Feisty Fawn First Looks

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Yes, Ubuntu Feisty Fawn has been released, and I got it up and running in no time flat. I tried using the built in upgrade, but that didn't work largely because it took forever to download everything. The servers must've been hammered like crazy. Still, I managed to SOMEHOW get the ISOs from newly opened mirrors (Taiwan servers only opened a day after the release) and I got it at 200+ Kb/s. Not bad for NUS Network.

Anyway, I rebooted, popped the CD in, and let the LIVE version run. The first thing that struck me was that the loading screen was a whole lot nicer than what it used to be. The loading bar itself looks cool, and although I preferred the Windows loading screen to Ubuntu Edgy's, I've reversed that in Feisty. Gnome started without a hitch, and I clicked install, choosing to import all my settings from Windows. I reformatted the drive, and installed everything to it. THIS TIME, I rebooted with no problems getting into Gnome. The display drivers were working properly. However, the detection only gave me a lousy 1024 x 768, so I just fired up the NVIDIA driver installation built in. After another reboot, I STILL had to reconfigure my xserver, but since I've done it before, it was a snap.

I installed Beryl (Although it's said to be in the repository, I only had beryl-manager, which wasn't enough) from their website and managed to set it up nicely. A quick CTRL + ALT + BACKSPACE later and everything was looking really great. I also used Automatix2 and installed a handful of software. That done, I configured Evolution to work with NUS Mail although it was already automatically setup for me (From importing Windows settings). I didn't like the idea of it using IMAP, so I reconfigured it to use the Exchange Server directly. No problems there.

I went through the whole process pretty quickly, and studying in between was easy since most of it was just click and wait. My first impressions of Feisty are really good, and things are looking even cooler than Edgy. Feisty handles read/write to NTFS drives just like Windows, so I can now convert all my partitions to NTFS and save me the trouble of having FAT32, which is slow and constantly needs defragmenting. That's a huge plus, and makes the Linux experience all the sweeter.

I didn't have time to do anything else, since I AM having my exams, but suffice to say, this distribution seems to be a very healthy start to the 'alternative desktop'. People have been taking an interest in my new OS, and they're willing to try it out largely because it can 'do the same things as Windows' without having to pay for copyrighted stuff. There's also relatively less maintenance to do and they still can't believe there's NO REGISTRY. Still, being the gamer that I am, I think I'll hold on to my dual-boot, at least until I can get Wine to work with some of my games; Warcraft 3 didn't turn out so well, and I'm apprehensive to try loading C&C 3 on it just now. PLUS, Wine seems to dislike 64bit architectures for now. Windows will do just fine until I can overcome these issues.

My laptop will be getting the upgrade too, and if I get a wireless card / USB to go with it, I'd have a pretty cool portable system up and running again.

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn is worth taking a look at. Ask me if you want to try it out on your PC. The CD's free anyhow.

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Posted by Gerald at 4/22/2007 02:21:00 AM