Ubuntu 16.04 LTS First Impressions

I've been an Ubuntu user for a while. Currently I use 14.04 LTS on my main laptop. Last month 16.04 LTS came out, I put it on a spare laptop that's currently sitting in my media center connected to my TV. The laptop is a stock Asus N56VJ. It has a TP-LINK WN722N USB wifi dongle, and a wireless keyboard attached.

Package Manager Issue

After installing, I couldn't install any applications that weren't in the default repositories. Chrome, etc just wouldn't install using the software manager. I ended up installing some packages and their dependencies using dpkg -i. I'm wondering how a bug like this was shipped, possibly a rush to get this release out the door?

Hardware Support

Hardware support is about the same as other releases of Ubuntu - good but not great. The Atheros wifi drivers aren't as fast as they should be, and I cannot get sound from the HDMI port. After messing around with configuration files for a few hours I gave up on both of these issues.

On a more positive note, I did manage to set up a wifi repeater using the network manager app. It worked right with no messing around. I connected a USB wifi dongle to an external network, and selected 'shared with other computers' along with 'hotspot mode' for the internal wifi chip. Previously in similar situations I would have had to set up hostapd for an AP, dnsmasq for DHCP/DNS, and iptables for NAT. One quirk I found while doing this was that the network manager app would disable the save button without any explanation if the wifi password wasn't long enough.

Overall

This release is about the same as other recent Ubuntu releases, nothing special. It's not any faster and the user interface isn't any better. That being said, it is better than Windows and most other distributions I've tried, so I'll keep using it.

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