Ubuntu 9.10 Beta Review

I have wanted to try Linux for a while now. I found an old laptop at our house, so that became the victim of my OS tests. After burning the image to a cd, I booted up the old laptop to see what happened (after putting in the cd). The great thing is how easy it is to use. When I tried Fedora on my current laptop, I ran it off of a USB drive. With that, I had to push the button for setup really fast before the computer started up Vista. With the Ubuntu cd, it automatically started with Ubuntu as the OS. I tried it for a few minutes, and I loved what I saw. I installed it almost right away. I was a bit frustrated however, because when I ran Ubuntu off of the cd, it said there were drivers I could install for my wireless card and video card. On the cd, it required a password, a  password that I didn’t have. After guessing everything from ubuntu to password, I gave up and installed it thinking, I will just make my own password when I install it and then I will be able to get on the internet. But when I installed the operating system, the drivers disappeared. Anyway, back to Ubuntu itself. It comes preloaded with a bunch of freeware (I believe that most of them are open source), plus an app store which had many more programs that could suit just about anyone’s need.

Performance was OK, it was faster than windows xp, but slower than fedora. Fedora may have been faster because it was on my fast laptop, but I don’t care. Fedora seemed more state-of-the-art, and Ubuntu seemed to be geared towards user-friendliness (don’t worry, Fedora is also user-friendly, and ubuntu also has some fresh features). The interface is very nice, although it is the same interface as most other Linux distributions. I wasn’t able to do a lot with ubuntu because I couldn’t get on the internet, which didn’t let me use a lot of the programs or download programs from the app store (the name is misleading, all the programs in the app store are free). It seems that Fedora 11 is doing very well if it can compete with (and beat) Ubuntu’s new release. Since, I couldn’t access the internet, I took the time to test all the games. They are very fun, much better than vista’s, only because they have a wider variety. THe games also have great help sections which help you understand what you are trying to do in the game. Windows games had a tendency to be very complex in their simplicity. All in all, ubuntu is a very nice OS. As with other Linux distros, if the installation/configuration process was simpler and it wasn’t as big of an adjustment (in other words, if a non-nerd can do it) then linux would probably become the Firefox of operating systems (with Firefox, it is one of the most popular browsers, but the silent majority still uses internet explorer).

Summary:

The Good

  • User friendly installation/user friendly in general
  • Nice user interface makes features easy to find
  • App store helps you find the program you are looking for, without having to google it

The Bad

  • Driver support could be better
  • I would have liked to see more new features incorporated
  • Difficult for a non-nerd to switch/adjust (although this applies to Linux in general)

So there is my review of Ubuntu 9.10 Beta! The final version is released on the 29th of this month.

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