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]
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.
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).
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 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.