Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Ubuntu 8.04 RC Tested

I broke down today and downloaded the 8.04 Release Candidate versions of Ubuntu and Kubuntu.

Some info on the test systems.

XP system is using XP Pro that has been modded by me to be lightweight At idle it uses about 230 megs of Ram. It has an NForce 2 Asus mobo, AMD Barton 2500 CPU, 1 gig of Dual Channel PC3200 Ram, FX 5200 AGP 8X video card, integrated Sound Storm 6 channel audio, integrated nic card and a 500 Gig Sata hard drive.
No Antivirus or Spyware software to slow me down as it is not connected to the internet. Only connection is through samba to my Linux system.

My Linux system runs Ubuntu as the default OS.
It's a Biostar Nvidia based mobo
with an AMD 3000 Sempron Mobile CPU, 512 megs of PC3200 Ram, integrated GeForce 6100 video, integrated nic and 7.1 audio, 120 gig ATA 100 hard drive.

First I tried them in my XP system using Qemu. Not a good outcome. Ubuntu would crash with a network card not found error.
Kubuntu did run but not in a full screen mode. However, I decided to try it in a 800 x 600 mode.

The Kubuntu I used was the KDE 4 version. I wanted this version because I was intrigued by the Plasma desktop that I had read about.
To be fair, I didn't test it very long because of the lag times I was experiencing.
I have run both versions of 7.10 this way and have not experienced this much lag time. I have a feeling it is due to Plasma because as I was making changes to the desktop wallpaper and other settings I would see Plasma deleting files that were used by the previous settings.
Also, I would experience changes to my menu and system tray based on what I was doing.
From what I have read about Plasma, I can understand why all this was happening. Plasma is a dynamic and very fluid desktop that changes in real time to what you are doing presently. As I said, I was intrigued by it.
But with the lag times being so bad, I found it was a bit intrusive and making decisions for me. That is not a feature I favor.
A quick look at the default software installs gave me the standard fare.
I didn't get a chance to check out the administrative tools because by the time I clicked on the button I was almost locked up.
Odd that it would eat up almost 700 megs in virtual mode.
To me this seems that KDE 4 may be a memory hog. But that will be better determined when it is fully released and installed into a dedicated system.

Ubuntu on the other hand would not boot up in Qemu. Even when I tried the newer 0.9.1 version. Kept crashing with a hardware not found error.
So I decided to try it on my Linux system using VirtualBox.
I use VirtualBox to run XP inside Linux for some testing and demonstration purposes. Using it to test a new Linux release candidate is not the best of choices due to the 512 megs of Ram in this system. But I gave it a try anyway.

After the install I was faced with a screen resolution of 800 x 600 and no audio. Decided to download and install the Nvidia video driver but when I ran the installer package it said that there was no Nvidia video card installed. This may be due to VirtualBox. I'm not sure. So I plugged along at 800 X 600.

First thing I had to do was to download and install 47 updates! LOL!!
My Release Candidate got updates already. Can't wait to see how many there are on opening day. Grin!

The layout is the standard Ubuntu style. You won't get lost or confused due to someone deciding to change the menu and desktop layout like some other company we all have heard of.

The only new changes I saw was in the software department.
Brasero which is a Gnome based Cd/DVD burning program and a new torrent client named Transmission.

I have also read about the addition of the Wubi installer. It allows users of XP and Vista to install Ubuntu from within XP or Vista and set up a dual boot. And if you so desire, you can uninstall Ubuntu from the Add/Remove menu.
Unfortunately, there is no option at this time to uninstall Windows from within Linux once the user finds out he really doesn't need or want Windows anymore.

On other thing I noticed. Ubuntu running inside VirtualBox on my 512 meg Ram Linux system was faster and much more responsive then was Kubuntu running in Qemu on my 1 Gig Ram XP system.
Should be interesting to see how they fair in a full install environment.

I'm excited for the new LTS Ubuntu release. But not that excited that I'm going to grab it one the first day. Oh no! I learned that lesson a long time ago.
It's best to wait on the upgrade. How long? Oh, I'd say about a month or so.
There will be less traffic at the servers, any update bugs will be found and hopefully there will be workarounds to those bugs and if you wait until the updated .1 version is released (Approx. 1st week of June) you will be updating with a bug-fix version that should make upgrading a breeze.

I am aware that I could have burned these iso's to Cd's and tested them in a 'Live' environment but I'm trying to keep my disk count down. It's getting very tough to keep track of everything I have. Besides, these are release candidates. Probably very close to what will be the final version but not worth it to burn to a Cd.


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