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Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

Today I installed Ubuntu 8.10. Ubuntu is a Linux distribution. The move came a few months after I was severely burned by v7.10, losing all my photos in a failed install.

Below are my first impressions from a Windows-user perspective…


A quick note on how I installed it

A lot of time has passed and I feel ready to jump back in to the wonderfully open and customisable world of Linux.

I didn’t actually physically install Ubuntu on my computer. The scars of 2 years’ worth of lost photosstill hurt.

So I used the excellent Wubi installer instead. The installer uses some sort of magic commands to install Ubuntu inside a Windows drive.

First Impressions

First impressions are mixed – the interface is undoubtedly pretty, but I’m feeling a little lost.

I’m considerably eased by the little commodities – like a preinstalled PDF viewer, it automatically detecting my printer and also automatically connecting me to the internet.

I can tell that whoever designed the UI really wants to appear warm and welcoming to migrating Windows users. After a couple of hours the strange disorientation disappears and I’m fully immersed in the experience.

Installing applications is extremely different to how I’m used to on Windows. Ubuntu’s way is undoubtedly more difficult, but it does bring most programs under one centralised location (making updates and new programs more prominent).

Installing applications

It’s also very easy to get lost playing with new applications and changing all the system settings. Everything is presented very nicely and graphically. Ubuntu is trying very hard to hide its command-line underpinnings.


The font rendering is very different from Windows. There’s no ClearType here in Linux land so it’s up to you to decide how you want your fonts. I found a way how to get font rendering to roughly resemble Mac OS X’s beautiful font rendering. In this regard it’s advantage to the free OS (more on that in a future article).


I wasn’t expecting miracles. My machine has a very modest 512MB RAM chip installed. 64 of that 512MB is reserved for video, since I also don’t have dedicated graphics.

The operating system itself, with all fancy features turned off, is not significantly faster than Windows XP. It does use a little less RAM though and Firefox is remarkably efficient on Ubuntu.

That’s all for now. Look out for future articles about my Ubuntu and Linux adventures.

[Ubuntu download page]

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