Ubuntu 7.10 Now Available

Started by Donald Darden, October 22, 2007, 11:35:06 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Donald Darden

I looked at the link, and the option looks interesting. But with the time and effort I've already expended, I think I will stay with what I have for the moment.  First, the Studio version is really about multimedia, which I'm not too involved with.  Second, I'm just to the point where I can now try a few things, to see if they will work or not.  I'm interested in moving on at this point, not starting over again with another option.  But someone else might find it worth exploring.


Today i got 10 + 10 cd's from canonical (10 * 32bit + 10 * 64bit) and after gettin pure and clean installation, i got to say that ubuntu 7.10 works like a dream. No two ways that xp/vista could beat it. But it is a opinion thing. :)
Something funny should read here?

Charles Pegge

How well does Ubuntu work with the latest generation of NVIDIA/ATI  cards?  I would like to pursue 3d on Ubuntu Linux if it is up to speed for multimedia. I could buy a box with the full Ubuntu preinstalled.

Donald Darden

Ubuntu did an automatic video driver update on my nVidia card, so I guess it is a question of whether the vender has provided a Linuix-compatable driver with advanced features or not.

Installing Ubuntu was really pretty simple, especially if you are installing it to a clean PC.  The only issue is when you are trying to install it in conjunction with existing OSes, and making sure you do not overwrite a whole drive.  In that case, you really have to make manual selections.  I think that Knoppix is slightly superior in hardware detection capabilities, but the Ubuntu is working fine as it is.

I was reading the latest issue of PC Magazine, and they have really turned their backs on Vista -- at least the columists have, for the most part.  After years of bashing XP, they now regard it as the superior OS available today, as they do not regard Linux as being made simple enough for many people.  I tend to agree with this accessment.

But I think there is real opportunity here in someone filling in the gaps a bit.  A lot of functionality could be added under Linux that would rival the ease of doing things in pretty much the same manner as done under Windows.  You can even add a simblance of DOS for those that make use of the command line.  The Linux purist would argue that this is a corruption of what is arguably a superior operating system, but the pragmatic would see it as a major step forward for wooing Windows users to Linux.

Yet we already have Linspire, and it is not setting the woods ablaized.  So what is the problem?  Well, if you are going to price a product in the ballpark with Windows, and your chief claim to fame is that you are somewhat similar to Windows, then you will only invite comparisons to Windows, and you have yet to prove why you are more advantageious than just buying Windows.  And it does not help that Windows comes pre-installed on almost all new PCs, and that you would have to pay extra to get a competing OS and install it yourself.

I've now read that Microsoft is going to extend the life of XP.  I expected that.
After all, what they lose in possible sales of Vista will still go into their pockets via new sales in XP - with the prospect that those XP buyers will later upgrade to Vista anyway, once they decide they really need DirectX 10 or some other apect promised for Vista that will not be found in XP.  That is almost a guarantee of a double sale in new OSes for anyone trying to stay locked in to XP at present.

If Microsoft ever announces that DirectX 10 will be retrofitted to XP, then it will be the death of Vista, and they probably know it.  So by locking XP to its current state of development and providing only additional security and bug fixes for it, and working to make Vista more enticing, they will eventually get their resale of the new OS.  By then there will be enough new hardware out there and new gameware using DirectX 10 to make it happen.  Hard to believe, but Microsoft stands to gain more sales due to its mistakes with Vista than if they had got it right the first time.

Charles Pegge


Whichever side of the argument you take, this article, referenced in Yesterday's Code Project Daily News, makes many very interesting points about Linux, especially about a window of opportunity - the weaknesses in Vista and the increasing availability of pre-installed Linux PCs.

The author advocates adopting the KDE desktop as the predominant standard in preference to Gnome.

Kent Sarikaya

I would agree, but except for Canonical's attempts to make Linux just work, the other linux's don't seem to care, nor the established users. I think they like running a non mass market OS and if you read the help forums, there seems to be some snobbery in attitudes. Ubuntu is the exception and it seems to be alone.

I think the only real OS that can topple Windows anytime soon would be the Mac OS.

I think Haiku with its simplicity and performance could do it, but I don't think it will be ready while this window of opportunity exists. With the Microsoft Army of 20,000 programmers, I am sure they are scrambling to make Vista right for the service pack releases, at least you would think so. So how long will this window of opportunity exist?

Donald Darden

I think you can only describe the present as a period of uncertainty, nor really one of opportunity.  In order to create opportunity, you must replace uncertainty with certainty, and that means market direction or realignment.

And certainly the forces necessary to seize the moment are not aligned, nor do we all agree on what would be the optimum solution.  But Microsoft's setback is a setback for us all, though some of us might see this differently.  The reason is that we know that change must come, but now it will take longer, and it will also lessen the commitment among developers to move on to the next generation OS.

If we could look at XP as now gaining new strength and gradually evolving in place of Vista, then this setback could be a good thing.  But why should they do that?  The real market is in pushing us to buy expensive new machines and make new commitments to buy Microsoft products.  Thus, the sword continues to hang over our heads.

The Mac OS is certainly well thought of, but not by 3rd party developers or PC manufacturers.  The problem is, that Mac is a closed world.  If Apple decided to sell just its OS, you would next complain because you would be limited to the relatively small cateloge of software available for it.  Developers would have to relearn their trade, and licensing fees from Apple would likely make your purchases cost more than equivalent products for the PC.  PC builders would have a problem if they are already committed to Windows with licensing agreements there, as those license agreements probably are based on total PCs sold, not just those sold with Windows installed.  And Apple would have to limit its future growth to software features in support of generic hardware platforms, rather than coordinating both hardware and software developments together.

It's often pointed out that Apple only has about 10 percent of the personal computer market.  Those numbers have likely gotten better with the added ability to install and boot up Windows on a Mac.  But the other 90 percent of the market is fragmented among many players, and the biggest single piece is the software segment, which is controlled by Microsoft.  But compare Apple with other PC venders, and you can see that it is in the enviable position of having its own unique OS and hardware, and that it has a loyal and satisfied following that will stick with the brand, and what other vender would not want to be in their shoes?

Let's look at some of the requirements for a non-windows product to replace Windows on the majority of systems out there:

(1)  Heavily promoted
(2)  Inexpensive, if not entirely free
(3)  Easy to acquire and install - anybody can do it!
(4)  Fool proof, bug proof, stable, no surprises
(5)  Compatable with all existing applications and data
(6)  Convertees express total satisfaction with experience and convince others to do likewise.

I think this is pretty much what it would take for a new OS to reach critical mass, and I see no prospect that any new OS, even one from Microsoft, will ever all reach these objectives.   

Donald Darden

As I reported elsewhere, I replaced my hard drives, and restoring the Linux partitions from an image did not work.  So I had to start over with installing each Linux distribution individually.  When I attempted Ubuntu, I decided to take a gander at Kubuntu, which is Ubuntu with KDE as the default desktop.  But after a bit of time trying to get a good DVD download, then installing from a LiveCD instead, I finally decided that the original Ubuntu is the better choice.  I also did not like the fact that installing Kubuntu forced grub to be installed on the C: drive in place of my NTLDR preference.

I ran into a problem I had not allowed for in trying to download the DVD ISO files, which is that initially I did this under Knoppix using Opera.  Then I had to copy that image from a Linux partiton to a FAT32 partition so that I could burn it under Windows, since my external DVD+-RW drive does not have a Linux driver.  When I tried to download the Kubuntu DVD image, it was marginally bigger at about 4.3 GBytes, but that was just large enough that it would not download to a FAT32 partition.  During my various efforts, I decided to look for a multi-source download manager, because there are several sites for getting these downloads, and that might be a way to get them at a faster clip.  What I found was Orbit Download Manager, for free, that looked promising.  So I downloaded and installed it, picking Firefox, Opera, and Netscape as the browsers I intended to use it with.  On my last attempt to download the Kubuntu DVD image file, I had Orbit race with Opera, and it was about twice as fast.  Not only that, but Orbit warned me beforehand that the file was too large for the file system I was attempting to download it to.  I suceeded when I downloaded it to an NTFS partition instead.

Donald Darden

I decided to replace my Knoppix release with Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) because I want do so some things that Knoppix, set at Linux kernel 2.6.19, is not up to doing.  Virtual Machine support was not added until 2.6.22, and Ubuntu is a very nice package that is up to the task.

But I found a problem with Ubuntu in that, installing it on the first partition of my second drive, either it would replace my boot process one my first drive (hd0), which I did not want, or it would fail to install the grub boot process if I tried to install it to (hd1).  I tried substituting (sdb) and (sdb1), and these did not work.  I finally looked at the online manual, and ended up trying (hd1,0), meaning the second hard drive, first partition, and this worked.  Ubuntu is smart enough that its install process checks for other installed operating systems, so I have no problem booting to Windows or to the other Ubuntu install on (hd1,1).

In initially decided to put Kubuntu on in place of Knoppix, but I ran into some bugs, notably that if you add a desktop link (or launcher) to a drive, it fails to work properly because the drive is already mounted, and the launcher is trying to mount it again.  I don't need the headache of sorting problems like that out.  I then decided to put Ubuntu 8.04 (hardy heron) on that partition, just as I have it on the second partition, but there appears to be a bug in the new release of f-plot, and the Update Manager had a bit of a seizure as a result.  So I reverted to Ubuntu 7.10 for that partition, and will play with 8.04 on the second partition as the bugs are worked out.

Frederick J. Harris

I've been reading your Linux adventures for a long time Donald, and I appreciate them.

I installed Ubuntu 6.1 (Edgy Eft) on my good laptop almost a year ago and am still running that.  After spending a couple dreadful months fighting to make progress learning it but being completely hamstrung by my lack of ability to get connected through my dial up connection, I gave up.  Here just a couple weeks ago I finally signed up for DSL and got connected right away.  Under no circumstances should anyone not a Linux guru fool around with Linux with only a dial up connection, IMO.

Since my only interest with computers is programming, I'm teaching myself XLib right now.  My long term intentions are to explore X Intrinsics (Xt), Motif, and GTK+.  Its pretty much a 'labor of love' for me, as I have no real use for it.

It does impress me though.  The only negative thing I can say is that I have a hard time with FireFox.  It crashes a great deal, not so much in brousing, but anytime I attempt to buy books from Amazon.com, log into my mutual fund sites, etc.  Also, using bookmarks guarantees crashes.  Perhaps the newer versions have fixed this.

As I said, I appreciate the information everyone contributes here.

The end of life for 6.1 is in a few months, and at that time an LTS (Long Term Support) version will be coming out.  I'll probably change at that time.  I'm not real anxious to get rid of what I have because I sweat blood for several weeks getting my XLib development tools configured and working (had to download.deb files through Windows, and navigate through the dependencies morass as a bewildered beginner.  It was one of the most brutal things I have ever done in my life, PERIOD). 


Donald Darden

I decided to follow the link in the last post (thanks, Kent) and download and install UbuntuStudio as the third Linux distro on my PC, keeping Ubuntu 7.10 on the first partition of second drive, and Ubuntu 8.04 on the second partion of second drive.  It turns out to be a text-base install, and it requires a DVD burn since it is sized at about 801 MB, which is somewhat too big for a CD.  The installer isn't too smart - you can select several defaults with F keys up front, then the dang thing asks you the same questions again during the install.  The last thing it does is ask about is where to install grub, so don't panic when you see it go ahead and perform the install without that bit of information in hand. 

I opted to go ahead and install all the media creator software as well, and have spent the day trying to get some additional stuff installed.  I'm on hold for the moment with adding VirtualBox to the install on the first partition, as I encountered several problems, finally got passed two of them, but am presently stumped for a fix for a fatal crash with error 1909.  I'm probably doing something wrong with VirtualBox, but the user manual is almost a joke - no real instructions or steps, just discussion of things that you need to do, then figure it out on your own.

It was a bit challenging to work with the Studio version after I finished the install.  I didn't like any of the wallpaper choices - most were too gloomy and dark - so I found something better online and had to add it.  I also lightened up the themes.  But the big trick was to get FireFox to play certain media files.  Turns out that the Studio version did not include mplayer, and then after that you have to find and install the mozilla-mplayer, which is a plugin for Mozilla and FireFox, then you have to find the binary codex and install them into /usr/lib/win32, which you have to create.  Trouble is with Ubuntu, is that you are not allowed to log in as root or superuser into the GUI, and as just a user, you can't do administrative things unless you issue the command sudo, and in GUI mode you can't switch to superuser readily.  So it ends up being a hash between some things done via the GUI and some things done through the terminal console with superuser priveleges.  But finally I can play movie and video clips in FireFox.

The Studio version also did not allow me to install Opera and some other things as optional packages under the Add.Remove Applications, but you can get opera online and install it.  You know the way the Repositories work, right?  These are sites that you can access with a package manager that checks for available packages and updates.  Apparently, even within a single distribution like Ubuntu, some variations exist between the lists of sites that get checked, and I might see some differences in available applications with the plain vanilla version of 7.10 and what gets listed with the Studio version.

I've looked at the video of using VirtualBox on Linux to install XP as a guest ooerating system, and I wish I could play it in slow motion and somewhat larger because it looks easy, but I keep having problems.  You will note with Ubuntu that one of the packages you can opt for is VMWare, but it turns out that you can't get it for the 32-bit version of Linux, you have to be running the 64-bit version.  That is different from Windows, as I did get to play with the VMWare Player while running Windows 2000 on my older PC. 

Charles Pegge

Linspire 6, which is now based on Ubuntu has just been released. They did a deal with Microsoft for the use of codecs, driver technology etc to get good interoperability. They charge $49.99 for it, but in return you get technical support and access to CNR.COM which avails seamless installation of thousands of packages.

In other words it is Ubuntu with all the rough edges taken off. The question is whether they have resolved the disk partitioning and VM challenges that Donald has been facing. They put a big emphasis on easy installation on just about any hardware that will run MS Windows, so it might be worth making a few enquiries. I downloaded Linspire 5 about a 18 months ago and found them very professional to deal with.

Kent Sarikaya

I just downloaded the 64 bit version of Ubuntu Desktop version today. It was the easiest install ever on my notebook. For the first time it was able to get the updates to enable all my hardware automatically. I just sat here with my jaw dropped in amazement at what an incredibly simple experience this install was. My wireless card is working better than it does in Windows. With Ubuntu I have WPA 2 Personal available, where as in WindowsXP it would never give me that options, even after I did all the updates to get WPA2.

It see my windows home network just fine too. I had downloaded some of the earlier 7.10 versions and none of them worked as nicely as this new version.

Donald Darden

I now have three separate installs of Ubuntu 7.10 on three partitions on my second hard drive, so that would be drives /media/sdb1, /media/sdb2, and /media/sdb3.  The problem that I found was, that each time I added another install, it somehow effected the previous installs, even though on different partitions.

Last night I think I discovered why.  I had gone through and converted my four FAT32 partitions to NTFS yesterday, for two reasons:  First,  all my FAT32 partitions had been expanded too far, and the 32 GB upper limit on size was going to come back and bite me at some point, and I wanted to avoid that.  Second, every time I booted up into Ubuntu, it would stop and run an extensive check on my FAT32 partitons, something I noted that it did not do with my NTFS drives.  So I figured I would have a net gain if I just went ahead and got the conversion done.

But, I discovered that after I rebooted into Ubuntu, that the old FAT32/new NTFS partitions were no longer getting recognized by Ubuntu.  So I posted a question about this on the Ubuntu Forums,  I got a reply within minutes, and after several exchanges, the problem appears to be resolved.

The issue focuses on the /etc/fstab entries, which tell Ubuntu how to recognize and treat the various drives in the system.  These had to be changed from fat32 to ntfs.  But this was not enough by itself.  When each drive was converted, the uuid assigned to each drive was changed, and the entries in /etc/fstab turn out to be static, they did not change.  Thus, the volumes were no longer accessible via their uuids.  I was advised to look in /dev/disk/by-uuid and find out what the new uuids were and change the entries in /etc/fstab to agree.  This worked.
This means that somehow, /dev/disk/by-uuid is being maintained dynamically. whereas /etc/fstab is static, and has to be changed manually.

Now as it happens, Ubuntu will not install itself unless it reformats the intended partition as root (/) and also can identify a swap partition.  If you select one of the automatic modes, it does this transparently.  If you select the manual mode, which is what I do, because I am installing Ubuntu into a multi-OS environment, you have to designate both a root (/) partition and a swap partition, and you must flag the root partition to be reformatted, otherwise Ubuntu will refuse to install itself.  But the process of reformatting the root partition will mean the uuid for that drive will change, which will effect how previous installs of Ubuntu on other partitions will be able to access that partition in the future.  In other words, unless their /etc/fstab table entries are modified, they won't be able to.

Using the information in /dev/disk/by-uuid, you can of course go back and modify each /etc/fstab once you boot back to that install of Ubuntu, but the way my question was answered gave me a clue to another approach.  The tone that came through was sort of like, "well, if you are going to use uuids in /etc/fstab, you can expect this type of problem".  Hey, I didn't insist on it, it was just the way that Ubuntu installed itself.

But it made me look.  And the entries for the CD drives did not use uuid entries, they used drive designations from /dev/cd*  This gave me the idea that I could replace the UUID= entry in my partitons with /dev/sd*, and that should work.  So I attempted this, and it worked fine.  It might have taken a bit longer to access the contents of the hard drive, but the advantage is that this makes the entries in /etc/fstab more dynamic, and should fix the problem of losing access to a partition if it gets reformatted.  But I guess you still need to go back and modify /etc/fstab if you convert it from one file system to another.

Ubuntu 7/10 was found to recognize my FAT32 and NTFS partitions without any problem, and I haven't really messed with that.  I was advised to install ntfs-3g, and were I to do so, the ntfs entries in /etc/fstab would have to be changed from ntfs to ntfs-3g to take advantage of this.  I haven't done that yet, and it may not be necessary.  There were a couple of commands it was suggested I used to remount my drives and ensure that they were all accessible, rather than having to reboot after changes.  These are:

sudo mount -a
sudo df -h

If you decide to give Ubuntu a try, the Ubuntu Forums turns out to be another great place to get help.  It pops right up in Google if you search on those two words.   You have to register, but no big deal.  However, new posts happen so fast, that you might post a question and your post be pushed way down the stack in no time.  So two things to suggest:  First, if you post, you can indicate that you want to receive email if you get a reply.  That would save you from having to come back and check later.  Second, if you want to find your posts on the site, use the Search and just search for your username or topic.  It works.  If you start a new post, when you give it a name, the site attempts to match it to other previous posts.  So the more specific your post title, the better chance it hasl of pulling up previously posted and answered questions.