My Review of Ubuntu Lucid Lynx Beta: Rock Solid and Awesome
So, this weekend, I took the plunge, and upgraded my Karmic Koala (Ubuntu 9.11) to the latest beta version of Lucid Lynx (Ubuntu 10.04 LTS).
To put it quite honestly - and that is the only way I am inclined to communicate - this is one of the best releases of Ubuntu yet...even at the beta stage of development.
Now, this is the only the second beta installation of Ubuntu that I have ever run. The first was somewhere around 7.04, which was the Feisty Fawn release. That beta broke my WiFi and gave my graphics cards some major problems.
My issues were so bad, that I moved over to the Mint fork of Ubuntu. Eventually, I moved back to Ubuntu as my full time distro.
This beta does not have the same faults as Feisty Fawn did. In fact, the upgrade was so great, as to be considered flawless. The first thing that hits you before you even restart, after the upgrade, is the new default theme, named Ambiance.
The best way to describe it, is that it is purple-y and highly Mac-like. The minimize, maximize, and close buttons are positioned in the left-hand corner, as well. I really didn't care for that configuration.
Hint (props to diznix.com for the hot tip) Open up gcon-editor in the terminal. Go to apps->metacity->general. Edit the button_layout setting with the following, including the colon, to change it back to to standard Window layout:maximize,minimize,close.
That will put things back to rights.
The new theme is dark, and attractive. Icons are greatly improved, in terms of polish, this time around.
Now, other than the look, one of the biggest things in this release was the integration of Gwibber into the release. I can only answer for the suitability it has a twitter app. I like it. Not as in-depth as Tweet Deck. Unless you are tweeting non-stop, TweetDeck is a bit too much, and overloaded. Gwibber is a nice substitute, and a fairly solid application. Replies to my tweets end up running through Ubuntu's messaging system. Pretty hot.
The big feature that they rolled out during this release was the elimination of the HAL (hardware abstraction layer from the startup process.) I haven't seen much of an increase in performance, but I didn't really measure my old startup time either.
There has also been a huge update to the native NVidia driver during this update, but I can't comment on any performance gains, because I am running an Intel integrated card for my laptop.
These 3 features are the ones that most people will use. There are some other interesting features for the Server portion of the release, and I could really care less about the Ubuntu Music store (although I will probably give it a shot), or the OneFile Synch.
Overall, this release(sorry, Beta Release) is the most solid I have seen from Ubuntu yet. It is a strong step forward in terms of UI design and modernization, along with stable performance.
Some may argue against it as a Mac ripoff, but I just flat out enjoy it.
About the Author:
Kurt Hartman has been using Linux for nearly 3 years now. He's a convert to the open-source way of thought. In addition, he's CBO for his company, OTR Tire Supply. They sell heavy equipment and mining tires on their website, located at http://www.otrtiresupply.com .