Apr 22 2014

Xubuntu 14.04 LTS First Impressions

Published by at 9:12 am under Xubuntu Linux

Two days ago, I installed Xubuntu 14.04 LTS on our Zotac Zbox. I don’t “do-release-upgrade”, I always wipe the SSD and install everything from scratch. No matter what the marketing departments are trying to sell you, in my experience there still is no operating system in existence on this planet where upgrades work properly.
I had a ton of PPAs on my Xubuntu 12.04 setup, so in all honesty, the look and feel of the “new” Xubuntu 14.04 isn’t that different to what I had been using over the last two years. The Whiskersmenu is new, ok, the rest is more or less what I was already used to.
The difference is that 14.04 feels a little bit faster, and it certainly feels more polished and whole lot softer around the edges. I didn’t run any benchmarks and I don’t care much for that kind of thing – it’s more important how something feels than what a stop watch says. And Xubuntu 14.04 feels mature, stable and well done. That alone is worth the update.
One thing is broken, however, but that has nothing to do with Xubuntu 14.04: Caffeine 2.6.2 no longer shows a “preferences” menu and it cannot be configured anymore. Since the Zbox is primarily a movie player, this actually IS a problem. I found a couple of bug reports about this topic on the net, so I assume this is going to be addressed in the next Caffeine release. But like I’ve said, it’s not a direct Xubuntu problem – Caffeine is not even in the official Xubuntu repositories. It’s just a bug that appeared because I re-installed everything from scratch. And thus far, this is the only issue that I’ve encountered.
Of course, I’ve also taken a peek a Ubuntu 14.04 (Desktop) and I also have two production servers with 14.04 LTS (Server) at work. No matter what flavor you choose, 14.04 deserves the attribute “trusty”. It is a VERY solid release and if my month with the final beta version of the server is any indication, then it is also a very stable and problem-free release that is well worth the pain of upgrading/migrating from 12.04.
Kudos to the development teams for their excellent work, and also a huge thank you for giving away such great software under Open Source licenses!

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