Today I installed Ubuntu 10.04 for a friend. I am a loyal Fedora user, since the days of Fedora Core 6. I enjoy reading the feature lists in the build up to each Fedora release. But… I have to say, installing Ubuntu 10.04 was an absolute joy. It was intuitive, fool proof, and so simple. The last time I installed Ubuntu was 8.04. I can, without question say that the installation procedure for 10.04 is light years ahead of previous releases.
The implementation of the gnome desktop environment in 10.04 is also impeccable. It is incredibly polished, great new colour scheme, and with the various features new in 10.04, I really felt that love had gone into the implementation of this distribution.
I played about with the installation for an hour or two, and I came across Rhythmbox. WOW! Unbelievable. I’ve used Amarok for years, but if I were a Ubuntu user, I would swap in an instant.
1 – The Ubuntu One store. What a brilliant idea. Everyone loves music. And Linux users love open source software. People contribute in all sorts of ways – Writing open source software, submitting bug reports, or maintaining a blogging website like this one! I’ve always wanted a cheap and easy way to legally acquire music online, but to date, I’ve failed to adopt the usual channels. For a start, I can’t use iTunes because Apple don’t write software for Linux. I’ve tried, and even blogged about the Amazon mp3 Downloader for Linux here, and the problems software companies have with proprietary software. But today I have seen a genuine avenue for me to acquire music legally, and to pay a small contribution to Canonical’s efforts to deliver a stunning Linux operating system.
2 – iPhone/iTouch Compatibility. My friend has an iPhone. And, for one minute, put to one side all of the arguments for open vs closed technology. People want their iPhone’s, or any other device, to “just work”. And in Ubuntu 10.04, iPhones do work, effortlessly. In Rhythmbox, we were able to download an alum using the Ubuntu One music store, and push this to the iPhone to listen to it later. It was a really intuitive, simple process. It was like iTunes, just a lot better.
So what now? I’m a die hard Fedora fan. I write Fedora tutorials such as this, and tell people how great the distro is. But the maturity of Ubuntu 10.04 really caught my imagination today. I’m now at a crossroads. Do I continue with Fedora-KDE, or do I start again with Ubuntu 10.04 Gnome ? I want to start paying for music regularly as I used to (when buying CD’s from record shops). The great feeling is that I have a choice. I can choose from dozens of Linux distro’s, and the notion of freedom will forever be synonymous with Linux.
As it stands, I think I am going to wait until Fedora 13 is released. I will upgrade and give it a fair ride. If I feel like something is missing, I may exercise my right to move onto something new. I’m already writing my music album wishlist.