Ubuntu 10.10

Ubuntu 10.10, Maverick Meerkat, was released recently. Only 10/10/2010 of course. Probably at 10:10 and 10 seconds. But not in my timezone. I’ve run ubuntu for a number of years now to power my digital TV—using the MythBuntu variant. MythTV + ubuntu = tasty!

This time I opted to once again install ubuntu as a dual boot on my desktop. I periodically like to do this to try out the new stuff, particularly some developer and multimedia tools. Invariably I miss steam and iTunes and head back into Windows (well, I quite like Windows7 too).

The new user experience is getting better, although still not on par with Windows 7. Windows 7, as I recall, you can kick off, walk off, and in about 30 mins (less I think) come back to your brand new OS. I did the same with ubuntu and returned to find it waiting for confirmation of my timezone. After I sat down to answer a few questions (user details) it was pretty quick.

Invariably I encounter a few issues during/after install, which involve trawling forums to find possible solutions, and trying them until one works. I’ve decided to note them down this time for posterity.

Issues with my Ubuntu 10.10 installation
Issue Solution
Couldn’t select IDE hard disk to install on Solved: had to run a command to remove/turn off/purge something to do with RAID. Drive was displayed in the list then, and install worked fine.
Couldn’t get surround sound—centre and rear speakers silent Solved: had to run alsamixer in terminal and raise volume on those speakers (they were set to nothing). The volume control widget in the panel should provide volume control sliders for this—I hope this UI issue is fixed next release. Small but important touch for newbies.
Couldn’t use Win+L shortcut to lock screen Solved: change keyboard shortcuts in the settings menu. Nice! (I’m sure this has caused me grief in the past.)

All in all, it’s getting pretty good. Got my nvidia driver and advanced graphics running fine. Found Chrome on the google website and installed it easily (easier than I remember doing .deb installs before). Got a few other apps down. Had a peek at the new included video editor—another win! Gave up trying to find a video editor in linux last time I poked around. Got rhythmbox playing my iTunes library music too. Also installed a startup editor that helps manage grub, including an easy fix to make Windows 7 the default boot.

MythTV version has been updated so I can’t connect to the backend (holding off upgrading that, don’t want no TV troubles!). Couldn’t get facebook authorised in the Gwibber social media app either, although twitter and ping.fm are fine. Chrome and Firefox both work fine, even on Farmville! That’s come a long way since the old days of no flash on 64-bit linux.

So far so good!

Download a live CD or the wubi installer and try ubuntu yourself (no install necessary).


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Ben Boyle

Web developer, Dad, gamer, mentor, animator, universal design advocate, fan of gadgets and sunshine!

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