Switching to Ubuntu

by davidnielsen

Well, I finally got fed up with Fedora’s shaky development plan, a new init system was planned for FC5 which I was looking forward to – this was dropped.

So why Ubuntu, I’ve been increasingly interested in their Launchpad platform, the Rosetta translation tool and the Malone bugtracker are wonderful tools. The distro itself is really well put together, things work. I don’t like the default applications though.

For most users Epiphany is by far the best choice, there’s even a wiki page on the ubuntu wiki to debate the advantages of using Epiphany over Firefox.

For pure speed and nice interface, GNOME Office is my choice – I never really liked OpenOffice it always felt slow, bloated and the UI only emulates my GNOME desktop. For my simple needs GNOME Office definately provides everything I need – now if only Criawips would get to a usable state.

My grips about Ubuntu Dapper so far:

* DMA isn’t enabled by default

* Their ext3 partitioner doesn’t use dir_index by default, nor does it set user_xttr (needed for optimal Beagle use)

* They don’t patch cdrtools to use the OSS DVD patch, this is highly annoying as you cannot burn DVD images.

* Beagle is installed in the menu with –notray, I absolutely hate this.

* sudo instead of root, I never got this.. silly

* No SELinux or other proactive security enhancements like Fedora gives me. Hopefully this will be done in Dapper+1

* No pretty graphical installer

* The bootsplash, usplash, doesn’t display anything on shutdown and it suffers from the pain that is every userspace splash – displaying kernel text during the boot, it should go directly from grub to a graphical splash with just a progress bar by default. I guess this isn’t possible since we can only load an image from early userspace.. This needs to be fixed so bad.. it looks worse than Windows 95

Things I like:

* Mono is present, I love Mono

* It’s a one cd install, easy to give to friends

* Ubuntu sets proper translations high on the list, I love this – Rosetta makes it easy to contribute and updates are pushed regularly.

* It’s easy to install things like libdvdcss and mp3 support, which on the whole is a nice little bonus for people who need that.

* Ubuntu is deeply commited to GNOME

* Massive collection of packages in universe/multiverse

* Nice community, responsive developers.

Aside that I’ve been busy filing bugs against applications all night, lots of little buglets to fix. I’m looking forward to the final product, now that GNOME 2.14 is faster than ever before and GStreamer 0.10 landed to save us all from audio/video sync hell. Dapper should be one great product.

I dearly hope Ubuntu will tie in their Launchpad into the user profile on Ubuntu, so that I’m automatically locked into Launchpad when I log on. I think there are some plans along these lines, I saw references to DotUbuntu clint on the wiki awhile back.