back to article Not so Saucy after all: Ubuntu reveals Mirless Salamander... and what, no Britney?

The Ubuntu that Canonical has delivered this autumn is notable for what's missing. Canonical has delivered Ubuntu 13.10 on time. Saucy Salamander, as this release is known, has a few new features but the real news is what's not there: Mir/XMir. Ubuntu 13.10 was to mark the turning point of what may be Ubuntu's biggest leap to …

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FAIL

Pedant

Does anyone actually proof read these articles? Next spring's LTS release is 14.04.

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Re: Pedant

I presume of course you actually used the send corrections link before coming along to whine here?

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The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

It's the kernel.

3.11 is supposedly much better for my AMD graphics card than earlier kernels, so I am hoping that this weekend will see me finally oust Windows from my PC and rely entirely on Linux for gaming.

Sadly for Canonical, I'll be running Mate, most likely. Still can't use Unity without getting annoyed by it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

Windows 8 is still faster for gaming:

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=intel_iris5200_win8redux&num=2

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

Windows 8 might be faster, I don't know, I tried it during the beta, sorry preview, and couldn't get on with it. It was too much effort to learn the new UI and there was no real pay off for me over 7.

I currently run Windows 7 for gaming, which does what it needs to admirably and I honestly have few real complaints about it. Just when I want to do something code related, I want to be in Linux for the tools I like there and so I need a reboot.

I'd like to not have to restart my machine just to have a command line where ls and grep work and I can use GCC and so on.

Mind you I was looking at a Lenovo yoga laptop, the touch screen might make 8 OK there. Probably still put Linux on it though.

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

"I'd like to not have to restart my machine just to have a command line where ls and grep work and I can use GCC and so on."

Why not install Cygwin, then? http://cygwin.com/

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

Why not install Cygwin, then?

Why mess with a poor imitation when you can have the real thing?

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

I have Cygwin, but it feels clunky when I use it.

It's not integrated into the OS in the same way, not sure if you can even get vim for it (You probably can, I don't know, I've never looked.

I'm not anti-windows, but it doesn't feel as nice as linux for me. So while there probably _is_ a way to do these things that I want to do while staying entirely in Windows, I don't really want to stay in Windows. As it is, I only use it for gaming anyway.

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

"specially when their privacy is very likely not even being threatened, and the point of the exercise is to ensure their safety in the first place"

https://www.virtualbox.org/

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

Windows 8 is still faster for gaming:

I'd expect it to stay faster for a little while yet, while the Linux driver optimisation comes up to scratch. That said, if the Linux drivers are at least capable of running compatible games without noticeable slowdown, there's no need for Windows any more.

Ever since the beta of Steam for Linux dropped, gaming has been my primary reason for upgrading distro, kernel and graphics driver. My machines tend to run AMD, and the AMD Linux drivers have previously lagged behind nVidia's. If an upgrade gets my Linux box to the point where I'm no longer rebooting for a round of Killing Floor, that's alright by me.

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

Why not install Cygwin, then? http://cygwin.com/

It's not just the command line that makes Linux better for dev work, you know. There's a lot of tools that Cygwin can't run, GUI utilities that Windows doesn't have, and just straight-up better windowing systems. I'd rather work with KDE any day of the week, just because I can configure the crap out of it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

"I'd like to not have to restart my machine just to have a command line where ls and grep work and I can use GCC and so on."

Just install Services for UNIX:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35512

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

"I'd expect it to stay faster for a little while yet, while the Linux driver optimisation comes up to scratch."

The Windows advantage is primarily in the Windows kernel performance, rather than the drivers....

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

The Windows advantage is primarily in the Windows kernel performance, rather than the drivers....

Given that Valve have already proven that Linux builds of games can run faster than their Windows counterparts, I'm not really convinced by that. To be honest, there's absolutely no architectural reason why games can't run fast on any of the three main OS', and Linux builds have been used to demo very high-end graphics previously. Weren't the original multi-screen Eyefinity demos actually running on Linux?

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

Just install Services for UNIX:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35512

Doubt it'll bring Windows completely up to scratch, but that still looks useful for when I'm in Windows. Thanks. :-)

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

It isn't faster. What it does have, is more updated driver support, which makes it faster for recently released games like Battlefield 4 (yeah, I know that was a beta).

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zb

Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

I thought that 3.11 was Windows :)

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h3
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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

The thing with that though is the Steambox presumably works well with Linux games supporting big picture which seems to be almost none of them (only 79 in total). Lots of the Humble Bundle mandated ports I have tried are terrible. (Super Meat Boy / Bastion).

A Steambox running WIndows Embedded would be much more useful to use as an appliance right now.

Things are changing though. (Football Manager 2014 supporting Linux as a first class citizen seems good).

Pulseaudio still is totally unacceptable for me though.

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

Just install Services for UNIX:

Doubt it'll bring Windows completely up to scratch

I did try it some time back. People seriously think that's a substitute for a Linux box? Don't make me laugh!

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

>>3.11 is supposedly much better for my AMD graphics card than earlier kernels

I'm a Fedora user so our kernels iterate faster than Ubuntu's I guess, we've had the 3.11 kernels for awhile. We're on 3.11.4-201 IIRC.

Its certainly seemed smoother with AMD cards, on mesa, radeon and the proprietary Catalyst drivers. KDE had been kind of jerky on the proprietary drivers previously, at least for me.

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

If your running windows 7 then just install SUA... (SUbsystem for Unix Applications)

Gives you Korn shell, and although its not great it does allow you to shell script and is integrated into the OS pretty well (/dev/fs/C for instance for disk C: )

Its a poor mans Unix but its ok...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

"Given that Valve have already proven that Linux builds of games can run faster than their Windows counterparts,"

Rubbish. All Valve proved that if you spend man months of developer time optimising a single game on Linux, but don't spend the same effort optimising the Windows version then it can run faster.....This from a manufacturer that is trying to avoid the Windows Store cutting into it's profits so is doing it's best to survive with last gasp efforts like Steam OS - so is hardly unbiased...

Every cross platform benchmark I have seen to date (for instance Open GL based) makes it very clear that with similar code running on both platforms, Windows has a significant performance advantage over Linux for gaming graphics.

And that's without allowing for more powerful options on Windows that simply don't exist on Linux like Direct-X 11.2......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

"It isn't faster. What it does have, is more updated driver support, "

It is faster for gaming graphics on Windows This has been demonstrated with the exact same driver release - e.g. Intel.

The Windows kernel is extremely efficient and optimised and despite Linux copying lots of advanced Windows features (for instance per processor cache lists) it hasn't caught up yet - and isn't likely to until Linux ditches the legacy monolithic model...As well as graphics performance this can also be seen in virtualisation, where Hyper-V Server is more efficient than anything currently available on Linux.

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Meh

Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

"Windows 8 is still faster for gaming:"

The link tells me this is the case in 2 out 5 cases. In 2 other cases Linux is faster and in the 5th all is equal except on ultra-high rez. The latter makes sense since the GPU drivers are very Windows-centric.

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Re: The scopes aren't why I'm upgrading

Rubbish. All Valve proved that if you spend man months of developer time optimising a single game on Linux, but don't spend the same effort optimising the Windows version then it can run faster.....

I'm sorry, but are you seriously implying that Valve hadn't previously put any effort into optimising Left 4 Dead 2? A popular game based on their well-known and established Source engine? Never mind that it also has an OSX release, and a 360 release, and the Linux version was still faster. Oh, no, course not - it's a deliberate cover-up of the way you see things.

As I said before, the original Eyefinity demos were Linux (i.e. not done by Valve). But I suppose that was just a graphics manufacturer doing something evil like optimising code before showing it off.

And if top-notch gaming isn't possible in Linux because of the apparent fundamental flaws you've been on about in your previous two posts, I'd love you to explain the ridiculous performance jump I just got after upgrading to 13.10. My game of Killing Floor (also not a Valve game, nor a Valve engine) went from a crap frame rate on the lowest graphics settings to running silky smooth on the highest. That's 6 months difference - one minor kernel version, and hugely improved AMD drivers. It's almost like the drivers really were crap before, like AMD had only bothered to properly optimise them for the platforms games were generally available on...

First time in a while I've seen the reality distortion field from a Windows jockey. Geez...

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Uh, not quite

XMir is an X server running on top of Mir. Nothing to do with unsupported drivers; it's more about running programs that don't directly support Mir (i.e. programs that expect there to be an X11 server running, i.e. basically all of them). If you install Mir, you get XMir running on top of it. If you can't/won't install Mir, you don't get XMir, you get a bog standard native X server.

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Linux

At loss understanding Ubuntu

I have been a Linux user for over 15 years already. Yes, that means that my usage patterns are probably different from new user's perspective. Anyway — I tried Ubuntu on and off since the first (2004) versions. I liked their work when it was basically a more-polished GNOME+Debian system. And, yes, that's when they enjoyed their highest market share, brand awareness and what not.

Since Ubuntu started pushing their Unity interface, not only they lost the favor of thousands of users, they also lost the (very nice) "Linux for human beings" they had for their first ~5 years.

I have been puzzled by Ubuntu machines lately. I can (grudgingly) find my way around modern KDE or GNOME desktops, but Unity continues to baffle me.

Now, get off my xterm!

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@ Gunnar Wolf - Re: At loss understanding Ubuntu

> . . .

I have been puzzled by Ubuntu machines lately. I can (grudgingly) find my way around modern KDE or GNOME desktops, but Unity continues to baffle me.

. . . <

You're trying too hard. Relax. Using Unity is meant to let the OS do the stuff. It's like using an angle grinder: just leaning on it doesn't make it cut faster, it'll make it stall and jam.

Get used to a few key sequences and it 'Just works*'.

*Sorry, really sorry about that.

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Re: @ Gunnar Wolf - At loss understanding Ubuntu

I dunno. I had to consult online help to just find the *applications menu* (it's an uncategorised list folded away between unrelated items in the dash). That doesn't seem intuitive to me!

The problem I have with Unity is that it seems to be carefully optimised for use cases which I never want to do, and counter-optimised for the uses cases which I do want to do. Want to run more than one xterm at a time? Want focus-follows-mouse? Want to be able to actually find out what applications are installed? Unity does not make it easy to do any of these, which means it's not easy for me to use.

The only thing I use Ubuntu for these days is a quick and easy way to get the configuration nightmare which is PolicyKit and NetworkManager working --- and even then, I use it with awesome.

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@ David Given - Re: @ Gunnar Wolf - At loss understanding Ubuntu

Looking for the 'applications menu' is exactly what I meant with 'leaning on the angle grinder'. I don't actually need an 'applications menu'.

Example:

'Classic' menu driven

Start button (or similar) --> point --> click

All programs --> point --> click

Tools --> point --> click

File managers --> point --> click

Midnight Commander --> point --> click

done.

Unity:

<SUPER>

mc

done.

Another example, using gimp:

Menu:

Filters --> point --> click

Photo --> point --> click

Masks --> point --> click

Apply first visible channel as layer mask --> point --> click

done

Unity:

<ALT>

ap f <ENTER>

done.

Give it a chance, it's different, but not in a bad way, I think. YMMV, of course, but I'm willing to break a lance for the interface.

BTW: <SUPER> a <down><ENTER> gives you all installed applications.

I also just tried <SUPER>xt<ENTER>. Each repetition of that opens a new Xterminal. After the first time, you can skip the 't' as well. I'm OK with that. ;-)

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Re: @ David Given - @ Gunnar Wolf - At loss understanding Ubuntu

Oh, focus-follows-mouse. You got me there. You'd have to install Unity Tweak Tool for that. For whatever reason some settings were regarded as 'too geek' maybe?

You're right, the option should be there by default.

But then, Windows XP only made me happy after installing the 'XP Power Toys'. Why they weren't standard, I never understood either.

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Re: @ David Given - @ Gunnar Wolf - At loss understanding Ubuntu

@ Gunnar Wolf

Okay, now try running an application *you don't know the name of*.

Being able to launch a named application quickly is *not* the same thing as good application discoverability.

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@ David Given . . .

Coughcough.

Wouldn't that be a little like trying to buy a train ticket to a place you don't know the name, location or properties of?

Still, I just pretended that I don't remember the name of the program 'gimp'. So I typed 'photo editor'. Gimp was the first result, other results offered were shotwell and darktable, LibreOffice Writer, gedit and the dconf editor.

If I don't know what to click on, I can't click it in a menu either, I'd think . . .

Try it. It's like typing 'this song that goes dadaaadadaadaa tshugga bam bam dadaa' into google and get the right youtube video.

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Re: @ Gunnar Wolf - At loss understanding Ubuntu

"Want to run more than one xterm at a time? Want focus-follows-mouse? Want to be able to actually find out what applications are installed?"

Sounds like XFCE4.

@David Given

What issues do you have with network manager and policy kit on which other distributions? Running Wheezy here and it all works fine.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ David Given - @ Gunnar Wolf - At loss understanding Ubuntu

Or where you have different versions of the same tool installed in different folders.

I run several systems where I have multiple versions of some commercial software installed. All this fucus (not a mistake) over search is a complete waste of time.

IMHO most people have a set of applications that they use 90%+ of the time. Dropping those app icons onto a taskbar does the job perfectly. Once that is done, then why do I need all these fancy searches?

Frankly, I think that Canonical have done a Microsoft. By this I mean that their ideas of what the majority of people want is so far from the reality that there is a gap the size of the Atlantic Ocean between the two.

Yes I'm probably a dinosaur with my views and some may think that I have no idea of reality buy 40+ years using computers and writing software must count for something? I'm currently working on flight control systems so thankfully all this GUI nonsense is irrelevant in the end product I deliver. But makes developing and delivering that software a lot harder. It is won't run Gnome2 then I can't use it. End of story.

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@ AC 0729h GMT - Re: @ David Given - @ Gunnar Wolf - At loss understanding Ubuntu

You just proved that you actually never tried Unity, There's a launchbar (on by default) that does exactly what you want,

I give up. Everyone, just use something else. CDE on Solaris, maybe or RiscOS.

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Linux

Xubuntu and XFCE

All the way.

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Re: Xubuntu and XFCE

Xubuntu is great though XFCE's lack of OpenGL compositor gets on my nerves since their software implementation can cause tearing in videos. Thankfully that can be fixed by turning off XFWMs compositor and using Compton instead.

The whole system updated in under an hour. Unfortunately my sound indicator appeared to be broken after rebooting. Sound still worked but the taskbar applet did nothing and there was no 'sound preferences' option in the System Manager. This is the first time I've ever had such a hiccup when updating a *buntu installation so I was somewhat surprised. On the plus side, the Linux community is great for stuff like this. Two seconds on Google brought up this article with the correct fix:

http://askubuntu.com/questions/360806/volume-indicator-issue-after-xubuntu-13-10-upgrade

I'm still annoyed that something as trivial as the wrong directory path for something as visible as the sound indicator applet made it into the final release though. How on earth did nobody notice?

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Will install tonight on the Thinkpad

Will give me something to do at the mother-in-law's :(

I had a point to make sorry, my Thinkpad also has an AMD card and I'm hoping it will improve things.

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bye bye phonecalls...

looks like I'll be bricking my nexus 4 at the weekend...

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Re: bye bye phonecalls...

I actually got so sick of Android on my Nexus 4, waiting constantly for Ubuntu's promised image, that I've resurrected my Nokia N900 and started using that again. Which leaves my Nexus wide open for a bit of Linux hackery, I reckon!

TL;DR - Think I'll be joining you on the brickwagon.

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Windows

So...

" it just means that resources are limited and just like any other company, Canonical has to apply them to what needs them the most"

Well what do you expect when the company ignores one of the primary reasons for using free software. The fact that there are a lot of smart people out there and by being a good community player you can use the extra brain power. Why re-invent the wheel?

No, this is just Shuttleworth saying "The only way is our way." and really cutting his nose off to spite his face.

If you have to say that you are having to prioritise work on aspects of your distro because of resource constraints then you are definitely doing it wrong.

Widows user icon because that is the way Canonical are going

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Ubuntu desktop sucks.

It's almost as bad as Windows 8, and for the same reasons: it's designed for touch, and it expects you to search for everything instead of clicking.

There's good reason Linux Mint has overtaken Ubuntu as the most popular Linux desktop.

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Windows

Re: Ubuntu desktop sucks.

"...it's designed for touch, and it expects you to search for everything..."

Er - search driven interfaces are not for touch really are they? (Mind you, I've tended to have dmenu installed and invoked by a hotkey on most of my Linux desktops).

The Tramp: Looks like me

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WTF?

what to do, what to do

I can't decide whether to dist-upgrade or to install Mint this time....

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Re: what to do, what to do

As ever, they'll be a wait of a month or so for the next Mint, but nothing here runs 'normal' Ubuntu any more: it's either Mint or Xubuntu.

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Will test Ubuntu but sticking with Kubuntu

I'm a KDE fan. Tried the Gnome version of Ubuntu but felt uncomfortable with it. There is a scene in Zoolander where the two models jump up and down around a computer while trying to workout how to switch it on: that's Unity for me. It is horrible to use.

For me, KDE works the way I do so it works well with me. KDE gives me a taskbar, a "start" menu (Kicker), contextual options when I right-click on an item, a search option (Alt+F2) and I can configure KDE to make it more comfortable for me to use. I guess it is the same for Gnome and Untiy for those who use them but the idea of a homogeneous GUI across all device platforms, though a good ideal, is a bad idea: I use different appliances for different purposes and need a GUI that makes best use of each device's screen real estate and interface options (touch, mouse, keyboard, voice etc...) while maintaining a comfortable feel. Different device, different purpose, different screen size, different GUI requirements.

Will test Ubuntu 13.10 in VirtualBox just to see what it is like but my main desktop environment will remain KDE for now.

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LVM!!

The installer supports LVM now. Excellent.

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