All I can say is WOW. This is by far the best Ubuntu version ever, and possibly the best Linux distribution ever. After installing the OS a few weeks ago, I have been playing around with its slick new interface, features and software. This is my comprehensive review of this amazing OS. Before I go into the guts of it, lets get a few things out of the way. Firstly, this is a LTS (long term support) version of Ubuntu. Normally, Ubuntu versions are supported for 18 months only. That’s not that long if you think about it. After that, your on your own. I think that this is a major barrier, which is preventing people from installing Linux on their desktops, laptops, business computers ect. Since 10.04 is a LTS version, it is fully supported for 3 full years. That’s a BIG deal, and since LTS versions come out ever 2 years or so, this is an even bigger deal. Secondly, version 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) has made Ubuntu a serious contender to compete with the big boys, Windows and OSX. What’s better than that? Speed. Lucid Lynx is a speed demon. It boots in about 10 seconds for me, what more can I ask for? Well, I can safely say, that it is installed on a single core machine with 1GB of RAM, and it runs faster than my Dual Core with 4 Gigabytes of memory. That’s what I call fast. So I will jump into the review and share my thoughts (and some issues) with Lucid Lynx.
I waited a few weeks after the initial release, in order to allow time for the bugs to be worked out. I upgraded to 10.04 using the update feature included in version 9.1. Using the update manager, it took a total of about 2 hours to complete the update, and with no errors. I read a number of issues of people complaining of issues pertaining the automatic upgrade, but I appeared to have no problems. However when I turned off my computer, and went to turn it back on the next day, I noticed that my computer would not boot properly. It would get stuck and hang at the purple Ubuntu splash screen. How annoying. I read that many people had experienced this problem, but none had a specific answer. I guess waiting didn’t spare me any headaches. Oh well. I spent all day trying to fix the problem, but to no avail. While it was stuck, I could hear no movements coming from the hard drive, which is strange. I could press ctrl+alt+f1 to drop to a shell prompt, and that would work perfectly. It appeared that the system booted perfectly but Xorg was not starting correctly. I eventually narrowed the problem down to a graphics driver issue. Lucid uses a new graphics driver, nouveau which is the default for Nvidia based machines. Xorg did not like it for some reason. After an entire day of trouble shooting, I figured I might as well have a fresh install anyway. So I made a live CD, and successfully installed and booted from that. I have also read that others had issues with the installation as well, particularly with the update manager method, but with the live CD method as well. Thankfully the latter worked flawlessly for me. Unfortunately, my installation was less than satisfactory. Hopefully, those issues will be addressed in the next release.
Holy Shit. Lucid Lynx looks amazing. Gone are the days of the horrible orange and brown color scheme. 10.04 has a new dark gray and purple color scheme, which really makes the OS look simple, refreshed and refined. The icons have been redesigned with the gray and purple scheme and it looks incredible. As always, the Gnome color scheme is easily customizable. The default wallpaper is also really slick. I personally like something a little more flashy, but many people could use the default one. As an aside, Cairo Dock has also been greatly improved. It includes a bunch of new themes and really blends in with the rest of the OS. In 9.1, I found Cairo Dock to stand out a bit. This is not the case anymore. You really have to see the new design to really appreciate it fully. I personally think this is what sets Ubuntu apart from any other Linux distro. This new look allows Lucid to compete with the look and feel of Windows 7 and OSX.
There is so many new features included in this release. Ubuntu has included a new social menu, which is really neat. It pulls all of your Facebook, MSN, Twitter and many other social networking sites into one interface. No other mainstream OS has this and it is defiantly a defining feature. 10.04 also includes a number of media editing software as well. Firstly lets get this out of the way: Gimp had been removed, and is no longer installed on default. Canonical thought that Gimp is just too intense for the average user, and chose to remove it. This seems to have a number of people reeling, but it can be installed using Synaptic in a matter of seconds. As an alternative Lucid includes F-Spot for managing photos, and going along with the social network integration, integrates great with Flickr, ect. Ubuntu now includes a video editing program, PiTiVi (say that three times fast). The program looks capable, obviously a higher end program would blow PiTiVi out of the water, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work perfectly for editing a family movie. Unfortunately, Bluetooth is no longer officially supported (not that it was ever really polished anyway) but is still shipped with Bluetooth tools installed. I think that is a big mistake. Bluetooth is a GREAT little system, and I think more people would user it if it was more refined with Ubuntu, as it never had great Bluetooth capabilities/support. I know I will be missing having support for Bluetooth.
10.04 is probably going to be the last Ubuntu release to not have the new Gnome 3 desktop. I have seen videos of Gnome 3 and I don’t think I like it. Lucid has Gnome 2 installed, and I like it a lot better. 10.04 was originally intended to have Gnome 3 installed, but it was not ready, so they included Gnome 2 instead. I have not actually tried out Gnome 3, but after watching a few videos, I think I will want Gnome 2 back. I guess I will just have to enjoy Gnome 2 while it lasts.
Obviously, I can’t cover everything in this review as there is so much. The bottom line is: this is the best Linux distro EVER. For all my installation problems, it was well worth the hassle. Like I mentioned earlier, this is the release that makes the Linux desktop really comparable to Windows and OSX. And that’s a pretty big deal if you ask me.