Given the number of votes for Ubuntu already, and since the download was incredibly fast, I went ahead and booted up the DVD. Off the bat, very impressive, really slick. But then I immediately ran into issues. Well, one really: “RAID”.
My system uses an nForce 780i SLI motherboard and I have two 500Gb drives BIOS raided into one disk, split into several partitions:
1. Primary: Old Windows XP install (96Gb)
2a. 96Gb of Vista
2b. 128Gb of free space
2c. 660Gb of shared NTFS drive
I managed to install Fedora into the 128Gb space and then deleted it. It coped with the raid stuff out of the box.
Ubuntu, however, doesn’t start with raid support and the instructions for adding it are out of date, inaccurate and a tad scary. I really don’t want to wind up losing my Vista partition or making it unbootable. I also have to confess to a momentary lapse — the LiveCD runs in a RamDisk so I felt real stupid when I asked it to reboot and realized in a few moments all my carefully gathered bookmarks would be gone :)
I’ve spent a little while toying around with Ubuntu and, RAID driver absence aside, it’s pretty damn impressive. Once it’s up and running, it appears uncluttered. It was also deliciously fast booting up.
I might see how it fares under Virtual PC 2007 so I can toy with it some more. Or… I’ll bring one of my (personal) drives back from work and install it on its own disk – that would obviate any raid issues.