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Review of (K)Ubuntu 7.04 (AMD64 Edition)


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#1 Linoman

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 04:50 PM

For someone who has used various incarnations of (K)Ubuntu since 5.10. I was eager to try out both Ubuntu and Kubuntu 7.04 (AMD64 Edition). I must be honest I stopped using linux for a while, I ended up testing/using Microsoft Windows Vista.

Before I continue with my review, I must say that I do not favour Windows over Linux or vice-versa as I feel both systems have their pros and cons.

Since Kubuntu and Ubuntu are based on the same system. They are reviewed side by side and at time seen almost as one distro. With only difference being KDE used for Kubuntu and Gnome for Ubuntu.


Attached Image: 1.jpg Attached Image: feisty_14.jpg

I first chose to run the system as a live cd. Much to my amazement almost everything seemed to work. Everything seemed to be very responsive, and without thinking about the most basic tasks. I decided to install it.

The stable release of KDE in Kubuntu 7.04 is version 3.5.6.
GCC 4.1.2
Glibc 2.5
Python 2.5
Linux 2.6.20
The stable release of Gnome in Ubuntu 7.04 is version 2.18


Installation took just under 20 minutes. After install one is greeted with the following desktop. (Left Kubuntu, right Ubuntu)
Attached Image: 2.jpg Attached Image: feisty_1.jpg

First thing I discovered was that I could not increase my screen resolution to beyond 800x640 (I presume this is because I was not using the official Nvidia Drivers.)

I then decided to try and use my modem. Unfortunately I knew before hand that this might be a problem since I have what is known as a Winmodem.

Extract from Kubuntu documentation

“Software modems, also known as Winmodems, are the type that are usually built into the system itself whether it is a desktop or a laptop. These modems are usually connected to a PCI port inside of the computer or a USB port outside of the computer. There are still quite a few of these types of modems that are not supported by Linux due to the type of binary driver or firmware they use. Winmodems supported in Linux are also known as Linmodems”

After trying many times and editing various files I could and still can not get this modem to work. Thus I was unable to go online, it could be said that Kubuntu without an internet connection can be a bit like a fancy type-writer.

The reason I say this is because that due to licencing issues neither Kubuntu or Ubuntu ship with propertary codecs this means basic support such as Mp3's, AAC, DVD's etc. Do not work. This can be fixed by downloading the required codec but it is a step I feel is unnecessary and impossible to do if your modem wont allow you to go online. Dealing with this frustration was one thing, as I love my music and have a large collection of mp3's.

I then decided to at least listen to audio using a cd (Kubuntu comes with Amarok 1.4.5, I must be honest if their was one program I really miss on the Windows platform it is Amarok)


Unlike in Windows where one can choose the systems speaker setup, this is a time consuming task in linux. I have 5.1 Surround Sound speaker system and without editing files and changing various settings (something a novice would struggle with) one is stuck with only the front to speakers working.

Adding software to Kubuntu is simple, just use the Adept Package manager (Synaptic in Ubuntu) and choose the software you wish to install. It should also be noted that in this release of (K)Ubuntu; the niverse and Multiverse repositories are enabled by default.

Pro's:

(K)Ubuntu is opensource software and is free. (Meaning you can distrubute it and make changes as long as you give credit to the original creator of the software)

When it comes to basic tasks it is reliativly user friendly. On my machine both Kubuntu and Ubuntu ran extremly fast when compared to how Microsoft Vista runs although it should be noted that by default and without 3rd pary software there are no fancy visual effects.

Being a linux system, the risk of malware, viruses, trojans etc, is less. Thus using a virus scanner is optional and not essentinal. Therefore less system resources are used in keeping the system safe and secure.

System requierments are not high and can easily run on hardware that is +-5 years old. (With the exception of unsupported hardware)

Con's

First thing in both distros but I feel is worse in Kubuntu. The over look of the distros has not changed much since 6.06 and tends to look outdated.

Hardware support is increasing daily but still certain basics are not covered. I know that Winmodems are a problem but having a system that can not connect to the internet is a huge down fall. In certain cases after spending hours looking for a solution it can be found. Although this tends to be impossible for some people. As one needs to be online to accomplish this (the irony.)

Codecs, now I must be honest that I really do not care that this can be sorted out by going online. It is ridicules that basic support such as mp3's is not supported out of the box. Giving credit where it is due the (K)Ubuntu has tried to make it simpler for one to just download the required codecs but it is still tricky.

Basic configuration such as setting ones speakers settings to 5.1 is a time consuming task and way above the head of a novice.

To be fair most of my critical comments; is a problem many linux distros have but considering the popularity of (K)Ubuntu project and the fact it has released quite a number of releases. These problems should be easier to sort out.

Conclusion

If (K)Ubuntu or perhaps even linux are to gain a larger market share, basic needs such as those addressed in my Cons need to be ironed out. In general if your hardware supports them them Kubuntu or Ubuntu are worthy distros that you should look at.

#2 Sphere

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 05:40 PM

Here's a big surprise... I'm gonna back you up!

View PostLinoman, on May 20 2007, 06:50 PM, said:

Since Kubuntu and Ubuntu are based on the same system. They are reviewed side by side and at time seen almost as one distro. With only difference being KDE used for Kubuntu and Gnome for Ubuntu.
Attachment attachment Attachment attachment

I first chose to run the system as a live cd. Much to my amazement almost everything seemed to work. Everything seemed to be very responsive, and without thinking about the most basic tasks. I decided to install it.
What's even better, it's the first Linux version that actually works completely on Asus motherboards, both SuSE and Gentoo didn't accept either my entire board, or the SATA connections, giving me a lot of problems.
Kubuntu worked straight away!

View PostLinoman, on May 20 2007, 06:50 PM, said:

The stable release of KDE in Kubuntu 7.04 is version 3.5.6.
GCC 4.1.2
Glibc 2.5
Python 2.5
Linux 2.6.20
The stable release of Gnome in Ubuntu 7.04 is version 2.18
Installation took just under 20 minutes. After install one is greeted with the following desktop. (Left Kubuntu, right Ubuntu)
Attachment attachment Attachment attachment

First thing I discovered was that I could not increase my screen resolution to beyond 800x640 (I presume this is because I was not using the official Nvidia Drivers.)
Great news is though, the nVidia (and ATi as well btw) are now included in the base installation system, just a matter of starting Adept and install it, no uncommenting hidden resources or whatever in your sources.list anymore.

View PostLinoman, on May 20 2007, 06:50 PM, said:

I then decided to try and use my modem. Unfortunately I knew before hand that this might be a problem since I have what is known as a Winmodem.

Extract from Kubuntu documentation

“Software modems, also known as Winmodems, are the type that are usually built into the system itself whether it is a desktop or a laptop. These modems are usually connected to a PCI port inside of the computer or a USB port outside of the computer. There are still quite a few of these types of modems that are not supported by Linux due to the type of binary driver or firmware they use. Winmodems supported in Linux are also known as Linmodems”

After trying many times and editing various files I could and still can not get this modem to work. Thus I was unable to go online, it could be said that Kubuntu without an internet connection can be a bit like a fancy type-writer.
Get a decent modem :)

View PostLinoman, on May 20 2007, 06:50 PM, said:

The reason I say this is because that due to licencing issues neither Kubuntu or Ubuntu ship with propertary codecs this means basic support such as Mp3's, AAC, DVD's etc. Do not work. This can be fixed by downloading the required codec but it is a step I feel is unnecessary and impossible to do if your modem wont allow you to go online. Dealing with this frustration was one thing, as I love my music and have a large collection of mp3's.

I then decided to at least listen to audio using a cd (Kubuntu comes with Amarok 1.4.5, I must be honest if their was one program I really miss on the Windows platform it is Amarok)
Unlike in Windows where one can choose the systems speaker setup, this is a time consuming task in linux. I have 5.1 Surround Sound speaker system and without editing files and changing various settings (something a novice would struggle with) one is stuck with only the front to speakers working.
I think this is handled pretty well in Ubuntu systems. My surround worked out of the box, ok, the volumes for all speakers were bad set up, but overall, the sound worked.

Besides that, the alsa-project website has very extensive documentation on how to get the soundcards to work.

View PostLinoman, on May 20 2007, 06:50 PM, said:

Adding software to Kubuntu is simple, just use the Adept Package manager (Synaptic in Ubuntu) and choose the software you wish to install. It should also be noted that in this release of (K)Ubuntu; the universe and Multiverse repositories are enabled by default.

Pro's:

(K)Ubuntu is opensource software and is free. (Meaning you can distrubute it and make changes as long as you give credit to the original creator of the software)

When it comes to basic tasks it is reliativly user friendly. On my machine both Kubuntu and Ubuntu ran extremly fast when compared to how Microsoft Vista runs although it should be noted that by default and without 3rd pary software there are no fancy visual effects.

Being a linux system, the risk of malware, viruses, trojans etc, is less. Thus using a virus scanner is optional and not essentinal. Therefore less system resources are used in keeping the system safe and secure.

System requierments are not high and can easily run on hardware that is +-5 years old. (With the exception of unsupported hardware)

Con's

First thing in both distros but I feel is worse in Kubuntu. The over look of the distros has not changed much since 6.06 and tends to look outdated.

Hardware support is increasing daily but still certain basics are not covered. I know that Winmodems are a problem but having a system that can not connect to the internet is a huge down fall. In certain cases after spending hours looking for a solution it can be found. Although this tends to be impossible for some people. As one needs to be online to accomplish this (the irony.)

Codecs, now I must be honest that I really do not care that this can be sorted out by going online. It is ridicules that basic support such as mp3's is not supported out of the box. Giving credit where it is due the (K)Ubuntu has tried to make it simpler for one to just download the required codecs but it is still tricky.

Basic configuration such as setting ones speakers settings to 5.1 is a time consuming task and way above the head of a novice.

To be fair most of my critical comments; is a problem many linux distros have but considering the popularity of (K)Ubuntu project and the fact it has released quite a number of releases. These problems should be easier to sort out.

Conclusion

If (K)Ubuntu or perhaps even linux are to gain a larger market share, basic needs such as those addressed in my Cons need to be ironed out. In general if your hardware supports them them Kubuntu or Ubuntu are worthy distros that you should look at.
I think your cons are a bit overdone... but overall I agree ;)

#3 brewin

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 06:48 PM

Including proprietary codecs like MP3 is a licensing issue. It also taints the open source license of Ubuntu. This is also why Nvidia and ATI drivers aren't installed by default. I do agree they could make it easier to install these codecs by providing something similar to the Restricted Drivers Manager. I bet in the next version (7.10), we'll see something like this.

#4 mysticalmoose

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 07:45 PM

i love my ubuntu! everything pretty much worked, with a bit of help from brewin :) thanks dude

the visuals are great with compiz. wish i could get beryl.

#5 Sphere

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 08:38 PM

I've just filed an advise to add the option of installing the restricted stuff during the full installation, with the same warning they're giving when you install it manually.

That's basically the same to me...

ow, and imo, compiz/beryl sucks.... but that's just my opinion...

#6 brewin

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 09:08 PM

View PostSphere, on May 20 2007, 03:38 PM, said:

I've just filed an advise to add the option of installing the restricted stuff during the full installation, with the same warning they're giving when you install it manually.
The reason they're restricted is because of licensing issues that prevent them from being distributed on the cd. The installer would have to connect to the repository and apt-get install them.

Quote

ow, and imo, compiz/beryl sucks.... but that's just my opinion...
Compiz is alright. Beryl is a mess, IMO. Last I heard the Compiz devs gave up on trying to keep Beryl an unofficial fork and decided to merge the two.

#7 Sphere

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 10:26 PM

View Postbrewin, on May 20 2007, 11:08 PM, said:

The reason they're restricted is because of licensing issues that prevent them from being distributed on the cd. The installer would have to connect to the repository and apt-get install them.
Well, that'd work as well for me... and most users, so, why not?

#8 brewin

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 10:35 PM

View PostSphere, on May 20 2007, 05:26 PM, said:

Well, that'd work as well for me... and most users, so, why not?
I don't know, but I think that's why they don't do it. There could be other legal reasons too. I wouldn't have any problem with it.

#9 Sphere

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 12:20 AM

Ok, a big downside.... why has nobody gotten the idea of making printer sharing easy in Linux!! It still requires @#$%&# rocket science before even I, and I can't really call myself a Linux n00b, can fix it!

#10 m.oreilly

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 05:30 AM

i'll give these distros another go-'round, as i just found out my mobo has a bios update addressing some issues i had previously with debian based releases :)

#11 Sphere

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 11:24 PM

added to Digg:
http://digg.com/linu...ntu_7_04_review

#12 m.oreilly

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 12:00 AM

View PostSphere, on May 21 2007, 04:24 PM, said:

cool :)

#13 USM

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 03:25 AM

I simply print in windows. But seems all ubuntu distros have adapted HP printing software? Have not trye it myself though. :lol:

View PostSphere, on May 20 2007, 01:40 PM, said:

Here's a big surprise... I'm gonna back you up!
What's even better, it's the first Linux version that actually works completely on Asus motherboards, both SuSE and Gentoo didn't accept either my entire board, or the SATA connections, giving me a lot of problems.
Kubuntu worked straight away!
Great news is though, the nVidia (and ATi as well btw) are now included in the base installation system, just a matter of starting Adept and install it, no uncommenting hidden resources or whatever in your sources.list anymore.
Get a decent modem :yahoo:
I think this is handled pretty well in Ubuntu systems. My surround worked out of the box, ok, the volumes for all speakers were bad set up, but overall, the sound worked.

Besides that, the alsa-project website has very extensive documentation on how to get the soundcards to work.
I think your cons are a bit overdone... but overall I agree :yahoo:
Xubuntu uses neither genome or kde my latest endevor. For folding purpose only. Great review sphere, I am a Linux n00b, but I love free, and the Linux SMP!!! :talker:

Edited by USM, 27 May 2007 - 12:12 AM.


#14 VROSA

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 04:02 PM

Thanks

Nice review Lino ;)



View Postbrewin, on May 20 2007, 03:48 PM, said:

Including proprietary codecs like MP3 is a licensing issue. It also taints the open source license of Ubuntu. This is also why Nvidia and ATI drivers aren't installed by default. I do agree they could make it easier to install these codecs by providing something similar to the Restricted Drivers Manager. I bet in the next version (7.10), we'll see something like this.




:(

#15 Christopholofigus

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 10:00 PM

One day i will call myself a linux user...one day. LOL Thanks for all the info guys!

Edited by Christopholofigus, 06 June 2007 - 10:00 PM.





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