ubuntu 15.10

October 25, 2015

I’m on travel until the first of November. The only machine I brought with me is my Samsung Series 7 Chronos with Windows 10 installed. In order to get just a taste of the latest Ubuntu release, 15.10, I downloaded the ISO and created a VMware installation on Windows 10.

While I was at it I grabbed the latest 14.04 LTS, 14.04.3, and installed it as a VM as well, just to get a side-by-side appreciation of any changes.

On the surface there’s almost no difference between the two, which is actually a good thing. A quick check of the features I care about showed no discernable differences there either. There are some notable differences under the hood as it were.

  • The kernel in 15.10 has been upgraded to version 4.2. This is the first distribution I’ve run that has a version 4 kernel of any type. By comparison Ubuntu 14.04.3 is using kernel 3.19. At this point I don’t notice any changes. The fact it installed on VMware is actually a Good Thing, with one problem as noted below.
  • gcc is now at version 5.2.1. Once again this is a major upgrade from 14.04.3, which is currently using gcc 4.8.4. gcc 5.2.1 is C++14 language feature-complete. The version of gcc in ubuntu 14.04 is now on maintenance mode only. This may or may not be of interest to you, as there are many who feel that the C++11 and C++14 language features have made C++ bloated and difficult to learn. YMMV.
  • While the kernels are certainly different between the two, both distributions have broken shared folder compatibility (again) with VMware, specifically 6.0.7 build 2844087. I’m back to drag-and-dropping files between Windows 10 and both versions of Ubuntu. I should note that Linux Mint 17.2, which is based on Ubuntu 14.04, is still compatible with this version of VMware, meaning shared folders work with Windows 10.
  • Ubuntu 15.10 now comes with LibreOffice 5.0.2.2. Ubuntu 14.04 installs 4.2.8.4. At this time I personally prefer LibreOffice 5.
  • Both distributions installed without any Java, which was a bit of a surprise. In the past LibreOffice has had this horrible dependency on Java, which made no sense. That dependency forced me (and still does on other distros) to go on a remove-and-replace mission right after an installation or update. Both versions support the latest version of Oracle Java (at the time of this post publication), Java 8 update 65.

Generally speaking both run rather nicely, even when running g++ compiles or working with Java. I attribute this, in part, to the host OS upgrade to Windows 10 and the upgrade of the Samsung notebook’s hard disk to a Samsung 1TB 850 PRO SSD. All my VMs are now suspended to disk, which makes starting them up considerably faster than the older method of shut down and start up on rotating media.

I don’t know if I’m going to upgrade the older Samsung R580 notebook (which is now pushing six years) to 15.10. I might just to see what happens. If the update causes problems I can drop back and recover.