Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackelope Review

Ubuntu which has been my Linux distro of choice now for just over 3 years had it's most recent release at the end of last month. With version 9.04 codenamed Jaunty Jackelope, Ubuntu has made what I think was a more polished interface, and while notable improvements I found it not to be a revolutionary change from 8.10.

I am one of the lucky ones who did not lose any functionality with the upgrade (there have been some strong voices who did) and I would like to point out that a great many things that are the Ubuntu release are not entirely the result of Canonical directly, but rather upstream developers. As with any distribution the operating system is a collection of coding, improvements and bug fixes from many varied sources. Most times this works out just great, but others is has negative effects.

As to the positive, it won't be the first time you hear about the new system notification system which I find to be matching that of the Growl notification system you can install on a mac. My 2 points on this would be that 1.) great the way that they make the notification bubble disappear when you mouse over it (I tend to be going for something under the bubble and not the bubble itself and 2.) I do miss that there seems to be no control panel or preference pane for the notifications (I might prefer to have those remain open until acked by user or display for a longer period of time so I can actually read them).

On my systems which are now a bit "long in the tooth" have not seen the dramatic improvement in performance in boot and operation. I have not done everything possible to improve my system performance to date (reduced unused kernel modules, formatted to ext4, etc.). I have noticed that it seems to be quite stable and solid and as reliable as my 8.10 install was.

My summary would be that I'm happy with the new version, it offers some "spit and polish" to what is already a very healthy Linux distro. I would have no reservations about recommending this version over any previous versions. We have now seen 3 steadily improving version of Ubuntu released all of which were evolutionary and not so revolutionary, I hope that in the next two versions or so that Ubuntu does some of the "stand-up, pow, knock your socks off" stuff that they managed to do in some of their earlier releases that really set them apart.



wintellect said...

Nice review - and I agree with you.

The only thing that I really dislike is the new way it informs you that there are updates to install - what was wrong with the little icon in the bar?

CafeNinja said...

I agree. Which is why, on command line I used the command:
"gconftool -s --type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false". This leaves the new notification system intact just not the software updates.

The other thing I did was to restore the ctrl+alt+backspace for restarting X11. For that you need to "sudo apt-get intstall dontzap" and then run it once. That will set back the hotkey.

Not a lot of work, little trouble to discover, but I would agree that it should not have been too hard to make those switches on a control panel somewhere.

Thanks for you comment Wintellect. Cheers!