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Ubuntu Edgy Eft (+ Automatix): Will unrequited love end happily? November 21, 2006

Posted by Nigel Ajay Kumar (NAyK) in First Impressions, Linux, Ubuntu, Working on Linux.

I’ve had a mixed relationship with Ubuntu these past two years, and I’ve never wanted to keep it on my computer for more than a few weeks. Only today I finally installed Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) with all the codecs I need (I think) through Automatix, and I’m looking to commit for a few months at least to this distro. But I wonder why I am not ecstatic after installing what looks like like one of the best options for my Lenovo Notebook.

The fact is I have a bias against Ubuntu. I never liked it that much when I first used it (I think it was the Ubuntu 5.04 days). GNOME I think was the culprit. I didn’t find the Desktop Manager suitable to my taste, and in comparison with KDE it seemed too basic… and unintuitive. Of course I like GNOME’s simplicity (and KDE lacks in that regard)… but when you’re experimenting with Linux, features and flexibility and looks all seem to matter with fluctuating intensity.

Anyway… I’ve downloaded and installed every single of the Ubuntu’s since then, but I’ve always favoured SUSE (especially because of SUSE 9.3). Of course, the only distro that ever worked completely on my desktop was Mandriva 2006. And on my office systems, I couldn’t find anything that could beat Xandros 3.0 Open Circulation edn.

Until I get network and printer access, I will still play hard to get!

When I installed Dapper Drake (6.04.01) I must say I liked what I say, especially the way and the time for install. Still, the options in Dapper were too minimal, and there were not enough programmes to play with.

I looked for alternatives galore… many of them are featured in this post… I tried many Ubuntu derivates… I tried experimenting with anything that offered stability, looks and flexibilty.

All along, however, Ubuntu continued in it’s charge as being reckoned as one of the best distros (definitely believed to be the best single CD distro) on the planet.

Yet, I still hesitated to commit.

Finally, with my utter disappointment with SUSE and Mandriva One (neither of which recognised my Windows partitions!), as well as the failed attempt to download Linux Mint, I decided to go for stability (and reputation) above flexibilty (and eye-candy). This move was partly supported also by the temptation of what Automatix offered (thank goodness I’m not American, have you seen the legal warning???)

Ubuntu with Automatix Screen

And there we have it… after three days of failed downloads, and a whole day spent (of course not exclusively) in getting Ubuntu installed with Automatix… I finally have this distro ready to go.

I was immediately relieved that all my Windows partitions were recognised and raring to go (I even got access to Windows partitions I didn’t want access to!)

Of course it wasn’t easy. My Lenovo isn’t that fast, and what took 30 minutes on my Desktop took over two hours here.

I faced problems with Qparted (again, see my review of Kubuntu). But here somehow it worked.

I haven’t tested too many other things, but I know what I need next.

1. I need access to the network.

2. I need access to the printer.

Once these two things are done (without too much pain to my body or soul), I can safely say I have a winner in my hands.

Until then, I will still play hard to get!

ps. I tihnk I overinstalled using Automatix. I should have been more careful in taking only what I was sure to need. In effect it took too long. The help in Automatix is good, I got here with that help. The only thing is I did one thing (I don’t know if it is right or wrong) and eventually found an “echo” in the sources.lst. I had to manually remove that and then continue. Because I’ve edited sources before I knew what I was doing, but for a new comer, I hope that it isn’t a regular problem.

More ps. I actually experimented with the GNOME top bar being moved to the side and I found that more intituitive then on top (especially with my Widescreen Lenovo). I like the way it navigates, though I wish there was a better way the side bar read. See screenshot featured for what I mean.



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