I upgraded my desktop from Ubuntu 8.04 to Ubuntu 8.10 last Friday. The upgrade went smoothly though it took 3 hours to complete. Most of the time was used to download the packages. After the installation was done and I rebooted the system, I saw the regular logout button (red square icon) in it’s usual place, but also a new one with my name in the middle of the menu bar. I then saw a informational bulb glowing in the menu bar and it informed me to click ok to replace the old logout button with the new FUSA applet (Fast User Switcher applet). I did that and it told me to logout and login. Once I logged back in, my old logout button was replaced with the new FUSA applet. FUSA applet is the new user switcher that integrates your online status with the usual logout options and user list. I liked the idea of integrating those commenly used options, but it didn’t feel complete to me. I can’t say what’s missing, but i feel it has a potential to get better. For more information on FUSA, check Mark Shuttleworth’s blog.
I was using Kubuntu 8.10 since the alpha stage until the final release, in my laptop. I had few issues with Kubuntu. I had issues with video (flickers), webcam not working and skype audio. It may not be Kubuntu issues, but they were still issues that I had to deal with. I thought I would give Ubuntu 8.10 a try. I did a fresh install of Ubuntu 8.10 in my laptop. I still had the video flickering, but it wasn’t as bad as it was in Kubuntu. Disabling the compiz desktop effects stopped the flickering, but that’s not a complete solution. I want the video to work as it was in Hardy, with compiz effects enabled.
I didn’t see the pulse audio setup in Ubuntu. The default was alsa. Skype voice didn’t work when the sound in and out were set as default. I changed them to HDA Intel xxxx (1st option after default) and it worked. The webcam too worked fine. I have one issue with Linux Skype client. I have this problem in both my desktop and laptop. If I’m doing a webcam chat with another user, as soon as the other user starts the webcam, I don’t see my video in the screen and all the buttons in the window disappear. All I see is the other user’s video. I have to close the window to stop the webcam. Also, there is no option to increase the video size or to make it full screen similar to Windows client.
I can say happily that upgrading the old Ubuntu installation (Ubuntu 8.04) was quite smooth unlike Windows. My dad and my father-in-law did the upgrade and their laptops continue to work fine (as I wrote, they are Ubuntu users). I generally go for fresh installation, but the upgrade was so smooth, I might continue that way and do a fresh install once every 2 years.