I should admit – I shamelessly borrowed part of the title for this post from Tyler.
I had exactly same feeling after upgrading from Ubuntu 7.10 to 8.04.
I’ve been meaning to write about this upgrade for almost two months now. Right after Ubuntu 8.04 was released I upgraded two of my laptops from Ubuntu 7.10 to 8.04. I know, I know, never download software on the release date, wait for a couple of months before all major bugs are fixed and it starts working somehow. But anyway…
On Lenovo T61 everything went mostly fine. After upgrade crash report tool complained about nautilus crash. Then more serious issues started popping up:
- Parallels stopped working. I use this tool quite a lot to debug web pages in different browsers in different operating systems. Apparently there was no support for Ubuntu 8.10 Hardy Heron from Parallels team yet, and the older version that worked in Ubuntu 7.10 didn’t work anymore because of compatibility issues in newer 2.6.24 kernel.A temporary solution (Parallels build 2.2.2226) was provided at a time, and now a new official compatible Parallels release is available for Ubuntu 8.04.
- Samsung SCX-4521F printer refused to work even after proprietory drivers reinstallation. Fortunately solution to this problem was quickly found by one of Ubuntu community members.
On Sony Vaio there were more troubles.
- Since kernel version changed after upgrade to Ubuntu 8.10, I had to download and reinstall proprietory drivers for Nvidia 8400M graphics card. Kernel changed a couple of times after that as a part of standard package update procedure in 8.10, and each time after that I have to reinstall drivers from NVidia site.
- Vaio integrated camera driver is not included in Ubuntu distribution, but Patrick Niklaus built a package for 2.6.24-16-generic kernel.
- Network Manager applet (nm-applett) tries to access keyring all the time to connect to wireless network with WPA
- keyboard layouts switching is not working after autologin (there is a workaround though)
- sleep/hibernate on Vaio still doesn’t work
Now to the good things:
- No more proprietory drivers for Intel wireless card (iwl3945 driver)
- Firefox 3. My first reaction – it is a beauty. (Although after using it for a couple of months, I experienced all beauties of a beta version – random crashes, some sites are not rendered properly, etc.)
- CPU scaling is finally working out of the box and Sony Vaio laptop is not overheating anymore
As I already said, my initial feeling after upgrading to 8.10 was “Ubuntu sucks… get a Mac”. A major upgrade to the next long-term support version was not exactly what I expected. Small, but very annoying bugs in basic functionality undermined success of otherwise very good release. Recently Nokia started supporting Ubuntu for work computers and I immediately changed RedHat on my work laptop to Ubuntu. However I decided to go for Ubuntu 7.10, not 8.04. It works perfectly, even if OpenOffice version is just v2.3 and Firefox – 2.0.
As Tyler put it “[…] get a Mac. Why? Because for the most part, shit works when you plug it in“. I couldn’t agree more. I still stay with Ubuntu, but this last release made me think about moving to Mac again.
Update 2009-05-23: To do justice to Ubuntu – I have not purchased Mac, but upgraded to 9.04 and been generally happy with it.