Ubuntu / Kubuntu 6.06 released today
June 1, 2006 10:19 AM   Subscribe

Version 6.06 "Dapper Drake" of Ubuntu / Kubuntu is released today, featuring many GUI improvements and enhancements. It ight be a good excuse to try out linux if you never have, or upgrade if it's been a while.
posted by milovoo (42 comments total)
OS X is the new Linux.
posted by smackfu at 10:21 AM on June 1, 2006

Ubuntu is the new Debian! errr.. wait a sec...

And welcome to MetaFreshMeatSlashDot!
posted by drstein at 10:27 AM on June 1, 2006

Let's hope they remembered not to store the sudo user's password in world-readable plaintext this time around.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:31 AM on June 1, 2006

FreeBSD is the old OS X.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:33 AM on June 1, 2006

If it doesn't take two days to build the system from source packages, it isn't any fun.
posted by airguitar at 10:36 AM on June 1, 2006

I just installed Suse 10.2 on my laptop. Is Ubuntu better? The number of Linux package options is confusing.
posted by stbalbach at 10:39 AM on June 1, 2006

Also, kernel patch was released a couple nights ago. Maybe I should make an FPP about that?
posted by Plutor at 10:41 AM on June 1, 2006

Hey my comment got deleted. How nice. Perhaps I should've spelled out like drstein that this is not digg.com and who gives a fuck about the point release of some lunix variant, nevermind that heady aroma of Pepsi Blue.

Good job mods.
posted by basicchannel at 10:54 AM on June 1, 2006

This PepsiBlue, it has no Photoshop or iTunes?
posted by bonaldi at 10:55 AM on June 1, 2006

I like that there's now apaprently one desktop disk that functions as both a live cd and a full install. The live cd option boots from the cd, doesn't touch your hard drive and lets you try it out and see if your hardware is compatible (and if you personally are Linux compatible). I'm downloading from bittorrent right now.
posted by fleetmouse at 10:55 AM on June 1, 2006

Ubuntu is quite nice; I think it is by far the most user-friendly Linux distro. (Though I suppose that isn't saying much.)

Maybe you should bitch in this thread Plutor. Maybe.
posted by chunking express at 10:55 AM on June 1, 2006

I tried Ubuntu recently, just like I try all these Linux distros that get a reputation for being easy to use. Yet it wasn't, from start to finish -- the start being the text-based setup with 'erase entire hard drive' intimidatingly set as default, and the finish being when I had to get out my Windows XP CD and fixboot /mbr to get that bootloader crap away.

It's not easy to use at all, except in that annoyingly fake Linux "eye candy" way. It's still very much a text-based system with some not-quite-working GUIs badly slapped on, and it still, after all this time, wouldn't support bits of my hardware properly -- I had to go through all sorts of silly ndiswrapper business to get my wifi network to work, and disabling touchpad tapping was such a ridiculous mission that it was what finally convinced me to just scrap the whole thing. Oh, and the fonts STILL suck incredibly. Would it really be so hard to make some decent fonts, and not display them so damn huge by default?

Rant off.
posted by reklaw at 10:56 AM on June 1, 2006

stbalbach: Is Ubuntu better?

If the lastest version is the same as the last version, there are no package options during install. Sensible defaults, and all that.
posted by catachresoid at 10:58 AM on June 1, 2006

If it doesn't take two days to build the system from source packages, it isn't any fun.

Spoken like a true Gentoo user. :)
posted by knave at 11:03 AM on June 1, 2006

I might give it another try on the old clamshell iBook - the last version I tinkered with (something Hedgehog) was okay - piece of piss to install, quite quick, less prone to hanging that OS X on the same machine. Few problems though. Like not being able to get online. After five hours of trying. (I eventually gave up after three lovely Linux users in a row basically called me a dickhead for using Mac-specific, but perfectly understandable, terminology when asking questions on a forum. Love that caring sharing open source spirit.)

YDL was much better on a Mac, but I'm not sure it's still going.
posted by jack_mo at 11:15 AM on June 1, 2006

I installed a beta of this release of Kubuntu a little while ago, and I was quite impressed -- a major improvement over the last version (5.10), which never really seemed polished. With the new one I didn't have to do any hacky configuration from the command line once the install ran through. I am also extremely impressed with the latest Fedora Core.
posted by zsazsa at 11:22 AM on June 1, 2006

Wow, so I guess we can really count on a bunch obligatory "this sucks" posts no matter what. I'm really sorry it wasn't [whatever it is that you whiners DO like]. It struck me as an interesting thing, as I like Kubuntu I hadn't seen an major update in a while.

I also think that perhaps those of you who are so quick to shout out "PepsiBlue", might not fully understand the concept. Ubuntu a free OS. No marketing here, and no one to pay for it even if it were, just plain ol' admiration for a nifty system. You know what else - even in the original PepsiBlue post, people managed to make it a worthwhile discussion (look at the length of the average comment, and the generally friendly discourse). Maybe you could consider that a goal, instead of just posting your bitch-blurb and moving on.

Some of you folks really suck the enjoyment out of trying to post anything (despite not doing very many of your own).

anyway, whatever ...

The LiveCD really is a great way to try it, although I have a few old PCs around so I usually throw just new stuff on an old one to try it out. nUbuntu, is pretty cool too, it's a security testing CD. I had a lot of fun just tinkering with it and finding out just how many potential holes were on my home network.
posted by milovoo at 11:37 AM on June 1, 2006

Ubuntu is the best part of the (linux-centric) web, I'm all for it! And yet, it's still not ready.
1. Fonts, Fonts, Fonts. The modified Arial font they use in Gnome should never have seen the light of day.
2. Installing stuff... just not as simple as Windows. Sure, if you have the right package manager and all that you can install a few things easily, but it's not widespread enough.
3. And a bunch of other stuff </cop-out>

Oh, and Google has released Picasa for Linux!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:49 AM on June 1, 2006

Yes, because we ought to post a lot of shitty posts instead of a few great ones.

Comment length != Comment quality

Anyhow, enough. Flagged, now moving on.
posted by basicchannel at 11:50 AM on June 1, 2006

Plutor: If you don't, I will.
posted by boo_radley at 12:06 PM on June 1, 2006

Ubuntu is great. I've been using Dapper for a few months now, and I think it's entirely "ready for the desktop". For anyone trying it out, I recommend EasyUbuntu, a script which automates the retrieval and installation of various proprietary components (flash player, mplayer, binary video codecs, nvidia drivers, etc.)
posted by ori at 12:38 PM on June 1, 2006

Let's hope they remembered not to store the sudo user's password in world-readable plaintext this time around.

IshmaelGraves is referring to this bug, which was fixed within fifteen minutes of being found.. I don't think it's a good reason not to use Ubuntu.
posted by ori at 12:44 PM on June 1, 2006

52000 / 20 = 2600 ? LOL.

So someone tell me why I should switch to Linux, and how to do it without hosing my existing windows system. Do I need to do a "partition"? I've heard that those can result in catastrophic data loss. I can't afford to buy a new HD, so I'd like to avoid ruining the ones I have.

Bonus: I've had this book gathering dust on my shelf for over two years.
posted by Eideteker at 12:46 PM on June 1, 2006

Oh, and I tried booting knoppix from a CD once and it killed all my network connections as a security measure. Which meant I couldn't use my computer to figure out how to fix my computer. So yeah, I'm a bit hesitant.
posted by Eideteker at 12:53 PM on June 1, 2006

Count me among the Ubuntu faithful as well -- I use Ubuntu all over the place, from my laptop to a couple of multi-processor servers.

Well put, milovoo. I'm sick of all the hater newbies shouting "pepsi blue" everytime someone dares to mention a product.

Ubuntu is a huge step forward for the desktop-linux movement. It really does just work. Nothing fancy... it won't blow your mind or anything... it's just good.

Eideteker -- you might just wanna try out the live cd, see if it's something that you like.
posted by ph00dz at 1:01 PM on June 1, 2006

Others' experience may differ greatly from this, but here's my advice: if you really want to learn Linux, buy, beg, borrow, or steal a machine you can devote exclusively to that pursuit. I'd say the same if you were trying to do the opposite.

I tried many, many, many times to learn Linux/Unix/BSD, changing distributions over and over again, farting around with partitioning and boot issues so much that I was exhausted with the idea by the time I had a system up and running. Things have improved a great deal in the past five or so years, and it's not so much of a struggle any more, but it's still enough to take the wind out of your sails when you realize that all the work you've done was just to get you to the point where you could begin to learn your target OS.

Finally I devoted a machine to the pursuit. Now (not so very many years later) I'm a system administrator and work exclusively with Linux/Unix/BSD/Solaris systems. It's a steep learning curve, but it's also by definition a relatively fast one if you've got the head for that sort of thing. And Ubuntu is a great distribution to learn on as many of the on-install issues (that, again, tend to take the wind out of your sails) are taken care of for you so you can concentrate on the fun of learning. Things that are wonky are covered in the unofficial guides 95% of the time, and the rest of the time they can be found with a little Googling or searching the community message boards.

Another good thing about Ubuntu is that, like I've heard about OSX, it's as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. I'm a junior admin, and I use Ubuntu on my desktop (though most of the boxes I admin are RedHat or Solaris or FreeBSD). However, the most senior administrator here also uses Ubuntu, as do several in-between.

Having said all that . . . I'm really not religious about it; I try new things all the time. But it's what I learned on, primarily (save for a few mostly unsuccessful dual-boot ventures with everything from early RedHat to Gentoo to Debian to Mandrake) and I attribute much of the success I've had with picking up skills to the fact that with Ubuntu on a dedicated machine I only had to worry about learning whatever skill I was trying to pick up at the time--never about some other issue that was keeping me from learning what I wanted to learn.

Whatever you use, though, get a machine you can devote exclusively to that distribution; it'll save you lots of headaches. It's even better if you can force yourself to exclusively use that system, because then you're forced to figure everything out.
posted by littlegreenlights at 1:12 PM on June 1, 2006

Pardon me, but isn't Ubuntu based on Debian? And is not one of the primary wonderful design features of Debian that one never needs to upgrade? One just runs apt-get update && apt-get upgrade.
posted by QIbHom at 1:31 PM on June 1, 2006

If you're already running Ubuntu, you should just be able to change your sources.list for apt-get, and do a dist-upgrade to install all the updates.
posted by beerbajay at 1:46 PM on June 1, 2006

Eideteker, I have to second littlegreenlight's recommendation to use another machine as a test install and learning machine. You are asking, as a first time user, to do one of the more difficult tasks in either operating system. Yes, you need partitions, yes, it could potentially hose your current system, and yes, you could even erase some of your existing data.

If you do find a compelling reason to use it (for me it was audio and video editing apps that were completely free, but it's best to just read a bit about it and find your own reasons) then it would be best to find someone with a surplus PC that you can do anything to, and go to town. It will be very educational and most likely work fine. If it's a really old machine you might try xubuntu, which is designed to be lightweight for older hardware.
posted by milovoo at 1:49 PM on June 1, 2006

I've been using Ubuntu for a little over a year.

At this point, I don't know what the default fonts are, but I'm happy with the Bitstream Vera fonts.

Ubuntu on the desktop is great for many things. Installation of anything in the repositories (and that's a lot of stuff) is easier than the norm for Windows apps. But there are still a lot of annoying things. Getting a Palm to sync. Getting wireless networking straight. And most other instances of working with even slightly unusual hardware.

Yes, QIbHom, Ubuntu is Debian-based. And 3 out of 4 times I've tried to dist-upgrade to a new release, it's hosed the box entirely and I've had to re-install. (Admittedly, I'm a compulsive tweaker and 2 out of 3 of those times I'd installed a bunch of things I'd built from source.)

I'll agree that a dedicated machine makes life much easier to try a new OS. (Though the free Qemu emulator is pretty cool.)

As to whether it's worth trying... if you're happy with your current OS and don't like playing with new OSes for fun, then I'd say no. If you're Linux-curious, then, sure, try the LiveCD.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 3:03 PM on June 1, 2006

I like Ubuntu. It makes me happy.

Since last October, I have had a dual boot of Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) and Windows XP on an old Dell Inspiron laptop. I do enjoy Ubuntu over Windows, but I have yet to get Ubuntu to play well with either of my wifi cards or with Skype.

Maybe with Dapper Drake I will be able to Skype happily and have wifi. I hope.

I will install it next week and let folks know how it goes.
posted by msjen at 3:22 PM on June 1, 2006

I'm a Kubuntu user just because the Gnome desktop annoys me (those huge default fonts someone complained about earlier are a hallmark of Gnome....) You install a few proprietary packages, preferably using EasyUbuntu as Ori recommended and the fonts are beautiful, etc.

It really is just as easy to use as Windows, IMO. Most users won't be able to pop out to a shell and do serious poking around, but most Windows users can't edit their registry, so really what's the difference? Back when I worked as a computer tech people paid me good money just to run anti-spyware programs on their systems, or install a new video card. Joe user can't manage a Windows box, so the fact that he can't manage a Linux box doesn't bother me at all.

What Joe user cares about is checking his mail, surfing the web, etc. The only hitch in Linux's getalong at this point is that there isn't any support for Flash8, and that no one is releasing the major games for it.

People complain about software installation, but that's just a side affect of the fact that there really isn't much commercial software available for Linux. What little there is installs exactly the same as Windows software: either pop in the CD and let the installer run, or download an install program and click on the icon. No muss, no fuss, no bother.

As for free software, if its part of the packages supported by Ubuntu its equally simple to install: click "install" next to the program's name in your package manager, then click "commit changes". Poof, its done.

The stuff that isn't in the package manager is occasionally a pain to set up, I won't deny it. But again, from Joe User's standpoint most of that stuff isn't going to interest him.

I'll second all the people who advocate Ubuntu as a good choice for the Linux curious, it is quite nice. However, it doesn't come with support for most video or audio formats out of the box, so get and run EasyUbuntu after the install finishes and then it'll work exactly as you'd like it.
posted by sotonohito at 3:39 PM on June 1, 2006

So, Zed, if Ubuntu is Debian based, but you can't upgrade in place, why not just use Debian? Upgrading is hard. apt-get is not.
posted by QIbHom at 5:29 PM on June 1, 2006

I'm posting this from Ubuntu. It's not perfect but it's the nicest Linux distrobution that I've run in the last ten years that I've been using Linux. There is still some pain over the non-free codec stuff (i.e DVDs and MP3s) and there was a little glitch when I upgraded over the network drivers but still much less pain than running Windows and cheaper than OSX.
posted by octothorpe at 6:06 PM on June 1, 2006

I've got (X)Ubuntu sitting on the second hard drive in my PC, and I love it. I've never kept with a Linux distribution as long as I have with Ubuntu. I like it quite a bit.
posted by kryptondog at 7:06 PM on June 1, 2006

Will this one's LiveCD let me fully access my hard drive?
posted by redteam at 9:06 PM on June 1, 2006

Holy cow. This is the first out-of-the-box distribution that I've come across that's gotten wifi right. (Albeit with my old and specifically bought for linux orinioco wifi card). Messing with iw* is such a drag.

Awesome. That's a huge accomplishment.
posted by icosahedral at 9:40 PM on June 1, 2006

I've been using Linux since 1992, and Ubuntu is definitely the best distro I've used, especially for those who cannot be bothered with all the configuration crap - which includes me now I am no longer a professional lunix nerd.

Ubuntu installed first time on this laptop, and even got my graphics card config perfect without asking any questions, which is better than Windows ever managed.

Download the Live CD and give it a go, it won't cost you anything, or break anything, and you might like it.
posted by winjer at 11:59 PM on June 1, 2006

Thanks, blue beetle!

Ubuntu is great, and although like other Linux distributions it still requires some manual configuration, one can usually find very clearly written instructions in the Ubuntu wiki.
posted by ikalliom at 4:38 AM on June 2, 2006

OSX is the new Windows.
posted by NewBornHippy at 7:21 AM on June 2, 2006

Long time Ubuntu user, first time caller -
Some linux people are frustrated ex-windows folks, and most people who dislike linux can't get it to run. What they have in common is that things "won't run".

The run or not run thing --there is a responsibility in having things run. If it doesn't "run" it's your responsibility to either learn (free) or pay for support. In this reguard Linux is not that different from Windows, execept you can't run/fix/secure all parts of Windows without having to pay something. (insert broken window jab here)

Yes, it is easy to believe Linux doesn't work for beginners, like a teenager with a Bugatti. Not for everyone - but bring on the wobbly windows.
posted by epjr at 9:01 AM on June 2, 2006

Do I need to do a "partition"? I've heard that those can result in catastrophic data loss. I can't afford to buy a new HD, so I'd like to avoid ruining the ones I have.

silly person. a hard disk IS catastrophic data loss, just waiting to happen. eventually they all fail. been using ubuntu since december, like it very much. it has been 47 days since my last reboot.
posted by quonsar at 3:10 PM on June 2, 2006

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