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19 August 2006
Ubuntu has released a new update to the Dapper Drake 6.06 distribution. The latest version only brings it up to a .1 release at 6.06.1, but it does demonstrate that they are taking the ongoing support of the operating system seriously. Coupled with the Long Term Support (LTS) promise of supporting the operating system for several years, Ubuntu is now making itself a viable commercial alternative.
Not just this, but Ubuntu now comes in different flavours depending upon what you want to do. These range from the Desktop version (including Live CD, and desktop applications), to the Server version designed for installing on a production server, and specialist versions such as edubuntu catering for education establishments.
There is however no need to rush out and order / download more CDs, as anyone running the 6.06 version can just use:
apt-get update apt-get upgrade
In fact those using older version should be able to do a distribution upgrade, although that does have some additional risks.
I downloaded the latest CD images and armed with my experience to hopefully overcome some of the minor problems I'd already encountered I've now installed this on my desktop PC. There were still a couple of minor problems, but I now have a full Ubuntu install up and running.
The first problem, was with the graphics card drivers. I had hoped this may have been fixed, but unfortunately not. The problem is that the driver used during install does not work with either my graphics card or my monitor. I'm not sure which but basically it leaves my computer with a blank screen. I'd already fixed this using my earlier experience, using the Alternate install CD.
Then I decided to add the codecs / DVD player etc. Which went quite well following the info I'd already found on EasyUbuntu. I did have one slight problem in that I had to downgrade the version of totem, so that I could add the firefox plug-in, quickly fixed in Synaptic Package Manager.
Before I'd had problems with the Canon Printer driver for my Pixma ip4200 printer. This is fixed using the instructions provided in the Ubuntu Wiki (Canon IP4200 page). There were a couple of very minor errors on the Wiki page, which I've corrected.
Finally when I'd tried recording audio on my IBM Thinkpad I couldn't get it to work.
Without any additional changes I tried this from my desktop PC and it worked fine. It looks like there is a problem with either the hardware of the driver on my laptop.
Everytime I find something new I become more and more impressed with Ubuntu. It is certainly my platform of choice.