Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) - an Evaluation

I've been using Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron), since about a week it was released in late April 2008. Recognizing the amount of effort I put together in making my Gutsy (Ubuntu 7.10) box the most pleasing experience to me, I decided to upgrade to Hardy and do a minimum amount of tweaking to make sure it meets my requirements.

The upgrade was so smooth and happened quite faster than I expected. I was delighted to see smoother graphics, easy-on-eye themes and layouts which were appealing at the first instance. However, in reality Hardy wasn't too far away from a most up-to-date Gusty distribution. Among the other improvements, additions and features introduced in Hardy are:
  1. Long-Term Support (LTS)
  2. Newer GNOME and Pidgin etc.
  3. Firefox 3 beta 5
  4. Brasero CD/DVD burning application
  5. Transmission BitTorrent client
  6. Linux Kernel 2.6.24-16-generic
A more detailed list can be found in the RC wiki.

However, at release point, Hardy was not as stable as Gutsy (or even Feisty perhaps). Updates have been flowing in, in abundance. It is noteworthy to state that there even was an upgrade to the Linux kernel itself in less than a month after the release. Thus, Hardy came sooner than the community expected it to.

An internet connection becomes a must perhaps to run Hardy as most incompatibility issues (including unsupported drivers, erroneous applications and numerous other bugs and vulnerabilities) were sorted after the release in the form of patches. But, this attempt to me signifies that Hardy is not a much stable OS out there. It is better suited for developers (or users) who are aiming at the latest trends in Linux based operating systems, but not for an average user who'd rather expect to have a reliable and easy to use OS.

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