First Impressions from a Ubuntu point of view

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First Impressions from a Ubuntu point of view

  • Hello World,

    I'm lucky enough to have early access to one of the XPS13 ultrabooks running Ubuntu 12.04.  Here is a quick summary of my initial impressions:

    • This thing is freakin' fast, so fast that it is difficult to get into the bios/boot loader in order to change the boot order to install Ubuntu from a USB stick.  Once I have Ubuntu running, the longest part of a cold boot is actually typing my password.  Very nice!
    • You already know about the lack of full touchpad support.  This is a deal killer for now.  It is not just multi-gesture support, but also the ability to turn of clicks while typing... so if you give this a try, you will delete a ton of text... consider yourself warned.
    • This is a great form factor as a secondary development machine.  I'm able to run my normal web based stuff, along with Eclipse, Apache, Tomcat, and MySQL for the full develop/debug cycle of our Java and PHP based applications.  I'm happy with the 4Gig memory limitation, especially since that guarentees that I will not be temped to install a VM with Windows for IE testing.  Keep this device clean and simple, and you will be very happy.  Try to turn it into your full blown desktop with a ton of screen space, memory, and disk space and you will be missing the whole point of an Ultrabook.
    • If you are new to Linux, one thing that you will sorely miss is support from Cisco for the GoToMeeting client.  Contact their support early and often to get that thing into the open source community.  For the time being, I keep a cranky old Windows laptop around to join web presentations.
    Anyway, this is a solid device and running Ubuntu it fits squarely into my work model were most all of my 'content' lives in the cloud.  I develop, and test locally, and deploy to Amazon.
    I consider this device an essential second machine, so I spend some time ensuring that I can keep some key configuration files in sync between development machines.  I've been playing with Ubuntu One and so far it seems to meet the need, although don't try to keep a large set of content in sync, it is kinda slow.
    What are your experiences?
    -Mike 
  • Has anyone tried running IntelliJ IDE on their xps13 yet?  If so, does it perform on par with Windows on same hardware?

  • Yep, I've been moving away from Eclipse since it is both a CPU/Memory hog, and also horrible at allowing profiles to be shared over multiple machines.  So, I've installed IntelliJ and find it to be absolutely enjoyable.  The XPS13 has super fast disk, enough memory, and enough CPU to load reasonably complex projects much faster than did Eclipse.

    I have not yet spent any real amount of time using the XPS13 with a remote monitor, so I can tell you that the real-estate is limited.

    -Mike

  • What's the advantage(s) to IntelliJ over Eclipse?  I think the Eclipse interface is a little chunky but otherwise find it to be pleasant.

  • I don't know if there are advantages really.  As someone that is coming from a Visual Studio background learning Android programming for example, Eclipse + a new language was a bit much to handle at the same time.  I had several issues with performance of new installs of Eclipe (program hangs and such) that quite honestly could have been caused by my lack of experience.  In any case, I am pretty comfortable with IntelliJ now and sometimes its nice to bring something familiar with us to a new environment.

  • Thanks for your thoughts. I have not yet received one of the ultrabooks, but look forward to it!

    I currently use a Lenovo t420 as my secondary development machine, and even with 6GB I find I sometimes wish it had 8. Typically I'm running at least 1 virtual machine, often 2, and memory is typically my 1st hardware bottleneck.

    I'm happy to hear it boots so fast! By Lenovo takes 12-15 seconds to get to the password running 12.04.