Friday, October 21, 2005

Ubuntu "Breezy Badger"

I received a copy of Ubuntu Linux "Breezy Badger" (must suppress Holy Grail jokes) to play around with an install on a spare IBM ThinkCentre Model 8183-36U here at work. The live CD booted fine and the distribution appeared "human" enough to use so I decided to install it.

The GRUB boot loader does not seem to want to work off the hard drive, apparently others are having some problems as well (just with AMD64 machines). The loader stalls dead at the GRUB loadings stage1.5 text. To get around this you have to <Go Back> after it ejects the CD when the first stage of installation is complete, choose "Install the LILO boot loader on a hard disk" (the CD will remount), eject the CD then reboot. The install does work with LILO.

During the second stage of installation there were a couple ACPI error messages (hmmm) and some Bluetooth informational messages. This is being picky but personally I don't want to see those messages on the same screen location as the installation status windows; it looks poor and you lose information when the windows update.

Total installation time on a Pentium 2.8 GHz computer was about sixty minutes or so.

Other notes:

  • The root account is disabled by install, the user created during the installation has administrative rights on the system and can run programs as root with sudo using only their normal user password.
  • The software update manager is pretty nice.
  • I don't personally have a preference between Gnome and KDE desktops, In fact I've always thought the whole fight between the two is just as stupid as some Linux vs. Microsoft and Mac vs. the World arguments. The earth tones on the desktop are pleasing to the eye if not a tad small even for me on the 19" LCD
  • The Starter Guide is a good place to start (well, duh).

I'll post more as I play with it more. One of the bad things about all of these Linux distributions is that it takes a good amount of time to play with them all to see which one works best. I wish the FreeBSD support would have been better in some areas because I felt at home compiling kernels and installing software by making it.

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