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Virtual Machines and Ubuntu 8.10

Posted 12-17-2008 at 07:29 AM by proji

So over the weekend I finally got round to installing Ubuntu 8.10 into a virtual machine environment using Parallels Desktop (which I maintain is a great piece of software).

My initial impressions of Ubuntu 8.10 were not that different to my impressions of using Ubuntu 7 in so much as it looks pretty similar. I can't say I've ever been a fan of Ubuntu's default brown look. The system itself always shows great promise, but the default theme feels a little drab.

This is a stark contrast to the bright and inviting colours Mac OS X Leopard has when you boot into it. Nevertheless, colours and themes can be changed, which actually was the first thing that I did. I switched the brown theme for one that had a brighter shade of blue to it.

In fact it was when I was going through making these changes that I started to see just how much Ubuntu 8.10 has come along. Altering settings is not much easier than ever before, and in fact the process (while it was always straight forward) now feels like it has much more polish to it. And this is pretty much the story of my initial tinkering with 8.10, it just feels like it has been nicely polished and that for me makes it well worth the download.

With each iteration Ubuntu feels more like a mature mainstream operating system, and an increasingly viable alternative for the average home user (and dare I say it, small business too? :?: ) One thing is for sure, I will be spending more time playing around with 8.10 and pushing it to see how soon I need to revert to the command line.

I will be doing a review soon and hopefully posting up a demo video too. This is something that is made much easier by being able to install the OS in a virtual environment, as it allows me to tinker without having to alter settings on my own computer, and it should allow me to easily screen capture what I'm doing. Anyone who says virtualisation will never catch on should seriously consider spending some time experimenting with a Virtual Machine and making use of the opportunity to try all manner of operating systems. At just 49 or so for a copy of Parallels Desktop there has never been a better time to try out the technology B)
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