Ubuntu 8.10 First Tryout
Ubuntu 8.10 is the October 2008 six monthly release of Canonical's Linux distribution. The Ubuntu brand has been credited with popularising Linux with a wider audience than the classic Unix and open source fan base many distributions cater to, and this, in many ways, sets a higher bar for Ubuntu releases. Ubuntu should be suitable for the novice user and not put too many hurdles in the way of having a functional and usable system connected to the net.
With 8.10, Canonical has tried to put together an almost bleeding edge distribution. The kernel in 8.10 is 2.6.27, only recently completed in the last month or two. The graphics subsystem is the latest from X.org. Oddly though, further up the application stack, thing are more conservative. Despite being released in mid October, OpenOffice 3.0, which was expected to be in 8.10, didn't make the cut, apparently due to lack of testing time. There's no "LTS", Long Term Support, attached to Ubuntu 8.10 as it was in the 8.04 release back in April, so there will only be 18 months of support for 8.10, which makes the holding back of OpenOffice 3.0 somewhat odd. LTS releases of Ubuntu have 3 years of support for the desktop, five years for the server edition. It may be down to the fact that Ubuntu, according to its package management, uses an OpenOffice build from the Go-oo project, which hasn't released a Open Office 3.0 release. Go-oo takes Open Office and places it under a freer licence, polishes the user interface, improves performance and adds in extra import filters; Go-oo though is still shipping a release based on OpenOffice 2.4. For people who want OpenOffice 3.0 installed cleanly, we have a brief how-to
Our first installation of Ubuntu 8.10 was on a Dell Dimension 530S, a compact modern desktop machine which has been been running Ubuntu 8.04 happily for a few months. On booting the Ubuntu CD we were met the boot loader; we selected to boot up as a live CD, then the Ubuntu logo and then... a blank screen and the monitor would go into power save. We had to reboot in safe mode and install the proprietary ATI driver to get the system working with a decent display resolution. For directions on how to do this, we have the details