Ubuntu Gets Gutsy, But Is Linux Ready?

The Canonical-backed Ubuntu open-source community chalked up another milestone today with the release of version 7.10 of its flagship Linux operating system with a swag of user-friendly updates, but its real test will be how well it is adopted by non-technical consumers.

Ubuntu 7.10, or "Gutsy Gibbon", upholds the regular six-month release cycle for the operating system; however, it is differentiated by the inclusion of new software designed to make it easier to use and hence more appealing to most computer users. Gutsy ships with the new GNOME 2.20 desktop environment, the Compiz Fusion 3D desktop effects software, Tracker for desktop search, fast user switching, dynamic screen configuration and a new graphical display configuration tool, automatic printer installation software, and NTFS-3g to enable reads and writes to Windows partitions.

View: the full story
News source: PCWorld

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft: Google gets undue credit for ad conversions

Next Story

Get your iGoogle in 42 languages

49 Comments

View more comments

Ubuntu is a good distro, I used to use it for a while. However, recent versions of it (haven't tried this one though) don't work on my computer, it crashes and is very unstable...I guess it doesn't like my hardware setup so much :P

non-technical people do not format their computers and install an operating system, They call up "Austin Factory" or go to a store and buy a pc from "Big Box".

Linux is only offered by "Austin Factory" and only if you ask for it.

ready ? linux had been ready since red hat was on version 5.0. Just a matter of users choice. More programs exists for linux to achieve the same functionality & productivity (if not higher).

linux had been ready since red hat was on version 5.0
My first Linux was Red Hat 5.1; I still have the boot floppy here. However, it wasn't ready for me at that point. It took to 7.3 when I tried it and liked it. I kept it, and by the time Red Hat 9 came out, I removed Windows and finally became a 100% Linux guy.

So, no, there is no single "ready" point. We all have our own individual requirements.

I just don't like Ubuntu. It just feels too bare, like looking at a piece of blank paper. Mandriva and some others just feel better to me.

As much as I love it I think it is not yet ready.

I'm a software developer with years of experience (being poking computers and programming since the early days of the COCO2 and the C64) and I still need to rely on dozens of Google searches for information on how to do some of the most basic stuff.

I have Ubuntu on a ZD8000 and it runs flawlessly but in order to get it to run flawlessly I always need to get down and dirty to the console to manually edit huge config files, re-compile the kernel, manually install drivers, use Windows drivers to support even the most basic piece of hardware and manually tweak some of the most fundamental things.

Just because of these minor issues I think that Ubuntu (well, Linux in general) is not yet ready for the masses.
My mom and my two kids are using it on their computers -- they are all quite happy with it and there's virtually nothing that a Windows/MacOS user can do that they can't, but... I was the one that installed it and configured it for them. They would have been unable to do it on their own.

Anyway... once you get passed that, Ubuntu is an amazing OS and the way it feels is second to none. If it weren't for the lack of a proper/adequate substitutes of three of the Windows apps that I use on a hourly basis, I would have already switched permanently to it and dumped my Windows' partition on both my laptop and my Desktop.

But, the good thing is that it's getting there and I'm quite confident to predict that, in about 3 years, it will be par to par with any other OS in both the workstation and server flavors.

I'm quite confident to predict that, in about 3 years, it will be par to par with any other OS in both the workstation and server flavors.

Not really because in those same 3 years, Windows will have got somethings better and same for Mac OSX.

Most of the Linux Distro are getting better. But they are mostly playing catch-up.

xfx said,
As much as I love it I think it is not yet ready.

I'm a software developer with years of experience (being poking computers and programming since the early days of the COCO2 and the C64) and I still need to rely on dozens of Google searches for information on how to do some of the most basic stuff.

I have Ubuntu on a ZD8000 and it runs flawlessly but in order to get it to run flawlessly I always need to get down and dirty to the console to manually edit huge config files, re-compile the kernel, manually install drivers, use Windows drivers to support even the most basic piece of hardware and manually tweak some of the most fundamental things.

Just because of these minor issues I think that Ubuntu (well, Linux in general) is not yet ready for the masses.
My mom and my two kids are using it on their computers -- they are all quite happy with it and there's virtually nothing that a Windows/MacOS user can do that they can't, but... I was the one that installed it and configured it for them. They would have been unable to do it on their own.

I agree. There's many things that I like about Ubuntu but I don't want to really use it until I can do all the basic stuff without first googling for 3 pages of command line switches and config file settings. It also doesn't help that many programs I need don't run on Linux (at least not without Wine) and the driver support for lots of hardware is lacking. Now, these are not really the operating system's fault but they do make the OS less appealing.

TruckWEB said,

Not really because in those same 3 years, Windows will have got somethings better and same for Mac OSX.

Most of the Linux Distro are getting better. But they are mostly playing catch-up.

development is much faster with Linux distro's,
fast enuff to catch up within 3 years probably not but it is possible over a longer time

You know, there's always lots of people who post to say that they switched to Linux already and that it does everything they need it to, and that they wiped Windows off their hard drive, or that people who want to use it just need to learn more about their computer. Well, that's a bunch of baloney. I have a fair amount of computer experience, but this certainly has not been my experience. Linux distros are fun to play with, and you can do productive work, but your installation is always only certain to be operational until the next time you upgrade something, anything, or you need to use some modern peripheral. It's always a hold your breath and bite your nails situation. And the problem is that when there is a problem, it's usually not very easy to solve, and nobody in the Linux community will solve it for you.

Look, it's a hobby OS, and it's free. So you put it on your computer, dual boot, and play with it all you want. But it's certainly not a reliable production OS, and it probably never will be, only because commercial software and hardware progresses too fast for Linux to keep up. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate the efforts of all those who contribute to its development.

Perhaps Linux boosters might mention to potential switchers that they will always be using older versions of most open source software that already works great and is easily upgradable on Windows, for example. It's not all advantages. There are some significant disadvantages too.

I think Linux is ready for the desktop, but not as a full replacement of Windows or OSX. Computers have gotten too complicated for humans to keep up. But if you are satisfied with a minimal computer that is already obsolete, then you can probably have a computer built that will run Linux well, without any hitches - until somebody upgrades Linux, that is. Then, you never know.

I do like Ubuntu though. I think it's the best free distro, and I like the social philosophy behind it. It's a fun distro to have on a dual-boot system, but I still need to have Windows on there. For one thing, I also like Windows. I really love the now-free Visual Studio Express Editions for hobby programming.

I'm a big fan of Ubuntu, however, i recently gave it up and moved to Sabayon. "Why?" You may ask? because its the only distro i've found so far that runs out-of-box, including wireless drivers, including those nasty Broadcom chips. Now that i've found something to replace XP, i keep Sabayon as my main OS and run XP on VirtualBox. (only beacuse i have to for school, i haven't found any MS Office '07, etc, for Linux)

Well I've had 6.06 installed for a while and never really used it because my wireless adapter wasn't compatible. I have since changed my network setup so decided to upgrade and I can't say that I feel that Linux is ready for the main stream yet. I think the OS itself works quite nice, but there was a number of big issues that I came accross which would have been possibly a nightmare for casual users.

1stly to upgrade I had to go from 6.06 -> 7.04 -> 7.10. To me thats just a waste of time and it should have just allowed me to go straight to 7.10. Also the update to 7.04 took about 5 attempts to actually detect there was an upgrade to my 6.06 distro. I dno.

Second and perhaps one of the biggest issues was apon updating to 7.04 Grub was updated and overwrote the default menu.lst file meaning Windows no longer featured in the Grub startup list. Sure, easy to fix from Ubuntu but something like this should not happen. I think this in particullar was a bit of a suprise as it's not something I'd expect to happen.

Apon getting to 7.10 I couldnt get the thing to run at my native res of 1920x1200. Tried a few monitor brands but ultimatly whenever I selected 1920 x 1200 it produced some weird stretched image more akin to 1920 x 2400 or something weird....had a huge vertical scroll.

ANyway by now I'd decided I'd just do a fresh install so went to do that and was greeted with a black screen of gloom when trying to start up the installer. Apparently theres an issue with Ubuntu and some recognition of the drivers (ati) which causes the initial Splash to have issues for some. Its the same issue I had when installing 6.06 actually but still it effects me. Anyway got around that one eventually by disabling the "spash" arguement before doing the install (that was more a guess, I couldnt quickly find any answer that stated this and several other ones didn't work). WHen I installed 6.06 initially I got around it by doing a text based install, or "safe" or whatever.

Lastly I opted to import my windows settings and twice it just sat there and I had to cancel the install. After that I gave up and opted not to (and the option disapeared to import too actually so I'm unsure why it was there 2 attempts but not the later)

So yeah...it's now working fine but.

SO my oppinion after all this is basically the same. It's a good solid OS and I'm very impressed with the startup and all that, but it really needs work around the fringes. Thing's like the installation to me are just nowhere as smooth as they should be for an OS that is to be considered useable by Joe Bloe. Maybe I'm one of the unlucky few. But yeah, once working it's great and things like auto update for all your programs is a really nifty feature. Also the actual update from one distro to the next was very seamless. I really appreciate the fact Ubuntu didn't give me a list of 1000 packages and ask me which one's I wanted to install durring the process like some past distros have.

Ohh and my only other issue is my X-Fi doesnt work. Theres some beta drivers for the x64 version but when I try to install them it pops up an error saying only the 64bit version is compatible despite that being what I have. I know thats creatives fault...but I still think ultimatly its something that upsets the overall "linux" useability.


SO yeah...IMHO my personal belief is that it's a solid OS, probably useable by most users but it could still do some work to be as effortless as Windows (I know people will laugh and say WIndows isn't effortless. Well just my experience here guys ok ). I don't think it's fitting for your grandma, but I guess anyone with a bit of technical ability should be fine. I also appreciate most of my issues were probably just bad luck in terms of my hardware config. My displays displaying now fine so perhaps I could have fixed that by playing around more (although really I don't think its something I should have to have spent more than 5 mins trying to do).

But yeah, I'll probably leave it in dual boot with XP on that pc. I don't have much use for the OS atm, but I like having it there just incase I have an itching to use a *nix.

yea sure, nice new ubuntu etc.
also ATI fail again, no working drivers for ati HD series cards, thank you ATI/AMD

+1 for a Windows Switcher, xvid working - check (less lag than under Windows XP/Vista), samba shares working - check, using ubuntu wine package - check.

On the downside - dont bother trying to get Windows Live Messenger working under wine it won't.
Kapote keeps crashing under KDE 3.5.8

The upside - loving the office 2007 format support under OpenOffice :D

(Now if I can just convince the missus to purge WinXP off this laptop)


Loxx said,
+1 for a Windows Switcher, xvid working - check (less lag than under Windows XP/Vista), samba shares working - check, using ubuntu wine package - check.

On the downside - dont bother trying to get Windows Live Messenger working under wine it won't.
Kapote keeps crashing under KDE 3.5.8

The upside - loving the office 2007 format support under OpenOffice :D

(Now if I can just convince the missus to purge WinXP off this laptop)

No use Emesene instead!

Commenting is disabled on this article.