The Karmic Koala – Not Ubuntu’s Vista

Ubuntu Linux, without a doubt is the most popular Linux desktop OS out there. It has come a long way since Warthy Wathog some 5 years ago. The crowning release of the distro was on the 29 of October when Karmic Koala was unleashed into the wild.
To say this release is good will be an understatement. It is the best so far in the history of Canonical. However, Karmic Koala, just like any other software that is made up of lines of code, is bound to have bugs. I am yet to read anywhere that it was stated  Karmic was going to be bugless. I am amazed at how people are equating Karmic to Vista in terms of buggs and hiccups.
First of all, Ubuntu Karmic is far from repeating the spectacular, legendary failure of Vista. The latter was a big, unprecedented blunder on the part of Microsoft. Not so is Ubuntu Karmic however. I installed the beta and later the final release and not a single thing went wrong. I am not going to be naive to say it will go so for everyone. No, people will experience some problems with it. Even the multibillion dollar Windows 7 is giving people a hard time with bugs.
But it is very surprising when you have people begin to predict the demise of Ubuntu just because they have encountered bugs with Karmic. What people are not saying however, is that Karmic is radically different from all the previous releases in that it comes with some really new functions and features that are now making their debut. It is packed with new features that are bound to cause some performance problems.
For years we have all been saying we want to see  Ubuntu stand up to Windows. We want to see new functions and features in Ubuntu. Now that Canonical is beginning to deliver, we the same people are now turning to attack the developers. I agree with a good friend of mine when he says Ubuntu is always under scrutiny because it is the most popular Linux desktop distro out there. But to make all sorts of noise because some bugs have been discovered is just being unfair to Ubuntu.
To reduce the incident of bugs with your system, you should consider backing up your system and doing a clean reinstall. I have always been against upgrading from one major release of a software to the other. It is always better to start afresh. You should also have a realistic expectation of the OS. You should know it is something made by man and may suffer some deficiencies.
If you are thinking of installing Ubuntu Karmic but are being put off by the hue and cry you are reading all over the net, I can confidently say to you that go ahead and install it. It is a great release and your your system is likely to run smoothly with it. The bug issues you are hearing are the exception rather than the rule to the Ubuntu experience. Go on and enjoy real freedom.

28 Replies to “The Karmic Koala – Not Ubuntu’s Vista”

  1. The rapid increase of Ubuntu haters, just displays the increasing success and popularity of Ubuntu. Karmic is by far the best Ubuntu till now in every single aspect: Ease of use(100 papercuts project, slideshow during installation), ext4 by default, Ubuntu One pre-installed, improved artwork & unique cool notifications, Software Center.

  2. It was Vista that gave me enough grief to migrate to Ubuntu. That was almost two years ago. Upgrades from Gutsy to Hardy and on to Jaunty (I skipped Intrepid) were smooth but Karma had problems and left me with a couple of bugs.

    I can live with the bugs and there is no motivation to ever return to Windows. The relief from malware attacks is reason enough.

    That said, I am troubled that it takes so long for some bugs to get fixed. There is an annoying bug in the Update Manager that arrived with Jaunty and after six months has only reached the status of 'Incomplete'.

    I am planning a clean install of Lucid Lynx. But you can bet I'll have a helluva lot of backup in case it goes wrong.

  3. I installed Warty when it came out and then dropped Ubuntu for awhile. I came back with Dapper and have been using each version ever since. For me every install has been pretty much rock solid, until now. I was so annoyed after the install of Karmic. My screen flickers and jumps, the sound pops and cracks and I had a kernel panic (my first ever with Ubuntu).

  4. I agree that the number of Ubuntu haters is on the increase and like this post suggests, as it is the most popular version of Linux, more and more will scrutinize every inch of it and make a big song and dance about the bugs that affected them.

    For me, Ubuntu has been stable and I have been a regular Ubuntu user since 5.10, although I didn't ditch windows 100% until 6.10. I always do a clean install as I have my /home on a separate partition. The only gripe I have with Ubuntu is after 8.04 my Sony Ericsson W800i phone wasn't seen as a mass storage device but a mobile internet device. Things have changed as I bought a new Sony EricssonW705 that has the built in function of mass storage device.

    Ubuntu can't be that bad, as a recent press release of simplicITy, a PC aimed at the over 60's, uses a customized Linux Mint as its OS and which we all know is based on Ubuntu.

    I'm not a zealous fanboy as I use other Linux OSes at home, namely Arch and Pardus, but I haven't had any show stopping issues with Ubuntu and even my father and father in law enjoy the simplicity of Ubuntu.

  5. I agree that Karmic-Koala is the best Ubuntu release at least since Dapper Drake and really delivers a beautifully-integrated, high-performance desktop experience.
    There are a couple of bugs that need to be taken care of.
    I have posted an in-depth review at
    Karmic Koala Review

  6. Hi L4L,
    You are right, the 100 paper cuts exercise played a great role in the success of Karmic. The features you mentioned just make Karmic super.

    Don, don't you think it's funny when you hear people compare Karmic to Vista? I really sympathize with you on the bug that's plaguing you. You did the right thing by filing a report. Though it takes long time for some bugs to be fixed, I know for sure with time, they will get fixed.

    Anonymous, I hope you have filed a bug report for what you are experiencing which like I said, is the exception rather than the rule. You can also do a clean reinstall to see. I have had a problems fixed just by doing the installation again from scratch.

    Hi Emyr
    Ubuntu has been stable for me since I started using it over a year ago. With every release, I do a clean reinstall and everything works just out of the box.

    I also use to have a Sony Ericsson phone which worked flawlessly both as a mass storage and a mobile internet device. However, with my case, anytime I plugged the phone to the pc through the USB cable, I was given the option of either accessing it as a storage device or internet device.

    Thanks for the simpliCity mention, will look it up some more. Also good to see your inlaws are having a hassle free computing experience.

  7. I'll admit, I was one of the first to call 9.10 "Ubuntu's Vista" and I'm not a ubuntu hater. Far from it, I push Ubuntu whenever and wherever possible. I just don't like being made to look like an idiot for doing so. One example: SABDLF makes a lot of noise about how good Ubuntu is for netbooks, but the performance of 9.10 on the MSI Wind series (and it's clones and re-brands) is epic fail. It runs poorly if you can get it to run at all. They could have held the release until it was straightened out, because they had documentation on these show-stopping bugs prior to the release, but no they didn't. Just because you have a gun and a foot is no reason to shoot yourself in the foot.

  8. I recently upgraded my old Sempron2400 to Karmic without big problems … who would dare doing the same with Vista? 🙂

    Anyway the good with Linux is that you can choose the distribution that best fits you, while with Windows you can only keep the old version until you can afford a new computer. Ubuntu is not a religion after all.

    P.S. before changing distribution one should try changing desktop system.

  9. Anonymous
    Agree with you that they should have done more to correct the bugs they knew about before releasing Karmic.

    Maxx
    Yea, that's one of the great things about Linux. If it does not suit you, change it. Comparing Ubuntu Karmic to Vista? Lol

  10. I agree as well, there are an increasing amount of Ubuntu 'haters' out there. The sad thing is that 99% of those are fellow Linux users. Maybe the majority of the reasons can be boiled down to jealously- and if that's the case, that's even more sad.

    For Linux to compete with Microsoft, Linux enthusiasts has to become more mature.

    BTW: Ubuntu 9.10 works fine for me, and opensuse 11.2 doesn't.

  11. I've tried every version of *buntu since Warty and changed my webserver over to Dapper when Win2000 barfed and died. My everyday machine changed from Win2000 to Hoary and I haven't used Windows as my main OS since.

    Yes, there are bugs in each release…deal with it. GNU/LINUX is a massive project and will never be bug-free but compare it honestly to your experience with whatever version of Windows you use/used to use. How does it compare? If you honestly prefer Windows then that's what you should use.

    Whatever your personal choice of OS is you owe it to yourself (and others) to file meaningful bug reports be it to Canonical, Microsoft, Apple, Fedora, etc. This is the only way software gets fixed. Griping about it without doing anything about doesn't help anybody.

    As for Karmic, it works for me and even solved a couple of minor annoyances that were present in Jaunty. Everything worked out of the box on both the desktop and the laptop.

  12. I fresh installed ubuntu 9.10…ALL is good. Pulse audio gave me a headache with my realtime kernel but other than that. perfect!.

    ran Debian for 4 years and jumped to ubuntu around the Hardy era. windows has been history in my house for 8 years. Haven't missed it.

  13. I am surprised to read that Ubuntu 9.10 received so much bad criticism because I haven't had any real problems with it. Maybe it's because this time I've done a clean install of it, instead of upgrading from previous version, as I did for 8.10 and 9.04. It was funny that the only time anything out of the ordinary happened was 30 seconds after I finished installing it while trying to test if it supports Suspend. It did, but when it woke up, a mysterious kernel error was reported that then triggered apport. But there were no side effects from that error. This error never showed up again, even without additional packages upgrade. Other than that, I haven't had ANY stability problems. Sure there there are some glitches here and there but they are so rare. i would like to notice that I had serious problem with Ubuntu 9.04 because of the intel graphic problem and gave it rather bad review in one of the forums, because it not only offered nothing new worth upgrading, but also broke something that previously worked just fine. A month or two after it, I realised that it wasn't directly Ubuntu's fault, but more of a global upstream problem like Intel changing his driver architecture, the kernel devs deciding that they will no longer maintain the kernel version shipped with Ubuntu 9.04 etc. So I came to this conclusion that if Ubuntu likes to stay on top, Canonical will have to hire more people that contribute directly to projects that are the basic building block of this distribution like the kernel, X.org, Gnome, OpenOffice etc. That way it can influence more the direction that this projecs are moving, rather than having to just take what it was served by them, good or bad.

  14. Just because some of you had no trouble with 9.10 doesn't mean others won't/doesn't have problems with it.

    There are bugs that haven't been resolved since before 9.04 release. And clean install doesn't mean anything when it comes to those.

    I have a clean install of 9.10 on my notebook.And it suddenly decided that it was gonna dim the screen due to a screwed up timer.

    Some people had no trouble with Vista.Does that mean it wasn't a pain sometimes?

  15. Anonymous (last)
    I doubt if you read the full post. I am assuming you did not and thus will reprint a snippet of what I said with regards to your point.

    "I installed the beta and later the final release and not a single thing went wrong. I am not going to be naive to say it will go so for everyone. No, people will experience some problems with it."

  16. Yes the issue is the fact that we have lots of Jealous Linux users whom want their distribution to be more popular so they do what the Microsoft trolls to they spread FUD. Sure some folks will have issues but the majority don't. Also there is a huge campaing at the Microsoft camp to discredit Ubuntu/Linux and spread more FUD. PC mag gave a review for Ubuntu last release where is the review for this one. Again is a campaign to ignore and blatanly discredit Ubuntu so that Windows 7 can come out on top.

    The great part about all this is that once a windows user switches or average Linux users from other distribution switch to Ubuntu they never go back to the previous distribution or windows period(hence I said average linux users, not super geeks). For those Linux users is totally sad that they would behave this way as for the Microsoft paid bloggers,journalist and fanboys this is to be expected 100%. The great thing about this is that Windows7 is flunking badly on netbooks.

  17. I'm awfully surprised at people comparing Karmic to Vista. It is actually running much much better than Jaunty. In fact, Jaunty had bugs, some of them pretty severe but most of them were upstream and nothing much could be done about them. Like, ATI support. It was nothing about Ubuntu. It was just that the development team wanted Ubuntu on the cutting edge rather than run an old version which works. So, I'm happy to have migrated from Windows to Ubuntu and I dont think I'll ever go back.

  18. No problems with Ubuntu 9.10 here. Ubuntu 9.10 brings many news which I have been wanting for quite some time. I have tried Fedora 12 and openSUSE 11.2 and they haven't brought any change in direction despite being backed by profitable public companies. Infact, openSUSE 11.2 failed on my generic PC but does that mean it's buggy. No, because I know that many people are happy with it.

    I think much of the complaining is do to the popularity of Ubuntu. I have been around long enough to know that the Linux world is full of jealously and other negatives that is holding Linux back. We must not let these people drown out the good.

  19. Anonymous
    Your last point is one of the reasons why I think Linux is not going anywhere. Why jealous a distro for being a success? In any case, do we think it is all the 1000+ distros that will be liked by people. Ubuntu is a success in the making, if you notice, it has now surpassed all the Linux desktop distos out there and is now gunning for MS Windows. That alone is cool for me 🙂

  20. Ever since they rolled in Compiz, which generated a lot of buzz, Ubuntu has learned to throw in as many new, cool, buzz-generating features/apps between Long Term Releases, then use the 6 months before the LTR to bug-fix the heck out of everything so the LTR is solid.

    However, they're getting too sloppy in their in-between releases. When they did this with Compiz, it had a few issues. But now they're replacing Pidgin with Empathy, and folks are having a lot of issues with Empathy. (Plus, they JUST got done having a big push to switch to Pidgin like 2 releases ago, and now they're moving on already…wtf?)

    They jumped ship over to Pulse Audio, which in theory will let you integrate sound from multiple sources and merge it into a single sound "server". But this went off horribly. Folks with onboard sound and sound cards together had to unplug the sound card since Pulse Audio couldn't figure out which to use correctly. Others had to do very hackish command-line fixes and download extra libs to kit-bash solutions.

    When Karmic came out, they rolled out an auto-starting hard disk checker that instantly told me my hard disk was bad. I went out and spent $60 on a new hdd just to later find out my old hdd was not going bad, but in fact there's a bug in the hdd checking program that makes it flag false positives.

    While I agree they need to keep tossing newer, better, etc software into Ubuntu to stay fresh and competetive, it's really taking its toll on their reliability.

    Plus, while they usually don't integreate too much for LTR's and just focus on bug-fixes, when they did that last time they still released a buggy LTR. I'm hoping they do a better job this time and release a totally solid LTR. Being reliable doesn't generate instant fad buzz, but it does generate long-term peace of mind respect for the distro. Long-term respect is far better than fad buzz which fades out in a couple of months.

  21. Anonymous
    You are right. I think Canonical ought to be careful next time around when they want to implement some new feature or want to take out something. I for one think that the decision to replace Pidgin with Empathy was real dumb on their part.

    However, I think the next LTR is going to be more stable than Hardy was giving that the 100 paper cuts exercise is being repeated

  22. Ubuntu's Jaunty (9.04)works brilliantly on my Dell/Intel P4 with Acer x193w widescreen monitor. I love it. Karmic Koala unfortunately for me is Ubuntu's Vista. When I upgraded, Karmic didn't recognize my monitor and I was stuck with default resolution..could not fix in conf files. Ubuntu One didn't work properly and Karmic's disc notifier gave false positives. A big pain, so I switched back to Jaunty…..

  23. Karmic is the best so far i have had no problem with ubuntu some problems with ubuntu one but they were always on top of it and made updates almost over night now can anyone say that about microsoft or vista or even windows 7 no.Ubuntu works hard to put together the best linux package they can and it shows.just one more thing can anyone say that microsoft or apple will send them a cd of there latest O.S. free no no one can ubuntu on the other hand will send anyone who ask for a free cd of there's and you don't even have to pay for shipping & handling.So a few bugs maybe i've not seen any with ubuntu maybe ubuntu one but thats different it's bata software and they tell you that before you sign up.

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