I decided to totally wipe my laptop upon the release of Feisty. I was looking very much forward to this release and wanted to have a totally fresh start with the laptop, and also get a reinstall of windows at the same time.
So first off i wiped the whole harddrive during the windows installation, and did a standard windows xp home installation. Nothing special, and to give the Gnome Partition Manager some work later i used the whole drive for windows.
The windows install resulted (as expected) in a regular windows install were i needed to manually provide drivers for 7 different things. One of them being my netcard thus forcing me to fill up my usb stick with various downloaded drivers and transfer that way. The install itself took about 2 hours including time spent installing drivers for various items like netcard, camera and card reader.
Onwards with the Ubuntu installation
I popped in the cd, and upon boot was greeted with the start menu asking if i wanted to start Ubuntu, check my ram etc. I booted into the live cd to get to the install.
Upon boot i was greeted by a fresh gnome desktop, allowing me to test out the system before installing should i prefer this. Since i already have experience with Ubuntu i need no trail before knowing i want to install it.
Since i prefer to do things manually i booted up the Gnome Partition Manager (gparted from terminal) to resize the NTFS drive i used for windows to approx 30 gb allowing Ubuntu to take the rest of the drive. I knew from previous installations that during install an option offers to simply take up all free unpartitioned space.
However had i not done this i know again from experience i would have the choice to resize partitions during install.
After resizing the partition and leaving the rest of the drive unpartitioned i proceeded with install. No trouble during install, and one of the new features of the installer is Migration wizzard. I was offered to select some of my winxp accounts and import stuff like images, mails ect from them. This being a fresh install i had nothing to import and thus could not test if it works. Very nice feature though i think will be loved by many…
So no trouble during install and all in all the time of installation was around 30 min tops, onwards to configuring and testing.
Initial desktop state
Ubuntu, as you propably know, comes pretty well equipped for most general uses. Having installed the system a number of times through my linux ‘career’ i have a pretty good idea of what programs i need to install after the distro installation finishes.
This would include 3d acceleration enabling, beryl for all those fancy effects, VPN for network manager, emacs, LaTeX and a few games.
To my pleasant surprise 3d acceleration worked when i simply enabled it with the new Restricted Driver Manager, which pops up on the first boot. After enabling the 3d acceleration i decided to install Beryl and have all my fancy effects started. Normally i would go to the beryl wiki and find the repositories, add them to my sources.list file and apt-get them. However in Feisty beryl is already in the repositories, so no need to edit any files of anything. Just boot up synaptic and install beryl-manager and emerald, vupti fancy desktop! 😀
Next came my regular series of apps, all installed using synaptic again no biggie here. Automatix2 was my final goal, which i have gotten used to installs most of what i need.. the install is easy with a couple of command lines to copy paste from their wiki and off we go. Finally i had to get network manager ready for the university wireless, thus i needed vpn. I already installed vpnc from synaptic, so i just needed the vpn plugin for Network Manager.
Previously i had to google for the .deb file and find it on some obscure site as for some reason it wasnt easily available. However another pleasent surprise with feisty, besides having Network Manager installed by default is that the vpn plugin is available from the repositories. I should note that should you NOT have installed vpnc (the vpn plugin requires this, as i previously blogged about), it will of course reccomend you install it also.
Well that really sums up the whole installation of Ubuntu 7.04 – Feisty Fawn. I was extremely pleased with the whole experience and it seems that the ubuntu team really takes a look at what the community needs and provides it easily available. This is by far my favorite edition of Ubuntu so far, and really takes things up a notch. Comparing to my windows partition (which i havent booted since install) everything was installed quickly, easily and without problems. However everything is not just puffy pink clouds and candy canes (say THAT when you are drunk eh!?).
Because of lack of drivers (should be in dev though) my built in webcam doesnt work, but i dont sweat that much since i have never used it. Also it never worked in Windows untill this install, since the drivers werent available untill now. Hopefully the release of the drivers will also speed up the development of some open source drivers.
Also my card reader (again hardly used) doesnt work.
So is now the time to switch to Ubuntu ? Well if you are a hardcore gamer, heavy graphics geek or just generally a big fan of windows (or whatever you are using) no! But should you need the laptop for school work perhaps, general working machine or as a surf/e-mail machine for your old ma’ then ubuntu is a free and great choice! Personally i like having ubuntu on my laptop since the lack of games keeps it a study machine and allows me to focus rather than getting sucked up in gaming when i have 10 min breaks 😀
All in all i give Feisty Fawn 4/5 stars. Ubuntu just took it up a notch ;D