Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

Ubuntu LogoWith the release of the new version of Ubuntu last Thursday, as usual I was quick to upgrade.  I’m always an early adopter of these things, probably helped by the fact that its free 😉

As is normal, a new release of Ubuntu always captures a lot of attention, and with this release, it was nice not to just see a lot of fuss in the Linux community, but also in the wider media, such as the story here on the BBC News.  With all the fuss over Windows 7’s release the other week, and Snow Leopard a short while ago, it was nice to see Karmic picking up some attention as well in the mainstream press.

As for myself, the installation went pretty well (albeit slowly, the joys of upgrading on launch night).  Unlike the Jaunty upgrade, I did have a few issues post-reboot.  Firstly being that my wifi was knackered (eventually diagnosed to the return of an old DNS issue – instead of my router, I used the direct IPs of my ISP’s servers and it was sorted), and secondly that flash wasn’t working (uninstall, reinstall, sorted).   Fairly minor issues all in, and fixed pretty easily.

Aside from those teething problems, I’ve been pretty happy with Karmic so far.  The new boot screen is very nice indeed, and while only a purely cosmetic change, does help the product feel more professional and polished.  I’ve had a quick shot of the new software centre, and it seems to do the job nicely.  I had no real complaints with Synaptic, but if this makes it even easier to add new software to an Ubuntu installation, then that’s no bad thing (since software installation is always one of the hurdles that gets called out in reviews for people switching from Windows).

I’ve also been trying out Ubuntu One, the new cloud storage application.  I’ve found it really easy to setup and use, perhaps helped by my existing Launchpad account, meaning I had one less stage to contend with.  The web gateway lets me access my files on non-Ubuntu machines, and I’ve got some files and my Tomboy notes synchronising nicely.  Perhaps the only other thing I’d like to see is synchronisation with other mail applications.  While Evolution is the default mail and calendar tool in Ubuntu, I’ve always preferred Thunderbird (with the lightning plugin for calendar).  I’ve not yet tried out sharing files with other users, but if the rest of the system is anything to go by, I imagine it’ll be pretty painless.

Overall so far, I’m pretty happy with Karmic.   For me, much like Jaunty before it, it adds another level of polish to the distribution.  There’s perhaps been nothing Earth-shattering that’s impacted me with the upgrade, but then Jaunty had pretty much ticked all my boxes previously anyway.

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