The road to Jaunty: a look back at Ubuntu's history

Distros

People have been saying for a long time that there are too many Linux distros, and yet that didn't stop Mark Shuttleworth from launching Ubuntu in the crowded Debian spin-off market five years ago. What made Ubuntu succeed where Libranet, Corel Linux, Storm Linux and others had failed?

Some might argue that having half a billion dollars in your bank account was a good start, but we think Ubuntu's success can be wrapped up in one quote from Mark Shuttleworth: "I firmly believe that there's nothing an open source team can't do - except do everything." That is, Ubuntu works because it dedicates a lot of effort to refining the complete product rather than individual parts.

Well, to celebrate the release of Ubuntu 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope" we're going to kick off a three-part celebration of this tenth release of the world's most popular distro with a quick look back at the highs and lows over the years, complete with lots of PDFs from Linux Format magazine from our archives. We've also gone back and installed all ten Ubuntu releases to discover just how much performance has changed over the years.

Along with this article, we've also posted an exclusive interview with Mark Shuttleworth about his favourite features in Ubuntu 9.04 plus a frankenreview of Ubuntu 9.04 that brings together opinion from across the web - check them out!

The Hog releases

Ubuntu 4.10 "Warty Warthog" kicked off the party way back in October 2004 (read the release announcement), and back then was designed to be a fork of Debian that released every six months with the latest software. Getting things off to a good start, Ubuntu was the first distribution to ship Gnome 2.8, and also included Gimp 2.0, Firefox 0.9 and OpenOffice.org 1.1 alongside it to form what was at the time a truly cutting-edge distro.

At a time when many other distros were intent on maxing out DVDs, Ubuntu took the unusual step of shipping on a single CD, and even then only used 523MB of the available space. Even though the installation was still done using a command line, it was at least fairly streamlined - you could be up and running with a new Ubuntu system in under 20 minutes.

New as it was, Ubuntu 4.10 received only a few hundred words in Linux Format at the time, amongst a distro group test covering Fedora, SUSE, Gentoo and others. At the time, we said, "new distros come and go, but Ubuntu is likely to stay if this release is anything to go by."

Click here to read the full Ultimate Distros feature.

Early adopters of Ubuntu will remember the early days fondly.

Early adopters of Ubuntu will remember the early days fondly.

Installing from the command line? Yup, that was Ubuntu 4.10. It's amazing what five years can do...

Installing from the command line? Yup, that was Ubuntu 4.10. It's amazing what five years can do...

Back then, Ubuntu really was *brown*, rather than orange tints we're more used to now.

Back then, Ubuntu really was *brown*, rather than orange tints we're more used to now.

Ubuntu 5.04 "Hoary Hedgehog" came along in April 2005 (read the release notes) and brought with it performance and maintainance features along with upgrades to Gnome 2.10 and Firefox 1.0. Along with most other distros at the time, Ubuntu also dumped XFree86 4.3 for X.org, and hasn't looked back since. For performance lovers, readahead was introduced to help speed boot time by pre-loading files that are need for the computer to start, and processing frequency scaling was introduced to ensure that laptops were power-efficient when under less load. Laptop users also had a healthy boost from the inclusion of suspend, standard and hibernation support as standard.

One of the key new features in 5.04 was the update manager, which is still being used in even the latest Ubuntu releases. It was never designed to replace Synaptic, but instead to reduce the complexity of system upgrades to a single mouse click, and its simplicity has been copied extensively in other distros.

But arguably the most important change in 5.04 was the inclusion of Kubuntu for the first time. Described by Canonical at the time as "easy to manage" and "packed full of useful applications and lots of great eye candy," Kubuntu has grown to become a central part of Ubuntu and arguably one of the most refined KDE-based distros available.

When Linux Format devoted a two-page review to this release, the team said, "Ubuntu still suffers from Debian-like problems - where are the configuration tools? Even if you hate Yast at least it's obvious where to go to add a printer," but concluding that Ubuntu is "powerful and extremely usable" and "has much to offer both new and old users."

Read the Linux Format review of Ubuntu 5.04 here.

With feedback from end users, Ubuntu 5.04 was a bit easier on the eye than its predecessor.

With feedback from end users, Ubuntu 5.04 was a bit easier on the eye than its predecessor.

One thing that didn't change - and still hasn't - is that 5.04 didn't duplicate functionality: you get one of everything.

One thing that didn't change - and still hasn't - is that 5.04 didn't duplicate functionality: you get one of everything.

LXF meets Mark

While Ubuntu 5.10 was under heavy development, we visited the Ubuntu Benevolent Dictator for Life, Mark Shuttleworth, and asked him a few questions about Ubuntu. click here to read the full interview with Mark Shuttleworth, or just enjoy these choice quotes:

  • "I have the privileges of getting cracking on it earlier on, rather than getting to 70 and thinking, "What am I going to do with my loot, because I can't stand my children!" "
  • "I considered standing for Debian Project Leader, but I figured that there's another way to have the same effect really, and that is to create something that really executes the vision."
  • "One of the reasons I decided not to do this within Debian was because I firmly believe that there's nothing an open source team can't do - except do everything."
  • "Open source guys have had diff, patch and email for many years, and what have they produced? They've produced this incredible thing called Linux."

The path towards LTS

Ubuntu 5.10 "Breezy Badger" marked Ubuntu's third release in October 2005 (read the release notes), bringing with it a Usplash-based graphical boot, Gnome 2.12 and a beta as OpenOffice.org 2.0 - albeit a very stable beta. Building on the ease of use of Update Manager, 5.10 introduced a new Add/Remove Applications tool for managing software, meaning that newer users could live without Synaptic entirely if they wanted to.

On the desktop, Alacarte (Gnome's menu editor, also known as Simple Menu Editor for Gnome until people starting laughing at the name "SMEG") was included along with Serpentine (since replaced by Brasero). Some trivia for you: the codename was almost going to be Bendy Badger. so next time you hear a strange Ubuntu codename that you don't like, remember that it could get worse!

In its review, Linux Format said, "Ubuntu gets better and better with each update and it will be exciting to see what the effort promised for 6.04 will produce." Sadly the .04 part wasn't to be hit...

Read the Linux Format review of Ubuntu 5.10 here.

Having the Add Applications program easily available made it easier to manage software, 5.10 was easily the darkest Ubuntu yet

Having the Add Applications program easily available made it easier to manage software, 5.10 was easily the darkest Ubuntu yet

The Ubuntu boot menu was revamped for 5.10, making the new Ubuntu look uniform with its Usplash art.

The Ubuntu boot menu was revamped for 5.10, making the new Ubuntu look uniform with its Usplash art.

Ubuntu 6.06 "Dapper Drake" arrived on the 1st of June in 2006 (read the release notes), and is easily the most important Ubuntu release to date. Not only was it the first Long Term Support (LTS) release (although that support will finally expire in June this year for), but it also included the now-ubiquitous Live CD install process and the new Ubiquity graphical installer (this Ubiquity, not this one). Alongside these features were smaller, but equally welcome, others: NetworkManager made its first appearance (and is still going strong), GDebi was introduced to handle single package installation, and Usplash was extended to work on system shutdown as well as startup.

By this point, Ubuntu had already carved out a sizeable part of the Linux distro market for itself, so the stable and long-term release of 6.06 meant that closed-source vendors were able to create packages for Ubuntu that were guaranteed to work for some time. And with Xubuntu bringing Xfce to join the Gnome and KDE party, even more people could enjoy Ubuntu just as they wanted it.

In its two page review of 6.06, Linux Format's conclusion was "the best release yet from the Ubuntu camp. Go try it now and don't look back."

Read the Linux Format review of Ubuntu 6.06 here.

Ubuntu 6.06 provided a smart boot screen that would serve the distro well for some time to come.

Ubuntu 6.06 provided a smart boot screen that would serve the distro well for some time to come.

The new graphical installer made Ubuntu a cinch to install even for the newest users.

The new graphical installer made Ubuntu a cinch to install even for the newest users.

The first LTS Ubuntu had an all-new look - the rounded window corners and orange tints are now mainstays of the distro.

The first LTS Ubuntu had an all-new look - the rounded window corners and orange tints are now mainstays of the distro.

Follow your dreams!

To celebrate the first long-term release of Ubuntu, Linux Format ran a cover feature "Ubuntu Forever", which chronicled the rise and rise of the distro, had another interview with Mark Shuttleworth, and even had a reader competition to win a T-shirt signed by Mark with the words "follow your dreams"!

Click here to read the full Ubuntu Forever feature.

Sharper than ever

Ubuntu 6.10 "Edgy Eft" went live late in October 2006 (read the release notes) aimed to follow the super-stable (and uncharacteristically delayed) 6.06 with a cutting-edge release, and even though it had a short development timeframe it certainly didn't disappoint: Gnome 2.16 brought with it the first fruits of window compositing in Metacity and, crucially, Tomboy. Now you're probably thinking that Tomboy is just a simple note-taking app, but for Gnome to accept Tomboy as an official part of the desktop meant it also had to accept Mono and Gtk# bindings, which is why 6.10 also opted to include the Mono-based F-Spot photo album app.

Although other apps such as Firefox 2.0 and Gaim 2.0 (still in beta at the time) made it into Edgy, the real highlight of this release was Upstart - an all-new replacement for the old sysvinit scripts that had long been standard. Of course, the initial deployment of Upstart was entirely in compatibility mode, and even today is a long way from being finished, but it has since been adopted into Fedora so support is definitely growing over time. When people noticed Ubuntu 6.10 often booted faster than 6.06, they usually attributed it to Upstart, but really most boot performance boosts came from switching from Bash to Dash for the default shell - a move that broke some scripts, but proved to be worth it in the long term.

Choosing to pitch Ubuntu 6.10 against Fedora 6 for a real comparison of features, Linux Format's conclusion was "usually we are effusive in our praise of Ubuntu, but this time it is more restrained. So is this a poor product? Just the opposite: Dapper Drake was an exceptional release and so is this. It might not feel as edgy as Fedora, but that is only because the Fedora Project has had so much further to come."

Click here to read the full Ubuntu 6.10 review.

Ubuntu 6.10 included Gnome 2.16 and thus Mono. Some people still regret this choice...

Ubuntu 6.10 included Gnome 2.16 and thus Mono. Some people still regret this choice...

Ubuntu 7.04 "Feisty Fawn" sprung into existence in April 2007 (read the release notes) and was a controversial release for two primary releases: support for the PowerPC architecture was dropped, and the restricted drivers and codecs wizards were added - ifinstalling support for Flash, Java and MP3s was hard before, 7.04 took nearly all that pain away.

With the addition of easy installation for Nvidia and ATI drivers, 7.04 was also the first release where Compiz really came into its own, much to the distaste of Free Software purists who refused to install closed-source drivers. But there were several features that everyone could celebrate: Ubuntu took its first steps toward supporting virtualisation with KVM, the new Windows migration assistant made it easier than ever for people to move Windows users to Linux, and Zeroconf support brought ad-hoc networking to the masses.

In its preview, Linux Format wasn't too impressed with 7.04, calling it "a solid if somewhat conservative release", recommending that "unless you're having problems with proprietary drivers, perhaps stick with 6.10."

Click here to read the full Linux Format review of Ubuntu 7.04

Ubuntu 7.04 made it easy to install support for MP3, DivX, WMV and more.

Ubuntu 7.04 made it easy to install support for MP3, DivX, WMV and more.

The Feisty Fawn desktop will look remarkably familiar to people installing Jaunty, despite the two-year time difference.

The Feisty Fawn desktop will look remarkably familiar to people installing Jaunty, despite the two-year time difference.

Building a better Ubuntu

In the lull between Ubuntu 7.04 and 7.10, Linux Format ran a cover feature, "Building a better Ubuntu", that aimed to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at how the distro was produced and how easy it was to spin off your own version with unique changes. We've put the Building a Better Ubuntu feature online for you to read right here.

The "modern" era of Ubuntu

Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" escaped into the wild on 18 October 2007 (read the release notes) and only recently finished its support life. Unlike the frenzy of new features introduced in 6.10 and 7.04, 7.10 had few killer features. Sure, there was AppArmor, Deskbar and fast user switching, but these didn't really capture the imagination like previous releases. The two saving graces were Compiz Fusion, which continued to push the envelope in desktop effects, and NTFS-3g, which enabled read/write support for Windows partitions. In the grand pantheon of Ubuntu releases, 7.10 is unlikely to stand out.

To review Ubuntu 7.10, Linux Format put it against the OpenSUSE and Mandriva releases of the day, and, despite "a faint feeling of disappointment", said that 7.10 "has the slickest experience, and has to be the best choice for new and intermediate users."

Ubuntu 7.10 brought with it Deskbar, which wasn't half as good back then as it was now. Still, NTFS-3g was nice to have...

Ubuntu 7.10 brought with it Deskbar, which wasn't half as good back then as it was now. Still, NTFS-3g was nice to have...

Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" flew the nest in April 2008 (read the release notes) as Canonical's second LTS release and injected some much-needed momentum into the distro. Along with core functionality changes such as the introduction of PulseAudio, 8.04 also brought with it Tracker desktop search, the Transmission BitTorrent client and Vinagre for VNC. But great as these changes were, the real boost for new users was the introduction of Wubi, which allowed Ubuntu to be installed and uninstalled using a simple Windows user interface - suddenly anyone could install and use Ubuntu without worrying about how to get rid of it if it didn't work and without having to go cold turkey on their Windows life.

No retrospective of Ubuntu 8.04 would be complete without mentioning the fact that it shipped with a beta of Firefox 3.0 - and not a very stable beta, either. Although many questioned this choice at the beginning (particularly when the Firefox beta crashed), it was simple economics: as an LTS release 8.04 would have to be supported for a long time, meaning that it would be increasingly hard to backport fixes to Firefox 2.0 over time.

Ubuntu 8.04 is probably the most popular Linux distro so far - its long-term support status means that it will continue to be used for years to come in servers, and, let's face it, it did have some cracking artwork.

Ubuntu 8.04 is probably the most popular Linux distro so far - its long-term support status means that it will continue to be used for years to come in servers, and, let's face it, it did have some cracking artwork.

Ubuntu 8.04 got a lot of things right, but this wasn't one of them: choosing your timezone could be remarkably trick if you had a sensitive mouse.

Ubuntu 8.04 got a lot of things right, but this wasn't one of them: choosing your timezone could be remarkably trick if you had a sensitive mouse.

Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" takes us up to the latest Ubuntu release before Jaunty arrived today, being released in October 2008 (read the release notes). Despite the optimistic-sounding name, Intrepid wasn't the most exciting release around, but did act to stabilise and refine the incredibly popular 8.04 release. With support for creating USB flash drive images out of the box, encrypted private directories and Dell's Dynamic Kernel Module Support, 8.04 was largely a release that improved things that were less visible to end users.

One of the few truly innovative user-facing features is support for guest sessions direct from the fast user switcher applet - clicking this creates a temporary user account that can't commit any changes to disk, making it perfect for letting someone use your computer for a few minutes without giving them access to your personal files.

Ubuntu 8.10 included support to make bootable USB flash drives out of the box.

Ubuntu 8.10 included support to make bootable USB flash drives out of the box.

Change in motion

Seeing as the old Compuserve patent expired long ago, we figured it was high time we resurrected our animated GIF skills to compare Ubuntu 4.10's desktop with 9.04. So, here's a ten-frame GIF showing all 10 versions of Ubuntu in action - enjoy!

Ubuntu 4.10 to 9.04 in animated GIF form - hurrah!

Ubuntu 4.10 to 9.04 in animated GIF form - hurrah!

How it performs

It's impossible to tell how well Jaunty will do on the desktop without extensive testing, but we can at least compare it to its fore-runners in terms of boot speed, install footprint and memory usage. In short, Jaunty boots faster than any other Ubuntu to date, while also having the lowest memory usage of any Ubuntu in the last two years. Here are the graphs - we've put a trend line in red so you can really see how impressive Jaunty is:

The trend is clearly downwards thanks to continued work on optimisation and refinement of the boot process, but Jaunty still manages to pull in ahead of the curve.

The trend is clearly downwards thanks to continued work on optimisation and refinement of the boot process, but Jaunty still manages to pull in ahead of the curve.

Install footprint has stabilised at 2.2GB, which is pretty much as far as it can go until better compression algorithms are invented or Ubuntu switches to a DVD.

Install footprint has stabilised at 2.2GB, which is pretty much as far as it can go until better compression algorithms are invented or Ubuntu switches to a DVD.

After reaching highs of 150MB in Intrepid, Jaunty lives up to its name by cutting memory usage under 100MB for a stock Gnome desktop.

After reaching highs of 150MB in Intrepid, Jaunty lives up to its name by cutting memory usage under 100MB for a stock Gnome desktop.

What do you think...?

Are we overrating 6.06, underrating 7.10, or just blowing Ubuntu way out of proportion? If you switched to Ubuntu, when did you do it? If you've subsequently abandoned Ubuntu, what pushed you away?

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Your comments

Ahh the memories! Nice to

Ahh the memories!
Nice to see all the default desktops in order.
It takes me back '/tombott wipes away the nostalgic tears from his eyes'
Memories of me stuffing up so many systems, installs that got easier, upgrades that broke everything.
Thanks Ubuntu, it's been 5 great years!

Great article. I switched

Great article. I switched during 7.04, and looks like that was a more or less good time to hop on the train.

Great article

I can't believe the work you guys are putting into TuxRadar as well as continuing to work on LXF! Good job!

I strongly resisted installing Ubuntu for a long time, purely because it was so insanely popular. After almost settling on Fedora (Core) 5 I got sick of RPM, and finally, reluctantly, gave Ubuntu 6.04 a try.

I haven't looked back. Occasionally I get the urge to try another distro out but that's just the distro junkie in me and I always realise what I'd miss if I abandonded Ubuntu. It really is the best distro I've used and I can't see myself switching to another any time soon.

Don't worry about your Ubuntu coverage, guys - Ubuntu's the most popular distro so you'd be doing your audience a disservice if you didn't give it plenty of magazine space.

'04

04 releases since 7.04 have always been better for me than '10 releases so far. This explains why. Annoyingly, 9.04 beta did not boot at all, and I don't think they've fixed it in the release :(

Expect to see this for other

Expect to see this for other distros as well ... ;)

great art

great article. thank you.
+1 to huw's notes.
i'm really excited to install this new release, cause it's true, 8.10 wasn't perfect. but i don't like to make the full backup... :P

Nice!

I started using Ubuntu in the 5.10. It's incredible how it has grown!!

no wireless torrents

I would have liked to switch at 7.10 but torrenting with wireless keeps hanging up, so I am still double booting

I can't believe you missed the biggest features!

You completely missed the best feature of 7.10, namely, the ability to plug in a printer and have it automatically configured for you.

You also missed the best feature of 8.10, namely, the ability to plug your mobile phone into your laptop and have it automatically configured as an internet connection.

Otherwise the article was OK. But to call 7.10 or 8.10 non-exciting is completely insane! They made some of the biggest strides on the Linux desktop in history!

neo@spot.com

"You completely missed the best feature of 7.10, namely, the ability to plug in a printer and have it automatically configured for you."

Thank Red Hat and Fedora Project for that feature.

Tracker in 8.04 -- Through the looking glass

Interestingly, Nautilus had the ability to search via Tracker or Beagle in 7.10 (Gutsy), but that was disabled in 8.04 (Hardy), claiming that the Deskbar Applet covered that function. Even today, it's impossible to do indexed search from within Nautilus, though the Deskbar isn't on the desktop by default anymore. Desktop search in Ubuntu is in the dark ages.

9.04 is a good one

9.04 is the first good Ubuntu since 7.04 and the first one since 7.10 I recommend for new users. Kubuntu 9.04 is far better than the reputation of KDE 4 with Ubuntu.

The only (but important) backdraw of Kubuntu 9.04 is that GUI packagehandling leaves you somewhat high and dry if something goes wrong with a package. I can live with it, but a fresh user might not.

Would consider to encourage fresh users to install Ubuntu and add the KDE 4 desktop or install Synaptic.

I'm glad they have been a bit conservative on this one. Ext4 (with Grub prepatched by Ubuntu) works fine, but for dual booters it MIGHT be a challenge unless the Ext driver for Windows has been modified. (I'm pure Linux).

Another goodie is that Networkmanager has expanded cover for HSDPA/Mobile.

I have the impression that there is more attention to bugs now (needed), and Shuttleworth's blogpost about 2-3 year cycles for conservative released might be worth adressing.

"Thank Red Hat and Fedora

"Thank Red Hat and Fedora Project for that feature."

The beauty of open source and multiple distros... To take what's good and reinvent what's not. Fedora and Ubuntu should be patting each other on the back for the speed of improvements in Linux these days. Oh let's not forget openSuSE too!

Ubuntu 6.06 aled me to dump WinXP

I was having lots of problems with WinXP. I needed something else so I tried Ubuntu 6.06LTS. I have not looked back to WinXP, except to get all my files off the HD and into my Ubuntu HD. B-T-W I was not having Virus/Spybot/malware problems as I was using a good AV apt, Spybot, and ADaware.

I now have Ubuntu 9.04 on my desktop, and netbook; Ubuntu 8.10 on this laptop, and Ubuntu 8.04LTS on a second desktop that I rebuilt, but I don't use it.

Your summary of the various versions of Ubuntu was very good. I believe that it more people would try Ubuntu, that they would leave WinOS I have found Ubuntu superior to WinOS. I have been able to retrieve files from both bad WinOS HDs and bad MacOS HDs with my Ubuntu OS. That has ben quite useful to be able to recover files.

Ubuntu 6.10 was my first

When i first started playing around with Ubuntu i think it was around 5.10. I was a redhat crony who'd moved from mandrake (mandriva) and fell in love with it.

Ubuntu 6.10 was when i left Windows as my primary distro and switched to Linux, haven't ever looked back. :)

The most interesting thing i noticed were the performance graphs. I've always felt that since 6.10 Ubuntu has gotten more bloated and slower and the last two release were the worst in that case. After installing 9.04 yesterday it felt like the good old days of 6.10. It's good to see empirical proof verifying these feelings.

9.04 definitely feels lighter and faster, great job Canonical, thanks for the great distro.

Thanks also to tuxradar.com for the trip down memory lane and the performance graphs.

Here's looking to the future.

I jumped on the train at 7.04

I jumped on the train at 7.04 and have only been disappointed once since then with the 8.04 release. I am loving the 9.04 release.

I really don't get when people say theres nothing "ground-breaking" in an Ubuntu release. For 6 months of development I'd say there are many ground breaking things. But I'm really not as concerned about "amazing" new features as I am about speed and stability. The ease of use continues to go up in my opinion and thats what I want. I think Ubuntu has been great since I got on board and I really haven't had a reason to look back at Windows since. And I just can't say it enough...9.04 is like a breath of new life into hardware with is smoothness and responsiveness. I certainly did not get this feeling our of checking out Windows 7.

dumped Win for 6.06

I tried many distros but none worked for me. OpenSuse, Fedora, etc. Back then they got so many problems with drivers, configuration, etc. My friend told me about Ubuntu during summer of 2006, since then I'm using only Linux. I converted more than 10 people from Win to Ubuntu. For many it, including my parents it was first experience with computers. Now they live in no Windows world.

I learned so much because of Ubuntu and it was and still is great.

I also use Arch Linux on my secondary laptop.

With Ubuntu 2.5 years

Thanks for the memories. I came onboard with Ubuntu 6.10 a couple days after release. I was so impressed that it remained for 20 months and during that time it was trouble-free, absolutely no hassle.

To get away from WinXP I tried a few such as opensuse, fedora, mandriva but it didn't grab me. Installed Ubuntu 6.10 on a USB connected HD which in the end remained there for 20 months. I went from casually using it to it becoming my main workhorse. Ubuntu 6.10 became my main OS for work and pleasure. Ubuntu 6.10 was the best OS I had ever used, but today it has been surpassed by Ubuntu 8.04 for me.

I still other liveCDs of other distros for interest but at the end of the end day it is Ubuntu for me.

My greatest thanks to the whole of the Linux community, Ubuntu community, Canonical and to the hardware vendors for a product that has been a joy to use.

Ubuntu since 4.10

some how I got started with using Ubuntu at 4.10. At 5.10 (on a dual PII with 192MB memory dual booting Ubuntu and Kubuntu) I was pretty much done with Win XP. At 7.04 I bought a Dell 1420n (I see Dell supporting Ubuntu as important) which now has 8.04 LTS. I have an old latitude running XP with the MagicJack phone and virus and spyware scanning but doesn't get any other use. I'm setting up a media center on an old machine with 9.04. I haven't seen Vista or OSX and probably won't see Win 7.

Earl

so proud of the work all linux devs have done..

because you really have given something beautiful
and wonderful to the human race.

there is an awesome power and generosity in open source,
an' i'm sure many linux users today can feel it.

i began my exploration of linux in '07 with a gutsy kubuntu
install. when that liveCD booted up the first time and i saw
kubuntu splashed on the screen i knew the laptop could run it
and therefore realized my over 10yr aspiration to try/learn
about linux.

my thanks to you mark and your amazing team.
i'd also like to thank the great people on kubuntuforums.net
welldone kde-devs with 4.2.2 its beautiful

9.04 just plain ROX!

Avermedia 506 R cardbus hybrid TV cards

In 8.10 all ok, in 9.04 is KERNEL PANIC !!! with these tv card :-(

Since 5.10

I jumped from SuSE (9.1 from memory) to Kubuntu 5.10 via the wonderful ShipIt :) I still have some in my desk draw!

Switched from Kubuntu 7.10 to Ubuntu 8.04 as I was getting sick of everything being Ubuntu specific and not 'buntu specific on the web. Glad I made the switch as KDE 4.*.* still doesn't seem stable enough, though 'buntu 9.10 may see me move back to KDE so long as it becomes as stable as the 3.5.* series (well, stable-ish).

Keep up to good work and lets reduce the inter-distro bickering and just get on with the job of making Linux great! (who cares if we're the only ones using it!)

PulseAudio

I'm surprised you didn't mention more regarding Hardy including PulseAudio before it was ready.

Oh yeah...

In 2007 I played with Slax for a bit, fell in love and then discovered that there were Linux LiveCD's that could be installed permenantly. Most popular? Ubuntu 7.04, hot off the presses.

I've never looked back. Sampled a bit of Debian, Fedora, Slackware (and all its friends) and never found any reason to swap. Sure, they were fun to play with, but I go with the beast I know and love.

7.10 was a bit of a miss for me, but that was because my machine was a bit old at the time and Ubuntu was getting a little cramped. I liked it nonetheless.

8.04 was stunning. I still have a partition for it; it's still the best OS I've ever used. Wubi is still a great little program that allows me to throw Ubuntu on hard drives that can't be partitioned (like, say, loaned laptops, etc.).

8.10 and 9.04 are both laggy on my weak main computer, but I intend to upgrade this box soon. 8.10, however, made wireless work suddenly on every computer in my house when it hadn't before, which was a stunning achievement.

9.04 is usable, and I'm still fiddling with it right now. It needs a few small patches here and there still, after four days of use. Hopefully I can get it to work a bit better; if not, 8.04, my darling, I'm home!

On Since 7.04

We started using Ubuntu at 7.04 Feisty Fawn and went Windows-free with 8.04 Hardy Heron. It took us about year to figure out how it all works and also to let Ubuntu fix some hardware issues we had with 7.04 and 7.10. Since then we haven't looked back. We give out lots of Ubuntu CDs through out co-op ISP's office, so the word is getting around that Ubuntu is a great replacement for the now mainstream-support-expired Windows XP (that happened on 14 April 2009). There is no comparison with Vista, it is a train wreck of an operating system, compared to Ubuntu.

One very impressive fact is

One very impressive fact is that the general trend for boot time was actually downwards! Well done Ubuntu! :)

Also, great job with making an attempt to keep a cap on mem load, and actually keeping that cap! :)

Been using since 6.06 although I only switched full time with 8.04 and have not turned back. In fact, I have it installed in my netbook and ... guess what? My zaurus (Akita C1000) as well! It is running zubuntu!

PS: The Zaurus is a SHARP PIM tool, basically a mini tabletpc body scaled down to pda size! It uses the ARM (XScale) processor and runs zubuntu! :) I'm running 8.10 for the time being and have not upgraded to jaunty, cos I'm caught up with my netbook! :)

See oesf.org/forum for info on zubuntu

The only Linux Distro I feel comfortable with

When my laptop started to gradually brake down, up to the point that my Windows installation freezes everytime I try it, I started looking into Linux. I distrohopped a lot, starting with Ubuntu 7.04, until I settled for 8.04. During 8.10 I got a brief Windows XP relapse, but it never managed to be as smooth as Ubuntu. Went back to 8.10 in the week 9.04 got released and I'm using 9.04 since. And already looking forward to 9.10.

The biggest pro for me is the fact that only in Ubuntu I can get my wireless working, even with the secured network my university uses. Admittedly, our main pc is Vista machine (which ain't TOO bad).

the best thing is that UBUNTU IS FREE!!!

After few months trial with Linux couple of years ago - Xandros, PCLinux OS, SimplyMepis & Mandiva, I settled with Ubuntu 7.04. Not even dual boot with WinXP.

Wiped out my XP since then, and never looked back. It's really incredible seeing how Ubuntu have grown up!

Keep up the good work!

Less is more

I've been using Ubuntu since 4.10. Prior to that, I used Mandrake, then SuSE, dual booting with XP. Ubuntu was the one that finally saw XP wiped from my hard disk. At first, I struggled to see what the fuss was about, but I was taken by Debian's APT package management and stuck with Ubuntu, tempted by the 6-month release cycle.

It now feels like a friend - a great computing environment in which to just get things done, without the operating system, or stupid commercial cruft imposing in a distracting manner (oh, how mad I get when I have to use Windows, with its stupid pop-ups, applets, etc.....)

A great system which just gets better....

7.04 -- Switch Point

Ok, I started with Mepis. I liked mepis a lot and had actually went past 6.06... wasn't a Gnome convert yet and liked KDE 3.5.

Later on, I was putting a PC together for my wife. I tried very hard to get Mepis to handle Korean. I kept failing and it was a huge hassle, so I tried a different distro. Ubuntu 7.04.

Wow, my tablet PC's tablet pen worked out of the BOX (Only time since then that was the case). Even more so, the Korean language support also worked out of the box.

For me, the keeper has been Ubuntu. I have tried others, but the repositories, .deb based system and the Foreign Language support has been the real purpose for my final selection of choice.

Recently, I tried Linux Mint. I was ALMOST a convert, but then I saw an issue I couldn't fix and figured that while I liked Linux Mint as a live CD, it wasn't cutting it over all... so now I'm back to 9.04. I also recently tried OpenSuse, Mandriva, and Fedora, but Fedora just wouldn't work, OpenSuse gives me no reason to change, and Mandriva's repositories just aren't up to snuff. Still loving Ubuntu. Easy to see why Ubuntu is the Desktop Linux of Choice.

Cheers!

after upgrading to 8.10 from

after upgrading to 8.10 from 8.4 the lack of perfomace put me off but seeing this might make me reconsider ubuntu as a os

upgrades suck, but ubuntu still rules!

I hate upgrading between versions because there's ultimately always one thing that I have to repair. In any case, I love Ubuntu and it's openness. If users want it, it will come... we don't have to beg Jobs to add this feature, and we certainly don't need Gates to dictate terms of the same new OS.

8.04 - Been using it since without KDE

I have been using Ubuntu since Hardy heron was released in April a year ago. Technically I used Kubuntu, but you get my drift. KDE 4 was unorganized and KDM kept crashing several time a day preventing me from using it a lot. MTP support was restricted to the command line only which I didn't like. I installed it on my old, but not THAT old computer I built around an AMD Athlon XP 3200 CPU and MSI KT8-880 Delta motherboard with 2 gigs of RAM. so that I could use my Windows Vista computer without restoring the MBR. I purged KDE completely out of the system and Installed GNOME over that. I will forever use GNOME instead of KDM. GDM never crashes on me and rhe GUI is very easy to use. Plus I now have a clean desktop because I can find them easily. Anywho I then ordered an 8.10 disk when it came out and decided to multiboot it with Vista. 8.10 blew me away. MTP support has greatly improved. My Samsung YP-P2 (anyone have that by the way) was instantly recognized and I had no trouble loading music onto it via exaile or drag and drop. Now I'm using Jaunty on my desktop and recently purchased Compaq Presario CQ60-418DX laptop and also multiboot with Vista. My foray into the world of linux was born out of curiosity and almost ended had not Intrepid Ibex fixed what 8.04 missed. I will forever be an Ubuntu user, but I will never migrate 100% to it.I will still need Windows for gaming and other tasks that Ubuntu doesn't handle well even if the games and other software can run under WINE OR Cedega. I have never gotten my system infected with malware because I scan for those multiple times a day. I will continue to use multiboot Ubuntu and Windows until software and hardware vendors release products that are compatible with linux. Only then will I completely ditch Windows.

it's sexy

I have been using Ubuntu since Hardy heron was released in April a year ago. Technically I used Kubuntu, but you get my drift. KDE 4 was unorganized and KDM kept crashing several time a day preventing me from using it a lot. MTP support was restricted to the command line only which I didn't like. I installed it on my old, but not THAT old computer I built around an AMD Athlon XP 3200 CPU and MSI KT8-880 Delta motherboard with 2 gigs of RAM. so that I could use my Windows Vista computer without restoring the MBR. I purged KDE completely out of the system and Installed GNOME over that. I will forever use GNOME instead of KDM. GDM never crashes on me and rhe GUI is very easy to use. Plus I now have a clean desktop because I can find them easily. Anywho I then ordered an 8.10 disk when it came out and decided to multiboot it with Vista. 8.10 blew me away. MTP support has greatly improved. My Samsung YP-P2 (anyone have that by the way) was instantly recognized and I had no trouble loading music onto it via exaile or drag and drop. Now I'm using Jaunty on my desktop and recently purchased Compaq Presario CQ60-418DX laptop and also multiboot with Vista. My foray into the world of linux was born out of curiosity and almost ended had not Intrepid Ibex fixed what 8.04 missed. I will forever be an Ubuntu user, but I will never migrate 100% to it.I will still need Windows for gaming and other tasks that Ubuntu doesn't handle well even if the games and other software can run under WINE OR Cedega. I have never gotten my system infected with malware because I scan for those multiple times a day. I will continue to use multiboot Ubuntu and Windows until software and hardware vendors release products that are compatible with linux. Only then will I completely ditch Windows.

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