Karmic Koala, the alias for release 9.10 of Ubuntu Linux, was published last week.
Until now, I had been running version 8.04 (Hardy Heron) and had passed on the two successive releases (Intrepid Ibex, v8.10, and Jaunty Jackalope, v9.04). The manufacturers of my laptop had advised that those newer versions, both of which were available when I purchased 5 months ago, had lackluster support for my video card.
So I waited.
A few days before Karmic released, I saw that NVidia had released a new version of the drivers for my video card — now was the time, it would seem.
I downloaded a live CD of both 9.04 and 9.10, to compare, and checked it out.
Jaunty (9.04) was ok — it looked basically the same as what I already had, but perhaps with some updates. But Karmic…wow. They have revamped many of the icons, visual elements, and verbiage used. There are new applications. There is now a free cloud service to do document synchronization across computers. The more I used it, the more I liked — it seems like this time around, Canonical (the publishers) have started to bring everything together cohesively.
Based on what I’ve seen so far, Ubuntu is nearly ready for the mainstream; it’s far easier to use. While there are still plenty of advanced things that are POSSIBLE to do, they are very rarely required.
This post is the first of a miniseries documenting the various features, some tricks and ways to integrate the software to (theoretically) increase productivity. Before I get to the good stuff, let’s talk about the installation: Continue reading