Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Feisty Herd 4 impressions

Out of boredom I installed the Feisty Herd 4 release of Kubuntu just to kill time. All I can say is that I am somewhat impressed with this release. The installation was incredible fast and the new interface is very polished and professional.

There is this new animation when clicking an icon that looks just great and the logout/halt screen is a lot more aesthetic. Also I can verify a lot more responsiveness in my rather old hardware (Intel Celeron 1.7G with 512MB Ram).

A feature all users of Feisty have celebrated is the KNetworkManager that makes it easier for laptop users to handle several connection settings (i.e. school, home, work) but in my case I use a desktop computer that is always connected to the wall. I haven't tried it yet on my laptop but I can say it does not work well on my setting. Even thought I am browsing the Internet and writing this blog the KNetworkManager tray icon insists that my ethernet cable is disconnected and that I have no Internet.

Also some minus points go to the installer partition manager. The first option it gives you would simply use the whole disk erasing any other partitions you may have. This is no good for novice users. The manual partition option is Ok but for some reason QParted did not fit on my screen resolution forcing me to move the window horizontally several times to be able to see all available partitions.

Another minus points go to the internationalization support. I always select Japanese as the installer language and the installer warns me this will be the default language on the installed system. After I finished installing the system I hoped I would get a fully functional Japanese system but instead I got a fully functional English system. Enabling Japanese is not big deal as this happened to me on Edgy too before but again this is a no-no for novice Japanese users.

Also when selecting the keyboard layout the Japanese (ja) layouts did not work in the testing box. The layout seemed to be a us keyboard. Strange enough after the installation finished the system's keyboard layout did work with my Japanese keyboard.

Apart from the above details Feisty is very stable and fast. The look is very polished and the smooth. I simply love it and as a person that have used almost all other major distributions I recommend it to all.

Update: It seems that if I configure the network on the live CD before starting the installation then the system will be indeed set up with the language you chose during installation. It makes sense since all those localized packages won't fit in a single 700MB CD so the installer seems to download them from the Internet.

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