PCs

Ubuntu 12.04: Desktop perfection within reach

Jack Wallen is wowed by Ubuntu 12.04. Just how close to perfection is this latest release from Ubuntu? Read Jack's take and find out if it's enough to make you want to give Precise Pangolin a go.

Pay close attention to the following statement, because I'm going to give away the heart of this post right out of the gate. Here it is:

Canonical has released a Linux desktop distribution that is as close to perfection as any to date. How dare I say that, when everyone knows Unity is a piece of garbage? Ladies and gentlemen, Canonical and the Ubuntu developers have done their homework, listened to end-users, and created something of masterful design and execution. From the boot up speed, to the graphical elements, to the integration of all the moving parts, Precise Pangolin is, hands down, the single most impressive desktop release to date.

I first installed 12.04 on a laptop, fairly certain I was going to leave Linux Mint 12 as my primary desktop OS. That lasted all of two days. I wanted to get at least a couple of days under my belt with Precise before I made any judgment calls. It didn't work. It took all of about one hour (after installation) before I was completely and utterly sold on the latest release from Ubuntu. And the depth at which I was sold quickly informed me of one thing:

Ubuntu is back as king of the Linux desktop distributions.

Now, it's not 100% perfect. But it's insanely close. Let me first talk about what is dead-on with 12.04

HUD

I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. The Unity Head-Up Display is an incredible feat of design. With this menu interface there is no more need to switch back and forth from keyboard to mouse as you navigate and application's menu structure. Just hit the Alt key and type what you want to do. The execution of the HUD is almost flawless (the only issue being not EVERY application is HUD-aware -- but all major applications are). For any Linux application developer reading, I highly recommend you make it a goal to have your application HUD-aware asap.

Unity Lenses

The Lenses in Unity have really come a long way and make this desktop even more efficient and user-friendly than GNOME 3. As you can see in Figure A, the Unity Lens has an incredibly clean and sleek design. Tap the Super (or Windows) key to open up the Lens and then tap Ctrl-Tab to navigate through the different lenses. Or open up the Lens and simply enter a search string to search for what you're looking for.

Figure A

Ubuntu Software Center/Ubuntu One Music Store

The combination of the Ubuntu Software Center and Ubuntu One Music Store (through Rhythmbox now)  offers up the usual collection of software and music, but now includes books & magazines, and will soon offer movies that can be purchased. No matter what you need (software or entertainment), it can be found within your Ubuntu desktop. Although not a fan of Rhythmbox, it is the easiest and fastest way of purchasing downloadable music on Linux now (I will miss the Banshee Amazon connection -- but I can understand why this change was made). My music software of choice is Clementine, which is nothing more than a search away (within the Ubuntu Software Center) for installation.

Performance

I have to say, Ubuntu 12.04 does outperform Linux Mint 12, hands down. Not only does the OS itself boot faster, but the desktop responds faster and applications run more smoothly. Even with the compositor running in the background, with plenty of apps in the foreground, the desktop doesn't skip a beat. Prior to switching to Ubuntu 12.04, I had the following distributions installed on various machines:

  • Fedora 16
  • Bodhi Linux
  • Linux Mint 12
  • Ubuntu 11.10

Without hesitation, I can say Precise Pangolin bests the above hands down in both performance and user-friendliness. That is not, in any way, a slap against any of those distributions (Bodhi Linux is still a killer operating system). That statement should be viewed as a testament to how far Ubuntu Unity has come. It's incredibly stable and far more user-friendly than any desktop I have ever used.

That is not to say there weren't a few tiny issues.

The nits to pick

First and foremost, there were two pieces of software I had to install immediately:

  • lo-menubar
  • My Unity

I had reported earlier that both of those applications would make it to the final release. They didn't. They should have. Without lo-menubar installed, LibreOffice won't benefit from the HUD. Without My Unity installed, you cannot configure the look and feel of Unity. Install them both immediately.

There were also some strange crashes upon first boot. Unity and Ubuntu One seemed to not want to work without segfaulting and sending error reports. A single reboot seemed to solve that issue immediately. Since that reboot, I haven't had the slightest issue.

That's it. Outside of those two issues, Ubuntu 12.04 has been the best-in-breed of any desktop operating system I've ever had the pleasure of using. Bold words in a world of Windows, Mac, and more Linux desktop platforms than I can keep track of -- but a statement I stand firm on. Ubuntu 12.04 has made some enormous steps forward for both Unity and the Linux desktop. If you've been either on the fence or one of the naysayers, you owe it to yourself to give Precise Pangolin a try. This latest release from Ubuntu has certainly brought desktop perfection within reach.

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.

69 comments
avivme
avivme

And in Ubuntu 13 they took it all and made the system faster. I have just got my system from LINUCITY (WWW.LINUCITY.COM) and it is really fast.

myangeldust
myangeldust

Ubuntu looks more like MacOS to me. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) The side dock is like the Mac's app dock and each "panel's" menu remains at the top of the screen like in the MacOS. The menu doesn't travel with the panel like in Windows. Maybe this should be something to focus on... can the coders create a different kind of UI that's more intuitive and less technical? It would definitely have to get rid of Linux' confusing directory structure. I was going to write the details here but I'll just work on it myself and see if it makes sense to some folks before I put it out there.

myangeldust
myangeldust

Sometimes when I have local and thumbdrive folders open these tend to compress near the bottom of that menu and I can't always tell them apart. The tricky part is trying to pinpoint the desired folder using my laptop's trackpad. Maybe there's a way to squash the icons above just a bit or have these folders show about at the top of the side dock.

rjrich
rjrich

I agree in part with your assessment of Ubuntu 12.04. When I first tried Ubuntu Unity, I did not like it. With 12.04, Unity has been markedly improved. If the launcher dock could easily be moved and its icons easily resized to less than 32 px, it would be even better. However, I opted to install KDE as my desktop environment, and I now find the combination of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with KDE 4.8 to be ideal for my needs. It is possible that I will switch to Linux Mint 13 LTS KDE when it is released later this summer, but for now, I am pleased with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS KDE.

gerbilio
gerbilio

The HUD doesn't work on my installation! Click on the icon, start typing, the wheel goes round and round, and then...nothing. Very, VERY disappointing. Anyone else have this problem?

shomer
shomer

I have been using it for about a week now and all seems fine except for one small, but irritating item. The launcher is more "sticky" than it was on 11.04. Sometimes I have to nudge the cursor a couple of times against the left of the screen to get it to appear. I've tried adjusting things with MyUnity but to no avail. Any ideas would be appreciated

rpr.nospam
rpr.nospam

Jack suggested installing lo-menubar but after it has been installed I cannot access the menu items in LibO applications using Alt+letter shortcuts. IMHO, developers who aim at providing a universal GUI environment (the Unity in this case) should try hard to make it work efficiently regardless of users' habits in using the GUI. I find the following types of users: (1) users on a classic desktop who prefer clicking with a mouse and don't like typing commands (2) users on a classic desktop who prefer using keyboard for giving commands (3) users on a tablet or smartphone who point and "click" with their fingers and also can use other gestures on the touch screen Here are typical actions that a user has to do in a GUI: (a) find the right application and start it (b) give commands in the application (e.g. choose a menu item) (c) switch between running applications (d) copy&paste text between applications (e) drag&drop files between applications A well designed GUI environment should enable each type of users to do typical actions in small number of steps. I'd like to see an analysis of Unity with HUD (and possible other GUI environments) that shows how many steps each type of users needs for doing typical actions in the GUI.

ron_3101
ron_3101

Installing was not without issues. Firstly no graphics. Booted to a prompt. Running startx gave an error message on missing power cord for the nvidia graphics card (works ok with ms windows). Changed the card and got the graphical desktop. Then would not recognize the network card. Added a wlreless adapter and 12.04 picked it up immediately. Have not investigated further on the network card but again that card works with ms windows Apart from those two issues, initial impressions of the desktop are excellent. A big like. As a systems engineer who spends most of my working life on Red Hat and Opensuse, I have always disliked the ease of root access in Ubuntu.

bootloot
bootloot

I seem to be having problems with "things" resetting. For example, in the upper panel, the time and date will reset. I opt for "Show clock in the menu bar, Weekday, Date and month, 24-hour time, and seconds. This works for a day or two and then resets to the basic original. No day, no month, no seconds, and revert to 12 hour display. It's a bit of a pain, because I really like this 12.04.

steveh
steveh

When I ran the upgrade from the update manager on a test system running 11.04, my desktop wouldn't initialize and I wound up at a terminal prompt and would have had to do some research to find out how to fix that. Instead, I downloaded the full 64bit version and installed it on another drive. Still testing...

gparsons611
gparsons611

When I first tried Linux, it was Ubuntu 8.04. It was pretty neat, running on an old HP Omnibook (Pentium III) Only quirk was a PCMCIA wireless card that would only intialize if it was removed prior to boot and then inserted after login. Later I used 10.04 on a Dell Latitude C640. I liked and thought it was fast and easy to use. Today I just loaded 12.04, first time using Unity, on the Dell. System is very sluggish and the GUI is not very user friendly at all and that is making things very frustrating, that and Firefox 12 is the worst I've seen and I'm a big Firefox fan! It makes Windows 7 look like the best thing going. I know that a lot of more seasoned Linux users will probably blast me, but I'm reporting this as someone that has not used Linux extensively. I miss the pull down menus and links to my apps straight out of the box. If I have to do this much clicking anf guessing to figure out how to make it work, then I don't see how this could ever help make Linux a viable alternative to the mainstream corporate operating systems.

databaseben
databaseben

respectfully, ubuntu is a cheap clone of windows - cheap as in free but also lacking a wow factor. i don't think its user friendly because users don't know that they have to install this or that to enhance ubuntu. personally, i think the major alteration that the ubuntu people need to change is its reference and usage of the term "windows". instead, the "windows" should be all called "control panels" or simply "panel" because that is what they are. for example, you start the firefox browser, you might be opening a window but it more of a browser control panel. when you start libre office, you might be opening a window but youre actually opening a document control panel. when you open the ubuntu settings, you're actually opening the system control panel. so in my opinion, its high time for ubuntu to stop following in the shadows of "Windows" and take the fork in the road leading towards establishing its own identity, ie an alternative operating system of control panels, instead of windows.

theoctagon911
theoctagon911

I have been trying to run this 12.04 in an Oracle VM Virtual-box environment. Its the 64 bit version and actually runs very smoothly. However it will not detect my nvidia 520 graphics card. All I get (thus far) is the vmbox graphics adapter as the display card. Other than this issue, which I am still trying to work through, this has been running very nicely. I have to adjust my usage of the desktop, but what's life without a bit of change? As long as its a change for the good ...

Contradiction
Contradiction

Still no proper support for dual monitors. (Windows works out of the box) No easy way to mount network shares. You still have to go through fstab (Windows: right click -> Map network drive) Want to change system locale? Forget about it! (Windows: 4 clicks) I don't know why people think that Ubuntu is any different from any other linux distro, but if the makers of Ubuntu don't start thinking about home users and making their life easier (or at least as easy as Windows) then they can forget OS domination :)

bobc4012
bobc4012

I have been playing with it for a couple of evenings. To me it is still crapola. I didn't see any great difference between it and 11.10. In addition, I am constantly getting "Sorry, Ubuntu 12.04 has experienced an internal error". So much for testing. I just had another one running the Update Manager. I am running it in VirtualBox on a WIn. 7 machine. I also installed the Classic Gnome Desktop and have not found a way to move the "Min, Max, Close" icons to the top right (the ability to do it from the "Appearance" screen has disappeared and a Help search was NO help). I also tried to change the background to a solid color and it would not do it, While some change is understandable, too much looks like change for the sake of change. I knoow a lot of people will move up to it and adapt to missing items and different wasys of doing "easy things" in a more convoluted manner. that is their choice. As for me, I'll stick with Zorin_OS for now. Maybe some day, Ubuntu (and Windows) will realize that tablets and desktops are two different animals. I do sympathize with the idea to have one OS size fits all, but it is a failure IMO.

wmstrome
wmstrome

On one system, after upgrading all I got was a blank screen. With some fooling around (going into a terminal), I was able to load icewm and get a useable system but gnome/gnome classic/XUbuntu and Ubuntu do not work for me on that one. On another system, the upgrade broke GRUB -- no matter which choice, it came up with an error something like "no such partition". I was able to fix that by loading a live CD and re-installing GRUB. However, in Ubuntu I find that the drop-down menus don't work in many cases. Also, Synaptic is broken. The error has been reported, but not fixed yet.

aroc
aroc

For the majority of "ordinary" users (i.e. non-Geeks), a new interface is an incredible barrier to using a new OS/version. I have been making the transition from WinXP to Win7 for my work PC, and that relatively small barrier is a real hindrance to getting my work done. The same applies to my home PC choice, Linux. I have gotten comfortable with Gnome2 over the last few years, mostly on Mint9, and I can focus on the "fun stuff" of actually using the PC. But, every few years, I realize the base platform is getting too old for the hardware (although I normally stay several generations behind on hardware to save money), and some newer software tools/features I develop a strong preference for along with the end of security updates (a big motivator!). I go through the pain of this migration with some reluctance since it takes up a lot of my time, but the inducement of LTS lets me hope it won't repeat too ofen. Also, being in IT over 35 years, I still enjoy the challenges after I get "into it", and start seeing some benefits. Believe me that a lot of people are more like my wife, and will NOT be persuaded to go through such trauma if there is any possible way to avoid such change. They do not care how much more "efficient" it is claimed to be - it is NOT efficient for them to spend such an inordinate amount of time to unlearn the muscle memory of mouse clicks and key presses in certain locations and sequences for little noticeable gain (noticeable to non-geeks, to be clear). This is the kind of issue that will keep Linux from ever replacing Windows in any large way no matter how technically superior it might be - all the varieties and changes destroy any kind of uniformity and stability that most PC users need to feel comfortable and be productive. Of course, Windows is hitting the same resistance itself going from XP to 7 (Vista being skipped by many if they had a choice, but more due to technical glitches), and now the rants on Windows fora about the horribleness of Windows 8's Metro interface show that the same motivations for resistance to change are OS-agnostic (lots of how-to's for getting to the "hidden" traditional-sort-of GUI seem to be quite popular). For many, if not most, PC users, UI change is a huge barrier to be avoided at almost any cost. I admit though that smartphones and tablets seem to be avoiding this problem, but I think it is due in large part to their fundamentally different use mode primarily for consumption, more like a TV, and brief discrete tasks like making a phone call, or tapping a blobby button image for a web page or opening an email, than for extensive content creation. Their interfaces are fairly conducive to selecting and arranging, and not so much for extensive input that a keyboard works better for (which may be why there is a market for the folio cases with imbedded keyboards to bridge that gap a bit for the "edge case" users). People are not having to unlearn an interface when the whole device paradigm is new, and relatively easy to get at least basic proficiency in. Instead they learn from scratch when the payoff is big (which is why I think the rise of thumb keyboards about 10 years ago was a huge, and missed, opportunity to introduce users to the keying efficiencies of a Dvorak layout, which would have saved a lot of "extreme thumb antics" - oh well, Paradise Lost ...). Indeed, many are switching to tablets as their primary computing device when they find it is "just enough" for their needs, and much more convenient to have to hand for those needs - PC's are just unwieldy overkill for these users, and strange new hybrids like Unity and Metro probably will not lure them back, and will turn off many of the remaining "traditional" users. FWIW

techno0001
techno0001

when im not using windows, my top choice is ubuntu. Its always been so smooth and user friendly :)

James-SantaBarbara
James-SantaBarbara

12.04 really got me excited and when the beta came out I enthusiastically installed it via wubi. (I find dual boots to be too problematic with one OS or the other playing "king of the hill"). It was everything you complimented them for above. Problem is the LTS release is wayyyyyy slower than the beta? The load is a little slower...the updates are wayyyy slower...what happened? Is Ubuntu now to mimic Windows where its best to wait until they get the bugs ironed out? (tried both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions) Also, the details window for the updates is weak (too small, scrolls badly and doesn't display the update itself...only the update.source? I'll be following Ubunyu's progress but... It is a step forward but not a giant leap.

sda
sda

I think when the Unity interface and HUD can be used from a tablet it will turn some heads.

Vquest55
Vquest55

I think it is about making Linux a desktop STANDARD that NORMAL users can go to. The "OS" for NORMAL users needs to be sooo friendly that NORMAL people can just install & run there apps because THAT is what is the most important issue for NORMAL users. Use there apps & get there work done or just enjoy themselves. They don't WANT to configure there OS they just want to use there computer. So how about a research project where they get let's say 20 or more users to try different systems & see which one comes out best. 'OS" for the MASSES is the FINAL test of greatness.

Gisabun
Gisabun

May be your definition of "desktop perfection" but outside of current Ubuntu users, who will actually use it? Your typical [novice] user won't. You can't find it in the vast majority of stores [let alone any Linux version].

paulfx1
paulfx1

It is that Linux is Linux is Linux. I can get any Linux distribution to do what any other does if I feel like it. Don't like how one boots, build a custom kernel, and turn off whatever is slowing the process down. The Gimp is supposed to be a program, not a description of a Linux user!

majortomgb
majortomgb

Compared to PCLinuxOS, I found it slow, sluggish and buggy. I thought I'd try a test out and ask my wife to open up the email app, she couldn't find it on 12.04. Virtual Box was a hassle to install whereas on PCLinuxOS it's just a click on an icon. PCLinuxOS isn't perfect but generally I find that more things work straight away without the need to drop to the command line.

emenau
emenau

First thing i did was going to settings > appearance and set launcher icon size to the minimum (32 and that is still to big for some reason...) Why do they have to eat up all that space ALL of the time?? and switch auto hide on. Size 16 really would be big enough for the blob icons Gnome 2 was a good companion in 10.04 and I'm yet not convinced of Unity... therefore I will certainly wait with a permanent switch to 12.04 on my desktop. This 'forced' desktop switch feels a bit microsoftish to me. Somehow i have a thought that the live CD would have been better with XFCE / Xubuntu and then the installer with a choice menu for Gnome2 / 3, Unity, XFCE, LXDE, E17 Mainly because XFCE runs more smoothly on a live CD / stick Synaptic removed? The one thing that might help newbies most in the world of GNU/Linux they remove?? What's that all about? Is their aim to focus on people who have no interest in the actual technology they use? That would not be smart for a system that depends on a community...Sure there is software centre, click and never look deeper.. Though i guess their average user has more interest than that. For the rest, it's feels stable, looks intuitive. Not bad at all. The switch to Unity doesn't seem to hard, even it is clear to me that it will be many times less frustrating then what people are used with on the 'Gates boxes'. Apart from switching to the Unity environment, there are only a few minor changes to the rest of the system, and none of them are totally different then before. A job well done. Still for me the move back to Debian is starting to become a real option now. Ubuntu is great and it just works, Debian on the other hand feels more free, and doesn't fence things in.

Alan_
Alan_

Have been on Unity since 11.04 and still don't like it. Inertia and lack of real need (for the present) of lost features has kept Ubuntu as the boot OS on my only personal computer, a laptop. What's wrong with Unity? To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, "known unknowns (KU) and unknown unknowns (UU) can't be found". Maybe the HUD changes that. KUs - when there's an app I use infrequently I often don't remember the name, e.g. Startup Disk Creator. Maybe HUD changes things but with Dash I've looked through the list of all installed apps, 151 of them, more than once to find it. Didn't have any luck coming up with search terms that showed it so had to take that route. With a menu, an option in 11.04 and always there before, could simply inspect the menus and always able to find that forgotten app I needed. And a bonus was getting a refresher on what's there and the context for use based on the menu it appeared on. UUs - the apps that are installed but I don't use them until I start exploring the installed software suite and launching to see what something does and whether it's useful to me. My 2?? they're not as readily identified and found again in Dash as they are on the menu. So I've lost the opportunity to expand my use of the available applications. I'll second Regulus about the configurability of the launch bar. Favorite example... I use KeePassX. Would love to have a button on launcher to launch my password file but can't figure that out. Having KeePassX remember the last used file is a limited workaround because I sometimes create temporary databases or for other reasons don't feel like opening my password db. So having the app on the launcher IS NOT the solution. Having the file is. Others, how about a configurable default folder to open when the launcher "Home Folder" is clicked? Or a right click on Home Folder at least lists the built in and custom shortcuts. Or being able to launch another instance of a folder from the launcher. Or... there's many more capabilities lost on the Unity interface. In a work environment, Windows XP to Windows 7, use those capabilities all the time. In Ubuntu used same capabilities all the time 11.04 (non Unity) and earlier editions. On Unity the features are lost. So lack of driving need keeps me from changing. Even after a year on Unity I still feel the loss of functionality. If my use cases change and Unity doesn't enable the lost capabilities I will be migrating when the time comes.

paulfx1
paulfx1

Just install Debian and customize to taste. I do an "expert" install, start out with next to nothing, then add what I want. That works best for me.

aroc
aroc

Huh? Did you mean that the other way around? Ubuntu is "notorious" (with some of us ;-) for NOT setting the root password during installation, and "enforcing" sole use of sudo, or is that too easy vs su and actually using the root password with its risk of exposure/interception (in a worst-case/paranoid scenario)? Those with experience generally know how to get around that silly restriction - or learn how after the first incident with fsck or other start up issues that require root to fix, or "ctrl-D to continue" right on into rescue mode hassles (or failing those, re-installation) that can be avoided with diligent setting of the root password. As I recall from my recent Centos 6.2 installation that is done right after setting the time zone. Of course, the idea of not using root for routine usage of apps/system is crucial to safe practices on all major distros (Puppy excepted...). BTW, detailing the hardware you had issues with would be a service to the community in helping to pinpoint problem devices - those seem to make or break each individual's installation experience. TIA

bobc4012
bobc4012

I agree. I plan on staying with Ubuntu 10.04/10.10 (or Zorin_OS).IMO, Unity is a waste for Desktops. The more I played around with it, the more I dislike it. I tried Mint 12 various Desktops and only found a couple that were halfway decent. XFCE comes the closest as it allows me to use the Panels (top and bottom). While Gnome 2 Classic is close (also LXDE), it still has limitations. I also keep items on the Desktop, but organized (now the "desktop" that holds my monitor and other stuff is another story). Ubuntu 12.04 is totally frustrating when kicking off applications. It is a hindrance in getting things down. I have a 20 inch monitor and the showing Icons, clicking on "Filter results" to reduce the icons shown or spend time trying to remember what an app was called is total frustration. Why don't they just go back top "command line mode" and work out of a terminal window. To me, Unity is nothing more than GIGO.

myangeldust
myangeldust

You'd have to shorten it to one word for it to catch on. Perhaps simply call these "panels". So you'd have different kinds of panels: control panel, app panel, file panel, browser panel. How about "trays"?

paulfx1
paulfx1

Actually X Window was first.

paulfx1
paulfx1

I'm running a 520 for real and I'd have to say from what I've seen it is not 100%. With vdpau everone is blue on YouTube! Quake @ 2720x1024x32 is pretty cool though.

aroc
aroc

Is that some new option to bypass the virtual graphics, and somehow utilize the real one? I have used VBox for several years, and never had that option before - always had to install their virtual adapter driver to get beyond VESA basics.

paulfx1
paulfx1

AMD just works. Nvidia needs its driver in order to work. I'm guessing you have a Nvidia card?

emenau
emenau

in 10.04 i had DisplayLink/UbiSync (VGA over USB) working, but now in 12.04 I can't get it to work. Stuff like that should be more of a standard in my opinion. It is hardware... Plug and Play will it ever work???

paulfx1
paulfx1

I started running Linux in 1995 and if I wanted to I could still use the same PC, and the same programs I did then today. In some cases with some of my favorite programs I do. I've had a couple different PCs in that time but not as many as Windows users usually go through though. One fellow I chat with keeps on telling me he still runs FVWM2 as his desktop Window Manager. I guess he likes it? Even I have to admit I've changed WMs a couple times over the years just for change sake. The bottom line is in order to be successful running Linux you have to take control of your system, and run what you want. Start off with a minimum custom install, then add only what you want. You'll be happier than if you take the raft of trash distros offer with a "Desktop Environment".

bobc4012
bobc4012

I think you nailed it perfectly (or should I say with perfection in reach). All tablet users I know use them as an high-priced gadget (or toy). They do send SOME e-mail, but use them more for reading e-mail, articles, pictures (grandkids, etc.), watching youtube videos and the like. I can see that tablet being appropriate for a "Personal Information" gadget more than getting real work done. BTW, not to sound like a "broken record" in my posts, but try Zorin_OS 5.2 Core. It is based on Ubuntu 11.04 and works like Ubuntu 10.10 and earlier (Gnome 2). It also provides for a Windows XP and a Windows 7 look and feel. BTW, it installs Google Chrome as the browser rather than Firefox. But it has a menu under System Tools to install browsers - Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Midori. Same place to choose the Win. XP, 7 or Gnome 2 desktop.

de.doughboy
de.doughboy

I agree with the buggy software statement. I haven't been able to get Ubuntu to run on my older NEC P4 x32 machines since Release 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx. I was told by Canonical.to go get a better laptop. I have also moved away from Ubuntu because it doesn't work straight out of the box anymore, and requires frequent bug fixing on older PCs. An example can be found on the Ubuntu User forum by searching for "how to" shows some users get a blank screen or a forever Ubuntu-is loading screen when first booted. This is a far cry from what Ubuntu used to be. I get the feeling Ubuntu QA isn't doing their job, but congratulations anyway to the development team for making your release deadline. I'm sticking to Bodhi-Linux for a clean goLive CD.

paulfx1
paulfx1

I didn't like their DE choices so I opted for retro KDE Trinity. Loving it! I prefer to make my own decisions.

Alan_
Alan_

I tried it, still sthe same complaints AND I've had to use Windows 7 for an app I couldn't run on Linux. Using Windows reminded me of the features missing since the Unity interface became the only option out of the box. I've got a smart phone and a tablet. And I'm absolutely positive, because I don't use them for the same primary functions, that I don't benefit by having a touch centric UI on a device that doesn't use a touch interface. Will my next primary content creation device have a touch interface? I don't know. Even if it does that won't resolve the shortcomings named in my original post.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

Neither Nvidia nor AMD/ATI cards require their manufacturer's drivers to work, only to enable high-performance (3D) features. All VGA manufacturers support the VESA standards, including those two. In addition, all major Linux distributions ship with non-proprietary/open source drivers for a dozen or so of the most popular manufacturers' graphics chips/cards (including the 'nouveau' driver for Nvidia cards). These are enabled automatically when the corresponding video chips are detected during installation. So is there a difference between Nvidia & AMD/ATI when it comes to Linux? Actually, yes... Nvidia has a reputation for strong support for Linux, whereas ATI has given themselves a reputation of providing grudging support and releasing sub-par drivers. (If this has changed recently, and ATI users can vouch for improved support/quality for their hardware, please let everyone know... I only buy Nvidia for my machines; they all run Linux.)

Slayer_
Slayer_

My Mint 10, I just go to the search thingy and type resolution, this takes me to the control panel thingy and I click my second monitor (a TV) and click the use this screen button (was that what it was called...) and it just works, same as Windows. Maybe its because I use the nVidia drivers?

aroc
aroc

"trash distros" indeed : Ubuntu 12.04 base and KDE do not support my Dell D800 2.1 Ghz Pentium M due to its lack of PAE support, but the Xubuntu and Lubuntu variants do support it. That is "trashy treatment". That 2.1 Ghz CPU can still do a lot of work fast, just not in more than 4GB of RAM - c'mon, that is what 64-bit mode kernels are for. However, even the kernel is constantly dropping "outmoded" hardware. Just keep up with all the changes in the "diff -u" column in Linux Journal, and it is about depressing to see all the stuff that is being "tossed".

emenau
emenau

BUT, it's good we can choose between all those choices, a perfect world is on another planet. I like Ubuntu, but they now are loosing me a bit (Windows already lost me and I doubt if I ever go back). Hoping for Gnewsense to come to life a bit. Near perfect for me is something like this: 100% GNU (even the kernel) the Debian way of package management in a Human Ubuntu working space. Though if things dwell away from me then I just have to find an opiton that feels better. And yes even KDE might one day be perfect for me.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

They're only tools of convenience. (Additionally, making a simple oversight does not indicate a lack of intelligence. :^)

paulfx1
paulfx1

do not guarantee intelligent usage.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

I stand corrected! :^D (That'll teach me to reply to long blog threads on a smart phone!)

paulfx1
paulfx1

First off PAE is a kernel option. If you really want it, and many do not, then you can simply select it in your kernel's config. I would consider enabling it by default a bug, not a feature. Do you remember Smoky the Bear? When he said only you can help prevent forest fires. Well only you can submit kernel patches to support hardware. That is where all of this came from you know? There ain't no membership card or secret handshake you need to know. OK I lied, this is the secret password: http://kernelnewbies.org/ Good luck!

paulfx1
paulfx1

How are they stopping you from modifying it? You have simply chosen not to. I've run Ubuntu, I do not see it being any more human than any other distribution. I run Debian, and choose to configure it to suit me.

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