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Ubuntu 6.10, aka Edgy Eft, has been released this week. Time to upgrade, and indeed, as the most comments say, Edgy starts up quite quickly, thanks to the new upstart init replacement. Edgy also contains - to my surprise - the recently released Firefox 2, which contains spell checking as I see while I'm typing this blog post. No excuse for typos any more :)

I'm a bit surprised that I had to manually change the Ubuntu release to edgy in /etc/apt/sources.list; with the upgrade to Dapper, I remembered the update-manager detected this automatically.

Other goodies : Ubuntu 6.10 server edition is now also available for Sparc.

Restricted formats


One of the things Ubuntu differs substantially from Debian is that it does not include MP3 support. The RestrictedFormats Wiki page explains why, and what to install to add support for all media formats available.



As Xgl is included in the Dapper repositories, I thought it would be a good idea to submerse myself for once in the eye candy that is available. There are several howto's available and basically it's just adding two lines in /etc/apt/sources.list, and create the Xgl server entry in gdm.conf and the compiz-start script.

Xgl is fun to watch, but I have the same feeling when I use KDE : lots of eye candy, but in the end everything is keeping you from being productive. The 'wobbly' feature will be the first thing probably that I'm going to disable, cause it blurs the fonts on the screen when an item is moving, which wearies the eye. It also takes a second or so to stop a menu from wobbling, which is somehow annoying in the case of right-click menus.

For the rest, everything is like in the Xgl promo video : changing a workspace gives you the image of a rotating cube, and Alt-Tab displays a column with previews of available windows. What I really like in Xgl/Compiz, is the fact that inactive windows are displayed grey, which gives you a better view/attention on the focussed window.

There are still some little issues with other OpenGL programs, and the fact that the standard Xorg server is still started, which disables the 'Switch User' functionality. But that are issues to look at later.

Ubuntu on the desktop


There's no better date than 6.06.06 to install Ubuntu 6.06 on my desktop. Time to say goodbye to Debian, a last glance on the mounted partitions, and which ones to erase or to keep, and then time to insert the 32bit install CD. Why 32bit ? Cause the 64bit versions are still too much hassle. Things like OpenOffice or Java still don't play well in 64 bit environments, and creating 32bit chroots or start up a 32bit VMware Ubuntu just to check my bank accounts isn't imo worth the trouble.

But what a fast installer Ubuntu has ! The download of the install ISO took longer than the install itself (but maybe that says something about my ADSL download speed). I wished Ubuntu provided netinst iso's, but as I see how they provide the installer as a graphical program on the live CD, I don't think this is going to happen soon.

A date like 6/6/6 isn't allways a good one to perform installations or upgrades. There were some security issues with the installed Drupal version, so I thought it would be a good idea to upgrade to 4.7. Wrong guess : not only Drupal now shows the current module number from where to upgrade (instead of the version number - quite confusing), but something went horribly wrong with the upgrade of the phptemplate or xtemplate engine. The result was that I couldn't get any sideblocks to view, which is annoying cause there reside the administration and login menus. I had no other option than to revert the database and Drupal engine back to 4.6, and upgrade from there to 4.6.8.

Dapper Drake (or : a Debian user migrates to Ubuntu)


Today marks the official release of Ubuntu 6.06, the userfriendly version of Linux. I've been test-running the (upgraded) beta since last week on my laptop, and -albeit a bit slow on this Pentium III Celeron 1GHz- I must say it's quite polished.

I've been running Debian unstable since 2000, but since the sarge release, it has ever become more and more unstable, causing grief at every dist-upgrade. Breezy has been running in VMware, so I had some time getting used to it. What strikes me is the big difference in repository content. Things like xephem aren't included in the Ubuntu repo, not even in multiverse.

Time to download the x64 version and install it on my dekstop.


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