Yesterday was the release of the latest version of Ubuntu Linux. I had been running 8.10 on my laptop for a while and felt that I really needed to do a fresh install of it, since the last few releases I used the upgrade option. I had prepped the night before by transferring all my documents and any files I didn’t want to loose to one of my desktops. Then, once I got home, I started the install.
Now mind you my laptop has some overheating issues at times, is on its second hard drive, and can be a pain, which is why I don’t keep important items on it for very long. Upon starting the installation I found the initial screens to be simple, and informative, allowing for you to breeze through this portion of the setup. Then comes the first of the cosmetic changes, the loading screen, which instead of just dots going across, now reminds me more of a Cylon eye bouncing back and forth.
Considering I did not choose the advance install, the next thing to deal with is the 7 questions. This is the area that I either was impatient on time, or my machine really did lock up(and I could not tell you if it was my machine or the installer that caused the problems) but it took me 3 times of going through the install to be able to get through all the questions to do the setup.
Simple items such as time zone, how do you want your partitions, do you wish to keep your prior version, all nice simple and easy. So far things were going overall smooth, and the experience was one that most any user could deal with, even the nontechnical. Total time with the small issues I had to get the system loaded up was about an hour, but if I hadn’t had the locking issues it should have only taken around 30-45 minutes. Once loaded, there were a set of initial security patches, but again it was nothing compare to what we deal with in the Windows world.
I’ll go into software, installing, networking (including Wi-fi), and other things I find out about it in a later post.
Ubuntu, and Linux in general, have come a long way in ease of use, ease of install, availability, and whether or not a normal end user can use it. Desktop Linux’s biggest drawback to becoming mainstream is honestly the community. They do a great job in maintaining the OS, but seem to be overzealous when it comes to helping out end users, which I might add is one of the low to no cost things they brag about. This sort of intimidation is one of the biggest reasons why Linux as a whole is not accepted in the mainstream. The easier experience we can give the nontechnical with Linux, the more of them that will consider using it, and thereby the more chance that the software companies will write more software for it. Course more mainstream brings other problems, which I’ll cover again at a later time.
So Linux mavens, start flaming me if you wish. I’m just giving an honest opinion.