Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 beta1 - a closer look (part 2)

(For Part 1 of post, click on this link: Ubuntu 10.04 beta1 a closer look - part 1)

This discussion is based on Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop Edition (64 bit version). You can download the latest beta releases, instructions here: Lucid Lynx Beta Released

I was so far using Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala). Yesterday I tried to "upgrade" it to Ubuntu 10.04 beta1. I have since then come across lots and lots of obstacles, features, tweaks etc. I will try and discuss as many I can.

First things first, be very careful about upgrading. The upgrading process itself worked fine for me, however problems started when I restarted my PC after the upgrade (the upgrade manager had downloaded around 2GB of data from the Ubuntu servers). The Appearances panel stopped working due to a DBus error and unfortunately the network applet stopped working as well (aka it broke). I was left in the lurch because I couldnt connect to the internet and do an upgrade. And neither could I browse the web for solutions. The only way out was to use the spare live CDs I had (a lesson for all here, dont throw away your live CDs, they can come in very handy sometimes) and search for solutions. I found none across the web. Maybe people werent facing the problems I was facing, maybe they didnt care to post it. Anyway, I didnt find any solutions, thats the point.

So being left with absolutely no other option but to format and do a fresh install, I backed up my data and did that. (Frankly, this time around, I thought the upgrade would work for me, but clearly it was not to be. Its official now, I'm very unlucky when it comes to upgrading. I would also advise anyone running 9.10 to hold his horses. Dont upgrade right now, wait till the final stable release comes out. And even if you want to experience 10.04, try it from the live CD or do a fresh install.) It took a lot of time (backing up all the data and then installing) but I guess it was worth all that. The installation went ahead smoothly and it brought me straight to the Ubuntu 10.04 desktop. Tell you what, the Ambience theme looks better than it does in the pictures. I dont think I'll be changing themes very soon.


All the packages in the repositories have been updated and currently more often than not its the latest version. Chromium (the open-source counterpart of Google Chrome) has been added to the repositories now, so you can now directly install it from the Ubuntu Software Center. (However if you want the very latest versions of Chromium you should add its repositories. A complete guide to do that is given here: Install Chromium Browser)

Now this latest version concept is really good when it comes to most softwares but not when it comes to Wine. The latest version of Wine is installed by default which is 1.1.41. However I have always found 1.1.31 to be the best version for playing games etc. Most of the games I have dont run well on the latest version of Wine. I still havent figured out a way to roll back to the previous release as the "Force version" option on synaptic isnt working for Wine. I will post a solution as soon as I find out.
(How do you install Wine? Its pretty easy: How to Install Wine)


SOLUTION : A temporary solution has been found thanks to Ubuntuforums. You can download the relevant package from Launchpad. The previous 'stable' version of Wine was 1.1.31, you can download the 32 bit version from this page and the 64 bit version from this page. Tip: Remove the installed version of Wine before you install these versions to avoid complications.


Saddest part? Compiz. Sorry, it just is the saddest part about 10.04. You will have to install Compiz as you usually would from the Ubuntu software center (See here for more info: Getting Compiz to work on Ubuntu). The burn effect isnt available anymore! (Is there an emoticon for crying out loud?)
And the cube isnt really that magnificent anymore. The 'jutting out' effect of windows while rotating the cube is absolutely gone, vanished. A small tip here, if you cant add 4 workspaces from compiz (in order to enable the cube), try right-clicking on the workspace and then Preferences and then select the number of columns as 4. But I hope the compiz developers will figure out a solution soon.


SOLUTION : If you have this problem where you cant see Compiz Animations Add-on, install this package - compiz-fusion-plugins-extra from the synaptic or from the terminal:

sudo apt-get install compiz-fusion-plugins-extra


Other than these small glitches, everything works perfectly and I think Canonical has done a great job in aggregating all these softwares. Kudos.


Impressive is an understatement. Ubuntu 10.04 has the very very latest Nvidia drivers now (version 195.x.x) and thats just great. This version works perfectly and installing them is an absolute joy. Simply go to System > Administration > Hardware Drivers and select the recommended drivers. Activate it and it will download and install. Restart you computer and you're done.


Stunning is the word. Please stop complaining. The interface is simply breathtaking, every since inch of space has been utilised to perfection. And although I dont quite like the buttons on the left (you can shift it back to the right: Moving buttons), I think I can forgive the developers and designers simply because the rest of the interface is really awesome. IMs, facebook, gmail chats etc. were never easier and this just is so breathtakingly refreshing.

So far so good. I will keep you posted on anything relevant I come across. Ciao!



  1. great, i like tour tutorial

  2. Very good revieuw,

    But I dont understand your probs with Compiz though...
    And BTW, never upgrade to alpha's and early beta's, thats just asking for trouble. Just install it virtually or an other partition.


  3. yeah very true. i learnt it the hard way this time. :)

    thanks mate.