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A "hardy" Linux distro goes to work
Apr. 29, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 ("Hardy Heron") arrived last week, and over at embedded blog site DeviceGuru, Rick Lehrbaum wasted no time in installing it. In his most recent blog, Lehrbaum installs the Kubuntu variant of the 8.04 release on his dual-boot Vista/Linux computer, dubbed the Black Tower.

Soon after the arrival of Hardy Heron, Lehrbaum, former editorial director of DesktopLinux and the DeviceForge family of technology sites, put it to the test. The new release, which Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has said could be the "most significant" ever, offers new features such as long-term support, and the ability to install the software under Windows, without risky re-partitioning procedures.

Lehrbaum, whose Black Tower computer was previously set up with Windows Vista and Kubuntu 7.10, offers some fundamental tips when upgrading or changing Linux distros. He suggests testing the new release without installing it to make sure it's fully baked and worthy of the hassle. He also suggests creating separate /root and /home partitions, to facilitate future distribution changes.

Having found the release to be install-worthy, Lehrbaum then prepares to perform a "fresh install" of Kubuntu 8.04, wiping away Kubuntu 7.10 while preserving personal data and preference settings. Lehrbaum steps the reader through the Kubuntu installation and shows how to do manual partitioning of the system's primary hard drive. He uses Kubuntu's Adept installation tool to customize the desktop, and describes how to install a new version of Firefox.

The writer is quite impressed with "Hardy Heron," but mourns the absence of Automatix2, for which development was recently discontinued. (Automatix2 automates the downloading and installation of an assortment of multimedia codecs, browser plugins, and other utilities.) All is not lost, however, as Lehrbaum finds software formerly handled by the utility in Ubuntu's Hardy repositories.

The full DeviceGuru story, "Hardy Heron moves into the Black Tower," should be available here.

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