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After spending a bit of time away from Ubuntu installations and staying with Debian, I finally went back to Kubuntu with Jaunty(9.04) and only because it had KDE4.2 and I’d finally got bored with KDE3.x.x. When KDE4.3 was released I immediately upgraded to it and was extremely impressed, but it simply had something lacking still in Jaunty, I knew it was a backport though, so I waited for the Beta release of Karmic to come out, which I new would have KDE4.3 full-on.

I originally upgraded Kubuntu to Karmic from Jaunty over the net, the install went well and I was pleasantly pleased with my new OS, the only problem is, I was too pleased and I decided to upgrade my laptop as well. The laptop network upgrade did not go well, something happened during the installation (Possibly because I was on wireless while doing the upgrade, who knows?) and it simply failed. This left me with a relatively borked Laptop and only one real option, download the Karmic Koala Kubuntu 9.10 Beta CD and install it from scratch.

Next I encountered more problems, I found the fresh installation (i.e. not an upgrade) so good that I was now disappointed that my upgraded desktop just wasn’t good enough and it required a re-install with a fresh system instead. Now I figured I would download the 64bit version for my desktop, especially since I already had 64bit hardware and that was all about to get upgraded anyway. The 64bit install just went nowhere unfortunately, I’m not sure if the processor was too old for modern 64bit installs (It was a 4 year old AMD Athlon64 Socket939 4000+ after all) or if the processor was damaged, I’m suspecting the former because the processor handled 32 bit installs just fine.

I installed the 32bit system for the time being while I waited for my new hardware and was happy enough, but then my new hardware turned up and the whole ball game changed. I tried to boot up with the existing disk on a new processor, motherboard and RAM, bearing in mind I’d gone from a single core 4 year old processor to a brand new twin core processor, a 4 – 5 year old DFI motherboard to a brand new Asus one and from DDR1 to DDR2 I would have been surprised if it had actually booted, and sure enough it didn’t. Usually Linux tends to handle hardware changes pretty well in my experience, but this just wasn’t going to happen.

What a shame I thought, I’m going to HAVE to install the 64bit system instead, DAMN! ;)

So I set about installing my new 64bit system, completely fresh hardware AND OS, what could be better than that? I am so unbelievably impressed with Karmic Kubuntu that I just can’t express it in words, the problem now, is that the interim upgrades have been suspended now, so I’m left with those last couple of little bugs that are being fixed by Canonical and waiting with baited breath for the full release to happen, so I can download all the Karmicly Krantastic goodies to my system and be even happier!

What’s really new then? Well the interface looks much clearner, much sharper and it just seems “smoother” somehow, programs are faster to load (Even on my older hardware before the upgrade), there are less problems with graphical display errors when using Desktop Effects etc. Kmail is a MASSIVE improvement in my humble opinion, Amarok is just Amarok but the rok part of the name seems to mean even more now if you get my meaning, desktop widgets seem to shine more, have less crashes and be even easier to find and install than ever before. In short I’m completely blown away by Karmic and I couldn’t be happier. Please feel free to share your experiences below, good and bad.

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2 Responses for "Karmic Kubuntu, now there’s a contradiction in terms!"»

  1. Roger

    Certainly not my experience. Tried installing on a desktop and laptop and both are problems and I wish I hadn’t tried either. Gnucash doesn’t work anymore nor does the dual screen on the desktop. Synaptic doesn’t work reliably on the desktop don’t know yet about the laptop. On the laptop KDE doesn’t work. The fonts are tiny and rough. Overall it is a big disappointment at this time.

  2. Hollow

    Hi Roger, not everyone has the same experience with Linux, by the sound of it you’re already a user “Gnucash doesn’t work anymore” seems to indicate this isn’t your first try with Linux. As you’ll know in which case, upgrades tend to go well on some machines and badly on others, as I said in the review my upgrade on my Dell Inspiron 6000 Laptop did not go well, since writing this article and since Karmic being fully released, I’ve also tried to upgrade a server from Jaunty to Karmic, which failed badly, resulting in a dead server. I have to say upgrading another desktop with the Alternate CD rather than over the network went seamlessly and every “from scratch” install I’ve done has also gone perfectly.

    Just as a note on the fonts, I’ve also had trouble in the past upgrading from KDE4.2 to KDE4.3 with my old display settings being kept, it ignores the fact that AIR should be the theme etc, yet on new system user accounts, everything displays perfectly, maybe try deleting some of the settings in your /home folder relating to your KDE preferences and see if it re-creates them on login with better results?

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