Kubuntu 7.04 “Feisty Fawn” Herd 1 pre-release: a quick photo tour December 7, 2006Posted by oktyabr in debian, desktop, distro reviews, kde, linux, opinions, personal, screenshots, ubuntu.
Today the official announcement that “herd 1”, the first public pre-release for what will eventually become Ubuntu 7.04, code named “Feisty Fawn” made it’s way around the linux news sites.
Being a debian and seeing how I finally managed to completely destroy my previous 64Studio install (no fault of the distro itself!) I thought I would give it a quick spin around the block.
KDE being my flavor of choice these days when it comes to linux desktop enviroments I downloaded the appropriate ISO from the Herd server, burned it to disc, popped it in my drive and rebooted. Because *ubuntu has evolved to the hybrid distro level… a “live cd” with an optional harddrive installer… this sort of linux is great for beginners to sort of get a feel for what it might have to offer without actually making any permanent changes to their current operating system!
What follows next is a short tour of screenshots. Sorry about the rather low quality… I wanted to make sure they downloaded fairly fast for everyone! Clicking on a thumbnail will open a larger version in a new window:
Here you see the default desktop. This is fairly unchanged from the previous versions of Kubuntu… they still seem to prefer blue and a fairly minimal desktop at that. Three icons sit on the desktop: “Examples” which is a folder containing exactly what you would expect… examples of various file formats… “Install” which also does just that (more on that later) and “Trash” which… uhh.. you get the picture 😉
Next is the a shot of the “KDE Help Center” which is easily found by clicking on the “K” button in the lower left, much like the “Start” button found in Windows. The Help Center opens up an index of reference material and “help” documentation on many various aspects of everything “KDE” as well as some Ubuntu specific things as well. Pretty complete and very handy!
Next is “System Settings”, also found under the “K” button in the lower left corner. Everything one would expect from a “desktop” operating system and yet I’m always amazed when I come across a modern distro that has somehow overlooked such a central and important feature:
I DID notice that my desktop looked actually quite pleasing to my eyes upon boot. Technically this is because even though this “live” defaults to the “vesa” video card driver it at least got something like a usuable refresh rate going (86Hz on my CRT monitor)… much nicer than the migraine-inducing 60Hz 800×600 desktopsI did notice immediately on boot that the desktop was much nicer to look at than many of the other “live” desktops I’ve tried recently. I’ve seen elsewhere! The System Control center verified that:
Shall we try to install it now? I think most window’s users would be suprised just how painless installing a “modern” distro can be! Here is the usual warnings and since this IS a “pre-release” don’t expect too many great things 😉
Pick your language, time zone and fill in a few blanks with the important stuff…
Probably due to the timezone app trying to calibrate with the system time on my motherboard’s CMOS chip but what I ended up with was a screen full of crazy, colorful patterns! I waited several minutes thinking this would resolve itself and finally gave up. I fixed it by opening a virtual terminal by pressing CTRL + ALT + F2 where I was greeted by a message saying something about waiting for a “hotkey” assignment (sorry, didn’t keep any logs!) Anyway pressing CTRL + ALT + F7 returned me to the desktop with the installer on it and I was able to continue ~whew!~
You remember that warning earlier, didn’t you?
Next up is partitioning the harddrive and the rest of the (painless) install. Below is the order of that operation including what the “Manually edit the partition table” option supplies you. Hey! If you think THAT’S difficult try and partition using only a text interface and with much less guidance… yeah, I’m talking about the MS WINDOWS partitoner! 😉
A quick reboot, log in under the user name and password as supplied and I’m greeted with pretty much the same desktop… except you might notice the strange little attention icon next to the clock in the lower right? Mousing over that shows that there are already upgraded packages available for this distro and it’s only the first day!
Clicking the icon produces the “Adept Updater”. A word about package management, especially to those window’s users that believe all the FUD about “it’s too hard to install software under linux”… these next screenshots should be particularly interesting to you 😉
Adept is a pretty good tool I guess but being a die-hard debian fan I’m more used to using a similar tool called Synaptic. I could have used Adept to get this package manager but old habits die hard… I whipped out the good ol’ console and downloaded it manually…
But my software is still kind of limited (remember, I like actually doing stuff in linux!)… Next, free up a few extra “repositories” in Synaptic (window’s users: think of this sort of like getting instant access to a couple really cool software stores in windows!) Notice the difference it says for how many packages are available on in the lower left corner of Synaptic’s window betwen the last two screenshots 😉
Hey, better get the nvidia drivers too while I’m at it…
Anyway, got the nvidia drivers installed, fine tuned my graphics settings, rebooted and took this final screenshot… this is a cruddy resolution shot of a 2560×1024 desktop (I usually run 3200×1280) spanning two monitors… something you can only do with nvidia’s proprietary drivers… I also have my favorite webrowser/blogging tool installed… the awesome flock… including the Flash 9 beta for linux that is allowing me to run the super fun splicemusic web sequencer too 🙂
So far I really like “Feisty Fawn”. I’ll have to do a real review once I see how this early pre-release is set up for audio work!