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Monday, November 24, 2008

Ubuntu 8.10: Featureless Ibex?

A few days after Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex was released, I decided to give it a test drive in my trial of VMware Fusion. I was hoping for an awesome new experience, like I got back in the days of Gutsy Gibbon, but I didn't get an Intrepid Ibex. Just a Featureless Ibex.

Sure, all operating systems have come of age and are focusing on having better internals while maintaining the pretty look they've had for all this years. I mean, that's the main focus of Snow Leopard and Windows 7, if I'm not mistaken, and Ubuntu's joined the bandwagon.

Sure, it's nice to see that Nautilus has tabs and you can drag files to them and choose to open a folder in a new tab, that Dictionary is now in the Office menu, that there are more Tango-compliant icons, and that you can create a USB startup disk. But what else?

Where is the exciting list of 30 new user-end features? Where's the rest of the wallpapers? It's nice for users to have a nice selection of desktop decoration out of the box. There needs to be more wallpaper choice than either one creative picture and solid color. Ironically enough, a lot of the available themes have no matching wallpaper, resulting in ugly desktops. I must congratulate Windows 7 for having easy wallpaper-theme matching in the new themes preferences, however. 

Overall, I was disappointed with Intrepid Ibex, and I hope we can see a lot more from Jaunty Jackalope next year, but I still love Ubuntu. It has the best support and is the most stable, but I think it needs to have more user-end features and fix stability problems during updates.


scylla said...

I have been distro-hopping for one and a half years (it's fun), but I have not hopped away from Ubuntu 8.10, yet. To me, the most important improvements are: easy connection to GSM/3G networks using Network Manager, and encrypted private directory that mounts upon login. I'm not disappointed with 8.10 at all.

Newman said...

I have to agree with scylla. I only switched to Ubuntu at the 8.04 release (from Windows) so I guess I don't really know how many extras there typically are but even if this release was "featureless" I found 8.10 to just work better and more smoothly than 8.04.

Iraklis said...

Just a general suggestion concerning people that put online reviews or “reviews” of distros: Can you guys do us (end users) a favor and PLEASE bother to comment on a REAL system install and stop using VMWARE or VirtualBox? Unless of course you believe end users are interested more in the number of available wallpapers than hardware support and other real world problems (or the lack of them).

Anyone can install any distro on a virtual machine. That says nothing and gives no helpful information.

Patrick Braga said...


I don't doubt at all that Intrepid's insides have become better, and I'm very happy that networking has improved! But, like I mentioned, "all operating systems have come of age and are focusing on having better internals," and I don't think they're focusing enough on making their product more and more marketable to new end-users.

Moreover, none of my Ubuntu upgrades have ever broken hardware support that was stable in the previous version, and I don't expect Intrepid to do so either. As I stated in the end, I'm still a big Ubuntu fan.

L4Linux said...

Ubuntu 8.10 is in one word: GREAT. It integrates many good OSS components like the new network-manager, Gnome... and does it with the end user always in mind.The new wallpaper is simply cool! And what are Windows 7 new features??

Patrick Braga said...


"Sure, all operating systems have come of age and are focusing on having better internals while maintaining the pretty look they've had for all this years. I mean, that's the main focus of Snow Leopard and Windows 7, and if I'm not mistaken, and Ubuntu's joined the bandwagon."

I never said Windows 7 had any more features than Ubuntu. I said that Ubuntu is following suit by polishing its internals.

Boo Radley said...

You might want to have a look at this article:


linuxcanuck said...

When I read the headline, I expected more. I expected some intelligent insights into Ubuntu. Like maybe my own experience with 8.10 was abnormal and that I had missed some obvious flaws.
Instead what I got was a superficial I-don't-like-it response without anything specific.
BTW, you can change the wallpaper, most people do. What about the improvements that you mention in passing? Why not delve into them and at least deliver a "review" worth reading? What kind of "geek" has a hangup with the wallpaper, anyway?
It is time to get serious and stop writing trash in the hopes of attracting attention.
If this is indicative of future reviews then we won't miss it if you don't write more. If anything, this is a "featureless" review.
I pass on your pass of Ubuntu 8.10 which works perfectly for me.

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