foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world


Smooth sailing with the Karmic Koala

, posted: 23-Nov-2009 05:39

When Ubuntu 9.10 ("Karmic Koala") came out, the first reports were somewhat discouraging: While Karmic brought lots of nice, new additions, some people discovered that for them things which had worked nicely on 9.04 were suddenly broken, stuff didn't seem to fit together well and so overall - they said - a 'disappointing release'. So, it was with some trepidation that I decided to finally give it a go, about a month after it came out. Waiting for those few weeks sounded like a good idea, since just in case I needed help, the Ubuntu forums should by now be full with recipies on how to fix stuff.
 
Every second Ubuntu release, I perform a completely fresh install, rather than just an upgrade from the older distro. For 9.10, it was time for a fresh install, which was just as well, since less problems were reported for that case. For those who don't know: A fresh install of a Linux/Unix operating system is quite trivial, if you have set up the /home directory in a separate partition. In that case, the installer only formats the / (or 'root') partition and once it is all done, all your user files and setup are just as they were before.

Well, I'm happy to report that in my case The Karmic Koala worked flawlessly. As far as I can tell, absolutely every single feature in my laptop works .. for the first time! You name it, it works! So far, I have tried:
  • Suspend/hibernate: Suspend was fine even before, but hibernate (suspend to disk) never had worked for me in the past. But now it does! No problem at all.
  • 3D graphics: Seems to work nicely, as it did before.
  • Desktop effects: Smooth and easy to configure. They used to cause flickering for me before, to the point where I had to turn them off, but not so anymore.
  • Sound: Yes, Pulseaudio. And out of the box it all works without a hitch, even the notoriously fickle Skype.
  • Bluetooth: The Bluetooth dialogs are easier to use and navigate than before.
  • Pluggable USB devices: That's smooth as ever. Linux has had great USB support for a long time.
  • Multi-media keys: Work well, just as before.
All of it works without a hitch and better than with 9.04. The across-the-board upgrade of the various software packages is welcome as well. My Evolution mail client works a little better and looks nicer, for some reason (can't quite put my finger on it, but I think they changed something with the fonts and line-spacing). The new, darker default theme looks smooth.

Overall, the upgrade to Ubuntu 9.10 - the Karmic Koala - was absolutely worth it for me. No problems, no issues, no fiddling, and just smooth sailing.

Other related posts:
Munich already saved millions by switching to Linux
A Linux distro for Cuba
Follow up: How to write a Linux virus








Comment by Johannes, on 23-Nov-2009 09:20

In my case the install went flawlessly and everything works really great with 9.10 :-)

Thank you for telling that it works in your case - else the only voice we hear is when it doesn't work!


Comment by Aidan, on 23-Nov-2009 12:25

I had a similar experience and am still delighted with Karmic.
Review at KARMIC KOALA - THE BREAKTHROUGH RELEASE


Comment by sleemanj, on 23-Nov-2009 12:53

I upgraded my desktop a while back.  
The only real issue I have is with Liferea (RSS feed reader) no longer works with the Flash plugin.  I suspect it's because this is a 64bit desktop, which still seems to be the poor neglected second cousin to 32bit :-(


Comment by nospam, on 23-Nov-2009 16:25

Would please give complete information about your notebook to make this blog relevant.

Panasonic Toughbook (Let's note CF-W2 - Y2003) : Freeze, need to re-install old 8.04 Intel driver. FN keys not working, unless to load the panasonic module.

Fujitsu Biblo + ATI radeon mobility 9000 (FMV-NH28D - Y2004) Crash if intensive graphic use (i.e. running a simple slide show).

Sony Vaio PCG-K66P + ATI radeon mobility 9200 (Y2004)
FN key not working, unless to load the sony module. Graphic crash for the same reason aforementioned.

These are fairly old models (although high-end models) though.


Comment by David, on 24-Nov-2009 00:13

Hi,
Do you have problem copying data from your laptop to usb harddisk? Like slow transfer?


Author's note by foobar, on 24-Nov-2009 05:45

@nospam: I have a Dell Latitude D820, which is now around 2.5 years old. Intel wifi, integrated Nvidia graphics.

@David: No, I don't seem to have a slow data transfer problem with USB devices. All seems to work nicely.


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New Zealand


  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
  • Where I have been: Here and there, all over the place.




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