A Jhalak of The Jaunty Jakalope

Come April and starts off a countdown for yet another (K)Ubuntu Release and this time its Ubuntu 9.04, the Jaunty Jakalope. With first inputs from Madhusudan C.S that Jaunty went terribly wrong for him, dented all hopes of another wonderful release. But then, when I had my hands on, I say, the Jaunty is a Gem. Here are my first impressions of Kubuntu 9.04

Installer – Minor changes to the installer in timezone selection and partition manager. This time around the partition manager took less than 10 seconds to display the table as against over a minute with the Ibex. The installation process went on smoothly with CD-in to CD-out happened well within 15 minutes. That’s great!

Boot time – AS promised by Mark Shuttleworth, the Jaunty boots at an unbelievable timing of 22 seconds. The benchmark says 21 seconds but then I spend 1 second hitting the Enter Key at the Grub 😛

With successful installation and a fast boot, JJ was all set, and this time its Kubuntu 9.04 for me.

Desktop Environment – With KDE 4.2.2 as default DE one could not have asked for more.  With its world-renowned Ubuntu core and the KDE 4.2 desktop, Kubuntu 9.04 gives users a well-rounded, feature-filled and elegant desktop.

ext 4 – The revolutionary ext4 has been performing well and is showing amazing speeds of data transfer. I now get around 35Mibps as compared to 20Mibps in ext3. Another reason to love GNU/Linux.

Gtk Support – Firefox, Pidgin and ntfs-config are the first and foremost packages I install on a Kubuntu machine. Started firefox and to my surprise it looked beautiful. For a moment I could not believe my eyes. The Qt Curve has been such nicely integrated with GTK applications that they almost seem native. Qt Curve Devs – Take a bow 🙂

Display – And yet again displayconfig-gtk is what I miss in this section. Ubuntu, post Gutsy never took my default screen resolution and I had to replace my xorg.conf. Once done, no problems whatsoever. If you have display problems then replace your /etc/X11/xorg.conf with this – http://tr.im/xorg and after a restart you can see the resolution in your display manager. Note – only for those with Intel Graphics.

Audio – Works out of the box and yeah Amarok rocks 🙂

Network Management – The old network manager is replaced with the new Plasma Widget. Super Cool! It displays the IP address on mouse hover.

Plasma – Whole lot of improvements to the Plasma and more new innovative widgets which make the Desktop experience more refined. The notification system looks good too.

System Settings – New in System Settings are tools for managing software and printer configuration. Finally, a full fledged KDE alternative to Synaptic Package Manager has arrived. The Kpackagekit ! Search, Install, Add/Remove, Update and edit software sources –  all at one place is what Kpackagekit gives you. Awesomeness!

Quassel IRC – Why? What was the need to replace Konversation? I personally did not like Quassel one little bit. The whole look and feel of Quassel seems so foreign. Usability is not easy either. I’m sticking with Konvy.

Digikam – YaY! Digikam has been updated to its first KDE 4 release. This version is not a complete port to KDE 4 technologies (Solid, Phonon…), but it includes major functionality improvements and I’m loving it. Works fine with my Kodak C653.

All-in-all, Kubuntu 9.04, the Jaunty Jakalope is one such release that has been problem free and its been a long time since I have seen such a stable release. No firefox freezes, no application crashes and no misbehaviours. Guys, Kubuntu 9.04 is out in the wild and is a combination of Speed, Beauty and Innovation.

Download Kubuntu Now

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