It’s been a while in coming, but here’s my review of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long-Term Support). Functionally speaking, it has a few improvements over 9.10. The biggest improvement I saw was the fact it actually supported the wifi indicator light on my laptop. Normally, when running under Windows, it turns red when the wifi is off, and is blue when the wifi is on. Under Ubuntu 9.10, (or any version of Linux for that matter,) it would only show red. Now under 10.04 LTS, it works exactly as it does under Windows. Also, in the wifi department, it seems to connect faster than it did under 9.10, and the connection is more stable. On the whole, though, aside from a few program updates, most of the changes appear to be aesthetic.
The default visual aspects of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS are where the big changes are. The new Ambiance control widget set and window border provide a unique look that definitely looks upgraded. (I’m not a Mac fan, so I’d prefer the title-bar buttons to be arranged in the traditional Windows format, but that’s minor.) Also, the warm earth-tones are gone, in favor of purples, warm grays, and red-orange accents. The new color scheme and control set give it a far more “technological” feel than the old Human control set and orange and brown palette. Until this release, Ubuntu’s visual appeal has always fallen far short when compared to other distros, or even with Windows.
Now for the bad news. The network upgrade didn’t work well at all. After making sure my current install of 9.10 was fully updated, and enduring the 4 – 6 hour upgrade process, (that’s download and installation time combined,) the upgrade broke at the very end and gave me the a warning that my system was in an unstable (and unrecoverable) state because something fouled up during the upgrade process. Also, after installing the 64-bit version, i found out that none of the Flash player variants (even Adobe’s) work for the 64-bit version. Furthermore, Adobe has pulled their 64-bit test version off of the Adobe Labs site, leaving your only option to use Flash as running the 32-bit version of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.
All in all, though, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS makes a good replacement to the previous LTS version as well as 9.10, just be sure to use the 32-bit version, (unless you don’t care about Flash, that is).