Today the latest version of Ubuntu was released – version 7.10. I am hoping to use this with EMC2 a.k.a. LinuxCNC for controlling my CNC machine. Why? Because Linux offers a real time version of the Kernel. The alternatives are Windows with Mach2/3 (which is not free) or DOS and TurboCNC (also not free). Windows is not a real time operating system, so the only software that works properly has to code around this. As far as I know that is the Mach programs. I will still need Windows however for DXF and CAM applications.

Downloading Ubuntu from the mirrors was painfully slow, and attempting to using the official torrent file resulted in “connection refused”. I presume a large number of people are also downloading the OS today. So I used the torrent file on this page. I pulled down the ISO image in two hours. Not bad. Burnt it to CD, added a second hard drive to my desktop PC (not required, but I chose to do it this way), created an image of the Windows partition and booted with the CD in. The install was pretty smooth. Only a couple of glitches. Grub failed to boot because I needed to enable the second drive in the BIOS. And the package manager decided to not install anything, which was quickly solved with this information in this thread.

Hopefully I will be able to get the real time kernel and EMC2 installed. If so I will post instructions, otherwise I will probably have to switch to 6.06 a.k.a. Dapper Drake.