Monday, May 3, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx First Impressions

Yeah, I know. There are about a million blog articles of this nature floating around on the web, but what the heck. Blogging is all about freedom of speech and expression of opinions and ideas. Here's what I've got so far on the Lucid Lynx.

First off, I was amazed by the fact that I could quickly and easily download the ISO for the 32-bit desktop. It was only about 24 hours after the initial release when I gave it a shot, and there were no delays at all. I find torrents obnoxious, so I did the straight download directly from No muss, no fuss.

I joke that I don't try a new Windows desktop OS until the first service pack is released. That's usually pretty good advice, but even with Linux, I don't download and install a brand new release of a distro on my production machine. In this case, I ran the ISO directly in VMware Workstation 7 to give it a shot. I used the easy install option just for giggles. This bypasses the manual configuration for the OS which isn't always a good idea, but I figured the worst that could happen is that I'd experience a major fubar and have to blow away the VM.

Everything worked well. Installation was quick and the current version of VMware Workstation automatically installs VMware Tools for Linux, so it's an almost totally hands off experience. Then, when the GUI came up, I hit a snag. The mouse worked fine, but the keyboard was totally non-responsive. This could have been an Ubuntu issue, a VMware issue, or maybe wireless Dell keyboards just don't work and play well with Ubuntu. I fired up Google and started my search.

I found just about a ton of posts in different threads at the Ubuntu forums including this one and this one. They all give more or less the same advice about solutions, but I specifically referenced a thread dealing with Ubuntu 10.04 and VMware Player, which worked out for me just fine. After using the virtual keyboard option to enter my password, I was able to login and thereafter, my wireless keyboard behaved as expected.

I haven't had a lot of time to play with the Lucid Lynx VM as yet, but there were a few things I took care of right away. First, I installed Ubuntu Tweak, if for no other reason, than to be able to put a folder for my home directory on the desktop. It offers a lot of other great features as well, but it disappoints me that so many simple configuration options don't come with Ubuntu "off-the-rack".

There are a large number of "what to do after you install Ubuntu 10.04" blogs and tutorials around, and I chose the one featured at because it seemed to be reasonably comprehensive and wasn't afraid to use the apt-get system to tweak Ubuntu.

I didn't follow most of the steps in the tutorial, at least so far, but I did run sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras to enable Adobe Flash Player, JRE with Firefox plug-ins, and a few other things. I might even get around to installing the Google Chrome browser just to try it out on Linux, but Firefox serves me for now.

Oh, and I installed GIMP, which was a breeze using the Ubuntu Software Centre. I'll post more details as I get the chance to do something more substantial with the Lynx.



  1. My first impression of 10.04 was also quite positive. I agree that most of the Ubuntu Tweak options should be included in the default install. However, I was able to install the restricted extras using the Software Centre. No need for the command line. Many experts will tell you to use command line because that is the easiest for them. For most new users, the GUI options should be given so that we don't scare them away.
    Also, try Swiftfox. It is an optimized Linux build of Firefox. Deb files are on the website

  2. Ermm. it seems to be a dramatic overkill to install a program (ubuntutweak) just so that you can create a shortcut of your home folder on you desktop.

    As far as i remember there is a shortcut on the desktop as default. If not just drag it down from places menu, or make a soft link to it: ln -s /home /home/Desktop.

    How much experience do you have with linux?

  3. "Many experts will tell you to use command line because that is the easiest for them. For most new users, the GUI options should be given so that we don't scare them away."

    You're underestimating new users, no reason to force them to use GUI when the CLI quit often is very much easier.
    At least let them know Linux gives you choice.

    Anyway.. thanks for the review James.
    I wish for more reviews about Kubuntu, sometimes it seems I'm the only one using it ;-)

  4. Andrew created a startup script for new installs of Ubuntu 10.04. It installs most of the necessary items such as codecs, google chrome, thunderbird, many more. Very easy and worked well for me.

  5. My initial thoughts on this shiny new OS would be the same.
    Just out of curiosity...why are torrents obnoxious?

  6. To Anonymous re: ubuntutweek. I probably should have said that I installed the app for a number of reasons, but the first thing I did was add my home folder to the desktop. Apparently in 10.04, you can drag your home folder to the desktop, but this wasn't true in previous versions of Ubuntu. How much experience do you have at being condescending?

    Sorry, Mark. I'm a Gnome user and have been for years. You could try writing your own review of Kubuntu. I'm sure you'd attract a lot of readers since KDE related reviews tend to be underrepresented. Cheers.

    The first and last time I used a torrent was to download a Slackware ISO. I was at my place of employment at the time and got a nastygram saying I was hogging a ton of bandwidth. I also used to frequent a site that freely shared RAR files of old comic books, but they had to stop because someone accessed the content with a P2P system, exceeding the site's bandwidth limitations. Maybe I'm being unfair, but two out of two bad experiences left their mark.

  7. nice... I like how you showed the ease of finding help with ubuntu...the experience is just unparalleled in the linux world.

    And about torrents...if you got the bandwidth, then they are a godsend...if not, then consider your bandwidth limit done with ;P

  8. I did an upgrade from 9.10 to Lucid Lynx on the formal release date. Everything went pretty well except my hsdpa dongle stopped working but then started working better than ever after a few days of updates. I dual boot with XP home (came with the netbook) and also have xp in virtualbox as I have, until now, needed to use a windows specific program. Ubuntu is now running so well, I have ordered a 64Gb runcore SSD and will ditch windows completely. I use chrome a lot which has the buttons on the top right (also true for the Ubuntu Log-out button) so I have switched all buttons to the right for consistency. I have read a lot of critism of Ubuntu for some of the changes that they have made. Installing GIMP or changing settings is such an easy task, I don't understand what all the fuss is about. However, I would like to see an IM with video calling - not all my contacts use Skype and Google Chat does not support video on Linux, for the moment. Anyway, thanks for the review.


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