I started off my morning with some Ubuntu 7.10 action since the first Beta had just been released. I downloaded the 688MB ISO image, burned it to CD, and got started immediately with the Live CD. It took a few minutes for it to boot up, but that’s expected since I’m running the operating system off of the CD I burned. I contemplated upgrading my current Ubuntu 7.04 installation with this version, but I didn’t want to risk the instability.
As soon as Ubuntu started up I was able to select my wireless network. Occasionally in the past it has had issues recognizing my wireless card, but this time it did a great job. It managed to pull in all of the networks in the vicinity:
There are several new features in Ubuntu 7.10, and here’s an overview of them:
- Compiz Fusion – I tried this on my laptop but couldn’t get it to work for the life of me. Every time I tried to enable the “Extra” option the configuration screen would freeze up. This could be because I was running the Live CD, but I’m not ready to give up my stable Ubuntu installation yet to see if that was the root of the cause. To try and enable it yourself just go to System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Visual Effects -> Extra.
- Desktop Search – The desktop search is a nice addition to Ubuntu, and makes it much easier to find what you’re looking for.
- Fast user switching – I didn’t have multiple users on the computer to test this out with, but I’m guessing that it will be nice in those instances.
- GUI for Screen Configuration – I was really excited about this because Ubuntu has always had a hard time recognizing my native widescreen monitor resolution. My native resolution is 1680×1050, and the closest I could get is 1600×1200. I tried switching the drivers for my ATI graphics card, changing screen models, and just about everything, but it had its heart set on not giving in to the widescreen resolution. :(
- Automatic printer installation and non-free device drivers – Printers are now automatically setup when they are plugged in, and restricted drivers can now be installed in just a few clicks. This is great news for anyone with a wireless card from Broadcom!
- NTFS writing – Users can now read and write to NTFS partitions. I tried to do this, but again, I was running the Live CD which wouldn’t let me mount the Windows drive. So for right now I will assume that it works. :)
- And more…
It’s still a bit early for me to give an official thumbs up, but I would say things are looking pretty good. The final release is due out in October, and at that time I’ll go ahead and upgrade my current installation. Hopefully that will solve any of the issues that I was having with the Live CD version.