Today marked the release of the latest version of the Ubuntu 7.04 open-source operating system, and even as a long-time Linux user, I’m impressed.
One of the harder tests many of us like to put a new distro through is simply trying an install on a laptop. Laptops generally have more specialized and proprietary hardware that’s not quite as supported outside of the manufacturers as desktop components. Ubuntu 7.04, I’m glad to say, passed with flying colors, even detecting my wireless card without issue and allowing me to use all the pretty eyecandy on the integrated intel video chipset.
One really neat aspect of the install CD, available for free download, is that when you boot from the install disc, it acts as a “LiveCD” that allows you to go for a test run of the operating system before anything is installed on your computer. Once you’re satisfied that Ubuntu is the way to go, you simply click the “install now” icon on the desktop and the process begins.
There are a number of other improvements I really like, such as the ability of the system to run “restricted drivers”, which are often closed-source software from the manufacturers themselves, right from startup. This cuts down on the hunt and chase process for hardware drivers that often occurs after a new Linux install. I also liked the automatic video and audio codec search and install feature that starts as soon as you try and run a video.
Overall, another solid release for the Ubuntu team.