Ubuntu 7.04 was my first experience ever with a personal distribution running on a personal computer. My only experience was work related, using ssh connecting to a server, thus learning the basic cli-commands.

Summer of 2007 I ordered some computer hardware, and put together a custom computer. Naturally(!?), or more out of habit, I inserted the Winxxxs XP cd. It installed, ran pretty good for a few days, but with one intention only – to find my first GNU/Linux distribution – I found Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn!

« My first GNU/Linux experience was very good! »

The Feisty Fawn amazed me – it was fast, nice to look at, and came with a bundle of software. Finding and installing my favorite appz took seconds! Excellent. The only thing I can remember, which I still have some issues with, are the proprietary nvidia-driver.

Then came Gutsy! It was even better! Some improvements on central parts, mainly gnome and the menu. I was loving it! The GNU/Linux is just fantastic.

« The fact that Microxxxt and Axxle get away with their non-free OS’s, is beyond me! »

After getting comfortable with Ubuntu, joining the community posting on forums and such, I began experimenting with lightweight distros. Xubuntu was the winner. I also tried out a few window managers and other DE, which led me to the LXDE. I was sold! Gnome – go home!

But, I still loved the Ubuntu-way! So, when the Hardy Heron came out, I was the first one to install it. Now came my first bad experience with Ubuntu – it simply sucked! It was slow, boot-time increased, gnome was traveling in mud, the distro was bloated, and seemed immature. Canoncial did not delievere a product Ubuntu worthy!

Updates came, and 8.04.2 saw its dawn. Rumours says this fixed a few things, but I was long gone. Ubuntu is built upon Debian – they take Debian snapshots from their development branch(ref). So, why not try Debian, I thought. I installed a basic core using Debian Lenny, adding the repo’s to LXDE, and everything has been working perfectly! The LXDE is under development, and a few components contain a few bugs, but the gain of having a lightweight desktop, customized to my needs, out-weight all of the issues I was and still am experimenting.

« Debian Lenny with LXDE is simple, easy on the eye – and a perfect solution to first time Linux’ers! »

In fact, I have introduced and installed this system, on and old Tecra for my father, and on an old Dell Inspiron 8600 for my cousin.

Yesterday, not a day early given their release cycle, the Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex came out. I was tempted again. So, I had to install. First I tried the CLI only. Maybe, maybe not – it took about 10 minutes – a CLI environment was up! Excellent! A basic core for any lightweight or custom GNU/Linux distribution, which I am going to look more into!

Okei – so I managed to install a second linux distro along side with my Lenny install. Grub messed things up a litte – Lenny was no longer handling GRUB – my new install was! I need to fix this!

Now, I installed Ubuntu 8.10 standard using the alternate disc. I am impressed!

« It seems as if Ubuntu is on top of its game again! »

I am going to use it for a few days, but I believe I can strongly recommend the latest Ubuntu build as a first time distribution to anyone again! When I installed, a notification about some updates came, and how to activate nVidia. The latter did not work. I will be looking into that. Also some broken language-packages-notification which needed repair. Adding the repo’s main universe multiverse may help fix this 🙂

Update: yes – adding the repositories worked flawlessly! Not only did nvidia driver got installed correctly – but my Acer AL1916W got recognized for the first time in Ubuntu’s history – with the correct screen resolution! The reason for me not configuring the repositories at install, was that the first attempt failed. It hanged at 45% for about 5 min, then at 86% for 15 min until I gave up, reinstalled with no mirror and thun no apt configuration.

Albeit, Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex looks good!

On my 2.0GHz Dual Core 2 Duo 2GB ram, I am looking at a 165 MB memory usage when firing up, which takes about 55 seconds – that’s what Conky says. As a comparison, Debian Lenny using LXDE, uses roughly 38 seconds, and 52 MB ram. That’s quite a difference!