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Canonical says that with the latest release schedule this Thursday, it will win your love for Ubuntu. If not immediately, give it a year - but Canonical will get you. And by 'you', Canonical means Mac and Windows users. Chief operating officer and blogger Matt Asay told The Reg that changes in the consumer-oriented Ubuntu 10.04 …

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Gates Halo

I'll believe it when I see it

How about a UI that doesn't look like it was designed by a furry-toothed geek? Will they have that? Will I be able to install arbitrary (non-repo) software without having to go to a shell prompt as root? Obviously, I won't be able to run any of my existing software, but I'm sure useless 2.0rhea crapola and an iTunes ripoff will make it all better.

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RE:Tom

Download package, double click it, click install, supply password = installed. Why do you need the console to do this?

Have you used a Linux system in the last few years?

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Linux

1998 is calling.

> Will I be able to install arbitrary (non-repo) software without having to go to a shell prompt as root?

Like many things on a modern Linux: you do it the same way you would under Windows.

It's funny how that works, how dragging and clicking on things with a mouse tends to work the same way whether or not it's Linux, Windows, MacOS or even GEM.

That's kind of the whole point of Ubuntu. You don't have to treat it like a 15 year old copy of Slackware. Linux has moved on a bit since then.

Although even "back in the day" there were shiny happy gui installers. Sure, marking them executable with the tool of your choice is an extra bit. However, it also helps keeps other shenangians to a minimum.

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Stop

I've had a completely different experience.

Personally, I prefer the UI. I generally find it cleaner and less cluttered than the Windows UI, and often a lot more logical.

Of course, I'm really talking about Gnome rather than Ubuntu. Even Kubuntu can't make me like KDE, which seems to be aping Windows a little too much, and clutters itself up accordingly.

As for installing non-repo software... No idea what you're on about. I've never had trouble with non-repo software. Wanted Opera. Downloaded it and double-clicked it. Up pops a nice box saying what the software is. Click on the Install button, type in my password, and a few seconds later I'm done.

Same story with Bibble 4 Pro and the upgrade to Bibble 5.

Very easy.

Extensive repositories mean I've not needed to install much software from outside them, but if there's a .deb file for it then it's incredibly easy.

The only times it's not easy are when, like VMWare Professional, the software comes as a bundle file. Then I have to drop to the CLI, as you describe. This is not a failing of Ubuntu. Two much smaller companies got it right, VMWare haven't yet.

As for not running existing software - I've found there's very little I need to run in Windows. Linux in general has usable equivalents for all of my needs. Not all of them are free - some I've bought. But they're out there, and seem to be increasing in number.

These days on Windows it's games and that's it. And if Steam comes to Linux and brings Team Fortress 2 with it, then that'll remove 75% of my Windows needs...

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Er

Personally, I don't think the UI looks like it was designed by a furry-toothed geek. That's not to say I particularly like it, but even normal people have commented that it looks quite nice. It's certainly not brown any more.

You've *long* been able to install non-repo software without dropping to a shell. Just double-click the .deb file. ;)

That said, how often do people with fear of the command line want to install non-repo software? How to do it is not a common question in my experience. I don't think automating the building of software from source is a particularly safe thing to do - the PPAs are probably the best middleground.

But, yes, however pretty it looks now it's still mostly geeky at heart.

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Anonymous Coward

i think you'll find

Obvious troll is obvious.

Your opinions on linux are from about 10 years ago and are completely wrong. If you delve even deeper, you may find that much of the features of win7 that microsoft are crowing so hard about have actually been around in linux for years.

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Spot the spawn of Ballmer

"How about a UI that doesn't look like it was designed by a furry-toothed geek?"

If you mean something that was designed by the bozo's who "designed" Office2007 then I'll pass - current Linux UI's are actually pretty good - and responsive too (unlike Vista!). Although I will admit to being pretty impressed with Windows7.

"Will I be able to install arbitrary (non-repo) software without having to go to a shell prompt as root?"

Erm, this is Ubuntu we're talking about, so you'd actually have to go out of your way to get a root prompt - it's very much discouraged. On the other hand you _do_ what you're saying via temporary privilege escalation - which is pretty similar to the way that a "best practice" Windows7 system operates.

But then again, Windows has umpteen different ways of installing software (msi, cab, exe, zip, InstallShield et al), each with it's own little "foibles". Still at least you didn't trot out the tired old chestnut about all Linux distro users having to recompile the kernel (personally I've _never_ had to do this on an Ubuntu system).

"an iTunes ripoff will make it all better"

Give me an iTunes "ripoff" any day over the bloated POS that is the "real" one! If I wasn't an iPod victim then that'd never be allowed near any of my kit.

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This seems familiar

Not really used Ubuntu, have you? Everything I install that doesn't come from the repositories comes as a *.deb file. Wow, that's difficult to install...

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Linux

Being a little difficult to manage is an advantage.

Linux is not as "easy" as windows or Mac, but this does not mean that it's not ready for desktop use. Only you need some sysadmin to maintain the machines for the users. Which is also a nice way to avoid having the users install every shitty crapplication loaded with spyware that they find on the Internet.

When the proper apps are installed, Linux is as easy as Windows to *USE*. Not to *MANAGE*. But, again, this is an advantage, not a disadvantage.

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Waaaa waaaa waaaa

"How about a UI that doesn't look like it was designed by a furry-toothed geek? Will they have that?"

That's your opinion - you're entitled to it. FWIW I disliked GNOME intensely when I first used a few years back.. since then it has improved immensely and, personally, I can really appreciate some of the results of the usability studies that were done (many by Sun).

"Will I be able to install arbitrary (non-repo) software without having to go to a shell prompt as root?"

You've been able to do that through the UI for years on Ubuntu if the software is packaged up as .deb or (with some caveats) as .rpm - that pretty much encompasses all packaged software for Linux. If the software is in another format, or as source code, then you will need to resort to other means - that's true - sorry if having a lot of choice sometimes inconveniences you.

"Obviously, I won't be able to run any of my existing software"

Why ? What software are you using ? Windows based ?... much of that will run to a greater or lesser degree under Linux (usually lesser) and where not there may be alternatives... there may not, or you may not like them, in which case why would you want to swap to Ubuntu ?

", but I'm sure useless 2.0rhea crapola and an iTunes ripoff will make it all better."

Nah - probably not. It doesn't float my boat but it might make it more popular with some folk, and is increasingly being seen on devices such as phones, PDAs and MIDs - but that's for the user to decide whether it's useful or not.

Why are you so bitter ? If you don't like, and don't need it, then fair enough - but i'm sorry to say that the reality of the situation is that it might actually be appealing to some other people, whether you like that or not. Get a grip.

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Re. I'll believe it when I see it

Well try it and actually see it then. If you need iTunes just install VirtualBox in seamless mode (it's free). Same goes for Word, Excel etc.

I run KDE. Now if I use Windows 7 on someone else's machine I find it very clunky compared to KDE.

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WTF?

Data!

Tom, you're clearly not talking from experience. Why not check out some videos on youtube to see what the UI actually looks like? Don't forget, there's a choice of desktop environments, so make sure you see them all. You can even create a bootable usb stick and try the thing for yourself if you want, without needing to use a command line.

You don't log in as root on Ubuntu, you don't even get to know the root password AFAIK.

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Two words for you...

Crossover Games. Supports Team Fortress 2.

http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxgames/

Have I made your day? :)

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Hum...

Yah, but the market Linux makers are desperate to tap into is the *home* computer market.

Winning the battle for the corporate desktop has very little to do with the way the thing looks anyway, though I grant you it could be a two-cent deal maker if everything else was lined up right.

What it has taken an age for the Linux distro designers to understand and cater to is that it never was about the look of the desktop GUI, but how it reacted when you did stuff on it. The 1998 period mentioned several times as a place not to be for your Linux-reference was littered with GUIs that "fixed" "problems" with windows but missed the point about the underlying behaviors being invoked.

And to some extent there's still a raft of issues that needn't be a problem but still crop up (in Puppy Linux last week for those interested). Applications designed to emulate MSOffice components that under identical circumstances such as closing a document without saving produce subtly *different* modal confirmation boxes for example.

And let's not get into the voyage of discovery every damned Java gui presents the user with as they have to learn to deal with that particular programmer's pet hates about windows.

I think that if Dell, Gateway and the rest really get behind the idea of a solid line of Linux-powered products it will gently force the steady move towards de-facto standards in the minutia of the various GUI-fitted components that will finally make Linux an attractive choice for Mr and Mrs Mainstreet.

Can't wait for someone to give MS a serious run for their money.

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Linux

I have a Ubuntu partition on almost every machine...

and that's four laptops, one netbook, one media server, and a large desktop.

And you know what? I still can't give up Windows, because the programs that I've bought draw me to it. Programs like Lightroom, Absynth 5, Call of Duty, Visio, and more. I've played with their freeware alternatives, and frankly they lack the stability and features - or in the case of Linux games, really lack the production values.

I so want to LOVE Ubuntu...but it's the apps that are holding me back, not the OS itself at this point...I give Shuttleworth and his team incredibly high marks for their persistence and grit, but they have to find a way to get more mainstream commercial apps on Linux, preferably on a dual-OS license (so I can use my program regardless of which OS I happen to have booted that day!).

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In the same boat

I'd like to be able to give up the others but I am limited by the software. I can't get lightroom on ubuntu - and no, I'm not switching to software X because I've a great deal of time, effort, adjustments and metadata invested in this. I also cannot find a decent suite to replace the functionality of iLife which comes with every Mac. It may not be the best in every class but has some good functionality and is well integrated for the beginners on the system. I think this is where Ubuntu falls down vs OSX.

DVDFab HD would be an area it falls down for me against Windows, whereas EAC works well in WINE.

It's getting there but seems to have the chicken vs egg problem of volume of users required on platform before software house develops for it. Didn't think twice about using it on a PVR/HTPC machine though.

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I agree completely

Though the Ubuntu OS is a wonderful OS, it suffers from the same fatal flaw as any other Linux distribution: Lack of BIG NAME apps. Call of Duty on WINE? Probably not. Visio on WINE? I couldn't get it to work myself.

Admittedly, I only have a few non-native apps that I run - WoW being the main one - but I've had to look up stuff for others before, and I have to admit that I'm disappointed in the lack of major corporate development for Linux apps.

I'm not going to say that they have to be free for us to use them, or even at a reduced price. Go ahead and put them at the same price as the Windows version of it, if you have to make a separate version, or just put an installer program that'll fetch the required packages and such from the central server. There are options, there are possible solutions. It's just that nobody, it seems, is taking the time to implement them. Even Adobe's Flash for Linux doesn't work as well as the Windows version, from my experiences. This is really unacceptable, but it's not anything that the people on the Linux side can do - it's up to the developers to do the proper testing and such to make sure that it works properly for the intended OS.

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Anonymous Coward

Market inertia and a Catch 22.

Many games and "big" apps aren't there for Linux because there isn't a big enough return for the developers because the target market isn't big enough. The market isn't big enough because people can't move off Windows to Linux because the games and apps they need aren't there.

Maybe Canonical need to approach a couple of games / apps companies and pay for a full port (not using Wine) to Linux.

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Go

I'll second this

At the end of the day many of us have applications that just wont work on any linux distro. We are also not willing to compromise on their performance or stability by using wine and so have no option but to have at least a duel boot or stick with windows entirely. I personally run Ubuntu on my netbook as I use it only for viewing pictures, movies on the go, web browsing and a little bit of writting. It is perfect for me, my home PC has to have windows for many reasons.

Having the choice is nice though. I'm sure we can all remember times when it was literally windows or nothing now we have 3 or 4 stable and polished operating systems which are capable of dealing with our different needs (Windows on my netbook? You must be mad, I value FPS when writting)

The point about this latest Ubuntu release is that most people probably use only 5 or 6 applications in their entire computing lives. Word, excel, outlook, IE. This is changing slowely but it is true, now more than ever, that Ubuntu is capable of delivering to the majority of users. I would happily role this out to friends and family now and really expect to see it more frequently in office environments.

I'm no linux fanboi. I like various iterations of the OS but think generally speaking it is not significantly better or worse than any other modern OS. What I am a big fan of is competition. Windows 7 is a direct result of emerging competition. MS realised it could not carry on being lazy so stepped up its game and brought out an OS of which there seem to be no diehard critics. Further competition just means further benefits for us. I hope this game gets alot more interesting over the next few years because a revolution in UIs has to be coming to the desktop soon.

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AppStore

What Ubuntu needs is a proper AppStore, kind of like Apple's one or the one on Android. Where people can easily buy (yes, BUY) applications and developers can actually make cash. With nice added option of donation for free apps. With current installed base of Ubuntu in millions, it can be a very viable place to make cash.

It's not surprising that Monkey Boy tried so hard to scream "DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS". Even the best platform, without software is only this, a platform.

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Re: I have an Ubuntu partition

Couldn't agree more with the sentiments in this post - to be accepted Linux definitely needs more closed source products (and yes I realise that in some quarters this is a very unpopular point-of-view). In fact, I'll go further - I'll believe that Linux-on-the-desktop is really here once Activision/EA/Ubisoft etc launch on it as a platform.

My Windows box has been more or less replaced by a combination of Linux and a games console. In fact if it wasn't for needing iPod firmware upload (so need iTunes) and Photoshop Elements then I could just ignore Windows altogether. Certainly for the usual Web/media/office stuff Linux is very usable day-in, day-out. And the big pluses are that it's quick to boot-up and shtudown, very stable, plus easy to admin.

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Linux

Agreed, to an extent

There are certain niche (for relative values of "niche") products that aren't available for Linux (not just Ubuntu). You will not see Visio (or any MS product) run native on Linux. Although there is Crossover Office (or whatever it's called), and various "tricks" to getting MS Office to run under WINE (I've had no luck with them personally - OpenOffice does everything I need).

Photoshop is another. Yeah, GIMP is good, but why learn a whole new program (which may or may not do the right things) simply to switch OS? AutoCAD is another one.

Many games run under WINE (C.o.D may be one, I dunno, I am not a big gamer). Native Linux games are growing (Steam seems to be coming to Linux) but it will be a few years yet before Linux truly competes with Windows as a gaming platform.

One option, if you like Linux enough but can't give up a few Windows apps, is to switch to Linux and then run WINE (for the that work under WINE) and host a virtual Windows box in VirtualBox. But if Windows is the only thing that scratches your itch completely, then use Windows; no shame in that.

My main OS is still Windows XP. When that gets too long in the tooth (and that time is fast approaching) I will switch to Linux 100%. I doubt Windows 7 has support for my hardware and, quite frankly, I don't want to blow £200+ just to be able to watch TV (amongst other things). I'll just install Myth and go from there.

I run Linux on all my laptops - it's awesome there. Way better (and more stable) than Windows ever was.

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Apps

Yep, it's the apps not the OS that are the drawback. There still isn't a decent equivalent for most of the creative software and many business applications that I need to run. Commercial companies won't invest in Linux versions unless there's a market and the market doesn't exist because there are no Linux versions. Rock, meet hard place.

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I have given up windows for Ubuntu

But still miss some of the apps. I don't play games (well, some Linux ones are not bad), but Linux still needs a decent movie maker clone that doesn't crash all the time. They are there to use, but flakey. Of course, some of the Win apps I use do work under Wine which does soften the blow. But in general, I don;t miss Windows at all. Neither does my father, who uses Ubtuntu without problems.

I wonder if Canonical can move resource to app improvement now that they think the OS itself is pretty good? Getting some paid engineers on certain of the must have apps would certainly help with uptake.

And of course once Linux becomes more solid on the desktop (with this release? Who knows), companies will start to write more apps for it (e.g. commercial games), improving the production values and general code quality.

Fingers crossed!

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Anonymous Coward

Exactly

We have 2 desktops at home, one of them runs Ubuntu and is used as a spare work machine downstairs, but the other one is my one which is pretty high-powered and is used for a few things, one of the main things being gaming.

The problem I think that games companies have now is, if you're going to develop a game for a PC platform as well as a console platform, developing in DirectX for 360 and Windows is an incredibly attractive option, just because you get 2 markets for essentially very little effort, and the old days where companies were prepared to port things between several different systems (PC, Mega Drive, Master System + Game Gear for Sega based games?) are definitely gone. This is why MS going into the console business was a fantastic piece of initiative, and, I feel, why Linux is never going to really compete unless it has, at the very least, a set of libraries directed at game development in a similar vein to DirectX (you may not like the implementation of DirectX, personally I find it pretty straightforward, and far better than most of the Win32 API, but it's necessary for companies to think it's a worthwhile endeavour, and not going to need a huge training exercise). I mean, quite frankly, there's not a big enough target market to justify spending ridiculous amounts of time rewriting chunks of code to run on Linux.

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Linux

There is another word for App Store

It's called a Repository. Think of/ search for the software you want and install it within moments.

Far easier than going down the shops for a CD.

You know what? I reckon that if Linuxes used the now-sexy term "App Store" instead of "Repository", they'd double the installed base in monthsa and they wouldn't have to change anything else!

Whaddya mean they're all free....?

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Re: Exactly

"Linux is never going to really compete unless it has, at the very least, a set of libraries directed at game development in a similar vein to DirectX"

Like OpenGL/Glut and OpenAL? Plus from what I'm aware, with the latest DirectX Microsoft have b0rked surround sound up something rotten, and a lot of games are using OpenAL anyway.

DirectX: Works on Microsoft platforms. When it works at all.

OpenGL/AL: Works on everything.

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Agreed

Give me Adobe and Ableton Live on Linux and I'll switch over from the Mac OS immediately... Really had enough of Apple's marketing bull, and only still use the Mac for the aforementioned software....

Is there a commercial reason for Adobe NOT to make Linux versions of its products?

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Re : I have given up windows for Ubuntu

Just for info have you tried kdenlive for video editing. I haven't used it a lot yet but recently finished a 20 min video of niece's wedding without any crashing. That involved a lot of cutting, editing, transitions, sound manipulation.

I've also used the heavier-weight Cinelera but that seems to have a much bigger learning curve.

This all on OpenSUSE 11.2/KDE not Ubuntu

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Other than it'd mean lazy Adobe doing some real work...

No.

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Anonymous Coward

Still far too brown

by far

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Hmmm

The latest one is a sort of pink colour. Ubuntu getting down with the "Pink Parade Party" and supporting those of us with alternative lifestyle choices!

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FAIL

That's like saying you don't like Ford's because they're too red

http://art.gnome.org/themes/

Some very nice ones: http://www.catswhocode.com/blog/30-gnome-themes-to-enhance-your-ubuntu-experience

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Linux

I love the brown theme

That is all

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Coat

with purple and orange...

...2010 is the year of linux on the desktop!!

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Anonymous Coward

2010 is the year of linux on the desktop

Mmmm... wasn't that 1998? Or maybe 2000? No, it must have been 2002. Or maybe 2004...

Linux has had it's chances, with Netbooks, with the move to 64Bit and the failure of Vista. It didn't manage it then and it won't do so now.

It's a niche OS for techies. Always was and always will be

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Missed the boat

Ubuntu missed the netbook boat. The initial machines came out with Linux, Microsoft did an all-court press to "encourage" vendors to use Windows Xp. The Linux distributors took no countervailing marketing effort. Windows is as now as entrenched on netbooks as it is on notebooks.

Ubuntu's only hope is that the netbook will be people's second PC, and they'll take the risk of trying something different. But I don't see any marketing to consumers along those lines.

I run Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my EeePc 901 and it is the bee's knees. Which is't to say I given Ubuntu much hope of increasing its market share beyond geekdom.

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Re: Missed the boat

"Windows is as now as entrenched on netbooks as it is on notebooks."

Well that's one take. My take is that MS leant on the manufacturers and so no-one actually sells netbooks anymore. (There are, of course, some fearsomely underpowered laptops on the market, some using some of the netbook brands, but that's another matter. Hint: if it costs more than £200 then it isn't a netbook.)

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Linux

Integrated social media = potential privacy leak (?)

What if someone uses multiple social media identities? Perhaps in an attempt to "firewall" different areas of life. Will this OS integration get in the way of keeping things separate?

Imagine how annoyed someone is going to be when they try to post something using one of their carefully anonymized social indentities, and the OS helpfully links it back to their mainstream real-life identity. One mouse click away from revealing far too much info.

(And this sort of privacy isn't necessarily anything nasty. It might be private or anonymous online activities that are pure good on the macro scale.)

I suppose one could have multiple accounts on the Ubuntu login screen, but then other PC users would see all the accounts.

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Happy

Easily done

Have separate accounts with different passwords for all your various multiple personas.

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Problem

It's really hard to sockpuppet an argument if you have to log in and out of the O/S and reload the browser each time you want to switch IDs to support yourself.

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What?

And, that's a good thing, right? :D

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Bronze badge

not really

You could install use fast-user-switch-applet, but it only seems to allow you to have two concurrent logins. Alternatively, just add the "log out" applet to a panel or menu. When you click it, you'll have the option of either logging out entirely or switching to a new user. Switching users keeps any current session open, so you can switch between active logins by going through a pseudo-login screen (actually it's a screensaver lock, but it also manages setting up new virtual screens for each session and flipping between them).

As an added bonus, even if you're running a dozen different instances of the browser, IM apps, etc., the invariant parts don't take up any more space than running one instance. Of course browsers (in particular) use a lot of working memory, which can't be shared, so you'll still need a good bit of RAM to make this run smoothly for you. If not, it's Languid Lemur time.

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Linux

I will never switch back

Ever since my Vista Business Edition went tits-up on my laptop while I was abroad in 2008 I put Ubuntu on I have had nothing but a brilliant, reliable, user experience which only gets better and better. I am using the (Lucid) 10.04 64bit RC right now and it is working sweet as. While people I know running windows systems constantly complain about this that and the other virus, worm, trojan, hijack, malware, ransomware, slowing down system, all I can do is shrug and say that I don't have those issues. As for the over priced, over hyped and over the top restrictive control freakishness of Cuppertino. I will not use any application or hardware product from them and even if it was given to me I would just sell it off to a smug fanboise shmuck!

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WTF?

But why?

As a user of linux, who then discovered MacOS X... i don't see the point in user friendly unix beyond cheap licences for large installations.

Mac OS X is linux with out the pain. (yes i know its a micro kernel, and i know is based on a mixture of BSD not linux and i know it doesn't use GNU licensed software)

For any linux devotee who doubts me, find a friendly mac, choose logout from the apple menu then type ">console" into the username field and log in.

Remember, this is in the context of personal computers, not blade servers :P

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I don't understand...

Are you saying canonical shouldn't bother as there's already a competitor which is much more expensive and doesn't contribute to the pool of code that all linux's share?

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FAIL

cost

Macs are expensive, it's a fact. Ubuntu/GNU Linux has many selling points, not least of all it's cost. 'Free' is pretty hard to beat on price. Also there's the flexibility of the system. Linux gives its users so much more than apple ever could. That and the fact that the OS X interface is possibly the most unintuitive sack of shit I've ever had the misfortune to encounter. Seriously when you could use linux for free and customise your desktop to the point of raging UIgasm, have total control of your system and not have to bow down to the DRM-mongers, why would you want to use that godawful abortion of a desktop that Mac inflicts upon its users?

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FAIL

It's about freedom dummy

MacOS GUI is nice - I'm pretty sure most people will agree. The problem is that to use MacOS _legally_ then you can't just go out an buy a Dell, HP, Acer "beige box" and install it. You _can_ do this with Windows and Ubuntu.

So if you really believe that "i don't see the point in user friendly unix beyond cheap licences for large installations." then you've missed the point.

I got a cheap Dell D620 laptop off of eBay with WindowXP, got a copy of Ubuntu8.04 and installed that instead. Then later I bought an Acer netbook with Linpus, again that got zapped in favour of Ubuntu UNR.

Could I do that legally with MacOS? Nope! And before any Mac fanbois start flaming, I'll quite happily admit to being envious of the Mac front end. Heck if I could do it legally then I'd probably be quite happy to pony up to buy a copy.

(A second plus of not using MacOS is that I don't have to deal with anyone in Apple - which has always been an exercise in hair-tearing frustration in the past)

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Jobs Horns

I can absolutely anything I want with Ubuntu on cheap hardware.

I agree that Mac's are beautiful machines and it's a great OS, but it comes at a price.

I guess it comes down to whether you want to be Steve Job's bitch and be forced to play by his increasingly bizarre rules. If you have a Mac you're going to use iTunes and bang goes all your freedom then. Your content is locked in for life with no guarantees you won't have stuff you have paid for pulled on a whim.

Plus the cost of ownership is so damned high. These guys are getting away with fleecing you with a 42% mark up (according to Apple's own published financials). Nobody else gets away with such a high margin and nobody else manages to spin such fleecing into a positive. They actually boasted about the high margin when they announced their latest results. Man, that is just sticking it to you.

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Sweet

Awesome tip about ">console" as the username!! Big fan of the Mac<->Unix link, but never knew that one. Any other tips? :)

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