TechAirlines » Ubuntu Journey Into A World of Tech Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:24:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2 Months with Ubuntu Netbook Unity – My Thoughts Sun, 26 Dec 2010 06:07:52 +0000 Ubuntu UnityRemember our first looks at Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat? One of the primary new features was available only in the netbook remix, and this was the new Unity interface.

When it was first released, I was very excited to try the new interface out. Over the past two months or so, my netbook running Ubuntu has become my primary mobile computer which I use when I’m not at home. So after two months of using the Unity interface, here are my thoughts about the new experience.

The Unity Launcher

Let’s start with the first thing everyone will notice about the new interface.

The Unity Launcher is the vertical panel that sits on the side of the screen. It provides easy access to your favorite applications. Its very similar to the dock in Mac OS X and the taskbar of Windows 7 in the way that it also functions as the taskbar. You can pin your favorite applications to the launcher.

Unfortunately, despite how little screen estate a netbook has, the launcher cannot be hidden. It always stays there unless you make an application run full screen.

The Workspaces, files and folders, applications, and trash icons appear to be locked onto the launcher and cannot be removed.

I’m a big fan of eye candy so a feature I absolutely love is the Mac-Exposé like effect. Double clicking on an icon in the launcher will show all open windows for that particular application with a nice sliding and fading effect.

Firefox Expose

The Exposé effect with 6 Firefox windows

I found that launching an application from the launcher often is a bit slow. Right clicking on each icon to show the menu (which usually only has an option to “Keep in Launcher”) also lags a bit. I’m not sure if this is due to the standard poor performance of netbooks but this interface was supposed to be designed with netbooks in mind.

Moving icons around was a bit difficult too. Instead of just dragging the icon, I had to drag it to the right off the panel and then to where I wanted it to be. Simply dragging up moves the entire set of icons.

The Unity Dash

The Unity Dash is the sleek new file manager and application browser. It opens upon clicking the Ubuntu icon at the top left corner, the files and folders icon, or the applications icon.

Upon trying to open this interface, there’s almost always a few seconds of lag while it loads. Finally it loads the interface of it with the appropriate app/file icons fading and sliding in.

Unity Dash

Unity Dash, on the All Applications listing.

All applications are indexed allowing instant search-as-you-type, which works quite well.

Something I found rather annoying about the Dash interface is that you can’t right click on files. In order to rename certain files, I had to click on the tiny folder icon on the top right corner to open the standard file manager. I didn’t actually find out about this until now when I just noticed that icon there.

In addition, it would be nice to be able to pin something to the launcher without actually having the launch the application. Again, this is also caused by the inability to right click.

Clicking the Ubuntu icon on the top left corner opens an interface with 8 category selections. Most of these open up the appropriate sections on the Application listings, however the Web button opens up the default browser. I’m not sure if this is normal behavior but it certainly was unexpected.

Ubuntu Dash Home

Ubuntu Dash

Overall, while I found the Unity interface to be pretty, finding the files I want and opening the apps I want seems to be harder with Unity compared to the original netbook interface as well as the desktop version. In addition, there are very noticable performance issues. It can definitely take a while to get used to. Hopefully, these will be improving in Ubuntu 11.04 coming in 4 months.

Fortunately, for those who dislike Unity, you can easily choose to login to an Ubuntu Desktop session or the classic Ubuntu Netbook edition from the menu at the bottom of the login screen after choosing your username.

So what are your thoughts about the Unity interface? Love it? Hate it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” is Now Released! Sun, 10 Oct 2010 18:49:20 +0000 UbuntuToday is 10/10/10 and the “perfect 10″ Ubuntu 10.10 is now released!

We previously covered the beta version of “Maverick Meerkat” and there aren’t many large changes that occurred since the beta besides regular bug fixes.

New features include a new simplified installer, Shotwell as the default photo manager (instead of F-Stop), Ubuntu One streaming music, a new Unity interface for netbooks, better music control, and a user friendly software center.

Ubuntu Update Manager

To upgrade, simply download the newest version from the Ubuntu website or upgrade through the Update Manager. As always, Ubuntu is free of charge.

Are you planning to upgrade to Ubuntu 10.10? What are your thoughts of the new features? Share with us in the comments.

Download Ubuntu

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Disable IPv6 on Ubuntu to Speed Up Browsing Sun, 03 Oct 2010 05:35:47 +0000 DNS LookupAre you a user of Ubuntu or variant of it? When you’re browsing the web, do websites seem to load incredibly slowly? Looking that the status bar of your browser, does it constantly say that its looking up a certain website?

This process is called DNS lookup. Whenever you visit a website, your computer needs to perform a DNS lookup on every domain and domain hosts (subdomains) that the site uses. On most websites, this could be dozens as many websites.,, and are different hosts, therefore three different DNS lookups.

DNS lookups translate the website URL to an IP address, which would direct your computer to connect to a certain server.

Normally, DNS lookups don’t take more than half a second and the extra load time can’t be noticable.

But if you’re on Ubuntu, you may notice that your browser looks up each domain for a long time, such as 30 seconds each.

What’s the Problem?

By default, Ubuntu has a setting to use IPv6 turned on. Many routers, such as my own, do not support the IPv6 protocol and for most people, its not needed. But since the setting is turned on, Ubuntu will try to use it anyway and attempt to use it when looking up websites.

Unfortunately, if your router doesn’t support it, this process doesn’t work and Ubuntu finally falls back to IPv4, which is when the DNS lookup is successful, or sometimes the site just won’t load.

But when it begins the next lookup, IPv6 is still enabled, so this starts again. The result? A horribly slow connection to websites.

The fix? Disable IPv6 of course!

The Easy Fix (Firefox Only)

Firefox IPv6If you only run Firefox, then you can just use the easy fix instead of editing system files.

Visit about:config in Firefox.

In the Filter box, type in the following string:


Double click on the result or right click on it and toggle it to True. Restart your browser and enjoy the faster speed!

The System-Wide Fix

If you use another browser or application that does not provide access to all the settings like Firefox does, you would have to change the setting system-wide.

First, check if IPv6 is enabled by running the following command. If the output is 0, it means its enabled. If it’s 1, then its disabled already.

cat /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/all/disable_ipv6

You need to add the following lines to the file at /etc/sysctl.conf:

net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1
net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 1
net.ipv6.conf.lo.disable_ipv6 = 1

Alternatively, you can just open up a terminal, elevate it with sudo, and run the following commands:

echo "#disable ipv6" | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
echo "net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1" | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
echo "net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 1" | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
echo "net.ipv6.conf.lo.disable_ipv6 = 1" | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf

Restart your computer and then run the first command to check if its disabled. The output should be a 1.

Check IPv6

If the output of the command is 1, it means IPv6 is disabled.

For Firefox, you will still need to toggle the value explained in the above section.

Are you using Ubuntu and suffering from slow DNS lookups? Does this tutorial help solve your problem? Have another method? Share with us in the comments!

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First Look at Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta Sat, 04 Sep 2010 22:54:32 +0000 UbuntuThe Canonical Team has recently announced the release of the first public beta of the next version of their popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”. Scheduled for final release on October 10, this is a first look at what’s new in Maverick Meerkat Beta 1.


The usual menu asking the user to Install Ubuntu, Test Ubuntu using Live CD, or boot directly from hard drive no longer appears. Instead, it will open the installation window asking whether the user wants to install Ubuntu or try Ubuntu (Live CD).

Ubuntu Install Welcome

Welcome to Ubuntu Install!

Unlike previous versions, Maverick Meerkat will warn the user that they are installing an unstable beta release.

The installer has been significantly simplified and also offers to install a third-party plugin to support MP3 playback.

Ubuntu Install MP3

Ubuntu offers to install an MP3 plugin

Unlike previous versions, the installation starts while you’re setting up personal preferences like Time Zone and user account. The installation took me around 10 minutes to complete.

Shotwell Photo Manager

In Maverick Meerkat, Shotwell replaces F-Spot as the default photo manager. Shotwell has an option to import photos from F-Spot.


Shotwell replaces F-Spot as the default photo manager

Software Center

The Ubuntu Software Center received a new look and feel along with the “Featured” and “What’s New” application showcases.

Ubuntu Software Center

Ubuntu Software Center got an updated look along with a "Featured" and "What's New" Showcase.

In addition, users can easily access their installation history from the software center.

Ubuntu One

Ubuntu One received a refreshed sign up and sign in process as well as tighter integration with Ubuntu SSO (single sign-on).

There’s also a new notification in the file manager allowing users to manage their sync preferences.

Ubuntu One Sync

This shows at the top of the file manager if a folder is not set to sync

Sound Indicator

The volume control (sound indicator) now has music control options.

Sound Indicator

Sound Indicator now has music controls

New Netbook User Interface

The netbook edition received a major UI update. It now uses the new Unity interface by default, which includes a global menu bar.

Regular Software Updates

GNOME has been updated to 2.31, which introduces support for the new dconf configuration storage system.

As always, the other applications receive updates to their latest respective versions.

The new Gwibber client from Lucid Lynx receives an update to support Twitter oAuth Authentication as standard authentication no longer works.

Overall Appearance

The default theme looks very similar to Lucid Lynx except menu items (when selected or hovered over) and selected buttons are a brighter shade of orange.

Want to give Maverick Meerkat a try for yourself? It’s a free download with a quick and easy install process. Please share what you think of the beta in the comments.

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta

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Unlock Ubuntu’s Full Potential with Ubuntu Tweak Mon, 10 May 2010 03:30:59 +0000 Ubuntu TweakAre you new to Ubuntu? Can’t find all the features and settings you need? Having trouble with the command line Terminal?

While Ubuntu can be considered one of the most newbie friendly Linux distributions out there, there are still some settings and features that many may have difficulty finding. A free application known as Ubuntu Tweak is here to help.

The quickest way to get Ubuntu Tweak is to download the small 1 MB .deb file from the official website and install the package. Ubuntu Tweak can be found after installing in the System Tools menu under Applications.

Version Reviewed:
Operating System: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx

Ubuntu Tweak has a relatively simple interface organized into many different sections.


First up is the Application Center, which is similar to Ubuntu’s built in software center, however also provides a list of popular applications such as VLC Media Player and Dropbox, as well as other applications that don’t come installed with Ubuntu by default but is recommended to unleash the full potential of multimedia and web browsing. Through their online website, users can add additional applications to sync with Ubuntu Tweak.

Application Center

Application Center

Next up is the Package Cleaner. Ever downloaded a package, installed it, and completely forgot about it? Eventually, a good portion of your hard drive is used up by package downloads that you will probably never need again. Why keep them on your computer? Package Cleaner can easily clean the package download cache, in addition to redundant packages, configuration information, and kernels.

This section requires users to click the ‘Unlock’ button to authenticate Ubuntu Tweak to modify your system.

Package Cleaner

Package Cleaner

Next up is the Source Center. Software sources ensure that software installed on Ubuntu is always kept up to date. The source center lets you view all of your sources (or repositories) and enable and disable them. Many sources are already included with Ubuntu Tweak that are not included with the default Ubuntu installation. Similar to the Application Center, users can add new sources through the Ubuntu Tweak website.

Source Center

Source Center

Next up is the Software Sources, which lets you edit your sources.list file, allowing changes to be made to where the system gets software sources.

Sources Editor

Sources Editor

Next in the line of tools is the Update Manager, which is essentially the same as Ubuntu’s built in Update Manager.

Update Manager

Update Manager


First up in this section is the Auto Start Programs Manager. Have too many programs opening at startup causing boot time to slow down? Do you even need these programs that start up? This utility can help. It’s essentially the same as Ubuntu’s built in Startup Manager.

Auto Start Programs

Auto Start Programs

The next utility is Login Settings. This provides different options than Ubuntu’s built in settings, including the ability to change the logo and the background shown during login.

Login Settings

Login Settings

Don’t like Ubuntu’s default file manager, window manager, or panel? No problem! With Session Control, you can easily change this. Session Control also has a few other options, such as suppressing the shutdown dialog.

Session Control

Session Control


Just when you thought the special eye candy in Ubuntu’s ‘Extra’ effects setting were already high enough, Ubuntu  Tweak’s Compiz Settings can add even more, including workspace corner effects/actions, widgets, transparent menus, and more. It also gives an option to install the Screenlets Widget Application. All changes take place immediately.

I found the Workspace Edge Settings to be very useful as I can now easily display all my windows just by moving the mouse, similar to the Exposé effect on Mac OS X.

Compiz Settings

Compiz Settings

Next in line is Desktop Icons, allowing the user to add or change the regular desktop icons, such as Computer and the Home directory.

Desktop Icon Settings

Desktop Icon Settings

Next up is GNOME Settings, providing options to change the GNOME settings for panels, menus, and other desktop elements such as displaying warnings. There is also an option to change the Ubuntu icon (next to the Applications menu by default) for those of you who got bored at the default one.

GNOME Settings

GNOME Settings

Window Manager Settings lets users change settings related to the desktop windows, such as the placement of the title bar buttons and what double clicking on the title bar does. I’m sure many will find the window titlebar button layout settings useful in Lucid Lynx where the default theme moves it to the left. This could take some time getting used to and I often find myself moving to the right only to find that there’s no buttons there.

Window Manager Settings

Window Manager Settings


If you don’t like the default location of all the personal folders, like Documents and Pictures, you’re free to move them although the default folder links still point to the original location. Default Folder Locations lets you change that. I’m glad to see that there is a ‘Restore’ button in case the locations get messed up.

Default Folder Locations

Default Folder Locations

The Script Manager lets you add scripts to the context menu to perform certain commands such as Copy To, Move to Desktop, Check md5 sum, and more.

Scripts Manager

Scripts Manager

The Templates Manager lets you edit document templates, which can be created from the right click context menu.

Templates Manager

Templates Manager

Next in this line of tools is Shortcut Commands. Users can add up to 12 commands and assign it to any shortcut key they want.

Shortcut Commands

Shortcut Commands


Users of laptops or netbooks would find the Advanced Power Manager Settings to be very useful. Set the LCD brightness levels for battery and AC Power and choose when to lock the screen.

Advanced Power Manager Settings

Advanced Power Manager Settings

Computer Details lets you view useful information about your system.

Computer Details

Computer Details

File Type Manager lets you configure what program would open each file type by default. The file types are separated into various categories such as Audio and Images.

File Type Manager

File Type Manager

Next up in System comes Nautilus Settings, which sets various options for the file manager, such as adding extensions like opening a folder in the terminal as well as an easy option to delete thumbnail cache.

Nautilus Settings

Nautilus Settings

And last but not least comes Security Related settings, which sets various options for system security.

Security Related Settings

Security Related Settings


Pros: Organized easy to use interface and the numerous customization options that any Ubuntu user, both beginner and advanced would find useful.

Cons: Additional instructions for some functions might be useful.

Verdict: Ubuntu Tweak is an excellent tool for customizing Ubuntu and while many features are built in to Ubuntu and do not require third party software, having everything in one place is very useful and saves the time that many might spend looking for individual options. It’s also a great way to help newbies take their first steps into the Linux operating system as there is no need to deal with the terminal.

Ratings for Ubuntu Tweak

Performance: 4.8
Features: 5
Ease of Use: 5
Value for Money: 5
Appearance: 4.5

Overall Rating: 4.9

Want to try Ubuntu Tweak for yourself? Download it from the official websie or through the command sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak.

Ubuntu Tweak – Let’s Rock with Ubuntu

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First Look At Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Fri, 30 Apr 2010 05:24:48 +0000 Lucid Lynx LogoThe next major release of Ubuntu is now available. Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” packs in a ton of new features in this new long term support (LTS) release.

So what does Lucid Lynx have in store for us? The best new features include noticeably faster boot up (thanks to the removal of HAL), a nifty social media manager, a great new music store, as well as new default applications. Of course, there are numerous under the hood changes including updating to the latest GNOME environment and Linux kernel.

A clean installation of Lucid Lynx only took me about 10 minutes.

Lucid Lynx Installing

Lucid Lynx Installing Progress

Boot Time

Faster start up has been promised in this release and this release is significantly faster at starting up taking only a few seconds. This is especially thanks to the removal of hardware abstraction layer (HAL) during the boot process.

New Default Theme

The first thing you’re notice even during installation is that Ubuntu is no longer brown. Instead, it sports a black-pink color scheme. In addition, the default theme has close, minimize, and maximize buttons on the left side of the window rather than the right, similar to a Mac.

Lucid Lynx Theme

The new black-violet default theme along with new placement of close, minimize, and maximize buttons. This will definitely take some time getting used to.

Of course, if you don’t like the new theme, you can always customize it in Appearance Preferences.

Social Network Applications and the New “Me” Menu

Do you actively engage in social networks such as Twitter and Facebook? If so, the new Gwibber client built into Lucid Lynx might be useful. What’s Gwibber? It’s a streamlined all-in-one social networking client including desktop notifications of messages and all of your messages in one easy to use interface and a global status updater.


Say hello to an integrated social networking client

Remember Ubuntu 9.10 ditching Pidgin in favor of Empathy as the default chat client. It looks like this move was to prepare for the all new “Me” menu. Lucid Lynx is social right from the start.

What is this “Me” menu? It allows you to set your social/chat status right from the desktop by clicking your username in the corner menu. It integrates with both Empathy and Gwibber.

Lucid Lynx Me Menu

The new "Me" menu integrating Empathy for Chat Accounts and Gwibber for Broadcast Accounts as well as access to Ubuntu One.

Ubuntu One Syncing and Music Store

Ubuntu One

Ubuntu One is an Ubuntu exclusive file syncing service offering a free 2 GB of could syncing storage. It didn’t offer much when it was first introduced with Karmic Koala, but with Lucid Lynx, it offers something special. That’s right. A DRM-Free music store integrated directly into the default music player.

Ubuntu One Music Store

The new Ubuntu One Music Store

Whenever you buy music from the store, the files are automatically synced into your Ubuntu One account, ready to be added to any other computer. Lucid Lynx also introduces contact syncing within your Ubuntu One account.

Simpler, Lighter Default Apps

Ubuntu used to ship with GIMP as the default graphics editor, which is a powerful free alternative to Photoshop, however contains lots of features most users would probably never use, and XSane, which was a option rich scanner application.

In their place is an insanely simple application, Simple Scan.

Lucid Lynx Simple Scan

Simple Scan - A very simple scanner application replacing both XSane and GIMP.

Of course, should you ever want GIMP, the Ubuntu Software Center has what you need. The default built in F-Spot Photo Manager also has many image editing options.

PiTiVi Video Editor

Lucid Lynx includes for the first time, a video editor by default. PiTiVi Video Editor is a very simple to use eidtor involving mostly just dragging and dropping clips onto a timeline.

Lucid Lynx PiTiVi

Lucid Lynx PiTiVi Video Editor involves mostly dragging and dropping.

It doesn’t support a large variety of media clip formats and seems to only output as Ogg Theora. It does however support many Ogg Theora quality levels.

Lucid Lynx Video Quality Levels

PiTiVi has many output quality level options

Lucid Lynx also includes numerous changes to the operating system backend as usual therefore providing better performance and stability.

This is a long term support release and therefore Lucid Lynx will be in active support for at least 2 years.

Ready to upgrade? You can either download a new ISO image from the Ubuntu website (I recommend the Bittorrent version if the servers are overloaded) or update through the Update Manager.

Ubuntu Update

You can upgrade to 10.04 LTS through the Update Manager.

This has been a first look at whats new with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx and of course, does not include all the changes in the new version.

Have you tried Lucid Lynx yet? What do you think of it so far? Love it? Hate it? Don’t care? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS [Ubuntu]

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Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Install Progress Thu, 29 Oct 2009 23:47:44 +0000 Today, I handily grabbed myself the Ubuntu 9.10 stable release, which was released today, exactly a week after Microsoft’s Windows 7 launch.  The Ubuntu servers were downloading at a very slow rate, but the bittorrent version was much faster.  Most of us probably don’t have a hold on Ubuntu 9.10 yet, but here’s a beginning preview of the 9.10 install process and some pretty pictures.


The .iso file for Ubuntu 9.10 can be found on the Ubuntu site (just Google Ubuntu if you don’t know where that is) I installed Ubuntu 9.10 on my Virtualbox on Windows 7.  Above is a screenshot when I first selected “install” when prompted.


Ubuntu gives you a few initial selections.  Type in a few responses for a few questions and you’re on your way to installation.


This is the Ubuntu install screen.  Ubuntu gives you a slideshow of basic tips and tricks to use within Ubuntu, providing something to stare at instead of just a computer screen.  Notice the background.


Here, you can see Ubuntu’s new default wallpaper, and some of the default theme.  The most visual change in Ubuntu 9.10 is the newly stylized theme, an slight upgrade for the Human theme.


And now finally we have come to the login screen.  This login is pretty stylized too, and is a step up from Ubuntu 9.04’s already stylized login screens.

So, can Ubuntu 9.10 compete with Windows 7?  Or have you laid hands on a copy of the Ubuntu 9.10 .iso?  Leave your comments below.

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Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala is Released Thu, 29 Oct 2009 22:35:51 +0000 ubuntulogoUbuntu, the popular GNU/Linux Operating System, has released its latest release, known as Karmic Koala today.

As with the first day of new releases, the servers will be very slow, therefore, if you intend on getting the release right now, we recommend you download the Torrent file and use a BitTorrent client rather than dealing with speeds that can go as low as 5 KBs or even generate a connection time out. The final ISO download is approximately 698 MB.

You may want to look at our first looks on Karmic Koala Beta.

What are your thoughts on this new release? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Download Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

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Portable Ubuntu Remix Sat, 03 Oct 2009 22:41:11 +0000 Portable Ubuntu Remix is essentially a portable Ubuntu operating system that runs directly in windows. Download it here (the DOS release 4). The download size is around 450 mb, and when fully installed, it will be around 3.8 gb. Toss this to the side and return home if you don’t have enough disk space or don’t feel like trying this out because of its extremely (not) portable size.

After downloading the exe, extract the 7z archive by double clicking the exe file. Then, go to the directory in which you installed “Portable” Ubuntu in, and open the pubuntu.exe to run the Portable Ubuntu (PUbuntu for short). Below is PUbuntu’s loading screen:

PUbuntu Open

Note: Opening PUbuntu will require administrative privileges to gain access to your network, etc for Ubuntu. After PUbuntu opens, you will see this:

PUbuntu Interface

PUbuntu integrates nicely into Windows. It has a top bar, from where you can launch applications that go into the Windows taskbar as recognized applications. These applications run under PUbuntu’s theme. One such application is below.

PUbuntu Gnometris

Building on the theme of applications, you are able to install applications from Ubuntu the normal way: using the add/remove option in the Applications menu. These applications are saved inside your PUbuntu folder, and will retain all memory, as well as anything else you save in PUbuntu. However, on my Windows Vista with a Core 2 Quad CPU rated at 2.4 GHz and 4 gigs of ram, PUbuntu appears to run slowly. Opening applications in PUbuntu are slower than native applications, and the keyboard input in Gnometris was very slow and delayed. PUbuntu’s Firefox, however, appeared to be in good shape, apart from being slightly slower than my Vista Firefox. OpenOffice also lagged a bit, and PUbuntu used up around 10% of CPU when running.

Now, for PUbuntu’s rating:
Performance: 3.6
Features: 3.6
Ease of Use: 5
Value for Money: 5
Appearance: 5

Final Rating: 4.3

As a “portable” application, I expected a smaller disk size, instead of the 3 gb install size which can only fit on dedicated 4gb or larger flash drives. In addition, the slow performance there would have made me prefer Virtualization software, like Virtualbox. The bottom line is that Portable Ubuntu Remix is a handy way of playing around with Ubuntu applications on Windows, though not the best program to put on your flash drive.

So, completely unsatisfied with the install size of PUbuntu? Or have you found a way to create a portable Linux system with a smaller footprint? Leave your comments below.

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Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Beta: First Looks Sat, 03 Oct 2009 02:22:39 +0000 Ubuntu from Canonical Systems has a tradition of releasing a new version of the Ubuntu operating system (as well as official derivatives like Xubuntu and Kubuntu) every six months. Back in April, Ubuntu 9.04 was released. Its been almost 6 months and that means, Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) is about to be released. The beta was released on October 1, 2009 and this is a first looks at whats new in Ubuntu 9.10 Beta.

Logging in

The new Ubuntu splash screen

I installed Ubuntu 9.10 Beta on VMware and the whole install from start to finish took around 7 minutes only, which is faster than the 13 minutes it took to install Ubuntu 9.04. During install, you will notice that this release uses a darker shade of brown rather than the regular orange-brown. Boot time feels a bit faster as well.

During installation, Ubuntu now displays some useful introductory info including information on pre-installed programs like Firefox and Evolution, similar to the installation of Windows XP.

During installation, users are presented with introductory information.

During installation, users are presented with introductory information.

The login screen got a makeover as well. There is now a list of users as well as an “Other” button to manually type in a username, which is the original method.

The new login screen of Ubuntu 9.10

The new login screen of Ubuntu 9.10

Because VMware refused to work after this because it kept going on an endless loop of going blank probably because of the known issue with Intel Video Chipsets and corrupting the Virtual Disk, the rest are tested through Live CD. After logging in, everything looks essentially the same. There are some new application icons.

The slightly different default theme along with some new application icons. It also features Empathy rather than Pidgin as the default IM client.

The slightly different default theme along with some new application icons. It also features Empathy rather than Pidgin as the default IM client.

For whatever unknown reason, Ubuntu seems to have removed Pidgin in favor of Empathy as the default IM client. Of course, you can always get Pidgin from the Ubuntu Software Center but Empathy is the new default. It works similarly to Pidgin, however long time users of Pidgin might not be very pleased with this change.

Ubuntu 9.10 Beta also features a new and improved software center where users can easily search for, download, and install hundreds of free software from the directory.

The new and improved Software Center with categories

The new and improved Software Center with categories

As mentioned earlier, if you prefer Pidgin over Empathy, you can easily install Pidgin in the Software Center under Internet.

Pidgin in Ubuntu Software Center

Pidgin in Ubuntu Software Center

Ubuntu 9.10 also ships with Ubuntu One, an online file sharing and synchronization between computers on the Ubuntu One network. The status of this is indicated by the Ubuntu One icon on the top application bar next to the volume control. This seems similar to Dropbox.

Ubuntu One folder. Files in here are synced online and with other computers through the Ubuntu One network.

Ubuntu One folder. Files in here are synced online and with other computers through the Ubuntu One network.

This release ships with some new default backgrounds.

The new set of backgrounds for Ubuntu

The new set of default backgrounds for Ubuntu

In general, Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) doesn’t introduce a wide array of new features, however it does include small updates to many different smaller areas. As always, it includes updated versions of the pre-installed software. A full new feature list can be found here.

Want to give Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Beta a try for yourself?

Keep in mind that this is Beta software and therefore, you may experience bugs. Be sure to look over the Known Issues.

Ubuntu Home Page
Ubuntu Karmic Beta

Price: Free
Download Size: ~697 MB

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