Ubuntu "Feisty Fawn" 7.04 alpha

Ubuntu "Feisty Fawn" 7.04 alpha

Summary: Over at the PC Doctor HQ I've been busy experimenting with a variety of Linux distros.  One of the distros that shows the most promise as a Windows replacement on some of the systems here is Ubuntu so I decided to download and have a look at the Ubuntu "Feisty Fawn" 7.

TOPICS: Open Source

Over at the PC Doctor HQ I've been busy experimenting with a variety of Linux distros.  One of the distros that shows the most promise as a Windows replacement on some of the systems here is Ubuntu so I decided to download and have a look at the Ubuntu "Feisty Fawn" 7.04 (Note - I carried out this installation into a VMware virtual machine). 

Overall, I was impressed, but I did run into crashes and problems (pretty much immediately after installing - something I've not seen with previous installations of Ubuntu I carried out).  More on that in a moment.

[poll id=49]

Installing Ubuntu

Installation was a snap.  No problems at all.  I really like the Live CD idea a lot because it offers a great way to try the OS before installing.  The installation wizard is also pretty straight-forward and easy to follow.

The installation was over in about 15 minutes - not bad at all - and the OS was ready to use.

Install Ubuntu

Running Ubuntu

In the past I've found Ubuntu to be rock solid, but I found this particular release flaky at times.  In fact, I started seeing crashes almost instantly when trying to access information about the build.  Not good!  This happened consistently even after rebooting (and later after reinstalling).

Ubuntu crash

I also had another annoying problem with broken packages - no matter what I tried using Package Manager, the problem remained (although it did vanish after reinstalling - and hasn't reappeared yet). 

General feelings about Ubuntu

Overall, I like Ubuntu.  It's a great solution for someone looking for a free and easy OS to install that doesn't need too much in the way of computer power.  It's also nice in that installing the OS also installs a load of useful tools and utilities (as well as some cool games). 

Ubuntu games

Ubuntu is also pretty easy to use (well, it is until it goes wrong, or that's the feeling that I'm left with after the troubles I've had with this release).  A little bit of clicking around should bring anyone with a basic understanding of Windows up to speed on using the basic features of Ubuntu.

Complete gallery of images here.

[Updated: Dec 12, 2006 @ 4:15 am]  Sorry for the alpha/beta confusion that I introduced in this article.  "Feisty Fawn" is an alpha release, not beta.  It is currently scheduled for release on 19 April 2007.

Topic: Open Source

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • If it was good enough for Vista...

    ...it's a BETA, bugs are to be expected. Try [i]Edgy[/i] and see if you have any stability problems
    • and NOT even BETA..

      ...as correctly stated (as a correction) at the VERY BOTTOM of the article, Feisty is in Alpha, not Beta. Edgy isn't even far out of Beta, if it even is. Dapper (6.06LTS) is the Long Term Support version of Ubuntu and it is ROCK SOLID.

      First, the author should EDIT the start of the article as to Feisty being in Alpha release, rather than going through a short few paragraphs in which his only real critcism is stability, then adding a footnote that it is in Alpha.
      • not entirely correct

        Sorry mate, but Dapper (v6.06) isn't quite as rock solid as most would think. Especially with ATi cards and all security.

        But I'm not going to start nit-picking.

        The main thing which SUCKS about linux, is the fact that it won't run most PC Games. Now, the average family runs windows -> Not linux. Chances are most people don't even know what the hell linux is!

        But, when Windows Vista comes out - it isn't going to be rock-solid. I think most users have noticed that with previous versions of Windows. Not just XP, but do any of you remember Millennium Edition? Now THAT was a nightmare.

        My point is, consumers don't want to pay some $200US for an OS which isn't even safe. So what will they turn to? Something free. But what's the point if you can't run your games/apps? That's what's going to turn the average family/consumer off.

        The windows emulator W.I.N.E (wine is not an emulator), is also NOT an option. It will NOT run games properly, and hasn't even been finished properly.

        Keep your minds open, nonetheless.
        Justin Carmichael
    • Wow...

      In an article that remotely criticizes an ALPHA build of a beloved Linuxdistro, people can find a way to bash MS. It would be a lot morepersuasive if you stuck to the topic and discussed THIS Linux build and THIS review and not trying to slap an OS you most likely haven't used unless MAYBE it was a Beta.

      To discuss the article, I personally have been partial to the Ubuntu builds, and am excited to see a new build coming out! I'm going to wait for a later build, but you can be sure it'll be in a VMWare session on my Windows Vista workstation as soon as it's a bit more stable.
  • What do you expect out of beta?

    Although I have to concur, I find it odd that a formally stable and reliable distribution is now having issues. If you can try it on a live system identical to the one you are running VMWare on. I am curious as to your results. You could even install it on the system you have now, just use a new hard drive.

    Something tells me there is a glitch with VMWare and communication with the hardware. Generally when a Linux distribution starts getting flakey and suffering crashes, lock ups or other odd behavior, it's 99.8% of the time due to faulty hardware or connections. That has been my experience with Linux since 1999.

    I have used Kubuntu (don't like the Gnome interface at all) in several builds and like yourself, found if very stable.
    Linux User 147560
    • This is just wonderful.

      <i>What do you expect out of beta?</i> <br><br>

      Now where was that objectivity during the Vista betas?

      This article also proves my long held contention that this site has a large majority linux biased users.

      <i>when a Linux distribution starts getting flakey and suffering crashes, lock ups or other odd behavior, it's 99.8% of the time due to faulty hardware or connections. That has been my experience with Linux since 1999.</i> <br><br>

      Funny you should say that. You left out poorly written 3rd party apps however. I'm sure Linux is not advanced to making a horrible app run great. But this has been my contention on Windows since 1995. So we can agree on what makes an OS unstable.

      As for linux desktop matching or being better than Windows....I can only say that those who claim this is better are clearly only doing so due to bias. Vista esp. is a world beyond this...and that's ok but it's just the way it is.

      As for Windoze being buggy and full of viruses etc. this is zealot spin.
      Windows = high end productivity, integration, economies of scale, great dev. platforms, large numbers of apps and major device support and worlds best office suite w/2007 being a KO.
      Linux = security model taken from DARPA unix.
      • Because I have never seen one take the OS out...

        "[B]Funny you should say that. You left out poorly written 3rd party apps however.[/B]"

        Sure apps have crashed but I have never in the 7 years of using Linux, ever seen an application kill the kernel or the OS like I have with Windows. In 7 years I can count on one hand the number of kernel panics, and attribute the cause... ME I made a mistake when compiling which caused the kernel panic.

        As for total system failures or lock-ups in 7 years, not quite both hands would be needed to count those. All of them were traced to faulty hardware. I cannot say the same for Microsoft Windows though.

        And it is my contention and opinion that Linux is better than Windows for productivity. Now if you want to play games, use Windows. Bottom line I will never use a Windows system in my home ever again. I have been doing excellent as has my entire family for years without Microsoft products. The same is true of many of my old clients who are still running their original installs of Linux, some that are over 2 years old now, and not one peep out of them with problems.

        That is a far better track record than what I have seen of the old Windows clients. ]:) YMMV but Linux is good enough for the masses now. Problem is the software businesses US can't seem to accept this reality.
        Linux User 147560
        • I have to concur

          In my 10 years of using Linux I can count my kernel panics on exactly one finger. That was within 6 months of first using it, and it was due to a compiler mistake cause by me.
        • I would have to concur...

          Although I do not have near as many years with Linux, experiences have been pretty much similar. Although I have never seen a kernel panic, nor have I ever compiled a kernel... well okay actually I did for my LFS system, but I had help from LUG member.

          I have found my Linux system to be quite stable, fast and reliable. More so than any of the Windows systems I have owned over the years, including WindowsXP Pro. But I will say that XP Pro was one of the better OS's from Microsoft. Pity I no longer use it... or not!

          Linux User, how do you make the devils smiley face? I find it interesting and would like to know so I can use it for when I am being facetious.

          Thank you!

          Jim Blaine - Bellingham WA.
        • My experience is good with both

          although I've had more problems with Linux than with Windows XP. XP has been absolutely rock solid for me. While I believe the Linux kernel itself has been quite solid, I've had a couple issues on my desktop computer where X has hung so badly that it forced me to reboot and this was on a totally standard Kubuntu install (I didn't compile a single thing). It probably wasn't a kernel panic but the end result was the same: reboot. My MythTV and my Gentoo file/print/email server (which, ironically, have [b]far[/b] more self compiled code) have been absolutely rock solid though.
          • NZ you are aware of methods...

            ...of cleaning up software errors which freeze your desktop, without needing to reboot the system?

            That is a genuine question, not being facetious.

            I have had to reboot my Ubuntu system due to X has hung, but usually it's due to programs like Kontact (meant for KDE) running in Gnome alongside Thunderbird and Firefox and Open Office, and some sort of clash between them. Kill one of the apps and the system comes back to normal.

            Just a hint you may already be aware of. Yes I've rebooted several times, because trying to get to the command to kill them has taken too long while the apps are chewing up processor/memory.
          • I only know of 1 way

            [i]NZ you are aware of methods...
            ...of cleaning up software errors which freeze your desktop, without needing to reboot the system?[/i]

            I tried Ctrl-F1 and Ctrl-Alt-F1 so I could bring up the CLI and kill X but that didn't work. I don't know of anything else I could have done but I'm always willing to learn.

            It really doesn't bug me much because I haven't been using it much on my desktop and it only tends to happen when I try to end my KDE session (which usually means I'm shutting down anyway). As I said, my other 2 Linux boxes have uptimes that can be measured in months so I'm still very happy with Linux.
          • There is another way

            Assuming you have not deliberately turned it off in your X configuration (sample code below) or your distro has done similar butchery, Ctrl-Alt-Backspace will kill X.

            Section "Serverflags"
            Option "DontZap" "yes"
        • I was only being kind.

          In my 18 years I've never seen Windows "taken out" by anything. I've seen flakiness due to hardware failure and that is it. My personal experience and my family and everyone I know and thousands of desktops I am aware of around the globe, is that Windows is very reliable given a secure environment. It's weakness is security which is just the way it is. It was build for work and much like people, probably felt law enforcement issues were not it's main responsibility.
          Let's here your Linux equivilent of the Office2006/vista/sharepoint/Groove/sql2005 combination? The best of all worlds. Online/offline/around the world....this system with of course many other server and client products available gives proven reliability inhouse or anywhere in the world. Collaboration far exceeds using one vendor's wiki and another vendor's database and another vendor's email etc. etc.
          It is an extremely powerful set of programs with a very powerful programming platform behind them. Exchange 2007 is a very exciting development as well.
        • I would deploy Ubuntu, but I live in dread

          I would deploy, but I live in dread of two things:

          a) At my day job it is NOT the standard OS. Sorry about that.

          b) My private clients: I still remember the Executive Assistant to the Sales Manager who on every little hiccup (screen flicker, crap e-mail attachment from a vendor didn't work, whatever) would STOMP, STOMP, STOMP down the hall, bash open the door to the lab, announce to the whole office "IT DOESN'T WORK!!!" and STOMP, STOMP, STOMP back to her desk expecting us to diagnose her problem, and have her up before she got back there. There never was enough money in the budget for a MCSE to make her happy, and I'm sure there isn't enough money in the budget to hire a Ubuntu expert to make her happy either.
          Too Old For IT
        • Again....

          What does this have to do with THIS Linux build? Talk about the positives and negatives of Ubuntu 7, and leave Microsoft products out of theconversation, as they arejust not germaine. (That's "relevant" to those who aren't in the law arena. ;) )
          • The point of any comparison is to compare

            the two things, in this case Windows and it's applications and Ubuntu and it's applications. The fact is that more frequently than anybody would like applications crash, when they crash on Windows they will sometimes take down the whole system rather than just the application. In Linux the norm is the application crashes and leaves the OS functional and usable by all the users. Again this is germane to the comparison of the two operating systems and whether you would want to replace Windows with the Ubuntu OS.

            I'm curious as to why the performance of various types of applications with respect to the OS's isn't germane?
      • read his correction!!

        It's Alpha, not Beta. You expect crashes in Alpha release.

        Sorry, but nothing to jump on here. No bandwagon available yet.
      • Windoze = WGA, DRM, Spyware, and Kill Switches

        That's what Windoze is. Excellent reasons to avoid it even IF (and I stress "IF") it were a good OS.
        Linux = Freedom......freedom from monopoly.....freedom from Mafia.
        Ole Man
    • more like ALPHA!

      "Edgy" was just released. "Feisty" is 6 months away from release. They guys on the support channel #ubuntu at irc.freenode.net call this Alpha.

      Has the author considered checking with free available support?