Posted by: reformedmusings | October 9, 2009

Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 Beta 1

Ubuntu released Karmic Koala 9.10 Beta 1, so I thought that I’d take it for a spin. I downloaded the 64-bit version because that’s what I normally run. As usual, I tried it out in a VMWare Workstation 6.5 virtual machine.

One note of caution: VMWare Tools isn’t compatible with this Karmic beta yet. When I let Workstation install with Easy Install, the VM came up with a blank screen when all was said and done and the GUI tried to load. I couldn’t find any way of getting it working from that point and ended up deleting that VM and starting over. The next time, I had Workstation simply create the VM with a blank “hard drive” and then installed the Live CD after restarting the VM. That worked fine.

The Live CD comes up with the new, bright background – more orange and yellow than brown:

karmic-beta1-livecd

Double-clicking on Install Ubuntu 9.10 starts the process:

karmic-beta1-install

The new installation routine is basically a simple wizard. Unlike Windows 7 which requires lots of user input and several reboots to install, Karmic’s wizard only has six steps. Even the partitioning step has been simplified:

karmic-beta1-part

Note: I recommend manual partitioning using about a 15 GB root partition, about 1 GB for the swap, and the rest of the disk as your /home partition. This allows you to update the operating system to your heart’s content on the root partition while preserving your data and most of your settings untouched on the /home partition.

Ext4 is the default file system now, which is faster than previous file systems and allows truly huge disk and file sizes.

Karmic retains the password check to advise if the user selects a weak password:

karmic-beta1-password

After step 6, it’s off to the races:

karmic-beta1-install-system

Unlike Windows, Karmic keeps you accurately advised of the installation progress. It also keeps you amused by presenting screens about some of Karmic’s features and included software applications. The most  exciting is the new Software Store:

karmic-beta1-install3

The Software Store replaces the previous Add/Remove Programs, providing a more graphical format. More on that later.

After installation completes, the system requires just one restart and then you’re in the opening screen which almost requires sunglasses:

karmic-beta1-installed

Karmic Beta 1 loads in 215 MB of RAM and only takes 2.1 GB of disk space:

karmic-beta1-disk-use

Karmic includes a larger number of more interesting wallpapers than its predecessors:

karmic-beta1-backgrounds

I went for the galaxy series, which rotates between various deep space images:

karmic-beta1-galaxy

Which swaps to other images including this one:

karmic-beta1-back2

Karmic includes the Evolution 2.28.0 PIM:

karmic-beta1-evolution

And the latest 3.1.1 version of OpenOffice.org:

karmic-beta1-oo31

I’ll cover the Software Store in a later post. For now, I noticed that it’s actually called the Ubuntu Software Center in Karmic:

karmic-beta1-software

Looks sharp.

I should note that 349 packages needed updating after the Live CD installed. The development cycle is moving apace towards an October 29th release. It looks like a winner already.

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Responses

  1. Do you mean 15 GB root and 1GB swap?

    Helpful post. I only use Ubuntu on an old machine (I wish I had the ability/time to get all the programs I need working on it). Like the idea of the rotating desktop images.

  2. Yep, sorry about that. I fixed it.

    The rotating wallpapers is pretty cool. The ones in Karmic are quite nice. I’m conflicted, though, because I normally use my own photographs for backgrounds.


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