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back to article Ubuntu 12.04 LTS: Like it or not, this Linux grows on you

Ubuntu 12.04, the fourth major Long Term Support (LTS) release for Ubuntu, is serious stuff. LTS editions of Ubuntu are delivered every two years and have extended support from Canonical. They also set the look of the coming years' releases. And this LTS, codenamed Precise Pangolin, has had its support extended from three to …

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WTF?

All well and good, but sadly they've broken hibernate support for everyone because a few people have issues for a short time: http://goo.gl/PD20Z :-(

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WTF?

Yep, that is one good candidate for the WTF moment of the decade, with a second close contestant the removal of ctrl-alt-backspace from X because some tard^wuser might hit it "by mistake". The worst of disabling hibernate is that they not only disabled it for ubuntu, but also for all the derivatives - making Kubuntu users think it was a bug in the interface and not just a idiot setting in an obscure configuration file.

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Linux

Thankfully, Ctrl-Alt-Backspace is still enabled in Mint. Just think, $MS never had to disable their three-fingered-salute for fear of a user hitting it by mistake. Resisting the urge to make a windows crashing quip.

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If you want a *real* three-finger salute in Linux

Try Alt+SysRq+B.

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Linux

Re: If you want a *real* three-finger salute in Linux

Nice try, I'm not pressing that at this moment in time, but worth knowing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If you want a *real* three-finger salute in Linux

From the wiki: "Immediately reboot the system, without unmounting or syncing filesystems"

Other commands: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_SysRq_key

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There's two mouse clicks after the Windows 3 finger salute before you reach the point of no return which is plenty of opportunity for someone to realise they have made a mistake.

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Anonymous Coward

To be fair

To be fair, under later versions of Windows, the results of a ctrl-alt-del are not irreversable - just dismiss the dialog and carry on.

The results of ctrl-alt-backspace on your desktop session are very irreversable.

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Re: To be fair

Yes, Crtl+Alt+Delete doesn't mean "reboot" anymore, but instead, "go into a special 'secure' environment to not have any keyloggers". It's actually a shame they didn't use it for more things, like accessing the control panel. I guess the problem is that since setting on Windows are such a mess (every application needs to place it's own applet in the control panel) you could execute keyloggers in that environment.

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Stop

The real reason people don't like Unity is, you can't...

Just say no!

At install time, an option for Gnome 2/3, or Unity, or LXDE, KDE, XFCE, or your WM of choice.

All on a DVD sized ISO Torrent.

Not a lot to ask, is it?

Go on. You know you want to....

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Linux

@Tom Chiverton 1

I maybe one of those "idiots" you refer to, to be honest.

I have been using Ubuntu for about three years now, as a user, not a developer. Sometimes use the command line, but mostly not.

The truth is, I have no clue what "hibernate support" actually is, so for me this is not an issue. I am not saying it is not an "issue", however, it may be only for "power users".

I use Ubuntu / Linux for a few reasons : it is free of charge, it does everything I need it to do in an OS, and a lot more besides, it is rock solid stable, I have never had driver issues*, I feel /good/ about using open source [ok, so this is a little knobby I know.....] and, when the need takes me [and it has a few times] I can swap 'O/S' [I have used Fedora and Mandriva in the last few years but tend to come back to Ubuntu.].

I think what Canonical /may/ trying to do is to take the "mystery" or "difficulty" out of "everyday computing" and this for me is no bad thing, becuase, if you don't like it, there are options to move to another distobution. This for me is a great thing becuase the world of Linux should and does cater for everybody.

You may be right that "hibernate support" is a good thing and should not go and if that is the case, then you have options : move to another distro, don't migrate to 1204 LTS [it is not compulsory] or write your own. Personally, I am happy with Ubuntu right now, but if it did change to a point where I did not like it anymore, then I would either scrub my drive and re-install an earlier version and not take the upadte [except the package updates] or move to anotehr distro': this is the wonderful thing about Linux.

* the only drive issues I have is with my camera, when connected directly. Ubuntu is not able to "see" the device. So, I just whip out the SD card and shove it directly in the card reader.

P.

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Pint

Another alternative, which I have found useful,

is to install the Cinnamon PPA (sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable) immediately after booting Precise, reboot, and choose Cinnamon from the inlogging alternatives. Lovely desktop environment for active users - and if one flips the panel to the top, it even looks like GNOME2 !...

Henri

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Re: To be fair

My original point was really about how likely it was that a user would accidentally perform a three-fingered-salute rather than the effect of that command.

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Unhappy

Well Bugger Me

If hibernate is gone then so am I.

Tried Mint and it didn't have hibernate available so I buggered off from there too.

Looks like I will have to keep using the Apple imac I got recently because of problem with Ubuntu machine. Ultimately turned out to be a Hardware issue but by then I had decided to get something that worked.( No email for 3 months-imagine that.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The real reason people don't like Unity is, you can't...

apt-get remove unity

apt-get install gnome

that's actually quicker than finding/clicking a checkbox on a screen you've not seen before.

the real reason people don't like unity is it treats you like an executive, dumbs everything down and hides it where you can't "accidentally" use it when what most established users want is to get on with their work.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The real reason people don't like Unity is, you can't...

and by work I mean trolling el Reg's forums.

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"Ubuntu's menu of the future"?

You mean that autocompleter they swiped straight out of KDE (right before they dropped support for KDE)?

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Thumb Down

"THIS LINUX GROWS ON YOU" -- Yeah, like an unwanted fungus!

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Anonymous Coward

Yes it really is quite terrible

...how you can't purchase a computer without it and are forced to use it. Give us a choice damn it!

/sarc

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The thing that puts me off is the heavy integration of programs/websites with the OS. Especially all the social networking guff. Give me a base shell then I will choose what to install/enable from there. So for the time being I'm with Fedora / LXDE / Gnome.

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Flame

Amen to that brother.

I am currently forcing myself to use Unity and/or Gnome Shell now in an effort to ensure that my current opinion* of these user interfaces is justified.

So far nothing has happened to change my opinion.

Case in point. On the weekend I wanted to briefly play an MP3 to test some USB headphones.

So, I clicked on one, rhythmbox opens up and it began playing. Great!

Close rhythmbox.

MP3 is still playing.

Check the stupid unity bar and there is no rhythmbox on there so it doesn't appear to be running.

Load rhythmbox again and poke around. Can't see any other way of closing it.

Close it again.

MP3 still playing.

WTF?

Eventually found my way to right clicking the speaker control.

Sure enough, the only way to stop the MP3 player is to hit the pause button in there.

What a monumentally stupid design decision.

* One word review of Unity : Shitty

One word review of Gnome Shell: Shittier

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Meh

@Goat Jam

... I have to say, I rather like that feature. I use Banshee, rather than Rhythmbox, and very rarly actually open Banshee, just use the speaker control to stop/ start / pause and fiddle with the volume.

The other option you have is to actually stop / pause the track from playing before you close Rhythmbox. Always found this safer, as there is less channce of corrupting the file you are playing as well......

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Re: @Goat Jam

If your mp3 player can corrupt the file it's playing then you really need a new mp3 player.

Or more likely problem is between keyboard and screen.

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WTF?

Re: @Goat Jam

"If your mp3 player can corrupt the file it's playing then you really need a new mp3 player"

What?

Who said anything about corrupting an MP3 file?

Were you dropped on your head as a child?

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Re: @Goat Jam

"I have to say, I rather like that feature"

That's nice.

On the other hand I think abstracting stuff to this degree (and it is endemic in the two UI's under discussion) is ridiculous and causes unnecessary time wastage. If I am playing an MP3 in application A then I am entitled to expect that when I close application A that the function it was performing will cease.

To expect otherwise is simply insane.

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Happy

Shame, really

It's a shame they didn't continue with the HUD in any meaningful way. I mean, typing 'uns' to get to 'unsharpen' is great and all, but how about 'uns' tab '25' enter to get it to unsharpen by 25 percent?

Also, a global command key entered by pressing the windows key would allow for something like:

open vmware ip_address issue command 1 redirect output to ip_address send results to me@me.com

That, coupled with a nice GUI and a try-before result would be a very useful addition.

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Stop

Re: Shame, really

Oh look you've just re-invented the text terminal. And pipes.

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Re: Shame, really

At least you didn't say Powershell.

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Re: Shame, really

I wish I could upvote this a million.

I tried to put the same comment on Shuttleworth's blog page when the HUD article was posted but it was falling over.

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I agree

It's a compromise. Power users know all the commands anyway and basic users would use a mouse-this lets novices hunt for the commands they want in a text-based way. I really like it, but they could have made so much more of it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I agree

As soon as I 12.04 was released, I installed it. I went to the software center and put on gnome shell. I use gnome classic on my main account and unity on another account. I like both. The trouble with many people is that the desk top is not all that important. I don't have a desktop on Ubuntu server,

In the early days of Linux, xserver was only an option. to all of you guys who object to whatever Ubuntu does, get rid of Ubuntu and get Windows 8. I feel that you will be much happier.

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Re: Shame, really

reminds me of the X Files episodes where Mulder would look over the shoulder of an FBI image analysis bod who would clack away at the keyboard, without using a mouse, while Mulder told him where to enhance.

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Go

Grows on you?

So does a toenail fungus, ringworm and Scabies. Ok, Scabies grows IN you.

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Re: Grows on you?

Looks like I'm collecting the down-votes for you further up the thread !

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Hope they've fixed some of the Unity bugs...

...such as:

- leaving scrollbar handles stranded on the screen

- random X-lockups (could be X I guess)

- "system menu" icon (top right) being invisible, instead relying on you to select the next menu then move right

- gedit having to be started twice for it to do anything

- impossibility of using focus-follows-mouse

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Re: Hope they've fixed some of the Unity bugs...

Nah, it's Unity causing the lock-ups. The software I'm developing causes unity to lock up all the time, but I've no idea why.

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Anonymous Coward

you know...

its curious, that both This and Win 8 are getting slatted by some for their UI changes, i wonder what history will tell us of these events further down the line.

Change has to happen, otherwise progress will not happen, the debate is what is progress.

In my mind all progress or change is ultimately good, the concept of moving from horse to car must have seemed alien back in the day and back then it was the most uncomfortable, time consuming awkward way of travel there was, however it was new, and now when we look back at them we see it as the beginning of something great.

Coming back to the UI, these are different, they arent popular in some circles, but they do get the mind thinking, they do push creativity, sooner or later a new UI will be the norm and this will be the begining of that change, you could jump up and down about this an win 8 being crap or you could get envolved and be apart of the solution rather than be apart of the problem, and in my mind the problem is no change at all, stagnation is always bad.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you know...

Frankly I think these UI changes were made just so some developer could pad his resume. I doubt any user asked for this.

However, if you data from surveys showing that the world was clamoring for the HUD I'll stand corrected.

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Re: you know...

I gave you a thumbs up, but, I think the original work stemmed from the netbook remix version of Ubuntu, which was brilliant for small screens. Then some idiot thought it would be a great idea to replace a perfectly working desktop that had been evolving smoothly over a period of several years with a desktop environment suited to small screen. Cue histeria.

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Anonymous Coward

Balls. I'm all for new ideas, but not if they come paired with "Hey, we've thrown the stuff you're used to away" - nobody seems to be bothered with fallback.

If you REALLY deal with end users you notice that they tend to be conservative - for them it just has to work, and once they have learned the magical combination of buttons and commands that convinces the computer to do what they want and deliver the expected result they're happy. They are really not waiting for either a coder (Ubuntu) or marketing oink (Windows) to throw all that effort away, forcing them to learn something new again.

UIs have to pass two major tests: they must be so simple that a 6 year old can grasp how it works, and have sufficient fallback that a pensioner can slowly migrate from one to the other. f you get both those right it's suitable for business, otherwise it's just a productivity hit until everyone gets up to speed yet again.

You don't need "fancy" in business, you need stuff that works, is stable and doesn't waste resources on crap that has nothing to do with the work at hand. And once you have it, it would be nice to retain it, not change it every time the weather changes. Some people don't need computers for play - they have a job to do.

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Boffin

Re: you know...

@Miek

"Then some idiot thought it would be a great idea to replace a perfectly working desktop that had been evolving smoothly over a period of several years with a desktop environment suited to small screen. "

Yup, the Gnome Shell people have some pretty strange documentation as to their reasons for the changes as well, really quite patronising. I wonder if they have ever met your local end-user screen jockey, you know, the ones who hack up huge spreadsheets and have all the keyboard shortcuts memorised.

Unity was Shuttleworth's response to taking a look at the early Gnome Shell GUI remember.

Strange how GS has begun to look a little more like.... unity

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you know...

i never said it was any good, althought i will say that for metro, but my point is, it doesnt matter if its any good or not, the mere fact that they are willing to try and develop the UI is progress and will ultimately end up good for us all, whether its bad or not isnt the point, what is learned from this UI and any other development will help the future.

If you think that Current the current gen UI is the pinnacle of all UIs then you are deluded

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Re: you know...

"sooner or later a new UI will be the norm and this will be the begining of that change"

So you're suggesting that if we come back in 20 years time, HUD might have been replaced by something that isn't an abomination? Hmm, interesting theory. I should still be around then. I'll bear it in mind.

Meantime, I'll let some other sucker do the alpha testing for these HCI paradigm shifts.

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FAIL

Re: you know...

So change is bad folks, the whole concept of trial and error is just plain wrong, because Linux (apart from this bit of it) is the pinnacle of perfection, I presume that if I were to roll the clock forward 10 years you'd all still be using the same UI because heavens forbid that something (for better or worse) should challenge that view.

That's complete and utter nonsense, their trying something new, you don't like it? fine but they are trying something new and the more folk do that the more likely we all end up with something better in the end.

Its actually quite amusing, id just assumed that it was Anti-anythingToDoWithMicrosoft folk who put on blinkers but apparently not, Linux has its own group Anti followers too, course perhaps they are the same folk.

you Do realise that Ultimately this could be good for Linux? not necessarily what it is now, but ideas and revisions inspired or improved upon from this could well be the better future, totally binning this isn't going to help anyone, and good for them for trying it out in the first place, least they have some balls (all be it perhaps misguided) to try and make a difference and improve things.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you know...

If you really don't like Unity, just go to the software center and install gnome shell. It will give you a few choices. Which is more than I can say for Windows 8, IBTW, I am posting from a 12.04 machine and love it.

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Unhappy

Re: you know...

The even sadder part about it is, as a netbook user, I still can't get on with the Unity interface, three revisions in and it is nowhere near as easy to use as the Remix spin.

Oh well one more year of 10.04 support before I have to decide what to do.

Probably take a tablet and see how things look the following morning.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you know...

I did install the Gnome shell. Still didn't like it so trashed the whole thing.

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Glitz matters

"You don't need "fancy" in business, you need stuff that works, is stable and doesn't waste resources on crap that has nothing to do with the work at hand."

I agree with this but only part way. Canonical clearly felt they needed something that matched the gloss of Win Vista/7 with their 3D elements, translucency etc so they could sell it as a well-designed, finished product. And they've done this well: if you go to their website the first thing they show you is how the GUI works and what it does. Linux Mint and RHEL's websites talk about performance, security and how to buy/download, Ubuntu doesn't take any knowledge of Linux for granted.

(though I actually like Unity...)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Glitz matters

What you and others seem to have missed is exactly what the UI is for.

It's not to be in your face showing off a dev's wonderful talents, that was or maybe still is for something like the demos that used to appear for the Amiga or Atari ST.

The UI is the place where you can launch the programs you want to get stuff done. Ideally it should be invisible and most definitely not keep tripping you up as you try to use the computer for it's real purpose. If the UI was the be-all-and-end-all why bother with applications at all?

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