Things have been a bit on the quiet side here for a couple of weeks—mostly because I’ve had plenty else to keep me occupied, but partly because I am awaiting eagerly the public beta of the next version of Eeebuntu.
As you’ll know if you’ve been following this blog over the last few months, I installed Eeebuntu v3 on my Eee 701 at Christmas, and except for a couple of niggles (mostly related to sound, a bug with the Conky system stats application, and the Compiz window manager), I think this Linux distribution has proved a worthy OS for the 701.
For version 4, the Eeebuntu team are taking a radical new approach: for starters, apparently they may be renaming the distro, as from this point on it will be based directly on Debian instead of Ubuntu (itself a Debian derivative). I admit I haven’t really “clued up” on all the reasons why the Eeebuntu folk have taken this decision, but frankly I am more interested in whether the new version will improve on v3, so will reserve judgement on the change until I can get an idea of whether (or not) it has delivered.
It certainly looks promising, with built-in apps including Thunderbird 3 and Firefox 3.6, and I understand that it should be possible to upgrade existing Eeebuntu installations without having to start from scratch (though thanks to the “live CD” option, I’ll be able to wait until the final version is out before deciding whether to take the plunge).
The team believes that the beta should be made available some time tomorrow (Wednesday 10th February), so I have a BitTorrent client on standby ready to grab the ISO image as soon as I can get the request through. I hope to post back here later this week and update you on how the 701 gets on with Eeebuntu 4; for the most up-to-the-minute feedback, keep an eye on my Twitter feed from tomorrow evening (GMT).
Update (8.30pm): What a difference a few hours can make… Just as this post was published, I learned via Eeebuntu’s Twitter feed (and a big “hello” to anyone visiting here from there, by the way :)) that they have made the v4 beta available for download. I’m BitTorrenting it as we speak, though the download speed is pretty glacial, which suggests there are quite a few folk interested in this release!
I may well have to leave this downloading overnight, but once I’ve had the chance to boot Eeebuntu 4 on my 701 and play around with it a bit, I’ll try and post back here with a few first impressions. In the meantime, my Twitter feed will carry more up-to-the-moment updates, usually tagged with “#eb4”. Stay tuned…