Even though I’m a Debian user, I usually recommend Ubuntu to most people looking for a Linux desktop distribution. I recently got handed an IBM ThinkPad T30 that was donated to my school, so I thought it was about time I took my own advice and install Ubuntu.
I booted Ubuntu 7.04 “Feisty Fawn”. While the Prism 2.5 based WiFi adapter didn’t “Just Work”, Ubuntu appears to detect it properly, and some quick Googling reveals that it should work with a little fiddling.
I start the Install application, and I’m reminded how slow LiveCDs are on systems with less than 1 GB of memory. While sluggish, the Install app is very easy to use. It detected my Windows XP partition and offered to import my bookmarks, documents, etc. Very impressive!
The installer froze at 15% for a long time, but after a while it completed the installation without a problem.
Feisty Fawn is pretty bleeding edge: Gnome 2.18, OpenOffice.org 2.2, Python 2.5, etc.
The best part, running compiz –replace & in Gnome terminal gave me all the fancy Compiz effects. No fiddling with xorg.conf. No confusing installation procedures for proprietary drivers. It just worked.
I’m very impressed and will probably keep using Ubuntu instead of Debian for workstations.
Update: It looks like my WiFi card has been bitten by this regression.
Update 2: Its worth noting that my WiFi card didn’t work with Windows XP SP2 either without proprietary drivers.