Ubuntu 9.10: the net's opinion


It has only been out for a week-ish, but already the reviews of Karmic Koala are scurrying around the intertubes. Jamie's Random Musings at ZDNet has "mixed impressions" of the release, comparing it to 9.04 which he thought was "truly excellent". The Globe and Mail, meanwhile, looks at the Koala from a non-geek perspective, describing it as "a package that won't be a horrible stretch for the novice". Linux Critic gives thumbs-up to the faster boot times, improved artwork and inclusion of the Empathy IM client, but criticises the poor integration of the Ubuntu One cloud storage service.

So, readers, what are your opinions of the release? Is 9.10 totally rocking your boxes, or is it largely a meh-fest after 9.04? Are you waiting for the Lucid Lynx before you upgrade? Or have you had enough of Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Whateverbuntu and you're running OpenBSD in text mode just to get away from it all? Let us know in the comments below...

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Your comments

Upgraded to 9.10

Well i've upgraded to ubuntu 9.10 and having 9.04 installed with wubi, i experienced a very serious bug, which meant i had to 'hard' turn off my comp(press the start button for 7 seconds or so)
I finally decided that i should reinstall ubuntu completely which i did, it now works properly, although i do have a bug with my New Wave theme...

Well my conclusion is that it caused more problems then it was worth it, next time i will be way more careful before upgrading and maybe even wait about 4 months or so.


Just before the release I had to buy a new laptop, the old one died. I bought an Acer Aspire 8735G. The install went well, dual booting with Windows 7, but after activating desktop effects I began to get random freezes. This was solved by disabling the desktop cube. I then tried to transfer my backed up files from a usb hard drive. After a few megabytes the system locked up, there was a similar problem with usb sticks. I have now returned to Jaunty which is fine. Looking at the forums this seems to be a problem with a number of Acer laptops. This kind of experience would put off any newcomer.

I like it, but why can they not get it all right?

My impression is that Ubuntu is promoted as the alternative to Windoze, so if they want mass converts from Microsoft why is it not as easy to install, set up and use yet? I did a clean dual install of 9.10 on this Toshiba laptop alongside Win XP. The partitioning of the hard drive was a nightmare in my experience but I got there in the end - neither easy or idiot proof as it should be these days.

After that the install went smoothly, but again I ran into trouble when trying to get the wireless connection with my router set up. More confusion. Eventually on advice I installed Wicd Network Manager and that got me out of trouble. But then I discovered that Firefox will not connect to the Internet at all, and after much lost of sleep (and a little hair) found that this turns out to be a bug in Karmic. For which it appears there is still no fix!

So why can they not get it right?

Ubuntu 9.10 Experience

The only issue with Ubuntu series was with my on-board graphics detection.
But this time not only it detected it right it also went ahead and got the right resolution.
Also the restricted driver (Jockey is the name i think) works well.

I have been using it since the day it was released and i am just so happy with it.
Looks,performance,boot times everything seems to have improved.

Note:- Just waiting for Mint 8 - i want to check out what improvements they do over 9.10.
Using Mint also has been a pleasant experience always - literally no issues at all.


Have installed from 6.06 through 9.04 on various machines, this is the first time I felt like the whole installation was a step backwards.

I remember when wifi cards wouldn't work, and it was understandable due to new chipsets/drivers not being finalized and whatnot.

First attempt, tried to upgrade, which apparently did not disable the proprietary video drivers, which caused the screen to be unusable on reboot (flicker, etc). Later come to find out I'm supposed to disable the nvidia driver first before upgrade (am I supposed to read minds? never heard of this before).

Gave up on upgrade, went with clean install...

9.10 would not display the installation screens unless I unplugged one of the two monitors (something that worked 100% fine with 9.04, same card, same LCDs).

9.10 would not find my sata dvd drive after install, and I installed from cd on that drive! Not detected/shown in dmesg, not in /dev/sr*, nowhere.

GTK bug which causes dialog buttons to be non-clickable.

These are basic functions that no longer work properly.

I reverted back to 9.04 and will wait for 10.04

don't like it

It takes longer to boot than 9.04, I have a feeling it is trying to compete with microsoft but it will become the same beast that way. I am loyal to an os that boots quickly and lets me check my email quickly and stumble without involving me in tedious stuff that I am simply not interested in. If I am interested in tinkering, I will but otherwise will someone please point me to an OS that does not hassle me with updates virus checkers or anything that interferes with the whole point of why I am using my computer.

Or am I being naive and should I sit patiently while some pre-configured task is executed on the decision of some man sitting somewhere in another time zone 'cos they know better?

Love Ubuntu. Have serious

Love Ubuntu. Have serious issues with Karmic over Jaunty. Upgrade missed a lot. Now having network/router probs. Not ready to re-install but... :-/

I like it

(I'm a Linux newbie). I like it a lot. In my experience Ubuntu 9.10 is a lot better than Fedora 11, the first distro I tried. Ubuntu looks really nice too.

Grub2 no good for multi-boot system

I have 2 multi-boot machines. On the first I did a clean install and nvidia driver install caused me to have no X just command prompt - reinstalled 9,04 = no problem. On the second machine I still have an 8.04 installation (with the menu.lst). I had 9.04 on another partition and upgraded that to 9.10. It messed up my Grub and I couldn't find a menu.lst anywhere with 9.04 or 9.10 on it anywhere! So after manually editing my menu.lst to include it, both the old kernel and new kernel fail during boot. No unusual hardware ASUS P5Q, Nvidia 8500, Core 2 Duo, sata drives. All was working great in 9.04, looks like I'll have to reinstall it or perhaps give the latest Mandriva a spin.

9.10 isn't ready for multi-boot systems IMHO. I always jumped on the bandwagon for new releases of K/Ubuntu - not anymore.

8.10 works better

will not open more than one home folder
keeps freezing up
iplayer ok for live transmissions no good for listen again

Graphical surface gets corrupt but console always works fine

Don't know if I am the only one having these issues:
nautilus often crashes, if clicking on an unmounted device it doesn't prompt for my password anymore, which is no problem in bash, there it works fine. Also the Plugdevices: at fresh install it worked fine, but now it doesn't recognize the external storage (stick or hd, it's the same). And if I want to mount it by hand, I have read only access, though watching the attributes it says that there's rw access. Seems that there is a disturbing daemon or routine.... Whatever I will find a solution someday ;-) And when nautilus crashes also the desktop crashes (gnome) or shall I use the KDE desktop instead?

Like I said: when dropping commands via shell it all works great, but installing some 'exotic' programs (but they all are in the synaptic list) it seems, that the 'graphical' system settings get in disparity with the 'real' textbased settings....

The only apps that I've installed besides the standard default installation are: pan, rar and some routines for internet-connect (clam-av for scanning downloaded win-files and some detection routines to log and prevent some attacks against my pc).

I had these issues even in 9.04, but never ever in 8.04 ...


Haatty! I'm a new from-Windows convert to Ubuntu. I've been using Ubuntu Jaunty for about six months and I've been able to figure out how my way around it -desktop, Grub, etc. I haven't on Karmic. My general impression is that it (Karmic) detours from the general straight line of "ease of use". Somebody is forgetting the most important thing about an desktop OS is the user. That's why Windows (as lame as it may be called) is still alive. Geek programmers: quit showing off. Linux is not Windows, I get that; but people are people!

Extremely Disappointed

I am extremely disappointed with Ubuntu 9.10.

I upgraded one machine - lost sound, lost access to shared printers, lost video play.

I did a clean install on another machine. Lost sound, lost wired network access, lost internet access. Managed to get Internet access back by logging in as root and looking around, logged out and then back in as user and had Internet access. No clue as to why how. Still cannot access other machines on the wired network.

Boot time with Grub2 on the clean install is much slower then with original grub and it was a struggle to get my Windows (dual boot) back. Grub 2 is much more complex to figure out.

So, I'm going back to 8.04 LTS. It doesn't have the glitz and glamour. But IT WORKS!

My exp. with 9.10

I am totally new to Linux and Ubuntu but am quite comfortable with pc's so was excited to discover "Live CD's and Live USB"
I installed 9.10 via live usb on my Inspiron 1501. Duel boot with XP Pro first and then triple boot with Kubuntu 9.10, XP Pro and Ubuntu 9.10. Ubuntu was the clear winner. Fast to install and update. With a bit of coaxing, everything worked well. Only 2 major incidences. 1/ Unrecoverable crash related to compiz Fusion. (Had to reinstall) 2/ Could not reboot after battery died before I could shut down. (lost all my data on reinstall) I am committed to Ubuntu 9.10 now and am comfortable with the idea that you get what you pay for.
Windows***** are gone from my machines. dk

Not as impressed as I hoped to be...

I prefer a minimal install and found that Ubuntu 9.10 is becomming bloated, and it seems much harder than it used to be to get the basics working with a mimimal munber of packages.

- Kernel modules for B43 wireless NIC appears to be broken and causes system to hang on boot. Fixed problem by using modconf to remove module from kernel. No wireless is a bit of a pain but I expect it will get fixed at some point..

- Installed gnome-mount and gnome-volume-manager but still can't see any USB drives in GNOME, though I can mount them from the console.

7/10 - Could do better

Linux distros not recomendable for new hardware , but

I try Linux distro's from time to to time , but several times it didn't work out too well . My new motherboards were not Ubuntus best friends. Now two years after its working fine and I'm quite impressed with the improvement of the user friendly version , which is out now. I think the
old generation of Linux programmers with their fingers way up in their rear , are a on pension now . A lot off software
is now easy to install now and I found new to take over from the software i have bought during the years for my Windows XP. The software or missing drivers are quite often the reasons why many people return to Windows again.
Also too much command promt for simple things could scare you , but that is almost solved now.

Upgrade breaks ALSA, mplayer

Frankly, I am disappointed with the upgrade from 9.04 to 9.10. Its the last time I do anything other than a fresh install. I was forced to build latest ALSA by hand (configure; make) to resolve some issues. Various packages needed to be reinstalled. Atheros wireless seems to still be working, have not tried printer yet. Internet seems awfully sluggish, but this *may* not be the fault of 9.10.

Ubuntu 9.10 install

Installed U 9.10 on a older Toshiba A205 S4577(original os vista) as single os, result: got a new notebook, this unit is sweet and fast again. U found all hardware correctly everything worked right away.
Installed it also on a Dell 530 desktop as dual-boot. here the same as my Toshiba no hardware issues, everything worked out of the box. need to mentioned i did a full, new install of U 9.10, i am certain i have saved me a lot of headache compared to upgrading a lower U version.
I am a very happy U user, unfortunately, my business PC is a Windows notebook, going to work everyday and use this unit is like going back in time, LOL.

Not bad for a novice but still tweaking required...

I installed my 9.10 as my first ever foray into Linux. Not able to go the easy (i386) route i've put it on my PS3. The install went swimmingly but nothing would boot. After looking online I re-installed on an Ext3 partition rather than the default Ext4 (which the PS3 and Kboot didn't like) and used petitboot just to be safe.

Now all is tickety-boo, except I cannot for the life of me get the Java Firefox plugin working.

As I said, I'm a total novice. I haven't tinkered at this kind of OS level since my old Amiga but overall i'd give it a 8/10. It'll drop to 3 or 4/10 if I can never get Java and Flash working though because using the web is painful.

I use it...

If you're interested in audio production, you need JACK. Pulse hates JACK, but Karmic loves Pulse. I must be a glutton for punishment, because I love Karmic. And I'm sure it'll be even sweeter when my production machine is running properly again, because really everything BUT real-time audio works better than ever.

Do a clean install! Upgrade from 9.04 and you will repeat many of the complaints listed above. After you are all set up make a new user and use that, as the new user default settings are a bit more refined than the generic defaults.

For production: 4/10. For home use: 9/10

Pulse is about as useful as Compiz. If Canonical comes to their senses, we may have something better soon.

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