Initial Thoughts on Feisty Fawn Herd 3

I’ve been running Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn Herd 3 for about a week now, and so far, I’ve got to say, I’m pleased with the changes I’ve seen.

I’m running it on an HP Compaq nc6220 and a Dell Latitude D500. I encountered a few bugs in the installer. The first was minor, namely that by default, it wants to try to detect my keyboard layout by having me press a series of keys, rather than simply picking “US English” from a list. The second, somewhat more important bug is that the partitioner failed to properly set up my partitions unless I wiped the drive clean. While I expected this, it did lead to me having to reinstall Windows, which was inconvenient. Such is the life of being an alpha/beta tester!

Right off the bat, the first time you boot, the system announces that an application has recovered from a crash! I found that humorous, as there was no other indication of any sort of crash. This happened on three different installations on three different machines, so it would seem there’s something odd out of the box. Again, such is the life of being an alpha/beta tester!
Another bug I found is that when configuring an MS Exchange account in Evolution, one key piece of information is missing. Namely, the server. That’s right, while setting up my MS Exchange server, I can specify user, password, a bunch of different account options, but no server address! This seems to be a somewhat significant oversight.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the Ubuntu team is releasing dozens of updates a day. It is exciting to see the rapid development on the project, as my automatic updates notification has something for me every morning. As I went to bed last night, I installed 102 updates, and this morning, had 37 more ready to go.

Without a doubt, the biggest benefit of the new version is the automatic detection of my laptops’ Intel and Broadcom wireless cards. Finally, no need to dig up firmware from Windows drivers and cut them, or fiddle with NDISwrappers. WPA worked out of the box as well. Hooray!

I was able to install licensed software via the standard Add/Remove application, and did so with Adobe Flash, Sun Java, and a couple of other things that I previously had to download manually, or install via EasyUbuntu or Automatix. I appreciate having these as part of the standard installation methods now, and not having to go out of my way to get them on the system.

All in all, I’m having better luck with Feisty than I ever did with Edgy, and can’t wait for the real release in a couple of months!

Update: 2007-02-14

Today I was successfully (and quite easily) able to install Freemind on Feisty. I had done so in the past on Dapper, but getting the dependancies in order was such a pain I decided just to run it on my Windows machine instead. Under Feisty, with Java installed via the Add/Remove application, all I needed to do was download the libforms-java and freemind-0.8.0 Deb packages from freemind.sourceforge.net and go! The first time I attempted to install the Freemind Deb package, the installer crashed, but I was able to run it again immediately afterward and it was successful.

56 updates this morning!