I put Ubuntu 10.04 on a Dell XPS laptop on Friday. All weekend I’ve put it through the paces on general computing, mobility, battery life, software installs, programming tasks, and everything else to test whether I can use it on a daily basis.
Good news! I can!
It might be the very first Linux distro and version I’ve been able to completely use out of the box without doing a single compile of a driver or essential software package.
From WiFi to backlit keyboard to stand by mode to webcam and skype calls to long painful ATI 3d drivers. It all works.
Even better… the darn thing is very “pretty”. I love the integrated mail, chat and social stream into the desktop alerts. I love the new default visual styles. I love the Ubuntu Software Center.
On a very nerdy note I was delighted that the Eclipse package is finally up to the latest for Ubuntu in the officially support repository. I hate when I have to go do something special for a decidedly popular piece of software.
Now I still don’t think the basic PC user should bust out Linux. There’s still enough that CAN go wrong and when it does they will be lost or calling a pro. It pains me to say that, but it’s the same way I feel about phones, cars, TVs… if you’re mainstream, stick to mainstream stuff where the support will be easier and cheaper and more standard.
Linux or not… this is a freaking sweet release. You gotta love great software no matter your brand preference.