Friday, April 20, 2007

Ubuntu 7.04 over-hyped

I've used Linux under some form or another for some time (I think 7 years or so). Started with some SUSE then found out RedHat and switched to Ubuntu when Fedora turned out to be a mess.

Since I'm a little stuck on Windows for the programming part I use nowadays mostly Windows (2000/XP) and OSX.

Ok, so I saw all the hype about Ubuntu 7.04 and downloaded the torrent. Let's say I wasn't impressed.

I used a lot at my previous job Ubuntu on a T60 Thinkpad so I knew how it should feel. This new release was about the same plus a fancy-er splash screen.

Even more, the Live-CD detected my NVidia Quadro NVS graphics card and installed the driver for it. Thus I could enable "Desktop Effects" and look at the wobbly window (then disable it immediately).

Ok, so I've installed 7.04. The first surprise: it didn't boot-up ! I mean, it did, but in text mode.

You know why ? The XOrg configuration still had the reference to the nvidia driver but the installer didn't actually install the driver on the hard-drive. Since this is something common (to me), I just went to xorg.conf, and replaced the driver with the default nv. I only assume a normal user would have given up at this point with no GUI.

Ok, with nv I'm able to startx and install the nvidia driver (plus some update manager ... update). I need to restart the system (why ?) because of the new driver.

Again, it doesn't boot ! Why ? I have some wacom input devices in my xorg.conf and it fails while looking for the device (/dev/wacom or something).

Again, I edit xorg.conf, comment those things and -- finally ! -- I'm able to boot normally.

The nice thing is that I'm able to install Sun's JDK immediately. When I get to Netbeans in Synaptic I notice a warning that that package doesn't actually contain Netbeans, I have to manually download the tar. The package Netbeans from Synaptic just provides "integration" with Gnome. Huh ?

So, this is the first Ubuntu that crashes on me at install time and basically forces me to go inside config files. If anything, I would say it's a regression and not an evolution.

One could say that it's my graphics's card fault, but since Ubuntu does provide the users nice point-n-click ways to install those drivers, anyone would expect for those things to work.

Thus, I'm still waiting on my Windows/OSX setup with the intention of buying another Mac as soon as Leopard comes out.

1 comment:

Roman said...

Full packages of NetBeans will be included soon. We had to work out some licensing issues, they've been worked out so NetBeans packages will appear in the repository soon.