Ubuntu 10.10: Maverick Meerkat Benchmarked And Reviewed

Clouds On The Horizon

Ubuntu One has been around for several releases now, first available for Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope (one of our favorites). It was originally launched as a cloud storage folder that syncs and backs up files, much like Dropbox. Since then, Canonical has added support for backup and sync of the post-it style notes in Tomboy, email contacts in Evolution, and bookmarks in Firefox. Lucid Lynx introduced the Ubuntu One Music Store, which allowed for purchasing MP3 files. Lucid also integrated the Ubuntu One Music Store with Rhythmbox music player and the Ubuntu One cloud storage folder.

I used Ubuntu One back in the days of Jaunty Jackalope and, as early adopters often do, ran into big-time hassles. It wouldn't sync, it would sync late, files would be missing, and so on. During the six-month reign of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, I switched to Kubuntu only to find that Ubuntu One only works on Ubuntu. That's right, not even KDE! Needless to say, my (at the time) Windows-based laptop was also out of luck.

As I saw it, the bugs were forgivable. After all, the big red flashing BETA label was still firmly attached to Ubuntu One, and therefore bugs were somewhat expected--something to grow out of. What I saw as the Achilles' heel of Ubuntu One was the fact that it only worked on Ubuntu. How many people use Ubuntu and only Ubuntu? With Dropbox also being free for 2 GB of storage and clients available for nearly every single platform, the choice between the two was a no-brainer. Apparently, someone at Canonical was thinking just that. An Ubuntu One Windows client is now in the works. Gasp. Wait, it gets better. Also coming down the road are clients for both Apple iOS and Google Android, which will enable the streaming of music purchased in the Ubuntu One Music Store. Photo sync/storage is yet another feature planned for the not-too-distant future.

All of this great stuff doesn't come without a price, however. Like Dropbox, the 2 GB of storage for Ubuntu machines is still free, but additional capacity is not. Blocks of 20 gigabytes can be purchased at $2.99 per month, or 29.99 per year. Instead of employing a tiered system like many competing cloud storage options, Canonical chose to keep a static rate per 20 GB and let the customer add as many blocks as they need. Only you can determine if this is a good deal or not, depending on your own personal storage needs. The mobile clients require a $3.99 monthly fee, or $39.99 per year. The Windows client appears to be free, but since it's not even in beta yet, don't hold us to that.

Ubuntu One seems to work as advertised these days. I synced my Dropbox folder to my Ubuntu One account a couple months ago for backup. Upon checking my account on the Ubuntu One Web site, I had access to the contents of my Dropbox as well. I even found a few documents and notes that I added directly to my Ubuntu One folder over a year ago.

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  • adamovera
    I didn't know they were taking pre-orders yet, though HP Slate doesn't ship until the middle of November. Unfortunately, the HP Slate looks like a really half-hearted attempt. Business product? That pretty much means not to get your hopes up. It should have been out much closer to the iPad, but got pushed back repeatedly. Ever since they bought Palm it seems like their Windows efforts in this form factor will take a backseat until they try to make WebOS work - can't blame them really, WebOS is pretty slick and they paid a lot for it. But I still do want to get my hands on the Slate, but look forward to seeing what they do with WebOS more now.
    1
  • arkadi
    If we "put all the issues aside", i love allot of things.....Don't get me wrong, i love to play with Linux at home, but at the moment I prefer to use it at work, in the server room ware it belongs (at the moment). Using it at home it just to much of an effort, to many issues, hardware compatibility etc...Hopefully one day...
    Any way Ubuntu came a long way to make it happen....But still few days ago i tried it and few others on a net book, with via chip set and CPU with no luck...
    -7
  • TomSah
    "Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition is also a mess. As a netbook operating system intended for actual people to use in a production environment, I have to say that UNE 10.10 should be avoided. From our experience on the Dell Mini 10v, UNE Meerkat is in no way ready for general consumption. Its many bugs and poor performance are just not acceptable or at all realistic for the average end-user. Loading almost anything on UNE 10.10 was clearly sluggish"

    Wow. Im running 32-bit Maverick UNE on my Asus eee 1000HA and i have to say that i fell in love as soon as it installed! As soon as i disabled the unity interface to get the desktop interface I was away laughing! I havnt had any of the problems you mention, app startup has been great, no crashes/bugs - And this is my first serious attempt at using a Linux distro. I had a lot of fun tweaking everything to my liking and i now feel like I have the perfect OS for me. Its really strange you had bad experiences like that, must be the dell mini haha.
    4
  • adamovera
    TomSah:
    Quote:
    As soon as i disabled the unity interface to get the desktop interface I was away laughing!

    Well there you go, you got rid of Unity. I don't doubt it works fine now, LOL. I'm using the 10v with 10.10 32-bit Desktop Edition right now and it's absolutely fantastic, one of the best OSes on this thing by far. The track pad is a nightmare, and there's no fixing that, but in 10.10 it's much better than earlier versions. Tap to click is the best in Windows 7, but drag and drop in Ubuntu is much less maddening than Win7.
    1
  • pinkfloydminnesota
    How come you don't compare the benchmarks to Windows?
    1
  • randomizer
    Just moving the cursor up and down the launcher shows how slow Unity is. The delay between when the cursor moves over an application to when the application's name pops up gives the impression of playing a game at very low framerates.

    The Ubuntu font looks ok but it's really only usable in menus and window titles (which I think is all it is used for, fortunately). There's no way such a stylised font could be readable for long periods in a document.

    Adam, you should see if any updates fixed the consistently inconsistent HDD to HDD file copy performance.

    Anonymous said:
    How come you don't compare the benchmarks to Windows?


    Because Windows is not a Linux distro, and this review is for a Linux distro?
    9
  • adamovera
    randomizer:
    Quote:
    Adam, you should see if any updates fixed the consistently inconsistent HDD to HDD file copy performance.

    As of 10/22/10, when I re-tested the HDD to USB times, they had not.

    pinkfloydminnesotaHow come you don't compare the benchmarks to Windows?

    Workin' on it, stayed tuned. But randomizer is right, this is a review of the new Ubuntu release. As a review of the new version of a software product, this type of article isn't the appropriate forum for that comparison.
    4
  • Anonymous
    64 bit vs. 32 bit? 32 seems much better all round, stability, compatibility etc.. Is there that much speed difference to be worth using 64 bit?
    gvnmcknz
    1
  • dEAne
    I guess there are lots of things to do to make it good.
    0
  • Nesto1000
    I installed 10.10 on my laptop... but the dang mouse pad didn't want to work the right way...
    On 10.04 I had no problems what so ever...
    0
  • loftie
    I installed maverick yesterday on an old laptop . I found it slow and unresponsive in all honesty, but looking online, it looks like I'm not the only one. A number of users are having problems, even those with i7 desktops. Hopefully it'll get sorted out soon. You can switch the window commands to the righthand side by the way.
    0
  • lradunovic77
    Oh just quit it, Linux is dead.
    -17
  • Wheat_Thins
    Why does Tom's always use 'old' hardware when it comes to linux reviews but when it comes to anything else they always have the latest and greatest CPU / GPU combo? A Radeon 4870? Really?
    -6
  • Yuka
    I just installed Lucid on an old Celeron M 1.4Ghz and 1GB RAM wich had XP before... Darn it, for productivity is kickin' alive and well. I had to install MSO2007 over WINE and it was flawless on the first try.

    I'm glad the route Canonical is taking Ubuntu is the right one for all of us. Improved experience all the way. It's a very responsive OS from every angle, even with all the bling bling you want.

    On my main rig I'm still stuck with Win7 because of my gaming needs, but that's all that's actually giving me the no-go for Ubuntu in a full time basis.

    Also, try installing XBMC for your HTPCs. One hell of a Media Center software.

    Cheers!
    3
  • adamovera
    loftieI installed maverick yesterday on an old laptop . I found it slow and unresponsive in all honesty, but looking online, it looks like I'm not the only one. A number of users are having problems, even those with i7 desktops. Hopefully it'll get sorted out soon. You can switch the window commands to the righthand side by the way.

    How old is the laptop, specs? Did Lucid work well on that system, does Windows? Is this the Desktop Edition you're using?
    0
  • LLJones
    I'll have to give this some deep thought before I try it.
    0
  • adamovera
    Yuka:
    Yeah, gaming is an issue, but then again it is on Mac as well. I game so infrequently these days that I just install Windows on one of the test HDDs when I play one (2-3 times per year). Have you considered a dual boot, maybe with a separate hard disk? If Windows is for gaming only, using Linux for everything else will help keep Windows pristine and running smooth for games. Although right now I think Netflix is an even bigger problem that needs to be addressed. It's what keeps my HTPC unhappily with XP, and from my experience it's a deal-breaker for many more everyday users than games.
    2
  • coldmast
    I wish AMD would support my older computers' Radeon 9550; I miss having those better compiz effects and the ability to play youtube without chops. Maybe I'll downgrade...
    1
  • adamovera
    Wheat_ThinsWhy does Tom's always use 'old' hardware when it comes to linux reviews but when it comes to anything else they always have the latest and greatest CPU / GPU combo? A Radeon 4870? Really?

    Well, ET:QW is the latest native commercial FPS, so...
    There's actually two 4870's, but I can currently only use one for another project, so it's not in right now.
    0