Ubuntu 9.10: the net's opinion


It has only been out for a week-ish, but already the reviews of Karmic Koala are scurrying around the intertubes. Jamie's Random Musings at ZDNet has "mixed impressions" of the release, comparing it to 9.04 which he thought was "truly excellent". The Globe and Mail, meanwhile, looks at the Koala from a non-geek perspective, describing it as "a package that won't be a horrible stretch for the novice". Linux Critic gives thumbs-up to the faster boot times, improved artwork and inclusion of the Empathy IM client, but criticises the poor integration of the Ubuntu One cloud storage service.

So, readers, what are your opinions of the release? Is 9.10 totally rocking your boxes, or is it largely a meh-fest after 9.04? Are you waiting for the Lucid Lynx before you upgrade? Or have you had enough of Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Whateverbuntu and you're running OpenBSD in text mode just to get away from it all? Let us know in the comments below...

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Your comments

Clean Install Last Night - No Dramas

I've been running 9.10 on a VM since it was released and on the whole I'm pretty impressed. It's very snappy and looks slick and clean.
I think that the Software Centre is a good start but still needs some work to make it easier for new users to locate and install/remove applications.
Boot time is quicker although that is not as important to me as shutdown time - so that I can put my laptop in my bag.

I backed up my files last night and did a clean install which completed without any dramas. Sound, Video and WiFi all worked without issue and I'm now reinstalling my pacakages. The installation process was better (timezone selection for a start) but I think some new users maybe confused by the partition setup.

All in all - I like it.

Ubuntu on eee 701 - working with flying colours!!!!

Got the iso image as soon as it came out as im always interested in trying new Linux distros out. I hooked up my USB cd-rom drive to the EE pc, after battling to load the GUI installer i gave up and did the text one.

The install went smoothly and was pretty quick. Once completed i liked the new eye candy boot screen and was impressed that all the function keys "just worked".

What blew me away was that firefox, after loading youtube and identifying that i didn't have flash and then installing it... also actually worked. On all other distros i've tried the 701 hasn't had the processing power to handle flash videos.. it would judder along until i gave in and stopped watching them. This new Ubuntu has given my little machine a new lease of life on that front. Thank you canonical !!!

The only odd things that have arisen, which may be down to the machine rather than a fault, is that the battery claims its capacity is only 2% and is broken. And the 4gb hard drive is reporting problems through smart...

No WiFi

My Broadcom BCM4312 was working under 9.04 and before. Now it is not.

Back to Fedora (at least there I can use RPMFusion and a simple package to solve this).

No WiFi fix


I had the same issue as it doesn't work out of the box. I found that you need to connect to the repositories via another means (wired ethernet) and refresh the packages before running the hardware drivers admin menu option
The proprietary driver + the free options should appear.

This coupled with a few crashes (I think linked to switching between compiz and normal desktops as I switch users) leave me unimpressed.

Karmic feels more polished but there are still a few niggles for a clean install on my hardware (bug reports to submit)

mostly works

No major problems with the upgrade, but I feel that Ubuntu is moving a bit closer to the Windows ethos - taking more control away from the user in the name of making things easier for new converts.

Koalas Like EEE Boxes too

Used unetbootin to create a boot-able USB stick and installed 9.10 on an EEEBox B202 without fuss.

Biggest problem was getting the BIOS to boot from the USB stick (even though USB is a boot option, it thinks the USB stick is a hard drive, and listed it there so I had to select hard disk boot and then select the USB stick in the boot order over the internal 160G drive).

Only problem I have found is trying to get Apache on it. On release day it wasn't in the repositories and get software, synaptic and apt-get all couldn't find it - haven't tried since though.

Is it better than 8.10? A bit.
Will it displace Win7? It already has on my machines......


I have no idea if this is the case for EEEBoxes but for eeepcs if you keep pressing escape when it boots it lets you choose the device to boot from without messing about with the BIOS boot order.

No Problems

I started using Linux with Ubuntu 8.10, both Intrepid and Jaunty I had problems with either sound or X.org or both.

With a clean install of Karmic on an AMD 3500 processor, 2GB RAM & ATI graphics card there were no problems at all for me. It worked just fine and was done in less than 20 mins with also formatting the harddrive as well.

I am happy that it worked for me with no problems this time compared to the previous 2 releases, it is quicker to boot, maybe a little sluggish running flash in Firefox compared to 9.04, but overall happy with Koala thus far.

For a new Linux user I think it is nice that it works like most typical windows users would like their system to do at being stable(no blue screens) & very customizable for personal taste.

I think they would be happy to try Ubuntu and see that majority of what they do web browsing, email, chat, word processing, etc. They can do quite easily with no real challenges or having to add more software after installing the operating system, except having to load the restricted packages to allow MP3's, Flash and be able to play DVDs.

Am running from a VM as

Am running from a VM as well. Roughly it's an excellent OS. Some small issues with Software Center for ince. IMO it needs huge improvements and shouldn't be set default. For instance, it failed to install Eclipse as didn't install its dependencies. For a beginner it would be annoying. I also think that ubuntu one needs improvements; the mail applet needs to be improved (for instance, integration with gmail and other imap/pop accounts) but the idea is nice. The system is a breeze with ext4 and with low mem (tested from 256 to 1gig) and has some improvements on UI.

This is what I blogged yesterday

I thought this might be useful to someone. No tips, no tricks, just some observations of what happened to me.

I had two machines to upgrade, one a desktop running "ordinary" Jaunty (Gnome) and the other an AspireOne running UNR. The netbook was the priority, so I downloaded the Karmic UNR iso file. This is not an upgrade option, it will only carry out a fresh install. So, although I'd made a full backup, I remembered how much time and grief it took me to get MS Office 2007 running under Wine and CrossOver, and decided against it. Back to the desktop.

The Ubuntu website talks a lot about an upgrade path from 9.04, using the "alternate" iso file. This is fantastically well hidden given how popular it is likely to be, but eventually I found it and got a-downloading. Sure enough, mounting the iso from hd0 as a cdrom drive, it upgraded nicely, with one small problem: for some reason, it stopped recognising the keyboard and mouse during the upgrade process, leaving a power-off as the only option to continue. However, powering back on saw everything in order. Machine 1 - tick.

So, following the same logic, I then mounted the alternate iso as a cdrom on the AspireOne. Smooth as you like, it whizzed through the upgrade faster than the desktop (same processor in both), and was ready to reboot. At this point, the snazzy new UNR interface was not installed, but a simple launch of Update Manager sent us into a Partial Upgrade (network based), which brought everything into line. The only curiosity is that I have lost my Quit icon, meaning a ctrl-alt-del is required when I want to shut down. The good old days! Machine 2 - tick.

Worth it? Very much so. Minimal difficulty in the upgrade process itself, resulting in two machines running much faster than before, and in the case of the AspireOne, looking much better too. I am also tempted to suggest that battery life is better too, although to be honest it is too early to say.

So how do I get my Quit button back?

(footnote - Quit button now safely restored!)

Eek it doesn't work for me

I have tried to boot the live cd on three boxes of varying vintage and on VirtualBox and all I get is an endlessly rolling mouse busy signal and never actually get a desktop

Fresh Install much better than upgrade

I upgraded from 9.04 which I was happy with from day one, why did I upgrade? Oh never mind that, the upgrade was not so great the boot time was no better or worse just ugly. With the actual upgrade there were just little wonky things. So on the release date I did a full upgrade to 9.10 the wow factor has been really the little stuff, it seems snappier. I like that in Nautilus the back button works no need for xbindkeys. The stock desktop image looked plain but cool the human theme is better than ever. This is the first time evolution has been a good replacement for t-bird for my needs. Seems like a lot of my likes are due to Gnome development, hmmm. Not really sure about the "software center" the whole "app-store" model kinda turns me off. I never used add/remove much either so... generally prefer aptitude or synaptic to install packages. Ubuntu One is better in 9.10 that is does not keep creating odd bugs in nautilus not for me not yet(fingers crossed). I was skeptical before the release and I was looking at moving to another distro on my Desktop, a lot had to do with the "software center" than being called "the software store" and Ubuntu-One. Now that I have used 9.10 I am happy with it and would recommend people to give the Live-cd a spin they might just be impressed. (boot time is still not amazing)


I moved away from ubuntu about a year ago in part because I wasn't keen on the whole "sudo everything" approach but mostly because I wanted to get away from the step-change new release model and move to a rolling release. I loved apt though so I'm running sidux now.
So my views of the latest ubuntu release:
a) I'm glad its attracting attention and getting new people to try linux.
b) I'm a little concerned by all the reports of broken upgrades. I break my system fairly often - but that's because I chose to run sid (debian unstable) it does what it says on the tin. Ubuntu is not super-stable like debian-stable but it is a mainstream distro based on the stable and testing branches of debian with fixed releases a large community and paid developers - they had plenty of time to get the dist-upgrade experience right and an awful lot of beta testers.
c) I'm glad actual new users will experience a clean install rather than a broken dist-upgrade.
d) I'm glad that those who are put off by a broken upgrade have so many other linux distros to switch to.

not as good as expected

After using various 9.04 distros as well as Linux Mint and Ultimate Edition, my wireless worked perfectly on my Gateway NV 52. I had read much about 9.10 and was eagerly waiting for the release. I downloded the iso for the 64-bit Gateway and performed a clean install. I connected my network cable and ran updates from the package manager.

No matter what I tried I could not connect to my wireless router...jusk kept asking for my password again and again. After 3-hours of messing around with this, I made a fresh install of Linux Mint 7 and the wireless works perfectly! Guess I am going to have to wait for the next version of Ubuntu to upgrade.

Pulse audio starting to make sense but generally meh

I will probably stop reinstalling my system every 6 months (when a new relaese comes out) because any changes are very incremental.
The one main plus is that Pulse Audio is working (fingers crossed) and is more integrated into Gnome. For the first time I can see the advantages of having it.

upgraded Dell mini 1011

upgraded Dell mini 1011 using update manager over wifi took ages downloading 1300 odd upgrated parts, none of the other means seem to work for me.4 hours later still sat with upgrading page turned it off, next day started again finshed in 10mins works beautifully now and BBCiplayer works better than xp it came with, so on the whole job well done

It works very well for me,

It works very well for me, just like any other Ubuntu version. I don't have anything else to add lol.


my big deal is that is seems kubuntu does not get as many changes as ubuntu does. i perfer kde over gnome because I like a little more flash and the plasmoids are a godsend. but enough with the side track. kubuntu did get the new version of kde and firefox but it still has the same loading screen. I would change distros but was put off from fedora back when 10 would not work with ease on my machine and debian is not up-to-date enough, and gentoo is a little to old school for me but i might give it a try on vm. so i think it is a meh update at least they give you the latest firefox for gods sake.

Ubuntu One

It sucks in it's current incarnation. I just couldn't get it working properly at all.

Fine... not excellent but fine

In my case, i've upgraded to the 9.10 and runs quite good I must say, with minor problems on some programs like TWINKLE.

The ambience is great, and the refreshed icon set is cool.

Regarding the wi-fi problem, it doesn't surprises me because when 8.04 was on, i had the same problems with my broadcom wireless card. I installed the NDISWrapper soft and I did some extra stuff and it was running great.

Nevertheless, i hope that with the updates this distro will get better because for me is just a good distro, not excellent but good enough.

nVidia issues: Nothing I couldn't solve though.

I tried to upgrade my main desktop twice, and burned many many cd's trying to blame the issues on a bad download, alas it wasn't the case and it really was release bugs.

I wanted to finally make the jump to 64 so burned the 64 bit image and booted up, expecting to see the shiney new artwork, instead what I saw was a black terminal with info about apt, apparmour and a login prompt, this wouldn't have bothered me, I'd have tried a startx, but it was flickering, and wasn't accepting any input.

I tried 32 bit, which while the live cd loaded, upon reboot, the same issue occured.

Turns out the solution was to boot with the pci=nomsi option in the kernel line, installing the system, then booting into single user mode, or recovery mode (depending on your preference) updating ubuntu and installing the graphics drivers.

It didn't bother me to do this, but it could have been a show stopper for someone else.

A step ahead

I'm using the 64bit version and I'm impressed, as for every new Ubuntu version, on how much good work has been done from the past.

It is still not perfect, a bit buggy, but a really good step ahead! Good job Ubuntu team!

Depends Really

I put netbook remix on my fiancees samsung nc10, and she loves it. I did have to install a patch to get her brightness keys to work, but it was well documented and the patch was available right away.

I however am going to upgrade my Mandriva 2009 power pack to 2010 which is a major new release with all kinds of goodness in it, like Moovida, Thumbnail previews in Dolphin, Pulsbo support, and a full Moblin!

Everytime I start to drift away, Mandriva comes back to wow me, which is more than I can say for Ubuntu.

Is it any good?

I've been experiencing the same problems as towy71.

I've downloaded and burnt 2 cd's from 2 mirrors. It gets so far into the install and then goes into an endlessly rolling busy signal.

I'm trying to install onto my laptop, 1.73GHz, 2gig ram. Hardly vintage. Looks like I will be sticking with 9.04 for a while yet, not that is a bad thing.

I can imagine newbies trying the distro for the first time and running back to windows. Not a great introduction to Linux.

i like it

I like it, a lot actually. Didnt have any problems at all. Im quite new as a linux user and from my point of view its very user friendly and looks rly nice.


Dell d630 nvidia nv135 videocard broadcom wless

Ok and quite snappy

Nvidia driver made ubuntu to report crash after suspend.
Solution get vrs 190 driver from nvidia and install it

Wired access nescessary to install broadcom wless including bwcutter etc

Better than 904 :-)

Excellent, with one flaw...

I love Ubuntu 9.10! It's terrific. The fast boot/shudown times are great, as is the new art style and I even like the software centre (although it does need a bit of work).

The only issue I have is that I have Fujitsu Li 2727 laptop with an annoying Fn+1 button combination to turn the wi-fi on. There was a command line workaround on 9.04 which no longer works, I'll admit that I'm stumped now. But on my desktop, no complaints.


Disappointed because many 3G-modems are not working (Huawei E169, Nokia cs-15 etc.), so I cant upgrade from jaunty.

Mostly works for me

I've installed it on my Sony netbook (W11S1E / PGT-4T1M). It's the normal edition of Ubuntu not UNR.

So far everything has been great with one exception, which is driving an external monitor. It seems to work if I boot with the monitor cable plugged in, but defaults to 1024x768. If I try and chnage the res on either the netbook screen or the external, X seems to lock up and I need to reboot - cant seem to get to the consoles, so its a hard reboot :( Also if I boot without the external plugged in and the plug it in, the machine locks totally, again requiring a hard reboot. I'm sure its drivers or a misconfiured X or something, but its the only thing I've had go wrong in an otherwise flawless experience.

Like it, wish I could love it

I really like it. Makes good first impression. Sound works without problems (finally!), default icon theme is nice and Software Center is a step in the right direction. Overall speed is much better. Installs without any problems with hardware, easy and without pain.

Still needs a few workarounds to work perfectly, so "out of the box" experience is not perfect. I had to install Parcellite to overcome the ancient "source closed - no clipboard" bug. I had to install libsdl1.2debian-pulseaudio for games like OpenArena to have normal sound (why it isn't installed by default?). As usual, Ubuntu ignores some "out of the box" additions like the ability to create/unpack 7z and rar archives. Come on, 7z is open source, why it isn't installed by default?

I still tweak the default look (like changing the font to Droid Sans, and making it gray instead of brown), but this is nothing comparing to what I did to previous releases to like the looks.

But boot experience? Come on,it's not good! It's probably faster, though I don't notice the difference with Jaunty, but what is shown? It's more like a show, a movie, which is not the appropriate place for that. You see Grub text (why?), then black-and-white logo, then something blinks with text, then a new loading screen. Then the new login screen, which is definitely better than anything before, but is 2 screens itself. Then again the new loading screen and then, the desktop. Let's not forget that the startup sound plays in the wrong place. So here's where the good first impression fades slightly. It's not a critical place, I know, but this is not production quality.

Overall it's good

I would say 9.10 is not perfect but it's a good release.

I have been using Ubuntu since I switched to it from Fedora Core 5.

The installation on my D620 is an upgrade from 6.06 all the way to 9.10. It's still up and running. And I have another 5 Ubuntu installed on my D630, netbook and desktops.

In the mean time, I run Arch Linux as well which is my other favorite. So ArchUbuntu will be the best distro from my point of view LOL.

Minor niggles

Upgraded UNR to 9.10 on my Aspire One. Unfortunately, had to switch back to classic desktop because of overlapping icons otherwise. Initially there was no icon to quit or log out but a quick internet search solved this.

Bit of a problem with the Notifier Area applet. It has a tendency to show two battery icons and no network icon. Usually have to remove then add the applet. A bit annoying really.

Generally quite impressed, but no so much so that I am going to rush to upgrade to 9.10 on my desktop.

A loyal fan still happy

I have been using Ubuntu since Feisty Fawn. Every upgrade has meant a slight variation in what I have to do to get it working properly, but never anything dramatic. I've tried other distros, but Ubuntu has been the most reliable and functional, requiring the least bit of work on my part, and so I've stuck with it.

For the record, I had no problem moving from Jaunty to Karmic on my computers. I liked the new Ubuntu themes, but I seem to use them for a bit and then migrate back to Clearlooks (my favourite).

The new Software Centre doesn't mean that much to me, though it looks good, because I just tend to stick with the extra software I've used for the past couple of years.

I guess I'd say that I am happy with Karmic and look forward to Lucid and whatever else is on the cards. No real problems to speak of, and it's nice to keep going with a dependable distro.

PS I am not too adventurous, but I do like to solve problems and learn more about Linux. Ubuntu is still my distro of choice, as, at the end of the day, it works for me and I use it to do all the things I need to do computer-wise. And so I'm a fan.

Grub 2

Running very successfully from a USB with persistent storage. Overall a very fine distro, but I have not installed it as I have a multi-boot system, and Grub 2 scares me :)


ps: UbuntuOne broken at the moment.........

whoohoo it works!

I downloaded via torrent and it works on all machines now, go figure :?

netbook remix - mixed impression

I did try the KDE version of the netbook remix and was impressed after booting it up. Shame that I was not able to get any wifi connection working with the network manager. When connected to the lan I could get into the net, but updating would not help the wifi problem. When I wanted to go to the forum to check for solutions, I noticed that clicking on the firefox icon was calling the firefox installer. The installer left me alone with the remark that the requested packages are already installed. (Good! Please open the browser) I was not able to get firefox working, but using the command line... I downloaded the "normal" version of the netbook remix and was impressed how easy and smooth it was compared to the KDE version.

So Far so Good

I've installed 9.10 to an Aspire One (standard desktop not UNBR) absolutely no problems in fact everything works perfectly and I'm getting better battery life. I have done a fresh install onto my P4(D)3.4gig 2Gig DDR Ram Desktop rig and it also works fine, my only gripes are that the boot time is way off the 40 seconds I have seen reported (but it's still fast enough for my needs) and isn't it about time that Canonical released a version with the restricted codec’s for those of us in parts of the world where they are legal to use, to save having to access and download the Medibuntu repositories and install the extra packages after every fresh install.

On the whole though I'm a happy and chilled out Karmic user.

Good but still some problems ...

Clean install on my Asus G1S, which ran Jaunty without any hassles, and I've got to run "sudo alsa force-reload" once I've logged in for sound to work (Intel ICH8 chip with "snd-hda-intel") :? Sound then works fine :?

That's the only problem, so far ;-), with everything running much faster.

Just Works

I have had it installed for about 2 weeks now . Upgraded from 9.04 to 9.10. No major problems at all. Very nicely done.

Faster boot time?

Upgrade went smooth, and everything seems to be working fine, except...............................................................................................................................where is that nice pick up in boot speed I enjoyed with jaunty? Seems even slower now. So I visited the article on how to tweak boot speeds, and for some reason I can't figure out how to SUDO enable my text editor, and I now get a weird error ("wine does not belong to you") when I try to make changes using the terminal.

Oh well, everything new in LINUX, as well as windoze, seems to require a learning curve. At least with Ubuntu, my past experience suggests that it is fixable without having to freshly reload all my programs and drivers (the only thing that works in microsoft world).

Still no quit button

John Dignum wrote above about how his Quit button was magically restored. ¿Did you do any particular magic?


No Wireless

I did an upgrade but could not get my wireless to work. I never had wireless issues with 9.04. It recognized every card I threw at it.

For me without wireless my pc is a brick. I was disappointed that 9.10, for me, went backwards. I did a fresh install with 9.04. When the wireless issues are corrected then I will consider 9.10.

Icons for the nostalgic

Those icons on top, which are supposed to be a *cleaner* look, look like fscking MacOS 8. Immensely unimpressive.


Works out of the box on my 3 machines.
Fast and slick.
Good distro - I like it.

Frustrating experience but sticking with it.

I was running MINT 7 on a Compaq CQ60 without problems and wanted to try out a dual boot with Ubuntu 9.4. Partition went well and very quick install but no WIFi on Ubuntu after updating and an upgrade to 9.10 lost wifi on Mint also. Decided to do a clean install on Ubuntu 9.10 using the whole HD. Which went well until reboot and could only see flashing text and nothing worked. reinstalled with new CD iso and everything worked except shut down which powers off sometimes and often needs to be switched off manually.
But all said and done I still like Ubuntu and will stick with it.

I noticed that some of the

I noticed that some of the improved applications do not come with Xubuntu. For example, I'm missing the new software installer and the "janitor". I do get all the nice effects, a really cool minimal boot screen and a REALLY slick dark theme (which I promptly replaced because it was TOO dark), though.

Speed has improved by a lot. No longer do I need to switch to an even lighter window manager like LXDE because the system can now be truly fast in Xfce too. :)

Sound stopped working on my other laptop... Well, half. I plug in something for external audio and it'll never actually output at that point. Only the internal speakers work (but those are half-broken so I'd rather avoid that). Other than that there have been no hardware regressions and the Intel GPU on my Eee PC now even performs a little bit better!

Overall verdict for me on Xubuntu has been so far: 7/10. System looks nicer, works faster, has a bunch of software improvements but lacks a few it was supposed to inherit from the new regular Ubuntu. Hardware support seems about the same: something got worse, something got better.

@Nubie since the "I" series:

@Nubie since the "I" series: why are you trying to use a Windows text editor to edit your important Linux configuration files? Use nano, or vi, or ne, or medit, or mousepad... Not Wine Notepad.

networking/NetworkManager and upstart

With Jaunty (9.04) when networking went south I could issue:
$ sudo /etc/init.d/NetworkManager stop
$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking stop
$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
$ sudo /etc/init.d/NetworkManager restart
and bring the network connection back to life with my router.

Now, it is only possible to issue the networking commands, not the NetworkManager commands above due to a transition to use of upstart.

Sadly, any documentation or wiki (even though one exists) is lacking in what the proper command is for NetworkManager to bring everything up to a running state after networking has executed properly.

I just installed Koala 64bit

I just installed Koala 64bit on my Dell Vostro 1400 laptop a few hours ago and I'm impressed. It's very snappy, and the new art (although I know I'll customize the heck out of it anyway) was a very nice touch. Everything worked, wifi (I have Intel wireless), nvidia proprietary driver, sound (w/ PulseAudio), Sun Java JRE to name a few.

I still have a lot of time to spend and a lot of stuff to install but so far so good. The only minus to me would have to be the new Grub but it's not a deal breaker. as for UbuntuOne, couldn't care less since I have DropBox.
All in all, Two thumbs up!

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