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Ubuntu 9.10: The Karmic Koala Benchmarked And Reviewed

Botched Surgery

While you may not like or agree with the cosmetic changes applied to 9.10, the vast majority of them are top quality. However, some of the choices left behind oddities that were poor choices or simply overlooked glitches. Either way, they have been present since the beta and never should have made it into the final release.

Missing Icons

If you thought that the lack of icons at the bottom of the Places menu and the entirety of the System menu were a mistake, you thought wrong. This isn't an oversight or a glitch, it's a design decision by GNOME.

You can easily bring these icons back by either right-clicking your mouse on the desktop and selecting Change Desktop Background or by going to System/Preferences/Appearance. Either way, you will need to go to the Interface tab and check the box next to Show icons in menus.

Notification or Irritation?

The notification pop-ups from the system tray have also undergone a slight makeover (and new behavior) that just comes off as odd. While the new icons in the notification pop-ups were a good call, the new position they take on the screen is strange. Instead of appearing just below the top panel, at the upper-right corner of the screen, they now appear a full notification pop-up size below the top panel. This makes it seem as though there should be another notification appearing above any notifications that pop-up.

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Unfortunately, the behavior of the pop-up notifications have not received a tune up. An option to close the notification is still absent. Instead, it still becomes translucent and can be clicked through when hovered over. Though this isn't a big deal on a desktop or even a large notebook, this is highly irritating on the little 10" screens of netbooks. Adding a little “X” in the top right corner of the notification would be greatly appreciated, and I doubt I'm the only one to say so.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix Sidebar

At the bottom of the main menu in Ubuntu Netbook Remix Edition, you can clearly see a small band of brighter opacity than the rest of the sidebar. I'm not sure if that is supposed to be there or not, but it sure looks out of place to me.

  • burnley14
    The new Upstart feature sounds terrific. Windows needs to take notes, I hate the awkward limbo of seeing your desktop but not being able to do anything.
  • Hi,

    I was a bit surprised to read your slaughter of Ubuntu 9.10, because that does not reflect my experience with it. My first thoughts when reading this were related to the (possible lack of) integrity and technical skills of the author (sorry about that). Then I remembered that I experience a few minor issues when upgrading from 9.04 to 9.10 as well and that I read about people which were unhappy with it. However, none of these would IMHO deserve the label "epic fail".

    Spending four days for installing 9.10 and reinstalling 9.04 seems like way more time than you should need. I upgraded my computers running Ubunutu in less than an hour. I have not tried a clean install but it would surprise me that this would be any harder. My parents have also been using Ubuntu for more than a year now without any complaints (this includes an upgrade to 9.10). Maybe I have been lucky?

    I have been using Ubuntu at work and at home for the last 3-4 years and I am pretty happy with it. I am also happy with the fact that you (Tomshardware) have been writing about Linux a bit more frequently. Keep it up, but don't be so harsh :)
  • jj463rd
    I tried it on one PC.Had constant problems with the Mouse not working,system locking up etc.I went back to installing rock solid older 8.04 LTS on it which worked without problems (except for the time consuming (about) 450 updates).
  • rsmith13
    I also got the Kernel problem error messages after installing Xubuntu 9.10 on an AMD 64 system. They went away after doing an update. I now have Xubuntu 9.10 on 5 single and dual core AMD 64 systems. with no problems.

    Do the update!
  • cyberkuberiah
    hardware driver support from the hardware makers themselves is lacking , i installed ubuntu , could not connect to belkin wifi even after using the prop drivers , and then uninstalled it . patience over .
  • haplo602
    nice article ... I mostly skimmed through it :-) anyway can you include a windows 7/vista benchmark base for the same hardware ?

    I know some of the test will be irrelevant (like the timed installation) but most should work.
  • DGriffin
    I had 9.04 and upgraded to 9.10 with out any problems at all... I have a AMD 64 processor and had no problems with the 64bit vir... ..idk maybe I got lucky, but I sorta doubt it..
  • MaxTesla
    The screensaver starts after 5 min so when you install Ubuntu the screen saver will start and the screen will go black you need to move your mouse too see the instalation again, this could of course be mistaken for a crash
  • MaxTesla
    The screen saver starts after 5 min so when you install Ubuntu the screen saver will start and the screen will go black you need to move your mouse too see the installation again, this could of course be mistaken for a crash
  • I tried installing Ubuntu 9.10 via Wubi, immediately after rebooting from Windows and seeing the Ubuntu bootscreen it gave me a black screen, with my monitor reporting that there was no signal. Back to Windows I go, I suppose. :/