Welcome – Ubuntu Linux 6.06LTS

Welcome – Ubuntu Linux

I took the plunge and last night I upgraded my laptop (my primary work machine – as in it cannot be busted[1]) to Ubuntu 6.06LTS (otherwise known as Dapper Drake. The LTS is for Long Term Support). It went pretty smoothly.

I had to remove irda-utils after the upgrade as a module being loaded was causing a panic (which showed itself by having everything freeze about 4 seconds after gdm started up and you’re about to enter your username). I should report a bug for that…

It’s slightly annoying that I had to disable gdm so i could see the panic to find out what was crashing. Perhaps we need either:

  • crash dumps (a-la IRIX and others where you can then run a debugger on an image of the crashed system)
  • panic over the top of X (a-la early MacOS X)

I have to say though, I am very pleased with the upgrade. Everything seems a bit snappier (much welcome) and NetworkManager works! I haven’t tried to suspend my laptop yet though.. so we’ll see if that works.

But a recent version of f-spot is welcome, I’m thinking I’m going to start using it for my photos. The next trick is going to be when i completely run out of disk space on my laptop for them.

The new Rhythmbox has me using it again. Disappointed not to see google talk support in gaim (although maybe i’m just not looking right).

The Window List still exists – a UI element I solemly think should die a quick death. It didn’t work in Microsoft Windows 95 with more than a few windows  open and it doesn’t work any better now (okay,  a little, but not much).

I want to take a second and marvel at the look of the new Human theme. It is rather lickable and, as we know, the only thing that matters with UI is how much you are licking your monitor. Even without wizz-bang GL compositing powered by cold fusion bucky ball quantum knot computers, it seems nice.

gnome-xchat is taking a little bit of getting used to, but the toast that pops up when somebody “stewart: hey”‘s me is useful.

Epiphany has received some updates too which are quite welcome. A bunch of elements used in phpBMS for Web 2.0 stuff are a lot faster. In previous blog entries I’ve said why I’m using Epiphany and not Firefox. I may re-asses this at some point, but I’m not really in any mood to manually move over saved passwords.

Evolution seems to suck up a bit less memory. Started out only using about 247MB. Now 338MB+52MB for evolution-data-server though…. maybe I’m just not feeling it as much due to other things chewing up less. WHY THE FUCK DOES IT TAKE 390MB FOR A PUNY 10GB[2] OR SO OF MAIL?

On the other hand though, there’s been a bunch of UI improvements in Evolution that are really welcome. I’m quite pleased with the upgrade.

My Bluetooth seems to have broken (my send image from phone to laptop didn’t work). I haven’t had time to debug yet.

Is it just me or do fonts look a bit better too?

I’m probably going to run beagle soon too.

The new version of Deskbar seems to work a lot better. I’ve noticed I’m using it more. Although is it worth 37MB of RES memory?
Tomboy seems to have gotten a bit better, but I’m still experiencing a bug where if i click anywhere that there isn’t text in my “Start Here” note I get a new note with some random large chunk of text from my “start here” note. I credit tomboy with a lot – namely a boost to productivity and not loosing notes. I massively heart it.

I’ll be trying MonoDevelop again to see how easy it really is to whip up something quickly. In breezy things seemed to crash too often to be useful.

The support for switching between audio output devices is much welcomed. However, there still seems to be some bugs – especially related to USB audio devices. I have an iMic here that I bought years ago and am again using since the headphone port on my laptop seems to be having problems (electrical connection related, not software).

Liferea (feed reader) has a lot of improvements. I think it’s chewing less RAM too.

I had to fiddle with my keyboard layout things to get my DVORAK layout working properly. It still seems as though Ctrl-Alt-Left Arrow (and Right) to switch between Workspaces only works for the left cntrl and alt – not the right ones (that are closer to the arrows). Although now the little keyboard applet shows “USA” for Dvorak, “USA*” for QWERTY and “Swe” for Swedish.
My build of MySQL that I use (for important things – i.e. my invoices that make sure I get paid) that is typically a close-to-top-of-tree 5.1 install kept working after the upgrade – i.e .binary compatibility didn’t get boned. I did, however, need to rebuild some of my MySQL source trees afterwards (some linking with SSL foo failed, clean build fixed it).

I also did a fresh install from the Desktop CD under VMWARE on another machine. Quite nice installer.

I feel like I’ll move my Mum’s machine over to 6.06LTS very soon (this weekend) as I’m confident it’ll be a great release for her. I’m sure she’s going to love f-spot. I’m also going to introduce her to rhythmbox, Sound Juicer and possibly last.fm as she now has speakers plugged into her computer and a CD player in her car (okay, had it for a while, just slack in getting her up and running burning copies of CDs for the car).

I didn’t get Avahi out of the box after the upgrade… I wonder if I need this manually for the “Share my Music” feature of Rhythmbox to work. Installing now, so I’ll soon know.

I haven’t tried Ekiga (GnomeMeeting, but new name) Internet Phone yet with any SIP things. Since I have a physical SIP phone (a SNOM-190) I may not really use it (except when travelling). Good to test at some point though.

The real OpenOffice.org 2.0 is much overdue – as I’ve sworn rabidly about before. Big difference being this version actually works.

A very worthwhile upgrade IMHO.

The next box to get the upgrade will by my MythTV box – or Mum’s. But probably both this upcoming (long) weekend.

[1] I, of course, have up to date backups and a quick disaster recovery process (get machine, xfsrestore / and /home, continue working). However, this is a pain in the arse.
[2] This may be wrong… “du -sh Maildir” just takes too damn long. My Maildir is currently 1.7GB in a tar.bz2 archive.

6 thoughts on “Welcome – Ubuntu Linux 6.06LTS

  1. Pop-up toast is exactly right for the notifications from xchat. Avahi-daemon isn’t installed due to ubuntu’s policy of no open network ports, which may change for edgy.

  2. Google Talk works fine for me. I started using it with Gaim 1.5 and it’s been working flawlessly since, though in the past month I removed the account from my Gaim account list (didn’t use it often, and I prefer IRC and Jabber).

    As for the UI, yes, quite pretty. Good to know you like it.

  3. Matt, how is that any different to “du -sh Maildir”? It stil has to stat every inode (probably a million)

  4. Because I said so. ;)

    According to the du man page, -s is exactly the same as specifying –max-depth=0, so it’s not, really. Teach me to think about my replies first.

    However, it does fill my need for instant gratification quicker – by giving me results for subdirectories as it tabulates them. For instance, finding out that the SLUG folder is a large chunk of my mail archives might give me reason to think about creating an auto-deletion rule whilst I’m waiting for a summary. :)

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