So you've read our Complete Beginner's Guide to Linux and have decided to adopt an open-source operating system--congratulations! But diving right into a new OS is daunting, even if it is as polished and stable as Ubuntu. That's OK though, because we're here to help. We've compiled a list of the 20 most important skills that every Ubuntu user should have. These tips, ranging from basic GUI manipulation to advanced system recovery, are essential to your Windows-free computing experience. Whether you've just installed Ubuntu for the first time or have been a Linux acolyte for years, you'll want to read our refresher. And if you have any tips you can't live without, we'd love to hear about them in the comments section!
Exactly a week after the much anticipated launch of Windows 7, Canonical rolled out Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala). Although it may not have been as keenly awaited as Windows 7, Karmic Koala's launch was special for a particular demographic that romances Linux, and especially its subset that dotes on Ubuntu. But early adopters of the latest Ubuntu release are having a torrid time.
Excited users have been rewarded with a plethora of problems in exchange of their bravura and enthusiasm. Karmic Koala's poor handling of graphics drivers - blank and flickering screens are quite common - and its failure to install the latest 2.6.31 Linux kernel figure prominently on the list of flaws. Also, the latest version of Ubuntu is not too good at spotting hard drives, according to initial reports.
On October 29, Canonical is set to release Ubuntu 9.10 (codenamed “Karmic Koala”), the newest installment in the Ubuntu product line. In anticipation of this release, we took the release candidate (RC) for a test drive. Ubuntu 9.10 RC comes on a LiveCD just like its predecessors and allows you to test a fully-functional installation of the operating system without installing it. The boot process looks very different from previous versions, especially since the old progress bar has been replaced with one that just moves from left to right while providing very little useful boot progress information. However, the boot process is still extremely fast compared to many other distros and you always have the option of disabling the boot splash screen if you want to see detailed boot information.
Additionally, the installation process now automatically sets your system time from an online time server and now includes a slideshow to introduce you to the features of Ubuntu as the system installs. And for the first time, Ubuntu now allows you to encrypt your home directory out of the box by providing a new option for it during the setup process.
On October 29, which is now less than a week away, Linux users will have a new Ubuntu release to play with. But if you just can't wait that long, especially with all the hoopla surrounding the launch of Windows 7 making you jones for a new OS, consider downloading the Ubuntu 9.10 Release Candidate that was just made available.
"We consider this release candidate to be complete, stable, and suitable for testing by any user," the Ubuntu team wrote on its blog.
Several new features have been added to the open source OS since the release of Ubuntu 9.04. For example, 9.10 makes the transition to Upstart native jobs for faster boot times, Empathy has replaced Pidgin as the default messaging client, the latest release ships with Ubuntu One, a personal cloud computing app allowing you to backup, store, sync, and share data with other Ubuntu One users, Canonical claims the inclusion of new Intel video driver architecture solves "major performance problems," the new ext4 file system is now used by default, and a whole bunch more.
See the full list of changes (and known problems) here, and if you're itching to try out the RC, you can download your copy here.