Adventures with Ubuntu 8.04

Yesterday saw the release of Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" so I grabbed myself a copy of the .ISO and took a look.So, what's it like?
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Yesterday saw the release of Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" so I grabbed myself a copy of the .ISO and took a look.

So, what's it like?

First impressions

Hardy Heron is what I've come to expect from an Ubuntu release.

Check out the Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Hero gallery!

First off, installation is a snap, and the addition of wubi and umenu makes it easier for existing Windows users to experience Ubuntu. This is bound to be a good thing for Ubuntu and I expect other distros to follow suit.

Overall, the OS is better and faster, has new features and applications, but without any unnecessary brain-bending remix of the UI. I like the fact that I can refresh an Ubuntu install and pick up where I left off without having to re-learn the basics.

Testing Ubuntu 8.04

I haven't spent as much time with Ubuntu 8.04 as I would have liked because I've been neck-deep in XP SP3 testing. However, when I was done with that I decided to upgrade my XP SP3 test machines to Ubuntu 8.04 and see what happened.

I had two test systems, a high-end system and a very low-end one.

High-end - AMD Phenom:

  • Phenom 9700 quad-core processor
  • ATi Radeon 3850 graphics card with 256MB RAM
  • ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe motherboard
  • 2GB (2 x 1GB) Corsair Dominator CM2X1024-8500C5D RAM
  • Western Digital Raptor 10,000RPM 150GB primary hard drive
  • Western Digital Caviar 7,200RPM 500GB secondary hard drive

Low-end - Intel Pentium III (vintage mid-2001):

  • Intel Pentium III 800MHz
  • SIS 6326 AGP card with 8MB RAM
  • Gigabyte 6A-6VX7-4X motherboard
  • 512MB of no-name RAM
  • 60GB Western Digital 5,400RPM primary hard drive
  • 60GB Western Digital 5,400RPM secondary hard drive

Mixed results

My testing yielded mixed results.

The Phenom system took to Ubuntu well. The install was quick and painless and the system was up and running in under 20 minutes. At the end of the install everything seemed to work just fine without having to install any additional drivers. Ubuntu is fast and snappy.

The old PIII system is a different story. The process seems to get as far as telling me that the graphics card and monitor can't be detected and that the system will use low graphics and then that's as far as I get because the system seems to hang. I'm guessing that the age of this system is against it.


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