I just installed the latest testing version of Crunchbang (crunchbang-11-20120806-amd64) and the first thing that came to mind is polished. On my Thinkpad T61, this is considerably faster than the previous version. As far as customizations, I had to move the tint2 bar down to the bottom, kill any compositing (just not for me) upgrade Iceweasel via mozilla.debian.net and copy some configs over. All in all 2 hours of work and I’m back /home. I am trying something new though; I’ve decided to redo my partition layout for easier backups and upgrades later on:

160gb SATA Disk
/	10gb
swap	4gb
/home	15gb
/data	131gb

My only quibble is that Banshee still doesn’t work right and I can’t figure it out. That’s really the only problem, but minor since I’ve really started to enjoy mpd and ncmpcpp plus Sonata when I’m feeling clicky clicky.

Now that I’m managing a few linux servers (personal, not work related), I’ve found it handy to have automatic login via ssh-keys. At first it wasn’t so bad copying keys up to the server, but when you have 5 or so, it becomes a bit tedious (especially when I can never remember things). I’ve found a script to automate the process from StackOverflow:

if [ -z "$1" ]; then
	echo "colonize.sh by Brian Enigma "
	echo "Function: copies ssh public keys to remote machines for passwordless login"
	echo "Usage: colonize.sh @"
	exit 1
CONTENT=`cat ~/.ssh/$KEY`
echo "Attaching key to authorized_keys file"
ssh $1 "mkdir -p .ssh && chmod 700 .ssh && touch .ssh/$STORE \
	&& chmod 644 .ssh/$STORE \
	&& echo '$CONTENT' >> .ssh/$STORE \
	&& rm -f $KEY"
echo "Complete!  You should be able to log in without a password now!"

Note that before this works, you must have generated your keys on your local box first:

ssh-keygen -t rsa

General list of apps I use on my Ubuntu desktop:

thunderbird – great email client
banshee – quite possibly the best music/media player out there
vlc – this can play any movie you throw at it
transmission-daemon – great for running transmission when you aren’t logged in to the machine
ushare – unpn/dlna media server – works great with xbox 360
filezilla – personal favorite ftp client
pidgin – empathy sucks
gnome-do – this helped me transfer finger memory from OS X
gparted – I am a storage guy – I format and look at things.
ssh – is there anything ssh can’t do?
ubuntu-restricted-extras – youtube is boring without flash
xchat – for when I’m feeling extra creepy
vpnc – great cisco compatible vpn client
network-manager-vpnc – makes it guiful
ttf-droid – I love the android font
audacity – I cut up mp3s too
terminator – awesome terminal app

I’ve had the latest version of Ubuntu installed for a few days now and I believe I can sum it up in one word: polished. This release has been the most stable and least troublesome yet. I’ve noticed that 9.10 my wireless connection would take ~10 seconds to connect, in Lucid it is nearly instantaneous. The boot time is considerably faster which is saying a lot as the boot time was slashed from 9.04 to 9.10. The new “me” menu is a nice addition and the overall look and feel is very nice. I must say, I was a bit confused about why they moved the minimize, maximize and close buttons to the left though, but after a day or so, it becomes second nature to mouse over to the left. Also, since the release, Mark Shuttleworth has detailed some new plans for Window Indicators which I think will be interesting. It is good to see some innovation and I think this can only be a good thing for Ubuntu.

While this is all nice though, some of my favorite apps still do not have proxy support which is very frustrating. I wish I knew why there is no proxy support with these apps that should support a global proxy since the primary reason they exist is to utilize an internet connection. Empathy is a perfect example of this – why would you replace a long-standing application with good plugins and active development like Pidgin with Empathy? I believe that if you are replacing something, it should have the same or more features. What is even more frustrating though is that some of these apps such as Gwibber or Banshee don’t even tell you they can’t connect.

Despite the proxy issues, which are minor and just annoying, this is a great release. Practically everything works as expected and I think this will be a great LTS release.