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:
- 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
- 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)
- 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.