Ubuntu 9.1 - Karmic Koala is unleashed

I promised myself I would skip one distro and wait before upgrading my Ubuntu OS. Well I did not suceed - I had been reading the pre-release reviews and every thing alluded to the fact that this was arguably the most advanced Ubuntu release ever- naturally. For the first time Ubuntu got mentioned on the BBC news. Seriously I knew that there were a number of new features added to Ubuntu, and lots of improvements. A few of the core changes like the Grub2 and the Ext4 filesystem were introduced in Intrepid but, I felt at the time probably too error prone so I left them alone. At any rate I could not resist the pull of a new OS so on the release date I downloaded and did a fresh install on my HP 8710w. The first ISO did not work so I had to do it again. Success it did work - Gosh, the speed of the thing - installation time definitely much faster, about half the time. I have to say I was a bit disappointed at first glance, the default look is ghastly- wallpaper and all - I cannot believe that such a nasty looking interface can pass Q&A - why oh why does Canonical keep with the this livery - it really has to change. They should take a cue from the Intrepid Ibex wall paper which, in my view, was very nicely done. That should be the benchmark. The default desktop look and feel inspires no confidence with any user whatsoever except, you're colour-blind which I'm not. This is made considerably worse when you know how much resource there is out there with regards to stunning wallpapers, icon themes and GTK2 themes. There really is no excuse for such a poor looking desktop. Fortunately, this so far seems to be the only negative point against Karmic. Now the tough part - checking what worked and what did not.
  • Changing my login screen - Impossible, there's a new login screen and no tools and probably no new GDM themes for such a modification at the moment.
  • Flash Player 10+ - The plugin-installer does a good job. However I am an Actionscript developer so I need a debug version. The traditional way did not work. Untarring and trying to install via Terminal using ./flashplayer-installer. I got an error stating that my glibc needed updating and that was that. The only way was to do a sudo nautilus and replace the default libflashplayer.so with the debugger version. The destination folder is /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer. After that all was well.
  • Eclipse - Installing new application did not work - Buttons clicked did not call the action. Apparently this will be fixed in the next Eclipse build but,that will not help with Flex Buiildre Linux which at the moment can only be deployed on Eclipse Europa 3.3 - no update for that I'm sure. So for FlexBuilder on Europa all you can do is the workaround - click on the button of interest and then hit the Enter key.
  • Software Center - I do not really like it and I think the older method of 'add and remove programs' is much better and definitly easier especially when you want to select multiple application for a to install. The Software Center seems targeted at the new Ubuntu convert and may help them see and select software easier but, not for me.
Those are the issues I've found so far - other than that all seems better than Jaunty. Sound is so much better and I had no problems with my media after I set up Medibuntu and all the restricted media elements. No issues with hardware drivers at all. Samba network fileshare seems to work somewhat - It never successfully networks with the computer names but, if you know the network IP of the computer then all is well. However this may be a peculiarity of my local network.  I enabled my Compiz Desktop effects at first try and that's the first time I have ever successfully done that on any Ubuntu/Ubuntu-Studio release. Having done all this it was time to update to Ubuntu-Studio Karmic. Ubuntu-Studio is my preferred version of the Ubuntu distro. It ran smoothly from the Synaptic MAnager and was perfect in every way - for me - best of all it restored the old 'Add and Remove' software feature and removed the Software center.
All in all I'm very happy. Its a really nice OS - More bounce to the ounce for Canonical, Ubuntu, Ubuntu Studio and the Ubuntu Studio team.
3 days later: This is without a doubt the best operating system I have ever used. Its simply beyond amazing. I'm speechless with delight. Bloody Well Done to The Ubuntu/UbuntuStudio Teams!!!.


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