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Operating Systems Ubuntu Upgrades Linux

9 Features We May See In Ubuntu 11.10 281

Posted by timothy
from the working-teleporter dept.
splitenz writes "Canonical's Ubuntu 11.04 'Natty Narwhal' may still be occupying much of the Linux world's attention, but at last week's Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest, the next version of the free and open source Linux distribution began to take form. A number of decisions were reportedly made about Ubuntu 11.10, or 'Oneiric Ocelot,' at the conference, while numerous other questions are still being debated. ... Here's a roundup of what's been reported so far."
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9 Features We May See In Ubuntu 11.10

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @09:26PM (#36161160)

    Because end users hate it when they upgrade their OS only to find it doesn't look completely different

    • by rubycodez (864176) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @09:54PM (#36161388)
      we sure hate it when 11.04's ssh client and sshd have all kinds of connection-breaking issues. That pisses me off way more than the half-baked Unity I can choose to not use.
    • Another radical GUI change couldn't make things any worse, could it?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @10:53PM (#36161800)

      ...when they went with the wimpy sounding Maverick Meerkat instead of Masturbating Monkey. That's when I knew I could not take them seriously anymore.

      • by lorenlal (164133)

        I'm hoping that in two releases they can come up with something better than an ocelot... Of course going with your theme, I'm sure they can find some name that may be kitteh related....

      • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:46AM (#36164088)

        the next one will be Pugilistic Puffin. You can install it, if you think you're hard enough to have a go.

      • The part of me that is still snickering in the back of the classroom in kindergarten thinks it should be:
        • Micturating Monkey
        • Naughty Narwhal
        • Onanistic Ocelot
        • Perverted Pangolin
        • Randy (or Raunchy) Rhino
        • ...

        Someone else will have to finish this, teacher says it's naptime.

    • by Trifthen (40989) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @11:06PM (#36161904) Homepage

      I know one of the features is "me not using it anymore." 10.10 is probably the last version I'll ever use, and I've been looking at Mint or just going straight Debian.

      I love apt, otherwise I'd consider an RPM based distro.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @02:19AM (#36162828)

        I am using the "classic desktop" in Ubuntu 11.04. It's similar as the Gnome 2 desktop on Ubuntu 10.10.

        I might consider Gnome3 later this year, but not the 3.0 version. The Ubuntu desktop is moving in the wrong direction. Do they have the resources to run their own projects alone over time? The other distros share resources and costs by making software together.

        • by Omestes (471991)

          I futzed around with Gnome Shell and Unity, and moved on to OpenSuse with KDE. I can't stand the fact that I can't customize my GUI anymore. The Gnome team's comments on this make Apple seem open and egalitarian. They sound down right arrogant about "making it right, so no one should change it, since we know better". Both Unity and Gnome Shell are less customization than OS X now. Hell, you have to wait 6 months to a year, with Gnome Shell, just to be allowed to change your screensaver. While KDE's

    • Unity [newstechnica.com] is Canonical’s response to the GNOME 3 shell, which uses 1 gigabyte of RAM and four processor cores to exquisitely render a single button in the centre of the screen in beautifully anti-aliased text; when pressed, GNOME tells the user to switch off the computer and do something useful with their life, such as showering.

      “This was just not up to the user expectations of Canonical’s vision of the desktop,” said Mark Shuttleworth, from his castle high on a crag in West London.

    • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:57AM (#36163464)

      Because end users hate it when they upgrade their OS only to find it doesn't look completely different

      Unity is sound in theory, it's just the implementation which is crap. They took a shell primarily designed for tiny netbook screens and didn't put in the functionality that would make it useful on large screens. It's not configurable enough, the defaults are extremely annoying and the intent behind some functionality such as the bizarro Ubuntu expanding panel is just unfathomable. Click on the Ubuntu icon and you get a large panel with some huge icons. Click on the expand icon within this panel and it fills the full screen by making the icons supermassive. What the fuck is it for? The apps launching panel is also horrible, where before you had a nice hierarchical list of apps, now you must filter them to see what you want.

      I hope for the next release they focus on a preference dialog that allows the position and hide behaviour of the dock to be configured in realtime, for the global menu to be disabled. As I said I think the concept is fine - GNOME 2 is looking long in the tooth and is wholly inappropriate for the transition to 3D and surface based windowing, but the implementation is just not there yet.

      IMO GNOME 3.0 looks incredibly attractive by comparison. It's clear a lot of thought has gone into it. However it screws things up just as badly in its own way. Why is the dock on a separate screen that I have to do some Expose like stuff to access? Why can't I just drag and drop icons around like I could in the good old days and enjoy spatial and contextual functionality? Why did they see fit to remove (not just hide) the minimize / maximize buttons and force me to complete a drag operation on the window to the top where I used to just have to do a single click? Where are the configuration options?

      I think GNOME 3.0 is more radical than Unity. I think both are on the right tracks to being useful desktops but its obvious they both need a lot of work. It would be nice if the projects would actually cooperate on things like infrastructure. People shouldn't be forced to take sides to have a useful desktop.

  • Killer App? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheStonepedo (885845) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @09:31PM (#36161208) Homepage Journal

    Ubuntu has gone soft. Its recent changes pushed me back to Debian. Why does it have to be targeted at social media, online music sales, etc.? Unless it has something to give that isn't better-known on another platform, there's no incentive for users to switch.
    TFA is slashdotted or I'd cross my fingers hoping for just that feature.

    • Same here. I was locked to 10.04 because that was the last XBMC Live that worked well. Except because of Ubuntu's non-rolling update nature I was stuck at everything that came with 10.04 unless I started adding special repositories.

      With Debian. I choose to run Sid, Testing, Stable. Stuff gets pushed forward all the time. Personally I run Sid (not experimental) and I've almost never had a problem.

      My girlfriend may get introduced to XFCE because she's not having a fun time with Unity.
      Day 1) Oh, it looks so Ma

      • Well, at least it worked for her! I'd have been willing to give it a try, BUT, they broke the Nvidia Driver I need to use it at all! Tried the Classic and it was full of bugs and glitches like disappearing and reappearing window decorations, and many other things! Luckily I have a separate /home partition, with that and a 10.10 CD, I got back up and running again! Have been trying Xubuntu 11.04 out and it works pretty well, but I miss some of the things that are in Ubuntu 10.10 by default, plus the ability
      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        Isn't the latest Debian Squeeze (6.0)? Why would you run Sid? (An Ubuntu user looking to get into Debian).

        Also, on debian.org, it says (somewhere) that stuff is pushed into testing automatically (according to some given criteria), therefore they don't recommend it as a distribution. Comments?

        • Re:Killer App? (Score:5, Informative)

          by cwebster (100824) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @10:48PM (#36161768)

          The release version is frozen in time, essentially. The only thing that a named release will get is security and some other important updates. As for stable, testing, and sid:

          stable always points to the current named release (today squeeze, later something else). When the new release is released, if you are running stable, an apt-get dist-upgrade will pull down the new release.

          New package versions are pushed into sid. Sid can be frustrating because you might update to a package with broken dependancies or other issues that will not install. Give it a few days and it'll probably be fixed.

          After some period of time in Sid, those packages move to testing. Testing is where I run, as it is continually updated and I have not observed many instances of breakage. When its time for a release, testing goes through a freeze and then becomes stable. Or something like that.

          If you want stability, run stable.
          If you want cutting edge, run sid.
          If you want a reasonable mix of both, run testing.

          • Re:Killer App? (Score:5, Informative)

            by kvvbassboy (2010962) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @11:12PM (#36161938)
            Actually, Debian recommends running Sid over Testing [debian.org], simply because bug fixes could potentially take longer to get into testing.

            From personal experience, for a normal user I would recommend Sid too, because you get the latest software, and breakages happen very rarely.

            • by Sipper (462582) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @03:11AM (#36163074)

              Please don't recommend Debian Sid for those that aren't ready for it. There is a reason it's called "unstable"; packages uploaded to Sid are "bleeding edge" and there is occasionally breakage, and the person running the box needs to be ready to handle that and know what to do and how to fix it. This isn't for everybody. Running Testing (currently named Wheezy) is a relatively safe bet.

              Sid is not even a complete distribution -- Stable and Testing are, but Sid and Experimental aren't. I didn't realize this about Sid/Unstable either until I attended DebConf10 and was told so by a developer from Australia.

              And if you continue to recommend running Sid, at least also tell people about installing 'apt-listbugs' so that they at least if someone else has reported grave or critical bugs on packages that they're about to install that they get warned about that. I.e. this is your "Debian Unstable condom".

              The only downside to running Testing is that there are some source packages in Sid that you might need that aren't in Testing. For those situations I think it's fine to install JUST those packages from Sid onto your Testing box. That generally works fine.

              • by MrHanky (141717)

                Actually, Sid is a complete distribution. Sure, there is no installation media, but if you upgrade from Stable or Testing, you should be able to remove any old crud not belonging to Sid without problem. Also, nothing is in Testing without having gone through Sid, so if Sid was incomplete, so would Testing be, and Stable as well, as Stable is old Testing (+ security fixes). Unstable couldn't possibly be incomplete, and it isn't.

                As for buggy packages, I've seen more in a couple of months with Ubuntu pre-relea

        • Re:Killer App? (Score:4, Informative)

          by oakgrove (845019) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @10:51PM (#36161784)
          Sid, i.e., unstable is the bleeding edge rolling release. For historical reasons, it actually tends to break less than testing which is called Wheezy right now. While Squeeze is indeed the latest stable release, it is frozen and will only get security updates until Wheezy becomes the new stable thus repeating the cycle. Debian usually runs on an eighteen to twenty four month cycle but it's really an Id-esque "it's done when it's done" kind of release pattern. The bottom line is, if you want traditional rock solid Debian stability, you go with stable which right now is called Squeeze. If you want a still relatively stable system that is constantly updated, go for Sid bearing in mind that you can't just download a Sid CD. You have to get stable or testing and upgrade it. I hope I haven't been unclear.
        • Sid is always "Unstable". (Like in the Movie).
          "Unstable" (IMHO) has always been 'more' stable and newer than any Ubuntu release. As time rolls on each Ubuntu release gets farther and farther out of date while Sid continually gets updates from experimental.

          By time stuff makes it into Stable, it's that STABLE. People that run high end websites would stick to stable. For my desktop, Unstable or Testing is just fine. And if something doesn't work, you can easily roll back a single package to testing or so with

          • "Unstable" (IMHO) has always been 'more' stable and newer than any Ubuntu release. ... By time stuff makes it into Stable, it's that STABLE

            So if I switch from Ubuntu to Debian I could run Unstable to get something more stable? Or run Squeeze and wait for it to become stable, or Sid which would be stable, but will be frozen and could become quite unstable once I break it with newer packages. Testing would be unstable, but more stable than a new ubuntu release, which becomes stable over time, and as long as you stay with an LTS will be updated quite some time. Except when software you use goes to new versions, ubuntu LTS tends to have dependency

            • Squeeze is actually the Stable release now. Testing is Wheezy.

              The best option for stability with occasional upgrades of certain packages is Stable + Backports. Never mix Stable with Testing or Unstable.

          • Sid continually gets updates from experimental.

            Nitpick: Most updates go to Sid directly, experimental is more for dangerous stuff, like major upgrades (Firefox 4, Gnome 3, etc).
            http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/developers-reference/resources.html#experimental [debian.org]

      • Well, it's stupidly easy to switch out of Unity and forget about it. When you log in (once) change from Unity to classic in one of the log-in options. Tada, better Ubuntu.

        Truly though, the only problem that I've had with 11.04 that wasn't present in 10.10 is that Google Desktop doesn't search as efficiently, do to what I suppose is some indexing issue. Nothing that would cause me to revert back a release.
        • by Risen888 (306092)

          Well, it's stupidly easy to switch out of Unity and forget about it.

          Indeed it is. [debian.org]

          • Yup, that's Ubuntu before the suckage added.

            Or Unbuntu with the suck massaged out: http://www.linuxmint.com/ [linuxmint.com]

            Too light to contain suck: http://www.archlinux.org/ [archlinux.org]

            Too tiny to hold suck: http://puppylinux.com/ [puppylinux.com]

            Got their suck fixed a few releases ago, it's all good now: http://www.fedoraproject.org/ [fedoraproject.org]

            fixed their suck a while ago too, lookin' good: http://www.freebsd.org/ [freebsd.org]

            supports all kinds of desktops that don't su

            • Are any of these plug-and-play in VMWare, like Ubuntu? I tried Linux Mint (regular, not Debian ed.), and VMWare wouldn't even boot it... a quick Google told me it would take longer than 5 minutes to get running, so I went back to Ubuntu 11.04 (Unity doesn't run in VMWare Player anyway, so I haven't seen that horror yet)...

              Since I only need Linux for Ubuntu kernel compilation, it needs to run in VMWare... but Ubuntu is a bit annoying - the update manager keeps crashing (OK, probably because I only gave the V

        • by iggymanz (596061)

          yeah, but the next release there won't be a non-sucky alternative. best take the next 5.5 months to pick your next distro.

          Plus, other major things are broken with 11.04, if you have certain routers or NAT devices, the ssh/sshd/ssl combination they put out will bite you in the ass. Spend a couple hours compiling a proper replacement from source and putting in the upstart and /etc/init.d - rc.d files and you might get cranky.

        • by wrook (134116)

          Well, it's stupidly easy to switch out of Unity and forget about it. When you log in (once) change from Unity to classic in one of the log-in options. Tada, better Ubuntu.

          For those that like to feel like they are in control, run the Compiz Settting Manager (ccsm) and unclick the Unity plugin. Unity is then gone. You can run gnome-panel, or whatever the heck you want. What would be nicer is to have "Unity" as an option in the Appearances settings application, but they seem to have made it difficult to find that application...

          The more I think about it, though, the more I find that Ubuntu really isn't for me. Originally I switched because I wanted a non-rolling distribution

    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      Unless it has something to give that isn't better-known on another platform, there's no incentive for users to switch.

      But that's just the thing; if it's on Ubuntu it's free/open software, and therefore will be on other distros if not other platforms, if not now then eventually. The very idea of a "killer app" for Ubuntu is in many ways contrary to the idea of free/open software because such software can always be modified, forked, and/or ported.

    • Re:Killer App? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shark (78448) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @10:11PM (#36161512)

      Well, I wouldn't fault Ubuntu for trying to appeal to the masses. I think their aim is linux on the desktop. I don't use Ubuntu, I also don't use Facebook or social media beyond the occasional Slashdot post (and that's hardly social). The reality is that the masses do.

      I'm fine with Ubuntu turning into 'Linux for people who don't care that it's Linux'. There's plenty of choices for people who know what they're doing otherwise and it grows the market, which means that hardware vendors pay a tad (not much) more attention to the fact that linux exists and sales can be made by supporting it, etc.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)
        As long as I can still install and configure what I want, I can deal with it. I don't like Unity much, partly because there's very little that can be changed and the OS X style global menus annoy me to no end, but mostly because it's extremely buggy. Compiz crashes or behaves poorly frequently, some panel widgets stopped working, and my wireless card is slow and flakey. I've developed a certain amount of trust for Canonical ... my previous upgrades have all been relatively trouble free, but 11.04 really wa
        • Re:Killer App? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Compaqt (1758360) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @10:53PM (#36161804) Homepage

          Inconsistency and hypocrisy are what kill me.

          Mark Shuttleworth pushed through the left-side window control buttons change by using the excuse of "less mouse movement" (which is ridiculous since the scrollbar is on the right side, so you're often on the right side).

          Then he goes and puts the menu all the way on the top of the screen. How much mouse movement does that take? And what does it do for keyboard control?

          • by Nerdfest (867930)
            Instead of the top global menu, I've been thinking about a 'better' way. Have the menu where it normally is on each window, but only show it on a 'hover' (or click for touchscreens) over the title bar. Saves space, but puts it more easily in reach. I think I could deal with that a lot more readily. It could be left configurable to always show as well.
            • by Compaqt (1758360)

              Great idea, now that's actually might be usable.

              Again, it would be great for a netbook, but not really needed for a desktop, where you both have space, and are doing serious work.

              Of course, the whole global menu thing makes sense for netbooks, because you barely have space to have 1 application maximized.

              Continuing to shake my head at where Mark Shuttleworth thinks he's going.

      • by smash (1351)

        Pretty much this. Linux will never get significant hardware driver/vendor support unless it has significant market share.

        However, one Linux does not fit all. Trying to make a single distribution of it fit everyone is never going to work. Ubuntu fulfills a niche; those users out there who don't CARE whether its Linux (or Windows, or anything else for that matter). They don't CARE whether or not the UI is theme-able. They don't care to be configuring every aspect of their system.

        They want something

  • boo I say, boo

    at least it didn't work here, yes I installed a theme

  • This is news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msobkow (48369) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @09:40PM (#36161284) Homepage Journal

    Man, I can't believe I waited longer for the ads to load than to read the so-called article.

    Ad sponsored fluff piece. This was worth mentioning on Slashdot?

  • Fix Unity. If you're not going to have GNOME 2 as a selectable option in future distros, at least work to make Unity a bug-free and far more configurable experience. Provide an easy to find and select option (i.e. not a shell command) to disable the global menu for those of us who prefer a traditional menuing system.

    Oh who am I kidding. Mark has gone on record stating how he doesn't like having too options because it increases the number of permutations in which something could go wrong, plus he wants Unity

    • But hell, Windows 7 has the ability to dock the superbar on any side of the desktop, and Unity doesn't. How did they miss that feature?

      They didn't miss that feature; according to Shuttleworth a configurable launcher does not fit in with their "broader design goals" and they have no plans to make it configurable in the future.

      Source: https://bugs.launchpad.net/unity/+bug/668415/comments/2 [launchpad.net]

      • Re:I have an idea! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by atomicbutterfly (1979388) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @10:34PM (#36161662)

        Well that just reaffirms my concerns then. Ubuntu's UI is in some areas far less configurable than Windows 7.

        I suppose there's a reason the Ubuntu web site barely mentions the word "Linux". The traditional benefit of everything being configurable in Linux does not translate to Ubuntu's philosophy, even if there's very little reason why it should not. Maybe Canonical just doesn't have the manpower/skill?

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          Well that just reaffirms my concerns then. Ubuntu's UI is in some areas far less configurable than Windows 7.

          Isn't that exactly why people like OSX?

          A configurable user experience makes for a very difficult to learn system when everyone's looks different and everyone shows you a different way of doing something.

          • by Risen888 (306092)

            Isn't that exactly why people like OSX?

            It's exactly why I hate OSX.

            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Isn't that exactly why people like OSX?

              It's exactly why I hate OSX.

              You're not thinking outside the box hard enough! Once you're outside the box, you'll see how great it is when everything is the same.

        • Re:I have an idea! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jahava (946858) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @01:56AM (#36162720)

          Well that just reaffirms my concerns then. Ubuntu's UI is in some areas far less configurable than Windows 7.

          I suppose there's a reason the Ubuntu web site barely mentions the word "Linux". The traditional benefit of everything being configurable in Linux does not translate to Ubuntu's philosophy, even if there's very little reason why it should not. Maybe Canonical just doesn't have the manpower/skill?

          If you want configurability, you will not find it in Ubuntu, old or new. Neither GNOME nor Unity are highly-configurable user experiences. Granted, GNOME is more configurable than Unity...

          No, for the Linux desktop, KDE [kde.org] wins the gold for configurability and integration. If you like the rest of what Ubuntu has to offer (bleeding-edge packages, Debian-based repository, etc.), use Kubuntu [kubuntu.org], an Ubuntu distribution that defaults to the kubuntu-desktop package instead of the ubuntu-desktop one. If you want a heavyweight desktop environment, the only reason to use GNOME or Unity over KDE is a simplified streamlined experience.

    • Re:I have an idea! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by getto man d (619850) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @10:37PM (#36161688)

      Mark has gone on record stating how he doesn't like having too options...

      Too many options is why I was drawn to Linux in the first place.

      sigh

      • by smash (1351)

        Ubuntu is not targeted at you, nor people like you. You're already a linux user, whether or not ubuntu exists or not.

        Its targeted at the other 95% of the population who don't even know or care what Linux is.

        Ubuntu gaining more users is a good thing for Linux market share (and thus, leverage regarding hardware support) whether or not you personally end up using it or not. Ubuntu attracting less technical users doesn't mean the rest of the Linux world "loses".

    • by wrook (134116)

      I just switched to Natty yesterday and gave Unity a whirl. Like you say, I really don't think it's ready yet. But I was very pleased to discover that it's a Compiz plugin, so it was really easy to disable. On thinking about it, I think two fairly simple things could make Unity a friendly player in the desktop environment world:

      1) Split it up into two plugins: one for the menu thingy at the top and one for the launcher at the side.

      2) Don't make dependencies with other plugins that I might not want to use

  • Switch to a DVD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CastrTroy (595695)
    It's 2011. There's no reason they shouldn't switch to a DVD release. TFA said they might have to drop LibreOffice, or go with 2 CDs, or a DVD. I say stick with a single DVD image. That doesn't mean they have to fill up the full 4 GB, but it gives them quite a bit more room to play with. 2 CDs would be inconvenient. Also, who doesn't have a DVD burner these days.
    • by zonky (1153039)
      My current ubuntu device doesn't even have an optical drive....
      • Ditto to this. Ubuntu really got my attention originally by making it dead easy to set up a USB stick with a live image. This was perfect for my netbook.

        Also, for the GP, I think they are heading towards DVD. I have noticed a couple of DVD images for natty on their cdimages website.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Just Some Guy (3352)

          Ditto to this. Ubuntu really got my attention originally by making it dead easy to set up a USB stick with a live image.

          Only if you already have Ubuntu up and running. Otherwise it's a complete bitch that makes me want to throw things. Fun situation: you have an Ubuntu netbook with no optical drive, an old PPC Mac desktop, and a FreeBSD server. The netbook hard drive dies and you replace it. Pop quiz; think quick! How do you use OS X or FreeBSD to copy the downloadable USB image to a flash drive to boot the netbook? Ha-ha! Trick question! There is no downloadable USB image! You have to create one yourself using the Linux or

        • by smash (1351)
          Then spend the 20 dollars on an 8 gig memory stick.
      • by cwebster (100824)

        Then you can probably just load it onto an 8 gig USB memory stick which is even more storage than a DVD!

  • by darjen (879890)

    I'm sure I am in the minority here, but I don't mind unity all that much. It even works well with my magic trackpad.

    • You arent alone. I rather like unity on my eeepc, but that might be largely because unity came from netbook remix. I haven't tried unity on a larger desktop, but I have a hard time imagining it's current incarnation to work well. But I certainly do see the direction it is heading, and I think it will work well.
      • by darjen (879890)

        I use it on my 8 year old Asus laptop, which was fairly high end for the time. Looks and feels fine on my 1080p monitor. Wife uses it via netbook remix on her eee PC as well.

    • by Sepodati (746220)

      You aren't alone. Squeaky wheels and all that. I'm just as functional using Unity as I was with a dropdown menu.

      The only issue I had wasn't Unity related. My PCIe wireless card in my desktop would drop out after several minutes to an hour and not reconnect. So I stuck with 10.10 on that machine, but 11.04 is running great on my netbook (2d unity) and my other two laptops. Kids picked it up quick, too, so it was barely a change for them (they never even asked me about it).

  • by mathfeel (937008) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @10:23PM (#36161580)
    All my machines are Arch or Gentoo, except two I leave home for my parents to use, which run Ubuntu. I recently upgraded to Nauty remotely for them, forgetting to tell them that the default desktop is now Unity. So far, besides slightly slower start up after login (the machines could use more RAM anyway), they like the new Desktop. Their commonly used apps' are automatically set up as big and visible icon on the left-edge dock. (I used to put AWN, a bottom-screen dock, up for them, but they always find it obstructing even with auto-hide). They also like that menu item for all apps consistently appears when the cursor hovers over the top edge. I am ambivalent myself toward Unity, but if it pass their test. I would say it can't be all that bad.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nnull (1148259)
      I actually had to uninstall ubuntu from my mothers computer because she hated it (Upgraded from 10 to 11, I know big mistake). It kept crashing with skype (it never did before), the interface is messed up, there's no option to turn off desktop effects other than manually setting up metacity --replace, and a host of other stuff. And yes, this is after using the "classic desktop" option. I ended up installing Mint and she's not calling me anymore about problems. So my parents don't like it, so it didn't pass
    • On the contrary, the real test of a UI is how people who use various obscure aspects of it, feel with the new UI. Your parents (and my parents, I am sure) would use an openbox WM without any problem, as long as you put big Pidgin, Firefox, FileManager and Skype icons on the desktop. It definitely doesn't mean openbox is better, does it? (Okay, well it is pretty damn good for someone who can customize it :))

  • 1. A Refined Unity
    >"icons in the launcher will be able to display count badges or progress meters to reflect the state of the underlying application"

    2. GNOME 3

    Will people now stop posting "you can just choose class Gnome before login!"? Prediction: Neither Unity nor Gnome3 will have the functionality that Just Worked fine before, and was letting people get their work done.

    3. Evolution -- or Thunderbird?

    Even though I use Thunderbird (I prefer to have the same client across computers, plus it has great dyn

  • I'm sufficiently unimpressed with 11.04 (and especially Unity) that I'm tempted to reinstall with LTS and keep at least until next year.

    • by wordsnyc (956034) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @02:27AM (#36162850) Homepage

      I'm sufficiently unimpressed with 11.04 (and especially Unity) that I'm tempted to reinstall with LTS and keep at least until next year.

      I did, and I plan to stick with 10.04 LTS until the cows come home, then (sadly) switch to something else. Ubuntu is definitely in that "If it ain't broke, fix it until it is" loop, and people who just want a simple system that works in order to get actual work done are clearly not the target audience. There's also a creepy "Change purely to differentiate from other forms of Linux" going on here. If Shuttleworth thinks he's going to forge some sort of open-source Mac phenom, he's barking up an invisible tree.

      Nuke this crap and make what works boot faster and be more stable. If I wanted dysfunctional Playskool eye-candy and a lame music store, I'd buy a Mac.

  • I don't run Ubuntu. I don't quite like it. I do however recommend it to my friends/family who want to experience Linux and have only used Windows so far. It's by far the easiest and most complete distro available to newbies. And if you want more (or less, depends how you look at it) you use Fedora or Debian.

    • by grcumb (781340)

      I don't run Ubuntu. I don't quite like it. I do however recommend it to my friends/family who want to experience Linux and have only used Windows so far. It's by far the easiest and most complete distro available to newbies.

      If you do recommend it to others, recommend nothing later than 10.04, the last LTS release.

      10.10 saw a number of minor but irritating bugs creep in that show a significant shortage of testing and forethought. There were countless small things like context menus no longer working after returning from a suspended state or new window positioning that's completely counter-intuitive. Some of them, like changing sides for window buttons or listing indecipherable package descriptions above package names in Update

    • Ubuntu was a perfect Linux-newbie distro

      There, I fixed that for you.

  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @12:46AM (#36162422)
    Ubuntu has a special status for me, because it's what I learned the basics of Linux on. These days I use a mix of Arch (for bleeding edge) and Slackware (for stability), and I doubt I would have ever delved in to learning Linux as deeply as I have if it weren't for Ubuntu. Although these days I really don't like the direction they're heading in. Too much re-inventing the wheel, not enough refining.

    The last time I played around with Ubuntu I actually found it had more quirks, bugs, and stability problems than my Arch Linux install, which is a rolling release. I think these days, if I was going to set up a Linux box for someone, that only wanted to use it and not tinker with it under the hood, I'd just put Slackware on it and configure it for them.
  • Should be roughly the same thing.

  • by Dave Emami (237460) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @03:15AM (#36163090) Homepage
    Would it be too tough to simply ask during installation what UI is desired? Those that like Unity can pick that, and those of us who don't, can stay with Gnome.

    I hate to go into grumpy old man mode (or perhaps grumpy middle-aged man, since I'm not demanding ditching the GUI), but I'm with the folks who dislike Unity. If I want an OS that tries to look like Vista/7 or OSX, I'll run one of those. In particular, the "search box to find things in the menu" feature is a step backward rather than forward relative to Gnome. The reason Windows needs that sort of thing is because of its horrible standard for arranging new items in the Start menu -- the "Start -> Company -> App" or "Start -> Company App" patterns. Because of course the most important thing about a program is who wrote it, not what it does. Only a crazy person like me would want Photoshop sharing a menu with Inkscape and SketchUp because they're drawing programs and Flex Builder grouped with Eclipse and VStudio because they're development apps, rather than together because they're both from Adobe. Combine that with Windows install programs' tendency to throw in a link to the product homepage, a link to the company homepage, and a shortcut to the uninstaller -- sometimes even if the program isn't an app per se (fx. drivers) and thus has no business adding anything to the Start menu at all -- and I can see how a "search the menu" capability would be nice to sort through the resulting morass. But Gnome never did that. When I started using Ubuntu that was one of the things I loved about it -- that it maintained the main menu more or less the way I'd always had to rearrange the Start menu to anytime I installed something new under Windows. You don't need a search capability for that sparse a structure; it only gets in the way.

    As to Libre Office, if space is marginal they could keep everything except Base. It's probably less-used than Writer or Calc, and anyone intending to do database work is going to be able to figure out how to install new things anyway.

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