Thoughts on KUbuntu 7.10
After about 3 hours of tweaking, I’ve finally managed to get a stable configuration for installation of Kubuntu 7.10. While I will add my hand on all the praises that Canonical has been receiving, I’ll be one of the first few who’d tell you that Gutsy Gibbon is not as perfect as it seems. There’s as much cons now as there are pros and I’ll leave you to decide on how Ubuntu fares.
Here’s a list of things that I found before doing any customization:
- Latest releases of KDE Desktop for Kubuntu and GNOME for Ubuntu
- Restricted drivers is now supported for Kubuntu
- Dolphin as the default File Manager
- No more sudden USB death on older Laptops
- Desktop search via Strigi
- Open Office 2.3
I haven’t seen the features of KDE 3.5.7 aside from bug fixes and a guide to install KDE 4 beta which I doubt I’ll be doing anytime soon. The addition of restricted driver management is a double edged sword for my case. It does offer the much needed boost for my old laptop but that comes at a price (more on that later). Adding Dolphin to the distro and making it the default file manager is one of the better updates to Kubuntu. It doesn’t offer powerusers the functionalities of more powerful file managers but it’s more than enough for casual users.
The best update I’ve found for Gutsy is the absence of the ‘USB Death’ syndrome that has plagued my laptop for quite awhile now. The problem would pop-up during browsing and/or loading of any process that involves Xorg (don’t ask me why, it just does and I still have to find a reason for it).
Now the cons:
- Samba still not included by default
- Long boot time (Kubuntu only)
- Still no Power Management Options
The lack of Samba is understandable because casual users aren’t likely to network a Windows PC and their Ubuntu installation. Power Management however is still an important issue that haven’t been
for laptops aside from setting the brightness.
Boot time for past distros was usually 20-30 seconds after seeing the Grub screen. Now fully takes 3 minutes to boot with no bootsplash showing on screen. I think this is an issue with the Restricted Drivers management software (as I pointed out earlier, double-edged) since I encountered the same if not a worse problem when I force-installed the said software on past distros of Kubuntu. The thing is, this only happens with Kubuntu. Xubuntu and the regular Ubuntu installation have normal boot times. I shaved about half of the wait time by removing some items in the boot process as well as some applications that I did not need.
The lack of a working power management option is still quite an issue for laptop users like me. The only power save option that Ubuntu gives is brightness configuration.
- Installed w32 codecs
- Set alsamixer values
- Installed boot manager and start up manager
- Installed GIMP
- Installed Samba
- Installed Geany, Java Runtime then Eclipse and SciTE