Saturday, May 20, 2006

Dapper Drake - First Impressions

UbuntuI've upgraded to Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake) beta and I have to say I'm fairly impressed on the whole. The upgrade procedure from 5.10 was very simple - modify your apt sources.list to say 'dapper' where it previously said 'breezy', then run apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade. It's a lot less troublesome to get setup than Fedora Core 5 was, although I'm only using the x86 version of Ubuntu rather than AMD64 as I did with Fedora.

I was having a minor problem with colour (#fcfcfc would appear considerably darker than #f0f0f0) but the new nVidia drivers (available through apt in Dapper) fixed it. I also had problems on an older Pentium II machine - everything after grub and before the login screen is garbled most likely due to buggy ATi drivers (it's a All-in-Wonder based on the Radeon 7200). I'm considering going back to Breezy on that PC.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure gnome-applets fixed the CPU applet (after the upgrade it was no longer SUID so you couldn't pick a frequency. The gnome-art package is great for customising the appearance of Gnome.

It also has Firefox 1.5, gstreamer-0.10 and a working mplayer package and Eclipse C++ support which were some of the main things I wanted, seeing as I had them on Fedora Core 5 before.

In summary, Dapper is better than any Linux distro I've seen before, but only by a little. Its default colour scheme (brown and orange) is hideous but the other colour schemes don't look as modern. Legacy ATi support needs work - I've seen similar problems reported on the Ubuntu bug tracker. The games, as with most Linuxes, are pathetic. They are of no comparison to the majority of commercial games. That said, if I wanted my PC primarily for gaming, I'd be using Windows XP Home Edition...


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