Ubuntu Karmic 9.10 and the EXT4 Filesystem
I have been using Ubuntu Karmic for a couple of weeks now(I couldn’t wait, so I got the BETA version 1 week before the RC came out) and here are my impressions so far :
Simply put, the BETA installed, but not as it should. Everything went fine until the last step. When my computer asked me to reboot in the new system, it simply got stuck. Luckily enough this didn’t do anything bad to my system, so I simply shut my computer down and fired it back up.
Ubuntu Karmic is the first version of the operating system that comes with the EXT4 File system. It is the successor of EXT3 (how did you guess ? :)) and was born as a series of backward compatible extensions to remove 64-bit storage limits and add other performance improvements over it’s older version.
For me, on a 64-bit laptop, this has been by far the best improvement (or at least the one I have noticed the most). The computer is much more responsive and programs load very fast. For people who have not tried their distribution with this file system yet, I think you should really give it a try :).
The next noticeable difference is the “Software center” that has replaced the old “Add / Remove” menu. It doesn’t do anything special at the moment and has actually lost one function I myself used a lot : ratings. I have no idea why they have been removed but that was a very stupid step in my opinion. When I didn’t have an application for something, I would normally go to the “Add / Remove” and get the best rated application that would do what I wanted it to. With this new version of Ubuntu Software Center, this seems impossible.
The boot process has been reviewed to be a lot nicer (even though it still flickers on my laptop). The default login screen and wallpaper have been redesigned as well and they are a lot better then the previous ones. The Ubuntu graphics team has done a good job with this distribution, let’s hope they continue in this direction.
Before installing, I was under the impression that this version was supposed to speed up the boot process of my computer. However, the upgrade did not change anything at all for me in that aspect. I sure hope they work on it a lot, because if I am correct, their goal is a 10 second boot for the next version (now I am more around 20).
I really like Ubuntu and this version is definitively better the the last one as a whole. However, there are some very basic functions that should get a lot more thought before simply throwing them at the user base in my opinion, the disappearance of the application ratings in the Software Center being one.