Since the launch of Desktop Linux Reviews, I’ve covered a number of different remastered versions of Ubuntu Linux. But I haven’t done a review of Ubuntu itself. I wanted to wait until there was a significant enough release as I’d done a review for ExtremeTech back when I was a full-time employee there.
I’m happy to note that Ubuntu Linux has hit version 9.10 and has some nifty new features that make it worth reviewing here.
Please note that for this review I used Release Candidate 1. I recommend waiting for the final release to come out before you download Ubuntu Linux and install it to your system or before you upgrade any existing Ubuntu Linux computers. The final release should be out soon.
What’s New In This Release
There’s some juicy stuff in this upgrade and here’s some of what you’ll find:
Upstart (Faster Booting)
Empathy IM (Replaces Pidgin)
New Login Manager
Quickly (Easier Application Development)
Ubuntu One (Cloud Based Sharing & Storage)
Linux Kernel 2.6.31
Changes to Power Management
New Intel Video Driver Architecture
Ext4 File System Default
Grub 2 Default
That’s just a sample of the new features in this release. Be sure to check out the full list of new stuff.
Requirements & Installation
Here’s a list of what’s required to run Ubuntu:
Minimum System Requirements:
300 MHz x86 processor
64 MB of system memory (RAM)
At least 4 GB of disk space (for full installation and swap space)
VGA graphics card capable of 640×480 resolution
CD-ROM drive or network card
700 MHz x86 processor
384 MB of system memory (RAM)
8 GB of disk space
Graphics card capable of 1024×768 resolution
A network or Internet connection
Ubuntu Linux 9.10 is a Live CD release so you don’t need to install it to check it out. Just download it and then boot into the CD and you can experience it on your system.
The installation took about 20 minutes or so. Since this is Ubuntu the install was very easy and I had no problems completing it. Even if you’ve never seen the Ubuntu installer before, you shouldn’t have much in the way of problems installing it on your computer.
During the install a slideshow played telling me about some of Ubuntu 9.10’s features and provided some information about the bundled software such as Evolution, etc.
Desktop & Apps
Ubuntu Linux 9.10 uses Gnome as its desktop environment (if you prefer a different desktop you can download another version such as Kubuntu, Mythbuntu, Ubuntu Studio or Edubuntu). The desktop is clutter-free when you boot into it. The usual Ubuntu color scheme is there and, as always, it’s easy to find your way around by clicking the Applications, Places or System menus at the top of the screen.
Applications are broken down into easily navigable categories. The Places menu is where you’ll find your home folder, desktop folder, pictures, etc. The System menu lets you customize and manage all of your Ubuntu system settings.
Here’s a sample of some of the software that comes with Ubuntu Linux 9.10:
F-Spot Photo Manager
Brasero Disc Burner
Rhythmbox Music Player
Adding & Removing Software
While the default selection of software is adequate for most computing purposes, there is more to be had via the Ubuntu Software Center. To access the Software Center click the Applications menu then click Ubuntu Software Center. You can browse via the following categories:
Sound & Video
You can also search to find new apps for your Ubuntu system.