution would only release when the distro is worth releasing: I hate to say this, buty like Win 2k to Win XP > new features added after MANY years, not many weeks or a few months. One thing Linux has to learn from those “alternative” OSes is that a release should not come out when a new font is added, or a competitor is releasing their distro, or even when they go back to a default green color from a blue one. BSDs have the same problem. Many of us want something that comes out and is good/supported for 2-5 years so we don’t need to update/upgrade every time something goes “out of style”. This is a HUGE problem in almost ALL open source distributions. I’m not a fan of either Windows or Mac, but updates are definitely preferable to an entire new release, right?

And while I’m at it: distrowatch.com is now huge (probably why we need a new editor?), but they are all vanity distributions – where the hell is the quality in these things? It’s like Oracle copying Red Hat, renaming where applicable, and calling it “new”. Back in the day, there was Red hat, Mandrake, Slackware, Debian, and SuSE, with a few source-based distros for the truly hardcore. Now, there are at least 20+ based on each of these, each with less worth/value than the one before it………….why don’t we put our talent into one bowl and make one SOLID distro that can truly compete in ALL areas Linux gets bashed by sys admins and business IT folks? And enough with the *buntu releases. WTF is this? What if there was a Gaybuntu for homosexuals? or an Albinobuntu for those that have albininism? or even a Coprobuntu (I’ll let you figure out this one) for everyone else? Even a Hasidibuntu for Hasidim jews, featuring copies of the Torah and Septuagint? This Ubuntu take-off is making the Linux world seem ridiculous to many outside the community, and probably even more inside. Dig(g) what I’m saying?

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fold this thread chris F.  Monday, 8 December 2008 o godz. 2:22 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

Ubuntu is definately on the high end of usefull linux distros,

but I agree with other comments stating that there needs to be much better and newer apps and programs,

its definately a shame, cause the system itself is rock solid,

so why aint no commercial and other programmers creating good software, for it.

even so its still about 85 percent usefull, in my opinion,

and is a definate must have on your system ,when searching for

those hard to find sites, that may be questionable?

mmmmmmmmmmmm, no crashes for me..

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fold this thread Ed Allen  Tuesday, 27 January 2009 o godz. 7:12 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

All I can say for those who so rapidly bash things which are successful is, Blahhhhhhh !

If you don’t like Ubuntu, then use something else and go away. Ubuntu/Kubuntu are very easily used by those whose only exposure to computing has been the windows world. It installs in a straightforward manner, without any issues. I AM NOT a Linux guru or master coder and probably never will be at the age of 60 and have found both Ubuntu and Kubuntu to be a pleasure to work with. I have also tried many other distros including SuSe, Debian, PCLinuxOS, etc and find that These two are more than sufficient for my own personal needs.

IMHO,
Ed Allen

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fold this thread stoneybrooklobster.com  Thursday, 29 May 2014 o godz. 2:17 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

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I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my
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About the Author

Adrianot

I'm a young man, a student. At home I'm using Ubuntu Linux and I'm trying to help Linux newbies on my blog. You can check out some of my tutorials at UbuntuTw (more...)

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