After reading SJVN’s article about upcoming releases of Ubuntu, I thought I would take a closer look at the “enemy”, a new UI and non-X GNU/Linux. You see, I have been perfectly satisfied with GNU/Linux for the last ten years, warts and all. Making it appear as something totally different to the end-user is not something for which I thurst. My fear is that stuff will be changed for the sake of change rather than for better performance/reliability. I expect radical change will result in a radical decrease in reliability at least for a time.
I started by looking for a download. The wiki pointed me to a beta which does not exist, but I found an alpha, natty-desktop-i386.iso. I intend to install it in a virtual machine on my notebook just to see how it works. I know it has bugs but about a month before release, it should be working somewhat. Debian Squeeze was working if you could install it properly six months before its release…
No joy. The installation boot showed
and showed some progress lights for a bit and then I got
Login timed out after 60seconds.
Welcome to Ubuntu Natty (development branch) (GNU/Linux 2.6.38-5-generic i686)
* Documentation https://help.ubuntu.com/
So, I was not impressed. I might try again when they get to beta-testing. I could find nothing current in their buglist.
UPDATE Tried again and reached a commandline. The .iso is a live CD apparently. It could not start gdm with the Cirrus chip faked by my virtual machine.
On the third try I used a generic vga video interface and got something that looked like a wallpaper but nothing on it. I had a bunch of popups saying something or other had died. Obviously others are able to run this thing but they must have hardware different from my emulators.