Category: ubuntu

Ubuntu Hardy

I recently upgraded to latest Alpha release of Ubuntu called “Hardy Heron.” Hardy is due for official release in April.

I’m continually impressed with the progress made by Ubuntu. The distribution has come to the point where it can easily replace the typical windows desktop. There are also a ton of laptop improvements too.

A quick note to Multi-display users, the Compiz visual effects now work out of the box for all you multi-monitor people.

The last two weeks have brought two major software upgrades for my personal computing environment.

The Ubuntu team released the latest version codename “Gutsy Gibbon.” Ubuntu has come a long way, and continues to be the leader in desktop Linux. The Add/Remove programs and browser integration is second to none, even to OSX.
Ubuntu Gutsy Desktop

Speaing of OSX, I upgraded my Macbook to Leopard over the weekend. Leopard is definitely a worthy upgrade. My only complaint is I did a fresh install and I totally forgot that i-applications (i-photo, i-movie, etc) are not included with OSX. I’ve never under the rational for seperating iphoto and imovie from OSX. Its almost as dumb as “Quicktime PRO.”

OSX Leopard Desktop

Overall, I’m pleased with both upgrades.

There are lots of open source projects out in the wild, that have their own blog planets. A planet, is essential a collection of blogs, usually of people involved in the same project. Gnome is a windowing environment for Linux, and other Unix like operating systems. Gnome’s founder, Miguel de Icaza, had a lot of clout and respect in Linux circles, until he decided to waste the last 7 years or so of his life reverse engineering Micrsoft’s Java and Flash clones.

Miguel has some pretty extreme political views, most of which I agree with if I happen to catch them, but they piss off a lot of people because he continually posts his political blogs on Gnome planet. This brings up an interesting question, should people be posting politically charged content in software blog planets?

My view is simple, I go to Planet Gnome to read about the latest developments on Gnome. I don’t care about Miguel De Icaza’s view that Israel has an unjust influence on US foreign policy, even if I totally agree with it. If I care about someone’s political opinion, I will take the time to visit their blog directly. I go to Planet Gnome to read about Gnome, and laugh at whatever Microsoft product Miguel is porting now.


Its been over year since the start of the OpenSolaris project, so I decided to take a look at where the various derivatives are at this point in time.

I managed to download and install Nexenta, in less than an hour. It’s still only an Alpha at this point, but the install process was certainly the easiest time I’ve ever had with Solaris.

Think of Nexenta as Ubuntu running on the Solaris kernel. The look is very similar, and of course it has apt, but it also has a lot of Solaris features that are either not seen on Linux, or poorly imitated. Nexenta has ZFS, zones, and dtrace. which are the most appealing Solaris features for me personally.

What impressed me about Nexenta was the speed of bootup, and the overall speed of the OS. Its hard for me to compare it to other operating systems when running it under VMware, but it seems to be lot quicker than say the Solaris builds I ran in VMware a few months ago.

This could really take off, especially looking at it from server perspective. If I could run this on standard hardware without device issues, and get the major attractions of Solaris in a Debian like package, I would definitely use it.

Its interesting to see the google trends of my two most recently used desktop distributions. From this graphic, its pretty clear that Gentoo’s growth has been stagnant over the last few years while Ubuntu is skyrocketing.

I started using Gentoo back in 2002, because of Athlon optimizations and the totality and bleeding edgeness of portage. In 2003 I switched to Gentoo unstable on the desktop to help with debugging, and to use the latest software. Early last year I decided to switch to Ubuntu on all my desktop machines, because everything just seems to work, the packages are even more bleeding edge, and there is a lot more consideration for design and QA.

Plus debugging compilation issues is fun for awhile, but it just gets old and time consuming.

Its interesting to see that some die-hard OSX users are switching to Linux as their desktop operating system. In the years after OSX debuted, I started to see quite a few technical minded Linux users switch to OSX on the dektop. It will be interesting to see if they are still using OSX 5 years from now.