Last night and this morning I installed the latestLinux desktop, version 10.4 LTS Lucid Lynx. LTS stands for “long term support,” though I usually update to new versions when they come out every six months.
This was on my personal home desktop, a rather powerful machine I built earlier this year (6Gb memory, quad core, 2Tb disk) specifically for 3D apps and personal software development. It’s a dual boot machine, so when I did the upgrade on the Ubuntu half I wanted to make sure the other side remained intact.
I started by installing all updates to the previous version, 9.10, which was on the machine, via the System > Administration > Update Manager. I then rebooted, entered the update manager again, and then chose the option at the top to do the upgrade to the new version. That us, I did the upgrade in place rather than starting from scratch.
The upgrade script then cleaned up the installation a bit, pointed to the new software sources, and then asked me if I really wanted to commit to doing the upgrade. I answered positively, and away it went. I responded to a couple of dialog box queries and the new code was downloaded. At this point I went to bed, expecting to have the new operating system all set for me in the morning.
That’s wasn’t the case when I checked at 6:15 AM today, since the process was waiting for a response from me in some dialog box. Then there was another, and another, and it asked me about grub, and so forth. This wasn’t hard, but it was a bit tedious. In particular, I could have used a bit more hand holding with the requests about grub, which is the boot loader. I kept the current installation as is because I didn’t want to do anything that would disturb the other boot partition. I think most of these dialogs could have been skipped if I had been able to choose some early option like “Install new version in place without disturbing current multiple boot environment.” Alternatively: “Just do what I want because I’m going to bed now.”
Eventually everything finished and I rebooted the system. Since I had customized the screen background and themenu bars at the top and bottom of the screen, 10.4 really doesn’t look that different from 9.10 to me. For most apps, the window control buttons have slid to the left hand side, though Google Chrome is an exception if you use its compact borders setting. Since I also use a Mac, that’s not something that is hard for me to adjust to. Later today I’ll poke around the Ubuntu Software Center, though I did use it briefly to remove Cairo Dock, something I never ended up using much.
The main thing that hits me with this installation is that Ubuntu 10.4 is crazy fast. It starts quickly, apps start without much hesitation, and the UI speed takes some getting used to (do I need to slow down the mouse?).
All in all this is a solid release, as far as I can tell so far.
Update: I’ve switched to the new default Ambiance theme to get the full effect of the changes in the user interface. I’ve changed the background image (my favs are from InterfaceLIFT) but otherwise I should be living La Vida Lucid.
Also See: Life with Linux: The series