Ubuntu 8.10 « Intrepid Ibex » testing

It now makes about four months I’m testing the future release of Ubuntu. Ubuntu 8.10 is now nearing official release and I wanted to share my current « Intrepid Ibex » experience (based solely on my (and my users’) need/hardware).

The good

  • Updated packages. Kernel, GNOME, Network Manager, Pidgin, to name a few have all received a lot of welcomed improvements. OpenVPN connexions from Network Manager now nearly works well (there are still some minor annoyances though LP #279517, #279514 and #279512) and Pidgin uses the new MSN protocol (offline messaging, ugly emoticons sending and so on).
  • Fortunately a lot of the regressions I have previously encountered and reported have been already fixed. Spell checking in OpenOffice.org (fr_CH) had to be fixed again (LP #139570, this had already been a fixed problem in hardy) and people using some Intel gigabit NICs were not able to use them without risking to brick their hardware (LP #263555). Cifs mount are also automounted again (LP #278994) (but nfs mounts are not, LP #285013). Thanks to everyone involved!

The bad

  • Spellchecking in Pidgin and Tomboy (among others) is broken again because not everyone who speaks French comes from France (LP #278943). The very least would be to stop spellchecking when no dictionary is present (b.g.o #556461 and d.p.i #7310).
  • The new user switcher doesn’t show suspend or hibernate shutdown options (LP #278810).
  • It’s not possible to suspend or shutdown without error if a cifs share is mounted (LP #279043 and LP #211631).
  • NFS shares are not mounted at boot because networking is not up (LP #285013).
  • Webcams are supposed to work better with the new kernel but the opposite is true for me, I can only use it at the tiny 176×144 resolution (LP #281771).
  • OpenOffice.org 3.0 didn’t make it soon enough to be included (LP #267376).
  • Nvidia new binary blob causes screen corruption/refresh issues with compiz enabled (#278139).
  • Flash keep crashing as usual (too many bugs to quote).

The ugly

  • Hardware regressions with the new kernel (mainly Intel wireless hardware working intermitently (LP #277634) or crashing the kernel (LP #263059), yes I have both those cards :-().
  • Samba printers fail because of authentification (LP #283811), even when no authentification is required.

Although I found a lot of minor (and major) annoyances with this new (not yet released) version, I feel that it is overall better than Ubuntu « Hardy Heron » for my day to day work. I still hope some of the bugs quoted here will be fixed before the end of october and will update (striketrough) this post accordingly.

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