Smoothwall Firewall project

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Upgrade to Ubuntu 9.10 64bit progressing nicely

Well, after deciding to move to a new 64bit implementation , I plugged in the USB pendrive with the live CD version of Ubuntu 9.10 beta installed, and booted.

I decided to change the disk lay out while I was at it, as the lappy was bought from Dell with Ubuntu installed, they had created an odd number of partitions, and I just set up the three:

/, /home and swap.

After selecting to use Ext4 I just pressed finish, and let the machine carry on with it's work. That was as hard as it got, and after clicking ok to reboot, I had the new machine with new OS ready to go.

The first impression was of speed to boot and get me to the desktop, and with the virtual images and USB sticks I have tested with, it was fast. It has to be the fastest booting OS I have ever installed, without a doubt. If I were to use a new flashy Intel SSD disk instead of my functional harddrive, I have no doubt this would be 5 seconds as has been reported around the web. As it is , I'm very happy with speed so I'm not running to the shops just yet. It is also worth mentioning that the speed of all the applications is noticeable, and I'm putting this down to it now being a native 64bit OS running on 64bit hardware , at last.

All the hardware was detected and correctly installed and I was able to download and install the Chromium browser wirelessly within minutes of the re-boot, and it is from there I'm posting now. The new Adobe 64bit flash plugin works with both Firefox 3.5 and Chromium 64bit, which I'm glad about as I had tested for this before hand.

One of the really nice things about using as many cloud applications as I do is that after the install, I'm immediately productive , with access to all my bookmarks, via Mozilla Weave and files via Dropbox and now Ubuntu one.

When you consider this is a beta, and there are going to be a few lumps and bumps, I can't praise the developers enough for producing such a good product, from the kernel developers right the way through the stack to Gnome. Linux in general has come an awful long way in the time I have been using it, and this has to be the best version I have installed to-date.

I have reported one bug I have found, which is to do with attaching an external monitor. It works fine unless you which to increase the resolution, and then it fails. This has been noted by several other people on different architectures, so it is not just a 64bit issue. You would never notice it unless you wished to use an external monitor at all, which I do unfortunately.

Well I'm a happy with the outcome so far, and look forward now to the final release. When I look back on this type of change in the distant past, the road sometimes had a sprinkling of tiny bombshells waiting for the novice, well not with this version.

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