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Ubuntu 11.04 Review -The Basics

It has been a year since I last posted and I’m going to pick up where I left off. I last posted about how my laptop was broken and that thus I was thus not willing to attempt to reinstall Fedora. This left me stuct with Ubuntu 10.04. a year and two versions of Ubuntu later and I still haven’t gone back to Fedora (at least not full time). I had Ubuntu on my laptop because it had just come out and I installed it to write a review. So I think it is fitting that I should pick back up with a review of ubuntu 11.04 Natty narwhal (which sounds like the name that would be given to a “craft” version of cheap Busch beer marketed towards some sub-culture)

Before I jump into that, I would like to explain a bit about why I have not moved back to Fedora. Like I said in my last post my laptop was broken and trying to install Fedora would have been difficult or impossible. That laptop quickly became unusable and I had to switch to a Dell gx150 that I had laying around. the gx150s were on the low end of the pc spectrum when they came out a decade (or whatever) ago. being that I had two laptops die in 2 years I decided investing in a desktop might be a better option. So I harvested what I could from the laptop and pieced together a desktop from whatever I could find on sale or craigslist. now I have a desktop with a intel core 2 quad q84000, 6gb of ram, and an nvidia 9600 video card. It may not be the fastest machine on the block, but it is certainly a few steps up from my laptop. (I also just finally upgraded from an old dying crt to a used lcd monitor that I was given by someone who claimed it didn’t work)

Now on to the review. I’m going to break this up into two posts so if you are reading this much after the post date you should be able to follow the link below to continue, if not you will just have to come back for more. Also as is usual if you find spelling and grammatical errors it is because I don’t care enough to proof read any of this stuff. It takes long enough to write it in the first place, if I were to proof read it, I would never post it.

Installation as far as I can tell/remember is identical to 10.10. There is really nothing special or interesting here. Below is a screen shot of what 11.04 looks like right after install (minus the folder on the desktop). Its pretty sleek looking (click to enlarge).

The only real change of notice in Natty Narwhal is Unity, which I actually rather like. Unity is by no means perfect (see next post), but I’m hoping that with time it could be great. I heard a few people complaining bitterly about unity when it was first included in the netbook edition, but I have always liked docks (which is essentially what this is) in just about any form, including the windows taskbar. The Launcher (as canonical calls it) is not the only feature of Unity. There is also a mac os/compiz style virtual desktop viewer called expo (as seen below). One really cool feature that expo has is that you can drag windows around between the desktops. You can also use expo without ever touching your mouse. Meta(win)+s opens expo and the arrow keys can be used to select the desktops. When you have found the desktop you want just hit enter.

Unity also features a new search/launch thing called the dash that is very similar to the one in Gnome 3 (press the meta(win) key to access). unfortunately I could not get a screenshot of this because print screen is disabled while the dash is open. I’m sure I could get a picture if I really cared, but I don’t. I wasn’t a huge fan of the dash like thing in Gnome 3 but this one is actually quite usable. I think the difference maybe the ease of use from a keyboard. If my memory serves me correctly it was difficult to use the one in Gnome 3 without the mouse. I am basing this on the version of Gnome 3 that the fedora 15 alpha used so things may have changed (it is also possible that unity has these problems but I haven’t noticed them as much for whatever reason). I absolutely hated Gnome3 and I thought I was going to hate unity but I actually like it a lot (except for a few fairly minor things which I will discuss next time). There are two other less impressive new features which should be noted; one is the new rating system built into the software center (bad screen shot of software center below). and the other I will discuss in the complaints section and the other I will discuss in the complaints section. It is probably worth mentioning at this point that the launcher, the dash, and expo all require graphics acceleration and therefore for most people also require that you install proprietary video drivers. I’m not a complete FLOSS zealot so I don’t really mind this but I’m sure a lot of people out there will. If you are one of those people or if you just have a old graphics card Canonical has graciously provided a default mode (just in the same way Gnome 3 does) which looks very similar to gnome 2.x.

So lets talk about the launcher for a bit. The launcher will dodge out of the way of windows as you can see in the next two screenshots. This is the major source of my complains about Unity. The launcher needs a good polishing. It is the face of Unity and frankly I’m not sure it is really ready for mainstream use. though I have had no problems with Unity crashing, it seems that many people have. I believe I read that almost every user in a test group for the release candidate crashed it. I would be willing to bet that many of the people experiencing crashing with Unity have under powered graphics and thus anyone with a decent graphics card should not have this issue. This might be fixed by now so don’t take what I say for granted. Despite its problems as I have said a few times already, I like it. One feature of note (though I think it is kind of annoying) is that when the launcher is hidden if when a program wants you attention it will pop out and wiggle (which I believe is also a feature found in mac os). Despite the constant referencing of mac os, I think the launcher more resembles the windows taskbar than Apple’s dock. You can think of it as something that is in between.

Moving applications around in the launcher is not intuitive and it took me a day or two of using Unity before I figured out how to do it. The two pictures below show the process. You can not simply click on an icon and drag it up or down, nor can you right click and select move like you could in gnome. In order to move an icon you must drag it to the right out of the launcher and then move it up and down. When the icon is dragged out, a little gray line appear indicated where the icon will be dropped when you let it go. I discovered this only after seeing if I could remove an icon from the launcher by dragging it out like in just about every other similar program (you can’t).

The last bit about the launcher is how it keeps track of multiple windows. As you can see in the picture below there are dots on the left of the icon and an arrow on the right. the dots indicate the number of total windows for that application and the arrow on the right indicates that at least one window is open. If the application only has one window the dots are replaced by a single arrow as can be seen in a few of the other screenshots.

The next thing to point out is that the menu bar is gone! As you can see in the picture below, application menus and the window buttons have been moved to the top panel like in mac os. Unlike mac os however, you can only see the menus while mousing over them. When you do not have your mouse over the top panel the window title is displayed. I’m not sure if I really need to say this or not, but I’m going to just for good measure. This is really freaking annoying.

One last thing I just noticed. If you drag a window to the left or right the window will “maximize” to fill half of the screen or the full screen in the case of the top. I don’t believe gnome does/did this, but if I’m just being forgetful let me know. Even if gnome didn’t do this its still not terribly impressive, but it does need to be mentioned.

As you can see and may experience the only thing to really talk about in Natty Narwhal is Unity. As I have said several times now, I like unity but it needs a lot of polish. I think they did a really grate job on this so far. It looks and acts very very similarly to Gnome 3, yet somehow I don’t hate it. I actually like it! Anyway, if you have been afraid to upgrade to 11.04 you should probably get over your fears and take the plunge because while it may not be perfect and it might take you a day to get used to the launcher and the dash, I don’t think it will negatively affect your productivity and you just might like it as much or more than I do. If you are still on the fence because I keep talking about how there are lots of little problems without ever telling you quite what they are you should come back later/check out the link below to see my next and final installment on this review.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in foss, linux, opinion, review, ubuntu

 

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Review: Ubuntu 10.04

Edit May 17: I have encountered a few bugs. The indicated applet often shows the same item multiple times and does not show other items. (see the picture)

Ubuntu often turns off networking at boot for some reason. It also has some problems with recovering from sleep mode (on my computer anyway)

Another thing that has been annoying me is that it seems that ubuntu turns the audio on at boot by default (and won’t let you mute it during boot). This is annoying because sometimes I am in public places where I don’t want my computer screaming annoying noises. I haven’t really looked into this much. So, take this with whatever size grain of salt you want.

Unfortunately Fedora 13 was delayed again so it will be a few more days before I can give that a shot.

Edit May 5: I just realized I forgot to mention the new social crap thing. All I have to say about it is that I found it completely pointless and useless. Maybe if I used twitter I would care.

As some of you may know I have no great love for Ubuntu. I don’t really hate Ubuntu itself I just like to poke fun at many of its users Some of you may also be aware that I have done a few reviews of a couple of different distros in the past. However, I’m sure all of you know that Ubuntu 10.04 LTS was released on April 29th, 2010.

I have been using Fedora for the past few years(since september, 2007) and have been very happy with it, until the release of Fedora 12. I stuck with Fedora 11 because 12 was unstable. Fedora 13 is on its way and I hope it is an improvement, but in case it isn’t I decided to give Ubuntu another try since I haven’t used it since 2007. I have to say I am impressed so far. Here is a synopsis of what I thought of it in the first 3 days of using it. Keep in mind that I have been using a year old version of linux and may be unfamiliar with changes to software (gnome) that have occurred in the past year (so I might complain about something that isn’t Ubuntu’s fault)

Day 0: (April 30th)
Install:
This is about as I expected. It has changed a bit. I think it might be a little bit more userfriendly than before because you get just the installer and it is certainly more professional looking. The install was pretty quick but that is what you would expect from an minimalist installer like ubuntu’s. I would have prefered the user stuff to be set up after the first reboot rather than before.

Ubuntu Software center:
This is really nice. This is what/wanted I expected apple to do years ago. it is really well polished and easy to use. Not everything a geek will want is in this list (no big deal apt-get is still there), but 90% of things are. Ubuntu has much larger repositories than fedora so a lot of things that I use (chrome/flash) were already in the list, but not installed of course)

first impression: Ubuntu 10.04 looks very nice and is much more professional looking than the past versions. Canonical seems to have put a lot of work into this (which is what one might expect from an Long Term Support release). I like the new dark theme (much better than the shit colored them). The window buttons being on the left is a bit odd and pointless but that is a pretty minor detail. I really think Ubuntu is trying to compete with mac os and not just windows.

Day 1: (may 1st)
I didn’t use the system a whole lot today. What time I did spend using it was mostly used to fix the problem from moving stuff and installing programs that I need. It would have been nice if the installer had offered to install programs during the instillation. I don’t remember there even being network support (or updates of course) during the install.

I know Canonical wants ubuntu to fit on a cd to make it more accessible I would rather have had it on a dvd and had more stuff installed by default. This isn’t in anyway important since there are repositories and it is only for the first few days that I will need to install stuff every 5 minutes.

Though I like dark themes they have 1 major flaw in my opinion. They contrast way to much with the bright white all programs use. Also it is hard to get the contrasts you sometimes need with a dark them for instance a dark gray on light gray progress bar can be annoying.

I don’t like apt that much. yum is much nicer. apt annoys me because apt-get only installs stuff (or is only really useful to install stuff but you still have to tell it to install (apt-get install). apt-cache only is useful to find package but you still have to tell it to search (apt-cache search). this is a lot of typing. I would rather just be able to type apt search or apt install (like yum). I’m sure this is somethingt I could get used to I would just rather not have to. yum is one of the reason I switched to fedora.

Day 2:
I got most of my major thoughts on 10.04 in the first two days, but I do have a few complains and observations for today. First is that the location of the power controls in the right corner of the top panel really annoys me. There is nothing bad or wrong about this, and in fact it could be a good thing, but I’m not used to it being there so I tend to look for it under the system menu. Also the power controls dialog box seems to be less extensive than Fedora’s.

Ubuntu’s pre-configuredness (sudo and what not) is nice for the average user who doesn’t know anything about computer but annoying for geeks. As a geek I want to have root access to my computer and to know how and what it is doing. I like being able to set and change things myself without the system fighting me.

When a program is not responding it fades to indicate that it is not responding. This is a nice touch and is more than I have seen in other distros, but I would really like to see a lot more. I think this is probably enough for a program that has frozen, but it would be nice if a full crash is reported to the users. I don’t remember ever having a program fully crash while using Ubuntu 10.04 (maybe if I had used Firefox more) so I can’t say for sure that they are not reported. Reporting is of course often annoying to users, but I would rather have a dialog box that tells me that the program died (and ask if I want to report it to the developers) then just have the program disappear (sometimes without me noticing). For a freeze (not responding) reporting to the user may not be such a good idea because programs which freeze often will start working again in a few minutes. However, if the program continues frozen for a long enough time the user should probably be told about it and asked what to do. Ubuntu does warn the user by fading the window (which as I said I like), but it doesn’t go the extra step to report crashes or extended freezes (as far as I know). Programs should crash gracefully (of course this is really something the programmer should take care of and the os should only have to deal with in an extreme condition). Good start Ubuntu, but I want to see more in the future.

and lastly a note to all the programmers out there. Ubuntu comes with python 2.6 only by default. if you wish to use python 3 you will have to install it yourself. Also perhaps of more interest g++ is not installed by default (though gcc and make are). To be fair I don’t think Fedora comes with any developer tools installed by default.

(back to today)
Overall I have to say Canonical has done a very good job and I do like Ubuntu 10.04 and I will probably continue to use it if Fedora 13 is as bad as 12, but if Fedora 13 turns out well I will probably use that. Fedora 13 will be out in 14 days (May 18th) so I will see what happens then and I’ll be sure to write about it.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2010 in review, ubuntu, Uncategorized

 

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Book Review: The Kite Runner

I’ve been wanting to do a book review for a while but just never got around to it. So, when I went to Orientation for college they gave me a copy of “The kite Runner” to read over the summer for one of my classes. I’m in the process of reading that right now. I thought it would be interesting to do a journal of sorts as I read. I’ve already read the first 7 chapters so my first “journal entry” will be on all 7 of those and then I will read a few more chapters and do another on those.

chapters 1-7 July 18: I am still waiting for any hint of the existence of a plot in this book. The book seems like it is a autobiography in the guise of a novel (or maybe other way around?); It is even written in first person. So far every chapters has been a collection of independent stories from the authors childhood. These stories seem to be leading up to something but I can’t fit them together to figure out exactly what (that isn’t entirely true I just don’t want to give spoilers). At this point I do not like this book and can not recomend it to anyone.

8-end August 28: Oops I’ve been done with this book for a little while… I kind of forgot to wright up anything. It took me quite a while to finnish being that I devoted most of my time to working and sleeping so that I could pay for college. Speaking of college, this week was the first week of my freshman year and I’m very tired. I’ve been going since saturday (it is now thursday) and I won’t be done with this week until I take a stupid assessment test on this saturday. So, in essence I now both broke and beat, but that doesn’t have anything do with this post. The book sucked. The book pretty much worked the way I thought it would in my last entry. I don’t really want to give to many detail and ruin the story or anyone who might want to read this horrid piece of crap. What I will say is that about 2/3rds of the book is backstory and set up which has no single plot ark (much as I described before) and the rest of the book is a single continuos plot (luckily) which is not all that interesting and fairly predictable; to top things off there is no real resolution. The book drags on longer than it should and introduces more problems at the end that are never fully resolved. It feels more like the deadline got close so the author stopped a chapter or two (or at least a page or two) short. If you like books with no plot or character development but lots of human relations (for instance if you like romance novels but are looking for something that isn’t entirely about sex) than this book is probably great for you (and also I hate you).

P.S.
I’m still not dead. I doubt I will be posting much though as, like I said, have just started college (Go Aces!) and if the first two days of classes are any indication I will be very busy. Oh, if you are for some reason interested, I am studying Archaeology (So maybe there will be some Archaeology related posts)

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2008 in review

 

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FreeBSD: a review

By popular demand of one person I present to you my review of FreeBSD 7.0. I hope to be a little bit more thorough with this review than I have with past reviews.

Things to note

First there are a few things to note about FreeBSD. FreeBSD is not an anyway Gnu/Linux. If you are used to Linux you may find somethings different about FreeBSD and you may not like it because it isn’t what you are used to.

FreeBSD is more of a server or workstation OS and may not be quite what you are looking for in a home pc out of the box. The great thing about open source software is that you can make it what you want (assuming you have the knowledge to do it).

FreeBSD has a Linux binary compatibility mode but I still had problems with Linux binaries (and one python script, I only tried one though). I presume that this may be, in part, due to system calls that are not supported.

Installation

If you have ever installed FreeBSD before then you know what to expect in 7.0. The installer is text based and can be kind of annoying. I’m not a fan of this installer at all; I especially hate the partitioner. I’ve tried to find some screenshots because I don’t have the set up to get them but was unable to locate any. To bad for you. The installer isn’t really all the complicated but I would suggest looking at the handbook the first time you install. First it will ask you some questions about settings and then you will be given the opportunity to choose what to install. After this installation will begin. It wants to jump around between all three disks (you can’t get a dvd) to install different things. It seems to have a list of things to install and goes through installing each one after another until it hits one that is not on the disk that is in the drive at the time. At which point it will ask you if you would like to switch disks. I would hope that you could say no and then get that stuff later but I don’t think I have ever tested it. I always just switch.

FreeBSD is supposed to get a new graphical installer sometimes soon. The installer is called finstall and is supposed to be release sometime in the near future to be used with 7.0.

Using it

The first boot

On the first boot you are ready to go and FreeBSD is completely installed as you may expect. I don’t remember anything interesting about the first boot, but it has been a while. As far as I can remember it was just like every other time I booted.

First the bootloader askes you what you want to do then FreeBSD asks what you want to do (regular boot or safemode or whatever else) and then you then you are dumped to a standard text login. If you want a graphical login you will have to configure that yourself. I’ve done it in the past but I didn’t mess with it this time around because it was ocationally useful to go straight to the command line. In fact, you will probably need the command line to configure X to your liking and whatever else you may want to configure. Like I said in the beginning this is not an OS meant for your average Joe. It is meant for a person who has experience with unix or unix-like operating systems.

Gnome

What can I say? Gnome is Gnome. If you want auto disk-mounting you will have to set it up yourself (which is not Gnome’s fault but it would be nice if you didn’t have to). Other than that the only comment I have is that screen savers didn’t work for me. They also didn’t work with Gentoo so I would assume that it is a configuration problem.

package management

I don’t know if what FreeBSD has fits my definition of true package management, but it does have packages and it is easier to install software than doing The make dance. FreeBSD uses zipped tarballs(.tbz) as packages. It essentially just has a script that does that does the make dance for you. I don’t consider it to be true package management due to the way it works not with the packages themselves. All packages are stored on the FreeBSD FTP server and one must download a package and use pkg_add to install it (or you can just use pkg_add -r to get the version in the tree for your version or maybe it is the most resent one I’m not sure.) My definition of a true package manager is program that allows you to wield complete control over the software installed on your system. This means installing, un-installing, updating, auto-update-checking, version checking, searching, and so on. pkg_add does not do many or even most of these things. I have heard of other package managers for FreeBSD but I didn’t look into any.

other stuff

Fileroler didn’t support zips out of the box; I had to install unzip. This might have had something to do with my configuration when I installed. In any case if you want to unzip things make sure you have unzip

My mouse seems to act a bit odd with FreeBSD. It is really sluggish even after I have messed with the mouse settings in Gnome and also seems to have a problem moving up and down. There are two possible answers to why this is: one is that my mouse is a piece of broken crap, while it may be a piece of crap it is not to my knowledge broken as it worked just a few hours before I installed FreeBSD; or That there is a problem in X’s mouse support (Do ps2 mice have drivers?). When i reinstall Linux I will make an edit to this post on the status of my mouse.

As I said in the opening FreeBSD is not Linux and it should not be expected to act as Linux does. FreeBSD does not use GNU’s coreutils so many common programs will behave a bit differently. This isn’t normally a problem and I can’t say that I experienced any problems while testing. I am only aware of the difference because I use a mac which also uses BSD utilities instead of GNU’s.

In Conclusion

I know that I always seem to only find problems with software that I review, but that is because the problems are what stick out to me the most. That doesn’t mean that the software is necessarily bad just that it isn’t what I want. When I try a Linux or BSD distro I go into it expecting a fully functional OS for the purposes of my daily computing needs. FreeBSD is not meant for that without some love and care that I don’t have time to put into it. Therefor I must say that FreeBSD 7.0 does not meet my approval for an everyday home PC. I would however consider it for a server. From what I have heard most of the major improvements to the kernel are in areas that only really affect servers, such as SMP. FreeBSD 7.0’s SMP support is, from what I’ve heard, much better than Linux’s and allows FreeBSD to blow Linux out of the water in speed tests.

I’ve decided to take LinuxCrayon’s advice (which he left in a comment here if anyone is interested) and will be trying slackware next. I hope it can beat fedora for my distro of choice but I wouldn’t bet on it (and to think not to long ago I was a Debian guy!). I’ve seen it around and though about trying it before but just never did it. I’m not going to promise to write a review on it (I will if it blows me away).

Well I think that about raps it up for me. There is no way I’m going to get the read and edited so you will just have to suffer my typos and what-nots. :p

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2008 in freebsd, review

 

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A Brief Review of Gentoo.

As I promised here is my review of gentoo. I’ve been wanting to try gentoo for a while now but I could never get it installed quite right. Amazingly despite my isp’s block of rsync causing gentoo to believe that I didn’t have internet I finally installed it with success! The only thing of interest that I can think of to mention at this point was that the screen saver didn’t work. So once I got my isp to stop blocking Rsync (that took a about a week…) I decided I should update my system; I hoped this would fix the problem with the screen saver. So I ran emerge –update –world and that was when the trouble started. Gentoo is obviously a very manual distro which is fine but it can be annoying times. I won’t complain about that too much because I know the reasons for it and actually kind of like it in some way, however, I don’t have time to worry about software conflicts and updating config files every times I update something.

The trouble that I mentioned was that my computer stopped running the gdm on log in and once I did get into gnome it had lost all of my settings and half of everything simply didn’t work (including dvorak). I wasn’t really in the mood to try to fix this and I had no idea what was wrong so I decide to update gnome and see what happened. It fixed it thats what happened. (the first review was better; this one sucks pretty bad.) Once Gnome was functioning again I decide to install vlc (because that is how I roll). vlc had no gui interface so I’m assuming that somehow I got the cdl version or something. I believe I may have had one or two other minor problems, but I can’t remember what they were as it has been a little while.

Don’t think that gentoo is bad just because I had a few annoyances. I’m sure I would use gentoo if I had more time (and knowledge?) to invest in getting the thing to work properly (and then never touch it), but with school and everything I don’t. For me, Fedora is still the best distribution because it requires a lower level of maintenance (though it has been giving me problems on this install…)

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2008 in linux, review

 

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Grr…

The other day I wrote up a little review of Gentoo, but I was stupid and used wordpress’ editor and guess what… FIREFOX CRASHED! and then my internet became mostly unusable for two days. I’ll try to get that rewritten sometimes this week… Also FreeBSD 7 is supposed to come out tomorrow so I think I will try that. I’ll let you know how it goes.

One a side not I recently broke down and joined facebook. Its actually pretty cool, especially if you are in to not being able no control anything at all. But, the lack of crap falling down peoples profiles almost makes up for that :). I’m still a little worried about privacy issues but I haven’t given them anything too important so I’m not too worried about it. (when it asks for you email password so that it can send emails inviting your friends to join facebook remember that viri(or however you spell that) use a very similar tactic…). So if you are interested <a href=”http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1109478640″>friend me</a> or what ever they call it over there. I also would like to suggest the iThink application which you can find on my profile.

P.S.

Fedora for the win.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2008 in Firefox, linux, review

 

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OpenSolaris: Project Indiana

As you may know Sun announced project Indiana a while ago and they have now released the first developer preview. I tried Solaris a month or so ago and I was than impressed. I heard about Indiana before I tried Solaris so I could only hope that Indiana’s move would be one it a better direction.

I case you haven’t heard of project Indiana here is a summary from the website:

Project Indiana is working towards creating a binary distribution of an operating system built out of the OpenSolaris source code. The distribution is a point of integration for several current projects on OpenSolaris.org, including those to make the installation experience easier, to modernize the look and feel of OpenSolaris on the desktop, and to introduce a network-based package management system into Solaris.

Here is a list of the major projects that make up Indiana:

1. Image Packaging System Documentation
Choose packages from a network repository of Open Solaris packages that are ready for distribution
2. Distribution Constructor
Build an installation image from a package repository for your own distribution
3. Slim Installer/Live CD
Install Solaris quickly from the Live CD desktop
4. Snap Upgrade
Upgrade a copy of the currently running system

Before I really get into this I just have one question. Why Indiana? I live in Indiana so I my first thought was “Cool, we have our own distro of Solaris. Why?”. maybe someone really like Indiana jones (who could blame them) or maybe they like corn. (edit: I just remembered that Ian Murdoc went to Purdue university so that might be why.)

Indiana is greatly improved over the version of Solaris I tried. I could actually use this one. Last time I couldn’t get it to boot completely after installing so I don’t have much to compare this to besides that. Being able to boot a OS is very important it Sun seems to have fixed all the problem from the old version.

This is of course just a developer preview so it has lots of problem that I will mention but won’t complain about until they make it into the final release. However, it also has some really good things that I would like to praise.

Good:
1. very easy to install. you just pop in the cd and it does most of the rest for you. Easy means it doesn’t give you very many options which isn’t cool in my book but that will probably improve over time.

2. It has a package manager. I guess before it didn’t have one so it is definitely a good thing they added one. If you have ever used yum, apt-get, macports, portage, etc. then you will probably feel right at home with IPS (image packaging system). to get started using IPS by evoking it with pkg and for more info try man pgk.

Bad:
1. as is expected it isn’t stable in the least bit.
2. its slow
3. There isn’t much in the repository yet.
4. it is impossible to use dvorak or any other layout other than the default one set for your language. I’m sure it isn’t really impossible but I don’t think I should have to edit a config file so I can type with my desired layout so I’m not going to. This makes Solaris nearly useless to me for any real uses as I don’t know qwerty well enough to touch type.

5. I don’t have permissions to turn off my computer. This one is weird. I’m not sure how something like this doesn’t get fixed before a release even if it is a developer preview release. When I try to shutdown from Gnome I get this error message “User does not have permissions to use gnome-sys-suspend command.” Do all the devs run as root?

I expect most of the bad things to go away so like I said I’m not going to complain about them. I don’t know if Indiana could ever make me want to use Solaris over Linux or BSD but it is an improvement and I will be happy to check out future releases of OpenSolaris. I think that If Sun keeps moving in this direction they could eventually move into the home pc market, but don’t count on it. Now I need to reinstall Fedora…

If you want to check out project Indiana head over there and give it a download.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2007 in review

 

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