After thinking/researching/toying with the idea for some time now, and a Live USB trial on my old laptop, I’ve finally taken the plunge with a full install of Ubuntu Linux 9.04.
The verdict? So far, so good. I wasn’t using many apps that absolutely required Windows, so the transition was painless in that regard.
Rhythmbox easily replaced iTunes; 9.04 has some little usb issues I needed to tweak to connect my mp3 player, but it’s all good now. Firefox works great, but some packages needed to be shifted around in Ubuntu to get Flash to perform properly. There are a couple Flash frames I encounter that stutter a wee bit, but not a deal-breaker.
Compiz does more than I’d expect on a shared-memory laptop. I have to have many (more than I actually prefer to look at) effects enabled before the display starts to act up. Desktop Cube feels as gimmicky as it is pretty; I’m happily using fairly basic Wall and Expo effects with my workspaces.
Wireless took a little patience to get running in a reliable, repeatable fashion. Ubuntu has obviously made great progress with straight-forward hardware detection/support since I last played with 8.x; what problems I had were easier to diagnose/fix than in previous attempts with previous versions.
Overall, Ubuntu 9.04 feels snappier than my XPsp3 install. The boot time is much faster, as is resume from suspend (hibernation is still clunky). I have yet to have a single freeze or crash, even with multiple apps running. Video playback has been superior in Ubuntu with both Movie Player and VLC. My only video problem so far has been fullscreen flash movie playback; the video plays, but the fullscreen reverts back to a smaller window.
Next, I’ll start toying with GIMP, Rosegarden (can anyone recommend a software synth?), and QCad… what are my chances of running AutoCAD 2k under WINE?