For the past few days I’ve been trying out the RC for Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on my laptop and I’m pretty impressed. I’ve been using linux for quite a few years now and with this release Ubuntu shows how great linux can be on the desktop.
The great thing about Ubuntu has always been its focus on desktop computing and its attempts to let “normal” people benefit from the awesomeness that is Linux and this release is no exception. Ubuntu strips away unnecessary and confusing choices (remember, too much choice is a bad thing) and gives the user a complete working system with sensible defaults. It’s like the firefox of linux distros: it strips away the bloat and gives you something that is both usable and extensible.
In this release Compiz Fusion is now enabled by default (it was there in Feisty but you just had to turn it on) and it has certainly come a long way. In case you don’t know compiz makes the desktop look pretty. Real pretty. Basically giving it a bunch of Mac and Vista inspired eye candy.
I’ve been following compiz (and beryl, xgl etc.) for a while now and it’s great to see it at a point where it “just works”. In the past it’s been a headache getting it setup and working. And once you finally got it setup it was unstable, crashing and having weird graphical glitches. But now it’s nice, stable, and oh so pretty.
There are other things that the new version of ubuntu brings like fast user switching (doesn’t really affect me) and better management of firefox plugins. Mainly though it’s all about polish. If you’ve been thinking about trying linux (or even if you haven’t) you should definitely check out the new Gibbon.