Chris J Powell

Ubuntu 11.10 Now in Beta…and It is Slick!

So with the building of my own personal super computer I wanted to see how the latest and greatest from the folks at Canonical could stand up to some new hardware (I know that it works fine on older gear…that is why I love it so much).

 

I headed out to the web and downloaded the newest version of Ubuntu.  It is still in early Beta so there are still some bugs (but hey…no guts no glory).  After downloading and burning the ISO the install process went without a hitch and the install process has been streamlined even further (although being warned about running out of RAM when you have 16GB and decide not to install a SWAP partition is a bit much) and was refined to just a few clicks a super simple process that anyone will be able to give Ubuntu a whirl.

 

Most impressive was the boot time.  Now remember that I built a “MonstaPuter” on the weekend and was expecting to see some pretty impressive times here but 40 seconds from hitting the start button and navigating GRUB to a full desktop…now that is a nice way to start my morning!  Everything so far just works.  Later tonight I will be adding my usual additional software to the mix (which may add some stability issues) but what I especially like is the 1.5GB footprint on my 60GB Solid State Drive (compared to Windows 7 that fresh install was 38GB).

 

So far the name for this newest OS is perfect Oneiric Ocelot, to break this down:

o·nei·ric/ōˈnīrik/

Adjective: Of or relating to dreams or dreaming.

and

ocelot [ˈɒsɪˌlɒt ˈəʊ-]

Noun:a feline mammal, Felis pardalis, inhabiting the forests of Central and South America and having a dark-spotted buff-brown coat

 

From start to finish this not quite finished version of my favorite OS is a dream to use.  Unity is looking much more polished and easier to use.  The installed apps are pretty solid (although a little light – I hope this is because it is still in Beta?).

 

Now I first tried to install 11.04 onto the Monsta but it really, really did not like the new hardware (puked back error codes trying to update the ATI graphics card) and the installer crashed 1/2 dozen times adding to a rather frustrating day of configuring far to many PCs on at home to be able to connect and locate the rest of the Network goodness.  Now with 11.10 I do expect to have a few things behave badly, it is a early Beta but so far, other than a few random crashes…rock solid and very very responsive.  And did I mention a 40 second boot time!!!!

 

I look forward to writing more on this but rather than pull screen shots and describe in detail the changes that have happened in the past 5 months (release day for 11.10 officially is October 13, 2011) but my how the times have changes.   Thanks to the folks at www.unixmen.com for the screen shots and the next portion of this Post.

DVD images have been revised into extended desktop images with additional language support and a few extra applications, and thereby
reduced to a more manageable size of around 1.5 GB.

“- Lenses” (formerly “Places”) now integrate multiple sources and advanced filtering like ratings, range, categories.

– Thunderbird is included as default email client including menu and launcher integration.

– Déjà Dup is included as the default backup tool, making it easy to create backups and upload them to Ubuntu One.

– The new gwibber landed in Oneiric bringing improved performance and a new interface using the most recent GNOME technologies.

– GNOME got updated to current unstable version (3.1.5) on its way to GNOME 3.2

– LightDM now uses the new Unity greeter by default.

The indicators have been visually refreshed, including a refactoring of
the session indicator and a new power indicator.

– The Ubuntu Software Center adds new “top rated” views to the main category page and all subcategory pages, it allows you to edit or delete your own reviews, and has had a significant speedup for standalone deb file installation.

– Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 1 enables support for installing 32-bit library and application packages on 64-bit systems

– Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 1 has a new kernel based on v3.0.3.

– GNU toolchain has transitioned to be based off of gcc 4.6 for i386, amd64, and ARM omap3/omap4 architectures.

Beta 1 images can be downloaded from:

http://releases.ubuntu.com/oneiric/ (Ubuntu, Ubuntu Server)

ub1

ub2

ub3

ub4

ub6

ub7

ub8

ub9

ub10

ub11

ub13

ub12

ub14

ub18

ub19

ub16

Cheers and welcome back to work everyone…and for all those Ontario Canada students…the Summer is NOW OVER!!!

 

Chris J Powell

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