Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ubuntu Hardy is out - what to do now?

Another milestone is reached - a new and improved version of Ubuntu is out. The question is - should you install it? I am a bit surprised myself that I actually wrote this question, but there are some things to consider before installing this upgrade.

What you will get with Hardy:
1. A lot of small improvements - while they are not visible, they contribute to the system overall stability.
2. Improved GUI - there are nice changes, but they are not turned on by default. You can read more about them in my post Thoughts about Ubuntu Hardy - GUI.
3. Latest versions of Firefox, OpenOffice etc.

Unfortunately, this is all. While there is nothing wrong with this upgrade, I don't see that it gives much the changes for the user are relatively small - this is mainly a stability update.
Moreover, there are two things to consider before upgrading to Hardy:
1. I installed the beta version and the update didn't go too well. There was a bug in the install process that caused the sudo command to stop working - when trying to run sudo I got the message "unknown host". The fix is to change the hosts file (it is located at /etc), by adding your desktop name to the list. The catch is, to edit it you need to be root. I solved it by typing aptitude into terminal and then it is possible to become root using the action menu. After doing so it is possible to use gksudo from the terminal. You can read more about how the upgrade went in the Upgrading to Hardy post.
2. The default browser, Firefox, is a beta version. This means that not all of your extension will work. It is possible to solve this partially by installing Nightly tester tools extension. Using this extension you will be able to use add-ons that are not compatible with the version of Firefox you have, but they are not guaranteed to work. If you use Firefox a lot, and especially if you have a lot of add-ons this might be a problem.

Also, if you use kiba-dock be warned - it will not work after the update. It is possible to install it in Hardy, but it must be compiled from source. You can read how to do this in my post Installing kiba-dock in Hardy.

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