Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Jerky Jackalope and Other Tales.

Its been a few weeks now since the release of Ubuntu 9.04 and the overwhelming impression is one of a bug ridden disaster comparable to the first Men in Black Movie. There are serious problems with the new version of Xorg 1.6 , the installer and the new Ext4 file system. It's like 7.04 and 7.10 all over again, and if history repeats itself it is unlikely any of this damage will be put right until the release of 9.10 or maybe even 10.04! So for now I will be basing the next release of Vinux on the relatively stable Intrepid Ibex. 8.10 is supported with updates and security patches for another year which will take us to the next LTS release which will be supported for three years. I have come to the conclusion that it is not going to be practical to follow Ubuntu's six month cycle, as it takes a few months to get Vinux stable and bug free. So the options are to base Vinux on the long term service releases and/or switch to Debian as the base. Both options would offer the benefit of stability at the cost of cutting edge features. In terms of ethics and open-source principles Debian would be preferable as it is dedicated to the open-source philosophy, while Ubuntu include non-free packages and drivers etc. I also suspect that at some point in the future Ubuntu will go commercial once it has a big enough user-base, and go on to become the Microsoft of the Linux world. So once I have built Vinux 1.5 I will be experimenting with Debian Lenny which remastersys also supports, and from what I have read has more features than the Ubuntu version including a text based installer which should be more accessible than Ubiquity. Watch this space!