Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ubuntu 9.10 gets mixed reviews. Alternatives?

DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 328, 9 November 2009
[...] Those who followed some of the popular Linux news sites after the release of Ubuntu 9.10 must have been horrified (or, for those belonging to the Ubuntu haters camp, delighted) by the amount of negative media coverage given to Canonical's latest release over the past week. This is how The Register summed up the event in "Early adopters bloodied by Ubuntu's Karmic Koala", a story with over 1,200 comments on Slashdot: "Ubuntu 9.10 is causing outrage and frustration, with early adopters wishing they'd stuck with previous versions of the Linux distro. Blank and flickering screens, failure to recognize hard drives, defaulting to the old 2.6.28 Linux kernel, and failure to get encryption running are taking their toll, as early adopters turn to the web for answers and log fresh bug reports in Ubuntu forums." Similar stories have been told on other web sites, including the distribution's official forums. Is the latest Ubuntu really bad, or is it just the case of a vocal minority making a mountain out of a hill? Please discuss your experiences below. [...]

Follow the link to see the embedded links, to the reviews and the comments.

I've tried Ubuntu 9.10, and found it to be mostly pretty good, although flash player for Youtube had a flickering problem. I usually go with one of the Ubuntu derivatives, Mint Linux, which has IMO a more polished user experience. I'm waiting for the next version of Mint, which should be released soon.

I'm presently using Mint 5, "Elyssa", which is based on Ubuntu's last LTS (long term support) release. I think the LTS releases, supported for four years on the desktop, and seven for the server edition, are the most stable. Ubuntu's next LTS release will be nest April, Ubuntu 10.4. I may wait for it before upgrading.

Another Linux distribution I like and use is PCLinuxOS. It's not based on Ubuntu, but Mandriva, which is a Red Hat derivative. It's been around for a long time and I find it quite reliable.

On an unrelated (but interesting) note, here is a link to some screen shots of
Linux XP, a Linux distribution that is configured to look like Windows XP.

I won't be trying it, it's in "release candidate" status, but I thought the pics were fun to look at. It just goes to show what you can do with Linux. Some people seriously argue that Linux's biggest problem is, that there are too many choices.

We should all have such problems!

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