Ubuntu 8.10 now officially released and an update on my experiences.

If you’re a happy Ubuntu Linux fan then you’ll be pleased to hear that version 8.10 is now available to download or upgrade on your machine. The official press release can be read here and the folks at ArsTechnica.com have a brief writeup here:

Ubuntu 8.10 includes Xorg 7.4, which has improved support for input device hotplugging. This takes Linux one step closer to completely eliminating the need for Xorg configuration files. Network configuration gets a big boost in this release with the addition of Network Manager 0.7, which adds support for managing 3G and PPPoE connections and configuring static IP addresses. The new version of Network Manager also has a more complete end user interface that exposes a variety of other configuration features.

Ubuntu 8.10 also includes the Dynamic Kernel Module Support system, a framework created by Dell that will automatically recompile kernel modules when kernel packages are updated. This will hopefully reduce breakage of VirtualBox and other applications that rely on third-party kernel modules.

I should take a moment here to update you folks on my own experiences with Ubuntu as I’ve written at length on the troubles I’ve had with it. I recently restaged my work laptop once again with a fresh download of 8.04 after an experiment left my system hosed so badly that I didn’t know where to start to try and fix it. The first thing I did after the install was run the update manager and install all the patches and then run EnvyNG and have it install the ATI drivers for the Thinkpad’s video card. The only additional software I’ve added since, other than official patches, has been Adobe’s Flash plugin for Firefox. The result has been a very stable system, much more stable than in the past at least. Firefox will still lock up and “gray out” on me for short periods of time every now and then, but it isn’t crashing anywhere near as frequently and the crashes due to the video drivers seem to be a thing of the past. My already receding hairline is quite pleased by the lack of pulling it has had to endure as of late.

That said I’ll probably give it a few days, if not weeks, before attempting to upgrade to the 8.10 release. At the very least I want to be sure EnvyNG is available on the new version to ease the installation of the video drivers if it should be necessary to reinstall them. You folks who aren’t afraid to upgrade to 8.10 right away are welcome to report your experiences in the comments if you wish.