Radu Cotescu's professional blog

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Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope Pros and Cons

I am currently running Ubuntu 9.04 on two machines (as the single OS on my personal laptop and dual boot with Windows on my work desktop) and I will soon (by Sunday tops) have it installed on a third (my home desktop). This is probably my largest Ubuntu deployment, if I can call it like that and I would like to share my current user experience.


  • the upgrade alone (on my laptop) skimmed three to four seconds off my boot time using ext3 partitions, reaching to a merely 21 second boot race. I have decided to not convert my drives to the new ext4 while it doesn’t become the Ubuntu default installation formatting system. This performance is achieved after setting the concurrency variable to shell, making a profile for my own start-up scripts and after setting my partitions to use the data=writeback option;

  • with the upgrade to the new 2.6.28-11 kernel, my laptop’s Nvidia graphic card’s drivers have been successfully updated from 177 to 180.44. Even if the drivers were available before, they wouldn’t allow me to put my computer to stand-by and afterwards to wake it up;

  • the notifications now are well structured (basically they look decent now), with a plus regarding the wireless connections;

  • on my work desktop I have encountered a problem with the 8.10 version installation CD. My Dell Optiplex 755 has a DVD Writer SATA drive and Ubuntu 8.10 failed to install using a CD. I have tried this with a re-writeable disk burned at different speeds. The same problem was reported by many other on the web and from what I have managed to find out, most of the drives that had this issue were made by Samsung. The only viable way to install Ubuntu was using a stick. For this desktop I have decided that 9.04 should be installed from zero, as 8.10 wasn’t completely set up (I didn’t have the time). The installation was made from a CD with no problems. Everything worked like a charm. One nice thing to note is that the installation from a USB stick is done in approximately 6 minutes, comparing to 15 minutes for installing using a CD;

  • the CPU frequency applet that you can add to your panels I think that now has the option of choosing how your processor scales its performance. I say “I think” because I don’t remember if this feature existed before or not;

  • Ubuntu 9.04 comes with OpenOffice 3.0, instead of 2.4 by default. The most important functionality is the ability to open the new Open-XML standard documents from Microsoft Office 2007 (docx, xlsx, pptx).


  • last night I experienced a strange stall on my laptop. I still haven’t found out the cause for that but it was an isolated experience;

  • my laptop has a hardware switch for bluetooth and wifi. I have noticed that if I turn it off in 9.04 while my system is on, when I turn it back on my wireless card doesn’t reinitialize. It worked ok under 8.10. But if I put my laptop on standby after I set the switch to on and then I wake it up the card works. The bluetooth works ok though;

  • The quick function buttons for starting my browser and my email client don’t work anymore (one of them worked under 8.10) but this really doesn’t affect me as I haven’t used those shortcuts anyway. I am happy that my multimedia buttons still work ok (these are useful, the others mentioned before aren’t).

Except for the wifi thing, everything works incredibly well and that is the main reason for which I am using Ubuntu on so many machines. I am actually considering installing a 4th Ubuntu system, but this time in a virtual machine, only for testing purposes. Linux, and Ubuntu especially, has migrated very nicely from the g33kish operating system to a more mainstream market starting with the 8.04 release and continuing to improve in this way up to 9.04.

P.S. The Windows at work is starting to be neglected as I can proudly say something that is written on one of the T-Shirts that I would like to have: I do it with Ubuntu. :D

Linux, Ubuntu

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