Ubuntu 9.04 released

Canonical has announced the availability of Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) for download (free as always). This time around, in addition to the desktop and server editions, the Netbook Remix is available for your cute wee mini-puters – awww. There are a number of options for download – as well as the live CD iso through http and torrent, there is the alternate (text-based) installation CD (handy if you have any less than the recommended 256 MB RAM) and the DVD image is a lot bigger but contains all the language packs. If you want to try Ubuntu but want a less complicated process with no disk partitioning required then Wubi may be worth a crack.

If you’re already running Ubuntu you also have the option of upgrading your system through Update Manager, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I’ve been running Ubuntu for 3 years and have tried this twice on different machines, and both times I’ve had serious problems as a result. While there may be some people who have no trouble upgrading this way, it’s much safer in general to re-install entirely. Doing this means you will need to have some way to recover your files and system configuration. Backing up /home onto an external drive and copying them back after re-installing will work, but if you have /home on a separate partition, there’s no need to do this – as long as you don’t format this partition during installation all your files and any system/application/desktop configuration files will be preserved for the new version.

I’ll post a how-to when I’ve installed Jaunty, which won’t be for a few weeks yet. I’m waiting for the Ubuntu CD through shipit as downloading a CD image as well as all the updates required afterwards takes up a fairly large proportion of my monthly data allowance. I’ll just have to cope with my recently outdated system until then…

Ubuntu meets Windows 7

Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7

I saw this on Slashdot this evening and, feeling mildly interested, decided to take a look. While it’s certainly interesting to compare performance between operating systems, I always find it more entertaining to read the inevitable arguments, trollbaiting and poor spelling/grammar that follow. I think my favourite was

“Doesn’t anybody use a spell-checker? Despite the various Windows versus Linux/Ubuntu arguments, I’m going to go out on a limb, and guess most of you use Firefox, which by default has a spell check. Please, for the love of the Internet, use it!”

I would be quite keen to get my hands on the machine they used for testing:

“Our test machine packed an Intel Core i7 920, which in layman’s terms has four cores running at 2.67GHz with hyperthreading and 8MB of L3 cache. It also had 6GB of RAM, plus two 500GB of hard drives with 16MB of cache.”

I think I could get quite decent performance using any OS on a machine like that…