Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS First Impressions

Another polished release - Xenial Xerus (at least I hope it’s polished!)

I’m using it for a test WordPress system at the moment so I’ve been concerned mostly with that. PHP5 is gone, replaced by PHP7. The main issue with this is no more SSH2 PHP7 extension! It makes installing new themes or plugins, or updating them tricky in WordPress as it relies on this. I’ve had to default back to using vsftpd but even that is crashing at this time. To work around that, add:

define(‘FS_METHOD’, ‘direct’);

into wp-config.php

See https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-wordpress-with-lemp-on-ubuntu-16-04 for a great walk through on this - in fact, check out Digital Ocean - they have some excellent stuff on there, including these tutorials. If you're like me and would love to delve into the intricacies of nginx or some other equally complex bit of software but don't have the time, Digital Ocean give you a way to get things up and going with very little in the way of issues. Nicely typeset and well laid out tutorials - thanks a million guys! (I am in no way affiliated, merely a fan).

I performed the install inside a VMware Player and it was as usual quite fast. Updated hostname and /etc/interfaces/network to sort out IP addresses and the like and off I went. Install of WordPress was straightforward and the set up was reasonably quick - a mite quicker I might say than the one on 14.04LTS that I performed last week. PHP7 seems more responsive and I played around with both my VMs to see if there was much difference - installing the same theme into both to see what the speed impact might be. PHP7 was marginally quicker, although I wouldn't suggest it was statistically significantly quicker.

I noticed that updates using apt-get had a much shorted list of archives being hit which was interesting. In the past it seems there was an ever increasing number of new archives being added until the sources.list ends up a mile long. So quicker updates, presumably more efficient is always a good thing. I have no idea what the desktop interface looks like - probably more of the same of that Ubuntu look (which I personally am not in love with - give me Mint's any day).

Much more of my time was spent using this VM to try and get a dirty website going - I am no webdev and I really don't like doing it. Sadly, sometimes you have to so I will continue plugging away at it tomorrow. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS though - looks like it's the goods. Get on it and see how if it does the job for you!

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