Monday, April 28, 2008

New (K/X)Ubuntu 8.04

This weekend I've spent some of my soft-cap downloads on getting the latest Ubuntu software (well I didn't get Ubuntu itself as I am not such a fan of Gnome) such as Xubuntu and Kubuntu, version 8.04 of course...

After leaving my Linux box overnight I managed to download Xubuntu (i386 - Desktop); Kubuntu (KDE 3.5; i386 - Desktop) and its KDE4 version (also i386 and currently as I'm typing downloading the 64bit version at 6Kbps ;-) ).

After obtaining Xubuntu, I ran a CD check and saw that 1 file was 'corrupt' (as in MD5 values didn't match). So I downloaded it again only to find the same problem, but when I did a MD5 hash on the ISO file this time and on the Xubuntu website, it was the same, so I guess the guys @ Xubuntu need to do a fix on that file but unfortunately I don't know if it is a text file or binary file (hopefully a non-important one).

So while I was waiting to download the KDE 4, Kubuntu, I installed the KDE 3 version of Kubuntu and I was quite impressed. I am not such a big fan of KDE 3 either but in Kubuntu 8, it sort of had a slight of change to what I was used to. The speed at which things operated, the fact that it quickly picked up all my hardware was great. All that the Ubuntu Linux OSs need is an official nice looking GRUB loader (but apparently one can get one with Apt-Get). Kubuntu even asked me if it should download the nVidia drivers for my 6200 card (yeah I know but I don't play games so actively anymore plus its sufficient for what I'm doing) and voila!

I even had a whack at the special desktop effects and its lookin good except for the fact that it is unstable :(
Then when the KDE 4 version was ready I immediately installed it over the KDE 3 version and working and seeing KDE 4 for the first time in action was just WOW! Visuals, speed, configuration, etc. was just great. I downloaded the nVidia driver so that I could have a crack at the desktop visuals and it looked ok'ish, besides the fact that it too was unstable. Like the OpenGL version would crash almost instantly while the RenderX (I think thats what it is called) works pretty well but doing something like pressing Ctrl+10/11 (to have your windows minimize on the screen as on the Mac OSX desktop) would only show 1 window instead of the 3/4 thats open. Other than that I am quite impressed with KDE 4 and the new Kubuntu.

Xubuntu I haven't had a go at yet because I would like to use its fast desktop as my new Linux Gateway over OpenSuSE and/or (K)Ubuntu (as SuSE 10's repository is outdated and no longer maintained and I need updates plus I am getting a little tired of SuSE, and the latest SuSE versions need higher spec machines to run on), so I am still fiddling around on a proof of concept (POC) before man handling my Gateway box ;-). I would like to still have a Remote desktop option when working on the box so thats why I am not using Ubuntu Server and Xubuntu is nice and light weight (maybe even for VNC sessions) so to update is no problem as opposed to SuSE. The only things I am going to miss is the remote dial-up with smpppd (SuseMetaPPP-Daemon), and a few ease of installation GUI screens (maybe even the preconfigured firewall) but I guess thats it, I'll see how much I can duplicate on my POC version before heading over. Also I really hope the guys @ Ubuntu fixed one routing bug where HTTPS web pages didn't masquerade over the local network. This was a common issue on version 7.10 (as I had Ubuntu Server 7.10), I also tried the fix on the website which didn't work for my situation.

Well thats all I got for now, didn't spend too much time on this but for those who've waited for the new Ubuntu can be happy at the progress made by the Ubuntu guys for sure.

Thanks Mark Shuttleworth (and your cool team, also to everyone who contributed) for such great Distros! If I can get this version as a new replacement on my gateway box, then I am a Ubuntu convert! ;-) It is faster to download 700MB than 3.5GB for newer versions! :D

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