Ubuntu Feisty 7.04
I installed Ubuntu Feisty Fawn 7.04 a night ago. I was immediately impressed. Not maybe for the reasons you would think, but mainly by the spit and polish of the upgrade.
For a while I have used Ubuntu linux, and for a while I have been reluctant to install it as the main OS for my friends, or my wife. The reasons are that you often have to open the package manager, or go to the command line and do some task that, for a normal Windows user, would seem arcane. This has prevented most mainstream adoption of Linux. There was no way to run it without opening a terminal.
For feisty fawn, I can say that while I opened a terminal, I did it because I wanted to, not because I had to. It detected all of the hardware on my Dell Dimension E5150. I enabled the restricted driver for my video card, and I was off to the races. I am getting some huge FPS on glxgears, and everything is working far better than it was when I set all this up on Ubuntu 6.10. The main reason I had to open the command line was to change my default JDK from the strange 1.4.2 JVM / JDK that is available to the Sun 1.6 JDK. That was really easy though. I haven't installed it on a laptop, but from what I have read, it is a superstar there too.
They even fixed some of the bugs that made me temporarily go back to Windows, like the inability for the computer to sleep in 6.10. Sleep works like a charm now, even while running Win XP in a VM. All-in-all this seems like the distro that Canonical should show the world. When I do have to run windows, I use VirtualBox. I had some problems on Feisty with VMWare's server application, I tried a couple of things on the Ubuntu forums, but none of those worked. VirtualBox is fast, and it worked like a charm. For those who still need windows for a few things, its a great solution. Really I can't say anything bad about this OS. Its really stable so far, and with Amarok, it has that shiny feeling.
I do have to admit though, that while everything was pretty good, I can't enable the built in Beryl 3D windowing manager. Of course if I download the SVN versions of Beryl it will work, but with the binary driver, “Composite” is disabled. If you open your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and change the 0 to a 1 to the right of the word “Composite” it will get you farther, but it still won't work. If I don't use the restricted binary ATI driver, I get a white screen.
The only thing Linux needs now is a mono port of Direct X so it is easy to port C# / Direct X games to Linux, and we'll be done. Really playing the few PC games I still use is probably the only reason, other than power efficiency, I considered using Windows. The power issue has been resolved, so I will just have to get an Xbox 360, or a PS3. Probably a PS3 after all… Anyway, Give Ubuntu Linux Feisty Fawn 7.04 a shot. I think you'll be impressed too.