So I've upgraded to the latest version of Ubuntu, 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope," and I thought I'd post some thoughts on the matter.

On my desktop the upgrade (eg. sudo apt-get dist-upgrade) was a bit touch and go, but I managed to save things (logging in running the old kernel into a root shell to fix the upgrade which mysteriously held back some packages it shouldn't have) and here I am. The laptop was easier to upgrade, and I suspect this has something to do with the blob video card drivers I'm using on the desktop.

On the whole, I can't say I've toyed with the updates to gnome terribly much so I don't know what to say, but I suspect that they are in fact newer, better, and worthwhile if you're using intrepid and or interested in trying out ubuntu. It's really a great OS, and it does a great job--in my experience--of just working with minimal fussing.

I'm not sure that I'd choose an Ubuntu distribution again knowing what I know today. At the same time, I don't know that I'd know as much as I do about Linuxes today without it, and given that this still works, I'm not switching.

My jaunty upgrade, however, inspired a few changes to my setup, and I'm quite happy with those improvements. They are:

  • I switched to using rxvt-unicode as a terminal emulator (I had been using gnome-terminal). I really like this, because the terminal is low resource (and can run demonized, so you can have a lot of windows open). It's hard as hell to setup (in my experience,) but you can learn from my .Xdefaults file if you're interested.
  • I started (finally) using gnome-color-chooser and gtk-chtheme (debian package names) to remove gnome-settings-daemon from my list of background programs, while still having windows that don't look like 1992.
  • I stopped using vimperator in firefox, opting instead for firemacs (to control keybindings) and LoL for keyboard navigation (hit-a-hint links). Having access to the Awesome bar is a good thing indeed.

Still on the list of things to update?

  • I need to upgrade to the latest awesome version, as I'm behind.
  • I need to actually ditch gdm, which irritates me still.