First hour with Ubuntu 10.10 on a laptop

Recently, I’ve only used Mac OSX based laptops from Apple largely because I needed a few things to work: suspend/resume, WiFi, video out. Over that time, I’ve also grown used to some closed source software: Evernote and OmniOutliner are on my dock, and I really cannot live without them. OK, TextMate is also on my dock, but I’m still nimble in vim as I still use it daily.

Where have I used Linux? On servers. Plenty of servers, running CentOS and Ubuntu mainly. Servers that I am regularly SSH’ed into on a daily basis. The other place I use Linux widely is virtual machines (without X).

I picked up a Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11″ today with no OS loaded. Much props to Lenovo Malaysia’s PR agency Text100 – they read the post, and attempted to solve my problems for me by liaising with Lenovo. Paid for it today with no extra charge on the credit card, and they threw in a case as well.

Coming from a Mac, I have to say Ubuntu 10.10’s initial experience nailed it. I popped the 64-bit ISO that I had burnt to a DVD into an external optical drive, and it just booted. Ubuntu installed with ease, and during installation it detected my WiFi card (so I could connect to the network), and also had working sound out of the box.

During installation, it decided to go on the Net to download packages, and that took about 180MB. It rebooted. And like magic, everything just worked. I tried suspending the machine by closing the lid. It worked. I opened the lid to see if it would resume – it worked. I did this more than once and I’m pleased to say the laptop works as expected. The hardware keys to control sound, brightness and more all just work. I have not tried video out (there’s VGA and HDMI) yet.

Ubuntu has this concept of certified hardware. The specs don’t match, but it does list the Thinkpad Edge 11.

There are over 300MB of updates to download, which I’ll do when I get away from unmetered Internet. Quick verdict? A world of win, Ubuntu might be exactly what people are looking for when it comes to Linux on a laptop/desktop.

One Comment

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