Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx” has been released, featuring faster boot performance, a complete new theme, integration with social networking sites and Ubuntu One, the Ubuntu One Music Store, an improved Software Center, and the PiTiVi video editor. Read the press release for more detail on what’s new, and read the release notes for known issues with this new version.

I’ve been following the development of 10.04 on my netbook, but today I performed a fresh installation on it and my main desktop system. Here are my thoughts so far.

Eee PC 901 Netbook
My netbook has been getting better and better with recent Ubuntu releases. Installation is easy thanks to the Startup Disk Creator tool included in Ubuntu which lets me put the installer on an SD card. All the hardware works perfectly.

I’ve actually been running the development version of Ubuntu 10.04 on this system since alpha 1, so I thought there was a bug when after installing the final release I didn’t get any desktop effects. The desktop effects settings are grayed out. After a bit a digging I found that Compiz was not even installed. I haven’t found any information about this, but it appears that the netbook edition no longer includes desktop effects.

During the alpha releases I was using the full Ubuntu desktop rather than the netbook edition because when I installed the netbook installer was not available yet. The netbook edition is touted as being even faster, so I installed that instead when the final release was available.

I set up my wireless network as usual, but found that Ubuntu would not connect to it when I logged in or woke up from suspend. For some reason the “connect automatically” option was not set. I removed the network and re-added it and the option was set this time.

The netbook boots very quickly; if I look away I’ll miss the boot entirely. The boot splash is hardly necessary on this machine.

Dell Dimension 9200
My desktop system has been working great with Ubuntu for many releases now, and this is no exception. After fixing a hardware issue with my CD drive (the old Ubuntu system wouldn’t recognize blank CDs and I got I/O errors from the live CD, checking the SATA cable fixed it), the installation went smoothly. Everything on the system works. This is the first time I’ve installed 64-bit Ubuntu on this system.

On systems with Nvidia graphics, Ubuntu now defaults to the open source nouveau driver. It provides 2D acceleration and kernel mode setting (flicker-free booting) support, but no 3D acceleration at this time. After installing the Nvidia restricted driver, which lacks kernel mode setting, the boot splash is very low resolution and low colour.

General Notes
I can’t wait until I can remove the notification area entirely and replace it with the indicator applet. The indicator applet allows “scrubbing” between different items, and includes no inconsistent right and left click menus. So far the network manager applet is the only item running that has not been ported, and it still includes different right and left click menus!

It’s nice to have a default theme that I can not only live with, but find to be high quality. Parting with the consistent gray panel icons for another theme would be tough.

I was running Ubuntu 9.10 will PulseAudio disabled for a long time. It fixed a lot of stuff but it broke some Ubuntu things, so I’d rather not have to do that. In 10.04, so far it seems that some problems have been fixed, and some remain.

The new Simple Scan utility is awesome, it’s so much better than what there was before.

This is the first time I’ve used 64-bit Ubuntu. I was reading a while ago that there’s actually a performance advantage to running 64-bit when you can. So far everything seems to just work, including running 32-bit applications.

Some of the first applications I installed:

  1. Google Chrome: I install the version from Google so I can keep up with updates from the beta channel. Installing Google’s package will add their repository automatically.
  2. GNOME Do: the super-spacebar key combination is in my muscle memory so I can’t live without this application launcher.
  3. KeePassX: what I use securely store my passwords.
  4. Ubuntu Restricted Extras: the quickest way to install Flash, Java, web fonts, audio/video codecs, and more.
  5. rdiff-backup: my backup software of choice. I also remembered to restore my crontab to keep my automated backups going.
  6. Gmail Notifier: a Gmail notifier that’s integrated with Ubuntu. It pops up a notification when new mail arrives in my gmail inbox, and lights up the messaging indicator.
  7. GIMP: the powerful image editor. Don’t forget you have to install it yourself now that it’s not included.
  8. WINE: run the occasional Windows application in Ubuntu. Add the WINE PPA to get new versions as they are released.

I’ll have lots to write about over the next few days as I finish getting set up.

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