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meego 1.0

MeeGo 1.0 was released today so I decided to give it a try on my Asus EeePC 1005HA netbook. Here's a small review with some stuff I've noticed running it.

By default, MeeGo will use a BTRFS filesystem. If you want to partition the HDD manually, you'll need to create the usual "/" (root) and swap partitions as well as a /boot (of ~200 mb) partition because you cannot boot from a BTRFS parition. The installation on my netbook took about ~5-10 minutes (really, I didn't even notice when it was over) and after rebooting you have to enter some basic settings such as keyboard and so on.

The good

- Almost everything works right out of the box: wireless and wired connections, graphics and so on but not the Fn keys unfortunately.

- The boot time was pretty decent too: aprox. 14 seconds until the desktop and 20 seconds (total) until everything was loaded.

- Empathy and Evolution Express are really nice integrated into the desktop as you can see in the official MeeGo screenshots.

Regarding the performance, the guys @ Phoronix did some tests and it seems MeeGo beats Ubuntu & Co.

The overall look, feel and speed were great, if only there wasn't for the annoying things below...

The bad

After setting up everything, I plugged in my network cable and wanted to enable the wired network (manual configuration), only to discover that ConnMan doesn't allow the user to specify the DNS manually. I could fix this however, by editing the /etc/resolv.conf file and entering the DNS' manually.

Making the resolv.conf file read-only didn't help preventing it to be overwritten on each restart.

Now the internet was working but then I was struck by a bug: Chromium was freezing if it was started from any place except "My Zone". So starting Chromium from the "Internet" tab or via the Applications menu, it freezes.

There are only a few extra applications available in the Garage (think of it as Ubuntu Software Center but with only 20 or so applications) such as: Totem, Rhythmbox, The GIMP and a few other. For me at least, this is a very big inconvenience. You can't even install Google Chrome if you downloaded MeeGo with Chromium and not Google Chrome for instance (MeeGo .img file comes in two versions: with Chromium or with Google Chrome).

And finally, there is no shutdown / restart button. Basically you can only shut down the netbook and to do this you'll need to press the power button at which point a dialog will pop-up asking you if you want to shutdown (restarting the netbook is impossible it seems).

Overall, MeeGo is a decent Linux distribution right now as long as you're confortable with the default setup and don't want anything extra. But it's only version 1.0 so all these will hopefully improve. Also, I've only been using MeeGo for about 2 hours so I haven't tested everything yet.