Ubuntu, as Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman will tell you, hasn’t done much to date with improving the Linux kernel. On the other hand, as Canonical CEO and top Ubuntu guy Mark Shuttleworth pointed out in a recent press conference, “Ubuntu’s focus has been on high-quality integration.” Based on my work with the Ubuntu 8.10 release candidate, which goes final tomorrow, October 30th 2008, I agree with Shuttleworth.
I’ve been running Ubuntu 8.10, aka “Intrepid Ibex,” on a Gateway GT5622. This PC uses a 1.80GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2160 processor. It has 3GB of RAM, a 400GB SATA II hard drive and a DVD R/W drive. For graphics, it uses the Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 950, which was set to pull 224MB of RAM from main memory to use as shared video memory.
I also ran the new Ubuntu on a Lenovo R61 ThinkPad with a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, the T7500, 2GBs of RAM, with an AT&T USBConnect Quicksilver for 3G connectivity.
On these PCs, Ubuntu 8.10 ran without any hiccups, so I could focus on the features.
Number one on my list is the new Ubuntu’s support for 3G wireless devices and its improved Wi-Fi support. Until Mobile WiMax becomes as universal as cellular I expect I’ll find myself needing a high-speed network with no alternative except 3G.