Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Ubuntu Edgy Eft

Over the Christmas period I installed Ubuntu 5.10 (Edgy Eft) on my MacBook under Parallels, and I have to say that it’s the most likeable Linux distribution I’ve tried so far.

It’s not the first time I’ve used Ubuntu, but it’s the first time that I haven’t been driven mad by it. Though I still do not like their decision to keep support for MP3 and DVD playback out of the box, it is at least a great deal easier to install if wanted, as well as the official Java runtime environment. The inclusion of Firefox 2.0 (albeit what looks like a release candidate thereof) is a nice touch and the default packages aren’t bad, though I’m still annoyed that I can’t remove Evolution – I don’t need it and prefer Thunderbird, but to do so would apparently remove lots of important dependencies. Most of the packages are quite up-to-date too – maybe not the most recent stable versions but not exactly old either.

The system itself isn’t bad either – nice and simple and it looks good. Though as a Mac user, having a menu bar at the top is confusing, especially when it’s not the menu bar for the current application.

Some other things that I would change:

  1. The default font size is too big – menu bars and toolbars end up taking up too much space on screen, especially on a low resolution
  2. It doesn’t appear to support the 1280×800 maximum resolution offered by my MacBook’s screen, so it’s stuck at 1024×768 (which means black borders either side)
  3. Support for the beta of Adobe Flash Player 9, although manually installing the plugin for Firefox is pretty easy

But on the whole, I like it. It hasn’t scared me away yet.


  1. I’ve recently installed Ubuntu 6.10 as a dual boot option on this PC.
    I have to say im extremely impressed by it.

  2. The resolution issue must be a config issue. Check out your X configuration files and add the resolution+referesh rate and I suspect it will appear.

  3. What Ed said. You’ll need to manually add in that resolution into your xorg.conf file. You’ll easily see where it goes, although I’ll agree that it’s a pain that the installation seems to get it wrong every time and play safe with the screen res.
    If you want to see some screen candy have a look into Beryl. You may see some similarities with a certain other OS with some of the effects!

  4. you have to do an
    sudo apt-get install 915resolution
    to get the native 1280×800 resolution.

  5. No, you don’t – you only do that if you’re running Ubuntu on an Intel 915 chipset. I was running it in Parallels, and as it happens the reason why I couldn’t see all resolutions was a bug in Parallels.