Ubuntu 9.04 on a Sony VGN-AR51E

A jackalope?
I highly recommend the new Ubuntu 9.04 release (Jaunty Jackalope), it has A+ compatibility on a Sony VGN-AR51E. I also recommend upgrading from previous Ubuntu versions. Apart from the pretty new style system notifications the other thing well worth upgrading for is the promise of better boot performance.

Boot speed: Obviously, when I turn on my laptop I would like it to be ready ASAP but in the last few years each release has seemed to take longer to boot than the last. In order to minimise boot time I installed the 64bit version and partitioned with the new ext4 filesystem. After installing, doing an update and rebooting, I installed bootchart (sudo apt-get install bootchart) and rebooted again. The chart generated in /var/log/bootchart says boot time was 23 seconds. Pretty good.

Jaunty Goods:

  • Better boot time.
  • Pretty system notifications.
  • The new login screen is nice (not that I often see it because I have auto-login enabled).
  • My Laptop Webcam now works out of the box (sudo apt-get install cheese)
  • UK English dictionary available in firefox without need to download an extension.
  • Setting up my printer (HP Photosmart-3200) was the easiest it’s ever been. It was auto-discovered and literally done in 3 clicks.

Jaunty Bads:

  • The new wallpaper isn’t as nice as Intrepid (where’s the abstract jackalope?)
  • The automatic updates aren’t as good as Intrepid because they now seem to nag you.
  • I suffered from a complete system freeze related to the nvidia drivers. I couldn’t even boot the machine – took an hour to recover. Only happened the once though.

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