Intrepid Ibex, or Hardy Heron SP1?

Oct 20, 2008
Updated • Dec 11, 2012

Ubuntu is now the most prominent Linux distribution perhaps due to its philosophy of creating '”Linux for humans” and targeting the consumer first and foremost. With a regular 6 monthly release Ubuntu has been making leaps and bounds and the last release, Hardy Heron, began to make Linux actually look like a real alternative to Windows.

The new 8.10 release is called Intrepid Ibex and has 10 days to go before an official release. Currently you can download the beta to try from the Ubuntu website.

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed with this release. Primarily the difference between this release and Hardy Heron is a lot of bug fixes, some performance improvements, better hardware support, improved ‘connectivity’ features and a fairly horrible new ‘human theme’.

In essence it’s the kind of ‘service pack’ release that Microsoft provides. I was actually hoping for some dramatic interface improvements, however I can only assume these are still being developed. Mark Shuttleworth (the founder of Ubuntu) has made the comment that he doesn’t yet feel Ubuntu is ready for the average end-user at this point.

He strongly believes in open-source software, but until Ubuntu provides the kind of experience Windows or Apple does he would not recommend people to try it for the first time:

“There’s also recognition for the scale of the challenge that faces us. When I laid out the goal of “delivering a user experience that can compete with Apple in two years” at OSCON, I had many questions afterwards about how on earth we could achieve that. “Everyone scratches their own itch, how can you possibly make the UI consistent?” was a common theme. And it’s true - the free software desktop is often patchy and inconsistent. But I see the lack of consistency as both a weakness (GNOME, OpenOffice and Firefox all have different UI toolkits, and it’s very difficult to make them seamless) and as a strength - people are free to innovate, and the results are world-leading. Our challenge is to get the best of both of those worlds.”

“All of this has me tapdancing to work in the mornings, because we’re sketching out really interesting ideas for user interaction in Launchpad and in the desktop. The team has come together very nicely, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the processes, brainstorming and prototyping. I can’t wait to see those ideas landing in production!”

All of this must mean that Ubuntu’s new interface is still coming, perhaps for the next 6 monthly release, I look forward to when it does. Till then Intrepid Ibex provides some good under-the-hood updates, the rapid boot time and lightening fast shut-down are particularly impressive.

Hardware support, Linux’s biggest issue, has for most purposes been solved. Now the focus is on the next biggest problem – the interface and user experience, something I’m confident they will eventually solve equally well.


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  1. Gregg Fowler said on December 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I don’t understand why anyone would expect “dramatic interface improvements” in a short term 6 month release. I would think that improvements in these releases would indeed be “service pack” type improvements. I was dissappointed by nVidia legacy issues, but then again I can stick with Hardy or use the beta nVidia driver that is out. I don’t know the context of the quoted Mark Shuttleworth comments about it not being yet ready for the desktop, but I would think for a “new” computer user Ubuntu would be easier than windows. Fact is the “average” computer user has difficulty completely using Windows, especially if it happened to be Vista.

  2. Dotan Cohen said on October 25, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    > There are about a million forums and also an
    > official Microsoft newsgroup which will provide
    > support for any query like you mentioned above.

    Thanks, Josh, where? Simply trolling Google I could not find anything official. In fact, even going to the non-official forums it seems that the answer to everything is “reinstall”.

  3. Slon said on October 23, 2008 at 12:35 am

    u sux pals =(.
    1. Compiz is installed by default in Hardy!
    2. Intrepid isn’t SP1, but have fully end-user wireless support.
    3. The main problem with network cards on laptops is changed Eeprom string. It’s issue of any linu … its trick for Windows suport. Chast change it to native.

  4. ulysess said on October 21, 2008 at 9:49 am

    I think Ubuntu is a all-in-one package of software. You take the kernel, a graphical desktop, tons of software, and you have Ubuntu.

    If I find improves, stability, updates, new hardware recognized,…well, I hope this. It’s not a new OS, and with 6 month between versions, what do you want?

  5. Josh said on October 21, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Yes, I know there are numerous updates, but not much in the way of improved functionality, interface and features…

  6. Reinhardt said on October 21, 2008 at 6:17 am

    I disagree with your point of view that Ubuntu 8.10 is some service pack. On the KDE Front with Kubunut it continues the KDE 4.1 integration, which ofc you can feel is a SP but well, I think it is more. And from what I remember reading in some other article about the new gnome release, which is part of Ubuntu 8.10 if I am not mistaken.

  7. Josh said on October 21, 2008 at 3:43 am

    There are about a million forums and also an official Microsoft newsgroup which will provide support for any query like you mentioned above.

  8. Dotan Cohen said on October 20, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    I agree regarding hardware support. I have been running Ubuntu for three years, and our household has been exclusively Ubuntu for the past two. So long as your hardware supports Ubuntu, and you are not tied to a particular Windows-only application, then Ubuntu (well, Kubuntu in my case) is by far the better OS: more stable, easier to use, more secure, and more responsive.

    However, the two points that I mentioned above are very important: if you hardware does not support Ubuntu, then you could have a _lot_ of trouble making things work. And, if you have a particular Windows-only app, then it could be very difficult finding a replacement on Ubuntu if one even exists at all.

    What is good about Ubuntu, and most other Linux distros, is that one can ask on a free mailing list about hardware compatibility issues and software recommendations. I do not know of any such service for Windows.

  9. iampriteshdesai said on October 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm

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  10. Luciano Evaristo Guerche (Gorše) said on October 20, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Few months ago I tried both Ubuntu 7.10 and 8.04 on my personal computer, but Ubuntu didn’t recognize onboard network card. About two months ago I bought a Dell Vostro 1310 and tried Ubuntu 8.04 through Wubi installer on it, but again, Ubuntu didn’t recognize network and wifi cards. For me, an OS which does not recognize network and/or wifi cards is unusable. Ubuntu recognized Vostro 1310 onboard video card, but I was not able to use compiz advanced features, because compiz-manager is not installed by default, is not present on Ubuntu instalation disk and I have no internet connectivity due to Ubuntu’s refusal to recognize Vostro network and wifi cards. Hope linux distros solve this problem with network and wifi cards so that I and others may be able to adopt it, at least as an alternative OS to Windows.

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