Quick review of Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 Alpha 3

Okay, I installed Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 Alpha 3 to my HP Mini 110-1116NR netbook yesterday from a USB flash drive. I “burned” the disc image to the flash drive using Unetbootin on UNR 9.10 and used F9 after the netbook rebooted to elect to boot from my flash drive.

Installation was a snap. Just click on the Install icon, choose your settings, choose your partitions, set up a user name and password, and then install. Installation went by without a hitch.

I was pleasantly surprise to find out that UNR 10.04 Alpha 3 comes with the latest version of Firefox 3.6. I should also point out that Yahoo! Search is indeed the default search engine in UNR 10.04; it is also the default search engine in Ubuntu and Xubuntu.

Ubuntu has been aiming for a fast bootup time of 10 seconds, and it seems that they are getting there. On here, bootup time is almost at 10 seconds. Not quite “instant-on”, but it’s pretty darn fast.

Everything pretty much worked out of the box execpt for the wifi. To remedy that, I used the files included in the Karmic wifi/bluetooth fix which I posted previously in this blog. After installing the Debian packages (I just ram sudo dpkg -i *.deb), I rebooted, and my wifi was working.

Because I love to watch YouTube videos in UNR, I installed the ubuntu-restricted-extras package which downloaded and installed all dependencies without a hitch. MP3s and Flash video now play flawlessly.

There is one flaw I ran into. The included Gwibber tool – Gwibber is a tool which you can use to access Twitter and Facebook – crashed, and according to the bug reports on Launchpad, I was not the only one to have trouble with Gwibber.

As it stands right now, Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 Alpha 3 is shaping up to become a solid OS. Once the Gwibber bugs are ironed out, it should be even greater. During installation, you are warned that this is an alpha release, but other than the Gwibber problem, everything else is working perfectly.

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