Day: February 28, 2005

  • I (heart) Hoary

    I’m a Debian guy. I didn’t start out a Debian guy. I started out with Slackware back in the dowload images overnight and rawrite them to floppy days. Then I looked around and noticed everyone else using Red Hat, so I picked that up around 5.2 or so. I lost faith in Red Hat sometime after 7.3 and floated around a bunch of different distros until I finally drank the apt koolaid and settled on Debian and Debian-based stuff. I qualify that with “Debian-based” because there are a lot of excellent distros that build on the Debian core. For example, I try to have a copy of Knoppix or a Knoppix-based distro on me because you never know when a live Linux cd can come in handy. I’ve also been on a heck of an Ubuntu kick lately.

    I’ve got a couple of boxes that I frequent during a typical day. There’s a Debian-testing server that I have a screen session to on whatever machine I’m on. The machine I spend the most time on at home is a PIII-600 running Debian-testing. I’ve also got a Dual PIII-733 that boots Windows and as of yesterday the upcoming Ubuntu release, Hoary Hedgehog.

    It. Freaking. Rocks.

    Hoary feels a lot like Debian-unstable. There are rather major package updates every day or so. That’s okay though, because there’s a super friendly update manager that takes care of everything for you:

    Ubuntu Updates 1
    Available Updates

    Ubuntu Updates 3
    Downloading Updates

    Ubuntu Updates 2
    Installing Updates

    I can’t tell you how seamless it is and how right it feels. I guess that I shouldn’t be that amazed. Red Hat and Fedora have had a similar feature for years. I really like that I don’t have to pay for updates or have to register and confirm my email address and all that jazz. It’s just there, baked in, quietly doing its thing.

    Another thing that I love about Hoary is that they fixed my one big gripe. Now when you install an application via apt or Synaptic, it actually ends up in your Applications menu. I can’t say that this is the case for all applications, but for several Gnome and Mono apps that I installed, all of them ended up in Applications. This totally rocks! The lack of newly installed programs going in to some place in Applications was the only thing that really bugged me about Warty.

    Speaking of apps, I updated my /etc/apt/sources.list and pointed it to Universe. After that I promptly started playing around with a bunch of the Mono apps that I had heard about but hadn’t had a chance to look at. Here are a few screenshots from my playtime:




    I’ve got to say that I’m really impressed by the level of polish of these Gnome Mono apps. If I were on the same Linux box all day I would replace Instiki with Tomboy. I may augment my notetaking habits to work Tomboy in a bit while I’m home. You know what would be killer? Tomboy+WebDAV.

    I also played a bit with Inkscape. It reminds me of Illustrator with all of the path stuff. Blam is a solid 3-paned aggregator. Of course, because it’s a 3-paned aggregator it means that it’s not for me. I also fired up MonoDevelop and would love to spend some downtime reading Mono: A Developer’s Handbook and hacking on some GTK# stuff.

    Enough rambling. Here’s the reader’s digest version: Ubuntu rocks. Gnome rocks. Mono rocks. Man I love Linux!