"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Test drive: Ubuntu (and Xubuntu) 11.04 beta on the Sempron 2400

 
While waiting for the Ubuntu stable release I continued trying live beta versions on my computers. This time I put the downloaded ISO images on a USB drive in order to test them on my old desktop computer (a Sempron 2400). Live CD editions combined with USB drives give us an extremely powerful and inexpensive way to have a reasonable preview of how a new release or distribution will behave on our system.

Ubuntu 11.04

I used the same disk image I previously used to test Ubuntu on my EEEPC. Once launched the system started with a standard Gnome desktop. It seems that my system configuration is not supported by Unity. May be Unity 2D version will work even on my old configuration, I didn't test it. I'm still not a big fan of Unity so … I don't miss it very much.
Screenshot-Ubuntu
The system runs fine. The most visible difference is probably the menu bar stuck, by default, on the top-left side of the screen. A solution that can save some pixel on smaller screens but definitively pointless, if not annoying, at higher resolutions.

Xubuntu 11.04

Since I currently have Xubuntu installed on my desktop computer I decided to try also the upcoming release of the XFCE based Ubuntu distribution. I so downloaded the Beta 2 release from here and put it on the USB drive for the test.
Screenshot - Xubuntu
Not many visible differences with the current version, by the way the system runs fine. I think I'll upgrade as soon as the stable release will be made available.

Conclusions

After these brief tests it seems to me that the the Ubuntu galaxy still have an eye toward older computers, even now with all the upcoming changes in the user interface front. My old Sempron 2400 (it's about six years old by now) seems to have still years of active and useful work in front of it thanks to Linux and Ubuntu (Unless hardware fails of course).