Playing with the Latest Ubuntu Linux

Decided to throw Feisty Fawn, codename for the latest Ubuntu onto the second hard drive on my main windows box today, just to shake things up.

System specs are as follows:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 CPU (2.40Ghz)
  • 2G DDR2
  • nVidia GT7950
  • 2x 320G SATA Hard Drive

The system is my windows Photoshop / Gaming box, with dual hard drives, one of which has never been used. So I disconnected the one that was plugged into the Windows drive and rebooted…

Booted up fine, but there were a couple of moments of “WTF?” when nothing happened, or my monitor went into powersaving mode. I had to hit CTRL-ALT-F1 and then ALT-F7 to get back into the graphical environment. Or think I did anyway, not sure if I was just impatient.

Since it’s a clean box, I just hit the ‘install’ icon and let ‘er go. Simple install, language, keyboard, my name and the name of the computer, then the partitioner (all of which I used defaults) and then off it went. Full install took about 20 minutes, all of which time it’s still in the Live CD environment, so I played games while waiting. When it was done I hit the ‘Reboot’ button and was thrown into the new environment.

I have to say, bootup was pretty sexy, at least compared to what I’m used to with mainly servers, and fast. Either this computer is lightyears better than my other Linux box, or Ubuntu has really got some super-optimizations in their bootup system. I went from GRUB to GDM login screen in only a few seconds. Had the same issue as I had with the Live CD as far as having to go to the console and then back to ALT-F7 to get to the graphical environment. Odd.

Honestly, the only real reason I was doing this was to play with the cool eye candy stuff. I followed the Beryl Install which has their “three click” method (which worked perfectly) and was up with super-sexy desktop eye candy in about 5 minutes. Sweet! Much more stable than under my Gentoo setup as well.

The new additions to the Movie Player to allow it to download codecs on demand is cool too. Basically it’s just a frontend into the package manager to allow the system to search for what’s needed and then tell the system package manager to install it. Very slick. Only sucky part is that if you have another package manager going at the same time it bails out (understandably) and then you have to close the movie player and start again. Not a big deal though, and it works perfectly.

The one thing I was a bit disappointed with was the lack of widescreen support. My monitor does 1650×1080 native resolution, and it took a bit of fiddling to get it to work. Not much, but it was more than the rest of the system.

And that was about it. I had accomplished what I wanted (so far) and plugged in my windows hard drive to continue on with a day of coding and gaming. Now my next step is to see if I want to replace my current gentoo desktop with Ubuntu, and what I need to do to do this (as in special setup, backing up the systems, etc).