Last week saw the release of version 10.04 of Ubuntu Linux, also known as “Lucid Lynx”. This latest version of Canonical’s popular Linux distribution includes a number of improvements over this already incredibly user friendly operating system. Ubuntu has a well-deserved reputation as being one of the easiest Linux distributions to install, if not necessarily the easiest to configure, at least for Linux newcomers. However, there are plenty of new features included in Lucid Lynx which will help attract new users and enhancements which will appeal to long time Linux users and win some converts from other popular distributions like Mandriva, Mint and SuSe.
So What’s New In Lucid Lynx?
One thing which some users have noticed about the latest release of Ubuntu is that supports many iPhone devices out of the box – while this feature hasn’t been heavily promoted by Canonical, it seems that at least for the moment, iPhone users will be able to transfer files to and from their phone and PC with ease. However, this could change with the next iPhone firmware upgrade, so if you’re truly committed to your iPhone you may eventually need to install some other (free) software to manage this mobile device with Ubuntu Linux.
The new version uses the 2.6.33 version of the Linux kernel, meaning that most onboard and peripheral hardware devices should be supported from the get-go; this is a distribution known for good hardware support out of the box, saving newcomers a lot of frustration trying to get soundcards and video to work properly, something which any old hands at Linux systems reading this will know about all too well. However, for the vast majority of users, the hardware support will be completely transparent – all you’ll likely notice is how quickly the base system installs (around 25 minutes on most machines) and how quickly the system boots up, even compared to Ubuntu’s already exemplary performance in that department.
Features which are more likely to interest the average PC user include Lucid Lynx’s easy integration with Twitter, Facebook and other social media and social networking platforms, with a “MeMenu” built into Ubuntu’s Gnome 2.30 desktop. As usual with Ubuntu, Gnome is the default desktop manager with this version, though users who prefer KDE, FVWM, IceWM or any other desktop can download and install these options through Ubuntu’s user-friendly software management tool.
The software manager is in fact one area where Ubuntu 10.04 really shines. Ubuntu’s software installation and removal tool is much easier to use than many competing distributions, largely due to its Debian-based heritage. If you’ve ever spent an afternoon cursing the developer of RPM software packages, you’ll definitely enjoy the way that Ubuntu handles package dependencies for the user, downloading additional software as needed. Updates are also a snap, as users have come to expect of this newbie friendly distribution – and there is an enormous variety of free software available for this system, ranging from office productivity packages to games, multimedia players and editors and much more besides.
So is Ubuntu 10.04 worth a try? If you’re a fan of Debian based systems or already use Ubuntu, absolutely – and unless you’re tied to Windows due to work or proprietary software, it’s well worth checking out; a live CD is available for free, so you can give the system a try and install it if you find Lucid Lynx to be a good match for the way you use your PC.