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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Review : Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex"

Ubuntu is one of the most popular desktop Linux distribution around and the latest avatar/version of Ubuntu , Ubuntu 8.10 named "Intrepid Ibex" is due to be released in few days (October 30 to be Precise) . Being a huge Ubuntu fan , I decided to give the RC version Ubuntu 8.10(released a day back) a try , to see some of the exciting new changes and additions that we can expect in the latest version of Ubuntu.

One of the first things you would notice after booting into Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop , is the new improved Human theme which has got a tinge of Orange. Status bar,Buttons glow and few icons have been changed and made more friendly looking. Ubuntu 8.10 also includes a brand new theme "Dark Room".
This is how my desktop looks with "Dark Room" theme applied

However , with "Dark Room" theme I noticed I was unable to read text in Menu Bar sometimes.

Improved Shutdown dialog box
Ubuntu 8.10 includes the latest stable version of Gnome - Gnome 2.24 . Gnome 2.24 is an extremely polished desktop environment and includes a host of feature addition. Nautilus the default File Manager in Gnome , now supports like Mozilla Firefox , Tab Browsing allowing you to browse number of different directory location inside a single nautilus window in separate tabs. Also Nautilus now supports encrypted private directory.
Multiple tabs in Nautilus, also note new eject icons infront of mountable drives and encrypted folders

Furthermore , Ubuntu 8.10 includes improved Network Management tool allowing you to easily configure your DSL , Wireless , Wired , VPN etc networks.
Gui tool for Managing Network connection

Ubuntu 8.10 supports "Guest Login" allowing anyone to log into Ubuntu machine without having an account ,however only catch is Guest users will not get access to any file of other users or be able to create files for security reason. This is especially useful where a single computer is used by a number of users , and you dont want others to peek into your files.

Hardware support has definitely improved with version of Ubuntu 8.10 , everything from Network Card , Bluetooth to Sound Card worked out of box on my cranky old Lenovo y410 laptop, In fact prior to version 8.10 I had hell lot of trouble configuring my sound card properly and even then headphone jack never worked properly. Inclusion of Alsa-1.0.17 in Ubuntu has definitely improved audio hardware support.Also there is improved support for NVidia graphics chipset/card. Proprietary drives can be easily downloaded and installed onto the system from (System -> Administration -> Hard Ware Drivers ). One reason why HardWare support is better in Ubuntu 8.10 is Ubuntu 8.10 is based on Linux kernel 2.6.27 which has significantly better hardware support.


Also , I am not sure whether it's me only or other people have also noticed that Intrepid Ibex runs a lot faster compared to earlier version of Ubuntu - "Hardy Heron" everything opens in a jiffy.

On the Software side , File-Roller now supports ALZ, RZIP, CAB, TAR.7Z file types , Ubuntu 8.10 includes updated version of X.Org - X.Org 7.4 which includes new much helpful failsafe X to diagnose cases where X Server fails to start. Ubuntu 8.10 also includes updated Samba 3.2 for browsing Windows Share on a network.

However , Ubuntu 8.10 includes older version of Open Office even though Stable 3.0 Version of Open Office is out. Though it will not be difficult for someone to update Open Office from repositories on a new Ubuntu 8.10 system.

Conclusion : Overall Ubuntu 8.10 is a well polished desktop Linux distribution , though not radically different from earlier version 8.04 of Ubuntu. Features like Tabbed Browsing in Nautilus , Encrypted Folders , better Hardware support ,being faster etc are reason compelling enough to Upgrade to the latest offering from Ubuntu team.

Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (blogambuj@gmail.com)
For Linux on Desktop Blog , http://linuxondesktop.blogspot.com
(C) 2008 , Ambuj Varshney

6 comments:

Adam said...

WHAT ARE THE ARROWS POINTING AT?!

Anonymous said...

Nice review !!! ... Ubuntu 8.10 is definitely goin to be better then Ubuntu 8.04 (Y)

Ambuj said...

@Adam

The Arrows in the first picture are pointing at the new "Dark Wood" Theme

and in the next screen shot Arrows are Pointing at new Feature - Opened Tabs in Nautilus and Eject able button in front of mountable drives and encrypted folders.

Ambuj Varshney
Linux on Desktop

Anonymous said...

dude, the arrows are pointing AWAY from the features, not AT.

sorry

andres said...

The arrows are pointing AWAY from the features, not AT the features.

Ambuj said...

ohk... Agreed :)

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