Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid-Lynx
was released at the end of April. I have been a fan of Linux for about six months now and I have a netbook running Ubuntu by my side most of the time. The reason I like the operating system so much is that it just runs perfectly well on really lightweight computers. Currently my netbook dual boots with Ubuntu 10.04 and Windows 7. Whilst I like the new incarnation of Windows it just takes ages to boot up as did Windows XP before it. Ubuntu loads in a fraction of the time and once started it speeds along nicely.
The new incarnation of the software has a nice new look. I must admit to not really being a fan of the brown theme of earlier versions and this is what I changed first, however the new purple look is very nice and I will be keeping this, for the time being at least.
Under the bonnet Canonical have made changes to the boot up which makes it even quicker. The standard software supplied has had a few changes with some packages being updated and some removed. The major change as far as I am concerned is the removal of The Gimp graphics editing software. As soon as the installation was complete I headed over to the updated Software Centre, which can be seen as the Linux App Store, and downloaded it. I also downloaded Scribus for DTP and Blender for 3d modelling. Social networking is well supported with the Gwibber Application that puts your Facebook and Twitterfeeds at your findertips. Not quite as good as Tweet Deck but this can be downloaded and installed as well if required.
If you have older hardware hanging around it may be worth loading Linux to give it a new lease of life. Personally I have an old laptop which is about seven years old. The startup time is nearly ten minutes and as such I only ever hibernate it. With a fresh install of Ubuntu it performs like a new machine. My concern is that two bits of software I need the most in my work Promethean ActivInspire and the Smart Notebook software, may be tricky to get onto my new operating system. I run training courses on both of these and use them to create resources. The Linux versions installed like a dream and run as fast as they do on my brand new machine running Windows 7.
Overall this is a great update of a very good operating system and if you find old kit hidden in the attic it may be a way to add another family computer to the home network. Linux has the reputation for being hard and clunky with lots of complicated commands. I have only needed to use the command line on a few occasions and generally you will not need to know anything more technical than you would using Windows.