Version 8.04 of my favorite Linux operating system, Ubuntu, is a big deal. It is a collection of small changes that add up to a big improvement. It is also a long-term service edition, meaning Canonical will support version 8.04 for twice as long as its regular releases.

7.10 was a big leap. 8.04 is a small one, but a ton of small improvements have really come together to make 8.04 well worth downloading. If you want to try it, download a LiveCD and try Ubuntu without installing it. If you like it, it is easy to set up a dual-boot with Windows, although, like me, you will soon start thinking about wiping Windows off your computer entirely.

I am still using 7.10 on my laptop—my main work computer—until the early kinks are worked out. But I am using 8.04 on another computer (and have since the beta came out), and I do not expect too many kinks. Everything seems to Just Work.