PCs

Ubuntu 11.04: Installation stumbling block and post-install impressions

Jack Wallen is surprised with a bit of a glitch during the Ubuntu 11.04 installation. Have you had the same experience? Read on to see his final conclusion with the final release of Ubuntu 11.04.

Well, it has finally arrived. Probably the single most controversial Linux release to date. Ubuntu 11.04 -- Natty Narwhal. The distribution that dared to buck the trends and go with it's very own desktop that everyone said would fail. Rumor has it that even as near as a month prior to release, the Ubuntu developers wanted to can Unity and go back to standard GNOME -- but the board voted them down.

"Controversy," as Prince sang.

I had plenty of testing under my belt with the alpha and beta releases and decided Natty should be labeled (to that point) a huge success. There was so much to love about the new desktop. The whole idea behind Unity was to unify the desktop so that everything was seamless and made every aspect about simplicity. And Unity succeeded in doing just that. But how did the transition from beta to full release turn out? If the state of the beta was any indicator as to how well the full release would perform, the Ubuntu audience was in for a real treat. Did it deliver?

No.

There's your answer. In its simplest form. But why? How could something go from doing so well in beta form to not doing so well in the full release? In a word -- installation.

Installation problems

I had planned on migrating from Ubuntu 10.10 to 11.04 on my primary desktop. I was all prepared. Everything was backed up to an external drive, I had the standard list of applications that had to be installed immediately (GnuCash, OpenShot Video Editor, The GIMP, Chromium Browser, Claws Mail, Lucky Backup, and guvcview). I was ready. So I downloaded the ISO, burned it onto disc, and rebooted my machine.

Generally, I run the Live version of the distribution and then install from there. For Ubuntu you can choose to try it out (run the Live CD) or just immediately install the distribution. I decided to go my usual route and clicked the Try It Out button.

Nothing.

The initial screen just sat there, doing nothing. I thought that odd, so I rebooted (thinking it was just a fluke). When the initial screen popped up again, I clicked the Try It Out button and, once again, was greeted with a big squadoosh. Thinking maybe it was a bum disc or ISO, I downloaded a second copy, burned it again...

And had the same results.

So, I tried it on another machine (both machines are Shuttle PCs. The main machine is beefier, with a better NVidia graphics chipset.) with the same results. This is interesting seeing as how my secondary machine was already running Kubuntu 11.04 flawlessly. But I am never one to give up. I rebooted the secondary machine one more time and, instead of pressing the Try It Out button, I clicked the Install button. That worked fine and moved on to the next step. But I (being of the curious nature) wanted to find out something. Instead of clicking the Forward button, I clicked the Back button, which returned me to the original screen. This time I clicked the Try It Out button and, can you imagine my surprise when, it worked! The Live CD booted up and Ubuntu 11.04 was running.

Curious.

I decided to try the same thing with the main machine. It worked...but...when the desktop booted, it booted to the standard GNOME. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get Unity to run. I know, with 100% certainty, the main machine has the hardware to run Unity 3D (It runs Compiz perfectly), so it wasn't a hardware issue. But try as a might, Unity would not run on the primary machine (at least not with full installation.)

Now, here's why I say Ubuntu 11.04 doesn't deliver. Most users who want to try Ubuntu or Linux for the first time aren't going to jump through the hoops that I did to get it running. In fact, if a new-to-Linux user had the experience I had, they might well have already run back to Windows or OS X. I realize this might well just be an NVidia issue, since I have Ubuntu 11.04 running fine on an Intel-based laptop. But NVidia is a fairly common chipset, so a lot of users are going to have these same issues. Imagine if all NVidia users run into the same issue as I had...will they even bother?

Another tiny issue (which won't affect that many users) is the encrypted home directory. I really like this feature, but after adding it to the installation the request to enter the encryption key is far from obvious. In fact, it's quite easy to over look this. Forget to create an encryption key and things are going to get dicey.

Post install

Once the installation was complete, things went back to the normal, smooth Ubuntu experience. But up until that point, things simply weren't what I had expected. I have to admit, I have done my fair share of waffling on the whole Ubuntu Unity issue, but that is not where my problem is for the final release of Ubuntu 11.04. Once running, Ubuntu Unity is a really great desktop. But if these installation issues aren't ironed out, Ubuntu is going to find itself losing ground.

Also, for anyone expecting to configure any desktop effects, you're going to have to install some software. It was said that Unity would be using Compiz as a compositor, but by default there is no way to configure Compiz. To do this, the Compiz Configuration Settings Manager (ccsm) package must be installed. Also, don't expect to run the Compiz Cube, as it can not be loaded so long as the Unity plug-in is running.

Other than that (and the that being an incredibly minor issue), once the desktop is up and running it is quite good. So for those that do make it through the installation woes, the final result is well worth the trouble. Ubuntu 11.04 is an outstanding platform for all levels of user. For a first "official" release, Ubuntu Unity might well be the only desktop worthy of production desktop at such an early age. Unity makes you feel like you're using a GNOME-like desktop, with the speed of a much lighter-weight environment (like Fluxbox or Enlightenment.)

At this point however, I would make the case that the overall experience with Kubuntu 11.04 has been far and away better. So, if you're looking for a new release that is easy to install, and offers an amazing desktop experience, go with Kubuntu 11.04. If you're looking for something a bit different, that might well be the future of the PC desktop (as well as the most likely candidate for Linux tablet interface) go with Ubuntu 11.04. Either way you can't lose (unless you can't get beyond the Try It Out button of course.)

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

118 comments
blastradius
blastradius

I love Gnome but was more than happy to give whatever the Ubuntu guys came up with a good serious looking at. After a few days I've now switched back to the classic desktop, I found Unity very slow (my machine a pretty good spec'), I also found the cursor dragging behind as I typed causing me to keep looking up to see how it was getting on! I couldn't warm to the interface at all, maybe I'm more stuck in the mud than I would like to think but I reckon it's just that in comparison to Gnome, Unity is rubbish.

DesertJim
DesertJim

Put new GPU in test machine, still nVidia to make it a good test all went well and 11.04 installed just fine. Going round the other machines in the house and so far the upgrade is smooth, Unity is OK when you get used to it, some people in the house are sticking with classic. Whew. Canonical have done a lot to restore Linux's reputation as being for technical geeks only, which is a shame. There are (were?) a lot of people out there who kept some pretty old hardware running with good results and this could cause problems.

thereallifeboy
thereallifeboy

I upgraded from Maverick to Natty on my notebook and had a similar experience. I did think it was unique to my setup though, so it is disappointing to learn that it's not. After upgrading (which insisted that I remove KDE components first, which were installed through my testing of Kexi) I noted some errors saying that the upgrade could not completed. Specifically the xorg-server was mentioned. I had no choice but to restart, which presented me with a blank screen. The system was responsive however, and ctrl-alt-F1 got me to a terminal where I mounted the ISO that I had upgraded from and ran the distupgrade script in cli mode. That seemed to run the upgrade again, although it did much faster than the initial upgrade. After rebooting I had the Unity interface, but only after installing the updates from the internet did things work properly. There are some things that are annoying: * The don't like the lack of menu under the Ubuntu button (top left). * I would like to customise the top bar and move the dashbar to the bottom (I used docky before and will put it back somehow). * My status icons in the topbar are just the way they were before, the menus are the same, so something wasn't upgrades I suppose. I did overwrite all the config files when I was prompted during the upgrade. * My home folder is not encrypted and I wasn't prompted to do it either. I don't want it encrypted anyway, so I'm not phased. I'm technically capable of hacking around, but don't want to. So I'm not sure that I will upgrade other machines to Natty as this stage.

DesertJim
DesertJim

Just reverted to Ubuntu 10.10. Tried and tried on my test box to get 11.04 stable and working, but have never had so many problems. Most come down to the age of the test hardware. always been OK as if it runs on test it will run on anything. 2 core P4 3.06 Mhz Intel CPU 2.0 GB RAM I think the problem is the GPU which is an aging nVidia MX440 Tried Mint 10 but I want FF4 and LibreOffice, tried Xubuntu 11.04 was OK but have decided to upgrade the test box and try the upgrade from 10.10 again, meantime going to install on a modern machine via VMPlayer and see if it does the trick.

DesertJim
DesertJim

Just reverted to Ubuntu 10.10. Tried and tried on my test box to get 11.04 stable and working, but have never had so many problems. Most come down to the age of the test hardware. always been OK as if it runs on test it will run on anything. 2 core P4 3.06 Mhz Intel CPU 2.0 GB RAM I think the problem is the GPU which is an aging nVidia MX440 Tried Mint 10 but I want FF4 and LibreOffice, tried Xubuntu 11.04 was OK but have decided to upgrade the test box and try the upgrade from 10.10 again, meantime going to install on a modern machine via VMPlayer and see if it does the trick.

garyfizer
garyfizer

I had been running ubuntu se for about a week when the update to 10.04 became available. I did the update. My desktop and screen-savers still were SE but it killed VLC. Anytime I played an avi file or DVD the playback was jerky and it would hang. This was true even with the default player. I uninstalled VCL but it made no effect. I plan to move my files to another machine and burn an CD to install from. I like Mint too but I don't have it on any of my machines at the moment. I was waiting for their new release with Office-Lbre.

ppyo
ppyo

I've been an Ubuntu user for some time now (since Hoary Hedgehog). Normally I don't upgrade, but do a fresh install, because is much faster and less prone to configuration mishaps. I use an Eee-PC 1000HA as my main machine, and since Lucid Lynx I've experienced a problem with the Live CD installation where it starts ok, but when it starts installing the packages, an error dialog pops up and the whole thing goes kaputt. The solution was to use the alternate cd, and haven't had a problem ever since. Now, for Natty, I first installed it in a partition I set aside for experimenting. The installation was flawless. I used it for a few of days, and decided it was time to have NN in my main partition. I keep /home in a different partition, and after a full backup to be on the safe side, started the installation process. Again, it was flawless. Now, regarding Unity: It's new. It's different. And as with all things new and different, there will always be people who despise it. I say give it time. Get used to it almost like you are used to Gnome or KDE. Then decide. Just give it a fair chance. I was exploring AWN before Unity, and I intend to check Gnome Shell. Then I will decide which one I will keep. I've been a Linux user since 1996, when I installed Slackware from an unbelievable number of floppy disks, and with extensive tweaking and configuring afterwards. Man, it was FUN! I've tried several distros after Slackware: Caldera (Later Mandrake and now Mandriva), Fedora, SUSE, Debian (and several derivatives), and I decided to settle with Ubuntu. Why? Because it just works. I did my time troubleshooting installations. Nowadays I only want to have a very nice experience using my machine. Ubuntu gives me that.

reinier_verly
reinier_verly

Feedback from the date of installation. 03-05-2011 I found one very disturbing feature my system never had before. I did read about it in the past, with earlier Ubuntu versions. From the date of installation, Windows 7 does tries to update it self and after rebooting it seems to do so. As soon it reaches the 15%, it reverts the installation and reboots again. To start without the updates. After a while it all starts all over again. Trying to force the install is complete useless. I am now looking for the earlier document in Ubuntu about this issue. May be one of you has the sollution so that all my windows versions and linux versions do update if needed without interfeering with each other. Like it did in the past?

dan
dan

I have tried several install of 11.04 Ubuntu, only to be greeted by a grub rescue prompt. Kubuntu 11.04 works fine on same machine.

terry.floyd
terry.floyd

I ran the beta version of 11.04 last February in a VM on my system (using VMWare Player) and got a glimpse of therelease. I had tried running the Netbook Remix of 10.10 from a Live CD on my Thinkpad last year, but it simply wouldn't work at all, so I was hesitant to try an upgrade with the final release, but it turned out to be a no-brainer. The Thinkpad took the released version from an ISO just fine, and I'm using it now. I performed an in-place upgrade on a Desktop system last week, and it is also working pretty well. I did note that Update Manager was nagging me to install some newly released updates today, and those just finished. Don't get discouraged by these installation stumbles. Canonical is working hard to get the updates out, so I wouldn't give up on them just yet. Yes, the NVidia problems are a royal pain, but they can be resolved with patience. I do like the option to boot into either "classic" Gnome or the new Unity desktop, but wish they would make this a little clearer on the login screen. Most people are going to just log in as normal, and may not be prepared for the re-design, but that just suggests they didn't bother reading the release notes (as if anyone ever reads the fine manual until they have a problem).

jetta2pup
jetta2pup

On old hardware classic Athlon. 512 meg ram and ATI 550 video, just got purple variegated desktop background, no icons on left side of screen...screwed around & went to Ubuntu forums, eventually reinstalled 10.10 g??

mc68h08
mc68h08

The Video Card only works in 800x600.

wmstrome
wmstrome

I had already switched to Xubuntu on my notebook, thanks to suggestions from others. I tried to upgrade the notebook and my laptop (which was running Ubuntu 10.10) using the upgrade from the net option. Neither worked. After chugging away for quite a while, on both machines I got a message something like "can't compute upgrade, this could be because of third party software installed or..." something else. I then made two CDs for Xubuntu (i386 and AMD64). On the netbook (which was already running Xubuntu), the installer gave me an option of keeping my data, and later migrating my desktop settings from the old installation to the new one. This worked well. For the laptop, which was running Ubuntu, it ended up saying that it could not find a suitable old installation. Since I had backed up everything, I then let it go ahead and do a clean install. That worked OK. The major problems I have found: SOUND!!!! On the notebook, my sound card is not even detected. On the laptop, sound works OK for some things, but the microphone is not detected by Skype for the internal microphone, for one plugged into the microphone jack, the built in one, nor the one in my logitech web-cam (although the video part works fine). An interesting side note: when I first got the eeePC and installed Kubuntu on it, the sound worked flawlessly, even for Skype. In fact it was the only LINUX installation that I had where the sound worked so well. Overall, from my experience over the years, I would say that the biggest problem faced by someone trying to move from Windows or OS-X to any LINUX that I have ever tried is the difficulty in getting sound and video to work seamlessly for Skype and even for things like YouTube or .wmv attachments.

rob.w.westcott
rob.w.westcott

I first tried using clean instal with btrfs partitions. Mostly installed OK but Nvidia drivers had to be tweaked as it didn't seem to pick the right ones for my card. Don't like Unity much, takes a while to get to what I want. Most annoying thing is the left-hand menu bar doesn't always fully deploy, it comes out half-way but not enough to select anything, takes a few retries to get it fully out enough to use it. But the worst change was the boot up time, which was topping 2 minutes or more compared to less than half a minute under 10.10. A colleague suggested I reinstal with ext4 instead of btrfs, and after I did this the boot time improved markedly (though still seems slower than 10.10). Interestingly enough it also picked up the correct Nvidia driver this time around.

udippel
udippel

Unity is great on netbooks. And less great on desktops. Too limited. No compiz any longer. Actually, butchered compiz. KDE 4.6.2 though comes around pretty okay. Will move more and more on KDE in future, I guess. Gnome is totally set on touch screen interfaces, but I hate sticky, filthy touch screens.

crandall_bernie
crandall_bernie

I was running 10.10 studio. I tried the upgrade from the Upgrade manager (after reading and following release notes recomendations) and the sytem would not boot I got a failure dpkg exited with error 2 I am now re-partitioning and trying a fresh install. So far so bad.

bandersnatch42vt
bandersnatch42vt

The problem you encountered once you booted into Natty either LiveCD or an actual installation is that (nasty descriptive adjective) "Nouveau" driver. The open source version of the Nvidia driver. Unity requires a video driver capable of 3D acceleration which the nouveau driver does not have out of the box. It has to be enabled via the "Additional drivers" applet and even then it's experimental. Might as well install the real Nvidia driver while you're in the applet which works like a charm. The ironic thing is the Intel 45/43 GMA driver which is capable of 3D acceleration by default is built right into the Linux kernel that comes with Ubuntu (and even most other distros with older kernels) so the on board video of the majority of desktop PC motherboards will run Unity without a problem. Those with laptops are another story though. Canonical dropped the ball on this one especially for those with Nvidia video cards. Not too sure about ATI though. On a side note, if Ubuntu actually became pre-installed on the more popular PCs (desktop and mobile) as Windows does, users would never encounter these problems. But then reality sets in. ;-)

Laurentian Enterprises
Laurentian Enterprises

I'm a reasonably good Windows Techie, but didn't have any success installing version 10, so I doubt I'll try 11. I tried adding it to my drive which had Win 7 on it. It went through what looked like an install and added Ubuntu to the boot list, but when I tried it, nothing happened, just a blank screen. After several tries I gave up. Hearing about the problem the author had with 11 doesn't make me want to try it either.

johnrpriest
johnrpriest

VirtualBox wouldn't install in 11.04. Tried both the current VB package and the just released new one. That is a deal breaker for me. So I guess I have to wait for the next Ubuntu version. I'm disappointed, after an initial good impression of Ubuntu from 10.10.

rMatey
rMatey

Install was easy. Went back to standard Gnome desktop. Also noticed that the Software Center stopped working after installing a few programs. It starts to load but never does quite make it. That was on my test system. My Desktop and Laptop still have 10.04 on them.

Ajax4Hire
Ajax4Hire

Installed on Mom&Dad's old laptop. They are the opposite of power users. Their laptop was loaded with crapware/malware/WinXP, boot time was 18 minutes. I had them running on Ubuntu10 from a 4GB USB stick last week as a test and they loved it. This Sunday, installed Ubuntu11.04 from an 8GB USB stick, some struggle on my side but relatively smooth. My only worry was their wireless network is different. When they got the laptop home, they called, I walked them thru connection to SSID:linksys and boom, unshackled from Microsoft, running Ubuntu+Firefox and I look like the good son. Still holding my breath and waiting for more calls but so far so good, Ubuntu really is for Mom&Dad.

KBMalloy
KBMalloy

I think I tried to update the day after it was released. First I tried to create a USB installation like I have in the past. I wouldn't work when I booted to it. Not wanting to download another .iso I tried the update. After a couple of tries it took 16 hours with occasionally checking the computer to answer questions. I'm wondering if there was heavy traffic trying to download 11.04 slowing things down. The Saturday after release and a couple of tries my son was able to create a useable USB installation key to install it on his machine. Now that I can actually use it, it is quite different and will take me a little time getting used to. But I haven't had any issue running it on my netbook. More messing about before I decide to stick with the Unity interface...

stevenr
stevenr

Does kubuntu, then, now have the unity desktop?

Dave51
Dave51

I tried the upgrade from 10.10 to 11.04 all worked well to the next time I rebooted and I got an error giving me 4 choices all of which did not work to I had to reload 10.10 from CD, reparting to drive. That went okay so reboot update the fixes - took a life time ;-) - rebooted and upgraded again. This time all worked well, but do not like to Unity desktop switch back to Classic Seems to run Okay now... B-)

mjt328
mjt328

This is the first time I've tried to use Linux from a bootable USB key instead of a Live CD, and I must admit I'm very pleased and impressed so far. Creating the key was straight-forward and painless. Using it on both an Atom-powered netbook and an AMD quad-core powered notebook has proven to be very smooth and trouble-free. I created the key with Persistence so that changes to the basic install are saved on the key, and that's also working well so far. The new look and feel of Ubuntu 11.04 is surprisingly easy to adapt to, and quickly becomes easy to use. It may be a while before I actually install Linux on any of my computers, but if this USB-based experience continues to shine, I have an old Toshiba laptop using XP that will likely find itself home to a new Ubuntu installation this summer.

unixDon
unixDon

I too had problems upgrading from 10.10 to 11.04. The platform is a new (6 months old) Dell laptop that was running Ubuntu 10.10. That was my first experience with Ubuntu although I'm an old Unix guru from WAY back and have lots of experience with RedHat/Fedora. I upgraded from the update manager when it prompted me to upgrade to 11.04 and let it run while I was doing other things. Everything seemed to load and install cleanly but when it was done, my touchpad was non-functional. I tried using the keyboard button that toggles it on/off several times with no effect so after muttering some words that I won't bother to print here, I went searching for a USB mouse that I could plug in to get access to the system. After finding one and plugging it in I was able to use the system but I still could not figure out what was wrong with the touchpad. I searched for updated drivers and found none (Dell doesn't even know how to spell Linux on their support site!). After fighting with the Unity desktop for hours I finally got into the touchpad configuration program and it looked fine. Out of desperation, I disabled the touchpad, exited the program, fired it up again, enabled the touchpad, and voila! The touchpad worked. I spent a total of several hours getting over that little glitch. Now on to the Unity desktop... I'm an old Mac user (from a while ago) so I'm somewhat familiar with the interface that they are trying to present but that said, I am having a terrible time finding things like my recent documents and applications (Yes, I know there is a button with those labels but my docs/apps don't seem to be in there!). The system settings being somewhat hidden in the icon at the far right of the menu bar was completely strange to me. Why would they try to hide that? The only way I found that was by searching the web. Is there any good intro to Unity anywhere? I'm giving Unity a try at Jack Wallen's recommendation and I hope I can get over the initial hurtles before I get too frustrated and go back to my command line windows. One very annoying thing that I have not yet figured out is how to configure the workspaces. I have not found any configuration options GUI for this yet and I'm getting more and more annoyed with this. I'm used to using a 1x8 workspace setup and the 2x2 default setup doesn't cut it for me. If anyone out there can help, I'd be VERY appreciative. I found an online blurb about manually editing the configuration settings which I tried but it was already set to my previous values of 1x8 so Unity is obviously using a different set of configuration settings.

hoagies
hoagies

On a walmart emachines, (amd x2, 2.7 Ghz, nvidia (LE or LS)6150 graphics: 1. The partition system was 'locked up', since I do multi-boot - and the installer mounts then unmounts 'all' partitions on the hard drive!! One of the 'active' Linux partition wouldn't do it; which then 'locked' everything up on the HD => This is 'after' the thing did 16,000 'eternal' downloads!! Why 'not' do the partition 'thing' in the beginning, in order to save time&server 'bandwidth' for everybody involved in this world?? 2. Once 'installed', the Grub boot screen wouldn't&couldn't load; because the 'resolution' was said to be set too 'high'!! 3. (I did have to install Peppermint One, in order to get a usable Grub boot screen; to be able to multiboot => Ain't that completely&absolutely 'ridiculous' to have to resort to a small, but very&extremely 'capable' distro - to be able to boot the 'big one')!! 4. Once 'booted', it did have the 'lowest' resolution on tap; without me being able to change it!! => I did have to download&install the latest (recommended) 'nvidia' driver, which was said to be 'needed' for 'unity' => So why not install the 'stupid thing' in the first place!! => Why 'not', Lord; oh why 'not'?? 5. The initial Live CD screen is 'gnome'; but once installed, it becomes 'unity' => The same happened to me on ubuntu 10.10 proper on a netbook, where the installation started out pure 'gnome'; and then converted itself to 'unwanted' unity - later on!! I do agree: 1. 'Noobs' should 'run away' from 11.04, in order not to 'sour' their 'tastes&experiences' of Linux!! 2. As always: It will (hopefully) take 'Mint' to 'straighten out' this thing, and make it 'usable' for everybody in this world!!

Snags40
Snags40

Instead of spending time and effort changing the interface with each version, why not spend them converting more Linux command line functions to GUI. Take a lesson from Apple: With each of their upgrades they make OSX more capable by converting Unix commands to easy to use functions.

Jaqui
Jaqui

it's called: we don't care if it works, get the money from the rubes so we can give ourselves a raise with the paycheque. hmm, sounds like Microsoft doesn't it. have to wait for Ubuntu's sp2 for it to be usable then Jack.

Snags40
Snags40

On my Dell Mini 9 the netbook remix interface is really very useful. I would appear that the big icons in program categories is no longer supported. Too Bad! I'll wait and see if the powers that be will reconsider.

bdweiner
bdweiner

If I convinced a client, friend or relative to go to Ubuntu 10.10, helped to get everything going (printer installed, find the right desktop) then I would have been a very very busy boy with the 11.04 upgrade. First, I had to reinstall (and google for the solution) my printer. Then the Unity desktop would have had them pulling their hair out, especially if they were using the Compiz 3D Desktop Cube. I upgraded my Desktop computer from XP to 7 for $160 ($130 for OEM Windows 7 Professional 64 bit & $30 for 2 gig RAM). No problems. Ubuntu 10.10 to 11.04 problems. Linux will never substantially grow until a non-techie, non-geek can go through a regular Linux/Ubuntu upgrade without my help. I thought 10.10 was awfully close but the 11.04 upgrade would be a disaster to the average computer user. The upgrades need to be much better than Windows for the general public to accept it. We've got the replacement programs, day to day superior reliability, almost no cost, but the upgrades are still waining.

tad1073
tad1073

This is the worst distro Ubuntu has put out to date.

billyg
billyg

I'm afraid that though I believe Unity can be a good step in UI evolution, this is not its prime time. I still see buggy behavior in the launcher hide/reveal. I'm not sold on the need for the OS-X style placement of app menus. It feels a bit gratuitous... two small unrelated issues that grabbed me as a fresh new user. This has the potential to mature into a great desktop.

nacenteno
nacenteno

I have used Ubuntu for a long time and love it. Customization is a key part for me as for other several users I know, but Unity has several flaws in the design and is buggy. To name a few: - No notifications - Aims for tablets and smaller screen devices (large icons with touch interface) but wastes a lot of space with suggested apps (1/3 of menu) and duplicates applications (frequently used) - Is not consistent, large icons for apps but makes you click on links? - No easy way to fix issues (no Alt + F2) - Aimed at smaller devices and yet consumes more resources. - Global menus should be an option (the two trends are tables and very large monitors). When using large monitors it makes you go all the way to the top of the screen. Etc. Unity can not get as simple as an Apple interface because it does not run in proprietary hardware; it will need to be customizable and easy to troubleshoot. I am not going to use 11.04 and will keep an eye on what Ubuntu does to fix or ditch Unity.

bdweiner
bdweiner

I loved Ubuntu 10.10 with the Compiz 3d Desktop cube. Although I let Ubuntu upgrade itself to 11.04 (took 6 hours), I am back to my old desktop. I don't like Unity, things were radical changed for apparently no good reason. They did away with the bottom toolbar, without replacing it. I found the official sidebar replacement but it did not show me all of my active sessions. Number 1 reason to not use Unity, I want to be able to see all of my active sessions in one screen easily. Scrolling over icons sucks because you can't see them all at one time. My 2nd reason for not using Unity, it is far inferior to the Compiz 3D Desktop Cube. I have never seen anything, anywhere better than that desktop. The only reason I'm sticking to 11.04 is because I can still have the best desktop ever. As soon as they update Ubuntu without it and not replacing it with something superior, then I will not update.

Rodo1
Rodo1

I installed Ubuntu nearly a year ago when the end of support for XP was announced. At first I used it daily and was very enthusiastic for Linux. As time has gone on, I have decided Linux is just not for me and I am going to have to suck it up and stick with Windows. I really like Ubuntu, but I'm just not willing to spend the inordinate amount of time required to get it to work. It is a great OS for experimenters and hobbyists, but I just don't think it is ever going to be a mainstream OS for the masses. Now if someone could tell me of an easy way to get this off my machine... Edit: After I posted this I went and upgraded to 11.04 for grins. It went smoothly, but my hardware won't run Unity so everything looks pretty much the same as before. I'll still try to work with it for awhile...

dlr.rohde
dlr.rohde

I installed as an upgrade, things went well, but boy, my machine sure slowed down in performance. I was doing all the cool things with Compiz now it takes noticablly long to load Firefox and other programs. Going back to the last OS from Ubuntu, not staying with this one. Also, it did not set itself up for the internet. I could not access the internet for updates, but I could access my other computers on the network. I missed something here I guess.

fascorp
fascorp

Just wanted to say that I upgraded yesterday without issues (I was really afraid about GRUB like the old bug when having several operating systems and removing "the others" from the list). Everything seems to be working fine. I lost some compatibility (Like Virtual Box), but surely I will fix it upgrading that software to a new version.

Bob-El
Bob-El

I never believed Ubuntu would be a disappointment and, until 11.04, it wasn't. Last week I replaced the hard drive in my laptop. Although I'd been happily running Ubuntu 10.04, in the spirit of progress, I decided to install 11.04 on it. I had to repeat that process 3 times and each time I experienced the same problems. First of all, the time and date services didn't work. I installed NTP and tried to set it up. Although I was able to verify the time servers were working, the service refused to get the time from any of them. Each time a message appeared telling me either the firewall (which was disabled) was the problem or the time servers were not available. Then, on a subsequent re-installation, I decided to forgo NTP and just set the time manually. The Time & Date Settings wouldn't run. As it turns out, that's a documented bug. Then I set the screen saver to Random after 15 minutes and Power Management to turn the screen off after one hour. I waited well over an hour and the screen stayed on and the screensaver didn't run. I installed Desktop Drapes. That didn't run at all so I installed Wally. It runs but doesn't change the wallpaper. Finally, I gave up after 11.04 froze on me several times. I approached the Unity desktop with an open mind but, after having tried it out, I find it restrictive and much prefer the good ol' Gnome desktop. I'm installing 10.10 on my laptop now. I have a desktop computer and a netbook running 10.04 and a wife who thinks I spend too much time on "the computer". I think I will skip over Natty Newfoundland for the dog that it is.

james.vandamme
james.vandamme

Read the fine release notes: 1GB min, 2 GB recommended. I just gave the CD a spin on my 1GB "classic", got a gnome desktop with no option to turn on the unity to see what the fuss is all about. I decided not to fix what isn't broke. If you're an antique lover, try Puppy, it runs great.

pgit
pgit

Did it install with a proprietary driver? Or generic xorg? You sure the monitor settings are correct? Most distros check monitor-edid to set up resolution. If your monitor did not report for some reason (eg bad driver) you may have to set it manually. In a root terminal run monitor-edid and see if you get any output.

pgit
pgit

Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't think nouveau was ready enough to be a default on a system that REQUIRES compositing. 'dropped the ball' is putting it nicely.

bandersnatch42vt
bandersnatch42vt

...Ubuntu with the KDE desktop environment. Unity is a compiz plugin that runs on Gnome only. So no, Kubuntu will never have Unity.

pgit
pgit

Do you think that's due to the Big Switch to unity? That would be my take, the video driver issues, compositing required etc etc...

bandersnatch42vt
bandersnatch42vt

Give Linux Mint 10 (or wait for 11) a shot. It works out of the box and has everything you need to set up in Ubuntu already installed. The Mint devs also fix a lot of the bugs inherent in any new Ubuntu release. It's worth a shot if the other choice is to go back to Windows XP. Just a suggestion.

bandersnatch42vt
bandersnatch42vt

Give Linux Mint 10 (or wait for 11) a shot. It works out of the box and has everything you need to set up in Ubuntu already installed. The Mint devs also fix a lot of the bugs inherent in any new Ubuntu release. It's worth a shot if the other choice is to go back to Windows XP.

DesertJim
DesertJim

Still trying to find an answer on various forums. Thought it was just me, can ping any devices on the server side of the bridge but not on the other where my gateway is.

Rodo1
Rodo1

I downloaded the Mint 10 ISO and have run the live CD. I think I like Mint better than 11.04. I am pondering doing a dual boot on another XP machine I have. I'd really like Linux to work out for me as I don't like Windows 7 at all and I don't like where MS is going with their OSs.

Slayer_
Slayer_

If you run the live CD from within windows, you will be given an option to install Mint inside windows. Mint will be installed as an application. When you restart your computer, the XP bootloader will ask you if you want to run Mint. Because of this, your MBR stays intact, and you can delete Mint at any time without having to do repairs to your system afterwards. I have Mint installed like this on my Laptop, and I have it set as the default OS to boot.