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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.

  • "With the appearance of Windows 7 on slate devices in perpetual limbo"

    http://www.dailytech.com/HP+Slate+Powered+by+Windows+7+Launches+at+799+is+Business+up+Front/article19953.htm

    http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF06a/321957-321957-64295-3841267-3955550-4332585.html

    How is that Limbo? You can buy one right now.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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...
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    TomSah:
    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.
    Reply
  • pinkfloydminnesota
    How come you don't compare the benchmarks to Windows?
    Reply
  • 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.

    9503393 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?
    Reply
  • adamovera
    randomizer:
    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.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • dEAne
    I guess there are lots of things to do to make it good.
    Reply