Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope
The new edition of the friendly Linux desktop OS -- Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope -- is more maintenance release than upgrade.
- UI enhancements
- Hardware support remains mixed, some installation issues
Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope brings minor cosmetic and UI enhancements to this easy-to-use desktop distribution. On the downside, installation was marred by some missteps, and hardware support remains mixed. Highlights include new versions of OpenOffice.org and Gnome, as well as a new desktop notification feature.
Having rocketed to prominence in just a few years as probably the most popular desktop Linux distributions, Ubuntu has earned a reputation for stability and ease-of-use. The latest edition — Ubuntu 9.04, aka, "Jaunty Jackalope" — continues that tradition and is mostly a maintenance release, but it brings a number of updates that should enhance its appeal.
The list of bundled applications is largely unchanged, but they're all new versions. Chief among these is OpenOffice.org 3.0, which should appease those who were disappointed that it didn't make the previous release. The new version of the free office suite maintains the same look and feel, and it still launches slowly, but it brings some new features, including improved compatibility with Microsoft Office 2007.
Under Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope's bonnet, there's a new Linux kernel that promises improved stability, and support for the latest Ext4 files system.
Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has hinted that big changes to the system's look and feel are coming with the next release in October — changes that might even include abandoning its traditional, but controversial, brown colour scheme — but the cosmetic updates in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope are minor.
Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope has new boot and log-in screens, two alternative desktop backgrounds, and a few UI improvements that came free with the upgrade to the Gnome 2.26 interface; but nothing that should surprise anyone who has used an earlier version of Ubuntu.
Perhaps the most significant UI addition, one unique to Ubuntu, is the new desktop notification mechanism. Application messages — anything from audio volume changes to alerts from your IM client — now appear in black pop-up boxes in the upper-right corner of the screen.
The idea is to make these messages as unobtrusive as possible by avoiding the distractions of unwanted dialogue boxes. Whether it succeeds will probably depend on the user. This system is new to Linux, but it resembles features available on Windows and Mac OS X.
What might annoy some Linux users, however, is the fact that it's not configurable. There's no preference panel to change its behaviour and no way to switch back to the old notification system. Even if you hate it, you're stuck with it.
This is not unusual for Ubuntu, which often sacrifices some configurability for the sake of ease-of-use. For example, while Ubuntu includes support for GUI bling by way of Compiz Fusion, some of the more talked-about effects — including the famed "desktop cube" — are disabled by default. To enable them, users have to install an unsupported software package that provides a new control panel.
Ubuntu 9.04 is guilty of worse sins, however. When we booted the installation CD, it cheerfully informed us that our computer had no operating systems installed on it and offered to partition the entire drive. In reality, the PC contained not just a previous version of Ubuntu, but Windows Vista and an abortive installation of Mac OS X as well. Luckily for us, we knew how to manage partitions manually, but that won't be the case with all potential upgraders.
During installation, the system offered to migrate user information from the Windows drive that it failed to detect earlier, but upon logging in, no data seemed to have been transferred. Firefox showed only the default bookmark entries and nothing from either Internet Explorer or the Windows installation of Mozilla Firefox. On the positive side, Ubuntu recognised our NTFS partitions after boot and made them available for mounting without a hitch.
Join the newsletter!
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker
Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System
ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14
WD_BLACK™ SN850 NVMe™ SSD
Theragun PRO Percussive Therapy Device
Sony Playstation 5
Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush
Lego Mindstorms Robot Inventor
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch
Fujiflim Instax Square SQ1
Garmin vívofit® jr. 2
Fender Fullerton Ukele
MSI Modern 14
Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player
SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String
Kindle Paperwhite eReader (10th Gen)
Dickie Toy Remote Control Mega Crane Set
MSI GE66 Dragonshield Limited Edition
MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo Watch review: A masterclass in imitation
- 2 Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- 3 Google Pixel 4a review: The Goldilocks Google phone
- 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G review: Wrong Number
- 5 LG NANO99 NanoCell 8K TV review: Prestige at a price
Latest News Articles
- Google smart displays get sticky notes for family members
- Google releases Chrome 87 with support for Apple silicon Macs
- Microsoft updates trackpad and mouse support, start screens and Ribbon in Office for iPad
- New software program runs Windows directly on Chromebooks
- Optus to take the lag out of gaming
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- iPhone 12 Pro review: The iPhone that’s future proof
- Google Pixel 5 Review: Soft Reboot
- Oppo Watch review: A masterclass in imitation
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?