Who cares about unity?
Just grab a copy of Xubuntu, or Lubuntu or whatever other letter of the alphabet and desktop environment strikes your fancy. All the benefits of Ubuntu (if you care about such things) with none of the silly tablet fetish.
Ubuntu 11.10, just released as its first beta differs only slightly in its looks from its 11.04 predecessor – a fact that will be welcome news to penguins still reeling from that earlier version's grand re-boot. That earlier release shed GNOME 2.x, ignored GNOME 3.0 and set its brand-new Unity interface as the default. …
I want to like Ubuntu I really do but it just does not like me.
My PC back home is still essentially missing an entire drive since upgrading Ubuntu from 10 to 11 has left me looking at a command line, turns out there are no compatible ATi drivers that support Unity or they just don't like my card (4890).
So from your review I guess the backup limited gnome2 (think windows safe mode) has now been removed which was my last hope to obtain working drivers. I can't even remove Ubuntu from the drive since from previous experience I know that will remove GRUB as well leaving my system unbootable
Boot off a live disc, back up your data, nuke the partition and install Debian (I went for stable because I'm boring, but you could go for Testing).
Alternatively google how to reinstall Grub 2 from a live disc and just put the LTS on until they sort out the drivers.
Appreciate the advice but both my optical drives (or rather my IDE controller) packed in a few months back so will need to use a USB solution if any exist.
It's not a priority anyhow as it's back home on the other side of the country and no longer in regular use by me, it's just not fair having to talk to family members using the PC on how to reboot from the command line since a hard reset ends up disabling the USB devices (keyboard included) causing GRUB to keep selecting Ubuntu
"It's also worth noting that, with 11.10, Synaptic has officially been shown the door and is no longer installed by default."
I see where it's going and I'm afraid I may have to bid later Ubuntu farewell if it travels much farther down this route. It's been a great ride, v10.10 being the pinnacle. I've learned a lot but I like the ability to tinker and tweak without minial risk of damage but when someone in an office thousands of miles away decides they think they know what's best for my "user experience", I have to consider parting ways.
The message of 11.10 seems pretty clear: Unity is here and you're either going to love it or leave it.
And that is a shame, I tried unity for a while and I hated it.
I'll have to look into XFCE next and see if I can configure that to my liking.
Do you guys have any desktop suggestions?
...like...you know...turn it back into a laptop again...erm...for free. It's trivial and if you partitioned your hard drive with a separate slice for /home it's even more trivial.
Surely that's one of the main reasons we love Linux and FOSS: we are free to pick and choose the bits we like and don't like and it's pretty straightforward to do so these days. Don't like Unity? Try Fedora. Don't like Gnome 3? Try Mint or Debian or the still excellent Umbongo 10.04 LTS. Don't like all the extra software? Xubuntu or Lupu or...so many to choose from!
Canonical have done good things for Linux but they are not Linux by a long stretch. Pick the bits they do well and spend the rest of your time finding other cool stuff to work with it rather than moaning about it. Linux: ROCK ON! :-)
It would be nice if it just installed and worked, which is why when I tried it on my Samsung N510 netbook and found the Wireless LAN did not work, I found it dissappointing and frustrating. Reading articles from people who proposed fixes to this problem, that involved extracting logs, deprecating installed drivers, messing about on the command line and writing to Realtek to get an unpublished device driver that they allegedly hold in their software vaults, caused me to just let my netbook just boot back into Windows 7, which worked out of the box, with all hardware functional.
If there is a desire for Ubuntu and Unity to be used by people as a genuine alternative to Windows, then it needs to work on common hardware, out of the box. Joe Public does not want to have to mess about with command line switches and writing to hardware vendors to get unpublished drivers, just in order to get their netbook in a functional state.
I love Indian food. It does not mean I want to eat Indian food for every meal. I like to vary my experiences and try different things.
I know it is an alien concept to some people that you might like to try out different OS experiences to see if they are an improvement (or otherwise), but I am one of those radicals that is an OS agnostic. I will try anything and everything that might be an interesting and useful addition to my user experience. Ubuntu lacking a driver for a popular brand of netbook that uses a widely used LAN chipset, does not make for a helpful user experience, especially when there is no easy way for the layman to get and install the driver.
Mind you, if you install Windows from scratch, a lot of stuff won't work unless you've got the drivers. If you have bought a machine with *any* OS pre-installed it will ( or should) work out-of-the-box.
Pre-Installed Win7 versus user-installed Linux is an Bananas v. Oranges comparison.
At least with GNU/Linux the drivers can nearly always be got from a reputable source, i.e. a site that is unlikely to host malware/adware & isn't going to demand money, etc. You can't always say that for Windows - a driver search can often throw up a lot of shite & pay sites.
Try installing Windows 7 on an IBM S/390 or one of many machines with an M68000 CPU or loads of other architectures - won't get very far will you...
As I do this for a living, I can safely say that Windows (Vista & 7, not so much XP though that ain't bad either) likes well over 95% of modern hardware when installed from scratch. For the odd wireless card or ethernet port left out in the cold, there's the manufacturers' site. I wouldn't exactly call the likes of Dell, Tosh, HP, et al "shite & pay sites". Tends to be plebs who go looking for drivers on those.
Granted, if a driver won't install, and you can't identify the hardware, a novice is pretty much boned - but there's still no need to visit virus-ridden websites. Bring up the Properties page for the offending article in Device Manager, then scroll to Hardware IDs on the Details tab & Google for the string you find therein (e.g. VEN_10EC&DEV_8168&SUBSYS_81AA1043&REV_01). Thence off to the manufacturer's website armed with the make & model.
I too do this for a living, and from my own viewpoint, Ubuntu wins hands down on driver installation. And usually, if there is a completely unavailable driver, its not the fault of Linux, but rather the fault of a manufacturer who does not wish to play nice with the Linux community.
This is a result of MS playing dirty pool and using blockade tactics and backroom deals to try and diminish competitors.
...to download and install his OS himself. Windows or Linux.
If you don't run with what your PC came with, you aren't really a typical end-user.
Are there any PC makers left that ship machines with Linux pre-installed? If so, I expect them to make sure any needed tweaks to get the HW up and running have already been performed.
Just something for your to consider. Windows doesn't generally "just work" out of the box. What you're experiencing is a customized recovery of your original installation that has been tweaked and optimized for your particular machine by the OEM.
If you were to try to install Windows 7 from a disk (using USB DVD reader, ofc) you'd find that very few of the drivers are present "out of the box" and your experience in setting it up could range from the nice and easy, whereby Windows connects to the net and downloads the majority of your drivers for you, or as in some cases, you boot up without any network drivers at all. At which point your only option is to download them on another machine (if you can find them) and move them to your netbook via usb drive.
Your smugness over your Windows installation is ill conceived and foolhardy, and I HIGHLY recommend backing up your recovery partition post haste, lest you wish to PURCHASE another copy of Windows in the event of a harddrive failure, AND have to deal with the task of setting up all the drivers that do not come with a default installation CD.
Ubuntu is supposed to be a simple one stop distro for noobs who don't know crap about Linux and need their hand held. Its the halfway house between Windows Vista and software freedom. If you've been using it long enough to complain about the changes, then you've been using it long enough to know how to make changes to it. Hence, you have no right or reason to bitch, except to show your own ineptitude and laziness.
I mainly use a 24" widescreen monitor, why on earth would I want something that would be more at home on a 5" smartphone? The size of the icons would be huge and I see no benefit to stuffing everything into a bar on the side of the screen. Canonical must be having a laugh with this name "Oneiric Ocelot" more like " Onanistic Ocelot" to my mind.
I quite like Unity. Having been running one laptop with 10.10 and one with 11.04/11.10 for a few weeks, I've been able to compare them side by side and I don't think I will miss the old desktop. Yes, Unity still has a few rough edges but it's getting there. What I really like about Unity are the keyboard shortcuts. When it comes to the applications I use all the time, I just add them to the launcher and I can start them through a simple key combo, quicker than what I could do with the old Gnome 2.x desktop. I know that you could customise the desktop to your heart content but making things easier out of the box is good. The only thing missing (or that I haven't found yet) is the ability to re-order the items in the launcher.
I haven't extensively tried out the lenses in the new dash but first impression is that it should enable me to find stuff a lot quicker than the old file system would.
Among other changes, I've noted a couple of interesting things when going through the system settings:
There is a new "online accounts" setting where you can define online services a la webOS; it only has Google so far and it doesn't seem to do anything useful but anybody who has used a webOS device will see where that is going;
There is a new colour profile setting where you can add colour profiles for your peripherals such as webcams and printers: that's probably the first step to a full colour managed desktop, which will be great for anybody working in photography.
Other points to note is that Firefox 7.0 is lightning fast to start and Thunderbird is so much more responsive than Evolution, it makes a real difference. I'm also running the x64 version, which so far seems to be just as stable as the x86 version.
Generally a good stable release compared to 11.04. And as the next one will be an LTS, I would expect the trend to continue. At the end of the day, I think Ubuntu did the right thing in bringing Unity in 11.04. It felt a bit premature at the time but it's only once you have real users that you can start getting real bugs fixed so releasing Unity two cycles prior to the next LTS was the right way to iron out bugs out in time for 12.04.
"At the end of the day, I think Ubuntu did the right thing in bringing Unity in 11.04. It felt a bit premature at the time but it's only once you have real users that you can start getting real bugs fixed"
No. It wasn't premature - it was completely useless and *any* testing by one or two people would have shown that. It didn't need thousands of testers - just a couple.
It's great that you like Unity. I'm sure there are plenty of others who do too.
There are also a whole heap of others - like myself - who have already left or are using alternatives because of this very issue.
Thanks Ubuntu, but no thanks.
Totally disagree, I have a widescreen monitor and like unity because the launch bar is in the right place by default rather than taking up the more valuable real estate at the top or bottom of the screen.
If your using the OS to do any proper work; what you actually want is for it to get the hell out of the way. Unity does a great job of maximising your work area by removing 20 pixels of clutter at the bottom of the screen and 15(ish) pixels of menu bar at the top, to that end i can totally forgive them some slightly chunkier buttons over on the right
But I don't dislike it enough to bother logging in under Gnome 2.x instead.
It's OK. It works enough that I can do the things I need to do (ie, load a terminal and a web browser.) If I really cared, I'd install something else, but I don't. It's really not a big deal. My laptop has Linux Mint Debian + Gnome Classic on it these days, but that's more to do with a network driver regression that arrived in Natty than anything else.
Lots of my non-techie friends I've upgraded from Windows absolutely love Unity though, and I'm sure a more polished version will go down even better. The ungeek is who Ubuntu are aiming at, and that's a good thing - there's a lot more of those people than there are of "us."
I have tried to like Ubuntu, I really did (especially since Mark grew up about 2km from me), but alas. I have never been able to come to grips with Gnome, having cut my teeth on KDE. Kubuntu was even worse, as far as I am concerned. I have tried a number of distro's over the years (Red Hat, Fedora, SUSE, Mint, et cetera) but still find Mandriva the best. I started with Mandrake 7 (I think) and am currently on 2010.2 Spring.
As soon as I can get hold of a DVD I will try Mageia (tried to download it, but speed is an issue and finally gave up after about 50 hours), but I never really had issues with Mandriva, except for 2009, when they switched over to KDE 4).
I tried Unity for nearly five minutes when it came out on Natty, before discovering that it's utterly hostile to focus-follows-mouse, which I've been using for over 15 years now. At which point I gave up and never looked at it again.
Does Oneiric support focus-follows-mouse at all (although I can't imagine how with the disconnected menu bars)?
Mandriva has started down the same road as Ubutu, something to do with an outfit called Rosa Labs I think. Nope, for the real Mandriva experience you now have to go to Mageia. I've taken a look and it seems fine to me, just like Mandriva used to be in fact. That's the one to look at.
It's where I'm staying for the foreseeable future. I like Ubuntu, but I really despise Unity.
I might pop Gnome on it to eek some extra life out of new releases, but that does seem like an awful lot of faffing around to get something that I could get elsewhere.
I think this kind of change makes much sense, I can see Ubuntu losing quite a bit of share over Unity. Whilst they've made it easier to use (allegedly), geeks are what help it get out into the wild... the same method that got Firefox plenty of market share.
On the nose for a new distro.. LinuxMint looke interesting up until it decided it couldn't work properly on a VM and kept crashing the installer.
I'm glad someone mentioned it. Seeing as the the thread on the Ubuntu Forums complaining about it hasn't had a posting since April, I doubt it's fixed. But there do seem to be ways of getting round it (F10 or disabling the "global menu"):
why not try the original? I tried them all some years ago, but settled on Debian Testing (there's unstable(Sid) that Ubuntu et al are based on as well).
I'm always amazed at the cavalier way Ubuntu seem to release named versions that have major flaws - I've always felt that Debian cared about their users more than that. Strange, really, that Ubuntu is supposedly aimed at less techie users, when it seems that some releases have bugs that need some expertise to fix.
The reputation Debian seems to have for being difficult to install is unfounded(there's a graphical installer), & once installed the stable version will be rock-solid - if reliability is what you want Debian stable (Squeeze currently) will do it.
... although I LOATHED 11.04 -- I tried -- I really, really did. But hated it, however ...
11.10 is a much better, more finished and rounded interface and is more like what should have been delivered in 11.04. I can respect what Canonical is trying to do. It isn't for everyone but I found myself quite liking it, in spite of myself, and some of the find and navigation extras are fun.
Maybe by the time its finished and released it may be a more acceptable proposition. Still, it won' t be for everyone and the lack of a means of easily stepping back is outrageous. The removal of tools like Synaptic is annoying but it can be installed again very easily and it is kind of essential no matter how good the software center is (it looks very good from what I saw of it I have to say).
I'll be giving it a spin. It deserves at least that. But If it still gives me the experience 11.04 did however, it won't be staying long.
I loathe the unity interface - as someone else said, if I've gone to the trouble of buying a large hi-res monitor why should I convert it into phone-clone.
I tried lubuntu, which is clean and simple but I prefer the Xubuntu application set and I don't need the space-saving or low-hardware support of Lubuntu. Pity, because I quite liked the gnome 2.2 interface.
If there are good gnome ppa (I like gnome 3 shell) I'll stick around, otherwise I'm off to Mint Linux.
The ubuntu+gnome strategy seems to be:
1. replace a nearly-done app with a much less done app.
* gthumb get's replaced with eog which can't print more than one photo to a page
* rhythmbox get's replaced with banshee
* beagle get's replaced with tracker
* gnome 3 shell get's replaced with unity
and so one...
Bug reports languish and then get closed because no-one has responded to the report in the time-frame. The bug lifecycle for printers is twice as long as I keep a printer for!
I like ubuntu but they don't like me, and there is no way to pay them any money as I'm not corporate enough to be worth bothering with.
so... thanks for all the fish
Ubuntu 10.10 does everything i need right now. Only if i change my machine i would consider to change the OS. I usually lag behind 2 releases to make sure all mayor pains are already purged out and forums are filled with solutions to the minor tweaks.
You can always change Ubuntu, or any other distro of Linux to your liking. I don't care if synaptic is faced out of the main install, i will install it anyway. They can default anything they like as long as they don't PREVENT later customization. That is what makes Linux so superior to Mac or Windows (there are like dozens of reasons buts that's the one that fits this discussion :P)
... because security updates for non-LTS versions are only provided for 18 months after the date of initial release (i.e. not after April 2012).
Better to convert your ubuntu to xubuntu; see for example
Then you can go 10.10 -> 11.04 -> 11.10 -> 12.04, and because 12.04 will be an LTS release, you can stick there for 3 more years.
Sorry, I meant
It had 10.10 on it working perfectly
11.04 suddenly could'nt find the wireless network adaptor.
It was like using Linux from 8 years ago, when setting up networking (especially 802.11) was an absolute pain in the donkey.
I'm sure there's some wacky way of using an ndiswrapper firing up a bash terminal. But we shouldn't have to do this on an upgrade!
Unity has one window list for all of your monitors which is just confusing and obtuse for such multi mons. The 'Classic' GNOME interface is much nicer if you make a panel on each monitor with a window list. The one thing I do like about Unity is searching after tapping the windows key. I found Gnome Do though which pretty much replicates that in a more configurable manner.
I lost patience after the 3rd time the Unity menu failed to auto-hide itself, making it an exercise in precision mouse movement for me to retrieve the obscured windows.
Also why are they making Thunderbird 7 *BETA* the official mail client?
"Why are they making Thunderbird 7 *BETA* the official mail client?"
Well, my guess is that they are hoping that maybe, *just maybe*, that Mozilla Thunderbird 7 won't have gone from beta to EOL by the time Ubuntu 11.10 is released next month.
They probably should have gone with 9.0 alpha to ensure support through the end of the year, though.
I'll get my coat then.
I'm primarily a windows user, happy in the Linux command shell but when it comes to Linux desktops it's generally been, "meh, whatever", but Ubuntu did seem to be blazing a path which had me more convinced. Now they seem to be following the Microsoft model with "my first computer" look and feel and ever more eye candy and change simply for the sake of it.
To facilitate mass Windows migration there needs to be an easy to install, little configuration necessary, option that immediately has punters other than kids and grannies saying, "that's not bad, I'm comfortable with that" and Unity just doesn't have it. Sure there are options and hacks, but frankly I can't be arsed; I want it on a plate or I'm not interested and I bet I'm not alone. I have Windows next to me which I'm familiar with so you need to give me good cause to change.
Firefox uptake soared when they stopped the nonsense that Microsoft IE got things wrong, what Firefox rendered was right even if different, finally sucked it up and did it "how users expect". Thunderbird looked and felt very much like OE, not something entirely different. There's a lesson to be learned there and Ubuntu seems to have lost its way unless it wants a niche, non-desktop market.
unity is a bit of a joke - nice on a tablet I'm sure, but I prefer a "real" UI
the move to TB away from Evolution is also a pain... though the Exchange support in Evolution was sketchy there is none in TB (I don't want IMAP, I mean full support) so I'm stuck using OWA or switching to my Mac. In fact as being productive is more important than being a rebel I'm spending more time in my Win7 partition now and may just make the switch... it's not about the OS (as Apple has proven with iOS) - it's about the apps.
I can't be bothered with Gnome/Kde and other desktop managers that are just offering the windows paradigm. I dislike that paradigm and the bloat and loss of control that goes with it.
I use WindowMaker - based on Steve Jobs NexT interface. It mostly keeps out of your way, doesn't clutter your screen with icons that are hidden underneath your work and doesn't require state-of-the art hardware to run on. And there is no start button or menu bar or similar horrible ideas.
However it's quite unlike windows and will drive you to distraction if that is what you actually like.
Microsoft had taken over Canonical ...
Does anyone recall a sketch (I think it was "Carrot Confidential") where they played a classic cheesey local-business ad (indian restaurant) you used to get at the flicks. The voiceover said "why not ruin your competitors business by advertising it here ?"
Having downloaded the beta this morning I encountered a problem with authentification. I've been using Fedora 15 for about two weeks now and I have found it better (Gnome 3 & Gnome Shell) just works. There is too much faffing about by the developers of Ubuntu with copying Apples look and feel.
I know that a beta isn't the finished product but Ubuntu for me has lost its way.
I'm primarily a Mac user these days, but I always keep an Ubuntu box going to keep me up to date for the people I help switch to Linux. But it looks like that's done. When people asked for my computer help I'd tell them I'll help. I'll help you buy a Mac or I'll help you switch to Linux.
The godawful Unity interface is not acceptable. Why are we being forced to use this horrid, anti-intuitive, and to use an abused phrase "Fisher Price" interface like Unity? If I wanted this kind of lack of choice forced on me I'd still be running Windows! "Ribbons anyone?"
I've always been a big booster for Ubuntu and I've used it to convert a lot of people "who won't buy a Mac" away from Windows, but its the end of that. Can someone please suggest a good Linux I can give to stupid people who are stubborn and used to Windows?
It seems strange that any of the distros based on Mandriva score high in the newbie friendly stakes but Mandriva itself is going in the same direction as Ubuntu. I can recommend either PCLinuxOS or Mageia. Mainly because they both use Diskdrake and Mandriva Control Centre. One other thing, PCLinuxOS uses apt. That makes installing applications a breeze. Personally I much prefer apt-get but new users might need Synaptic.
I've always been a big booster for Ubuntu and I've used it to convert a lot of people "who won't buy a Mac" away from Windows, but its the end of that. Can someone please suggest a good Linux I can give to stupid people who are stubborn and used to Windows?
I think LinuxMint is the best of the bunch to fit that bill.
I really thought that Ubuntu was the distro that might finally cross over into the mainstream.
I've now completely changed my mind, and I will be looking for a new distro.
What's changed my mind? Not the radical change in user experience, not the continual churn of new applications for commonly used things like listening to music or watching video, and not Canonical ignoring their loyal user-base but going for the 'new' (although all of these things are annoyances).
It's actually the way Canonical has split the established user-base into "I don't like it" and "I think it's the bee's knees" camps over Unity. What they've done is effectively alienated a considerable part of the people who (like myself) were strong advocates for, and encouraged the use of Ubuntu to users of other OS's. Unfortunately, the most valuable advocates are probably the people with most experience of Linux and Ubuntu, and who are most likely to be the ones upset.
I don't actually mind there being another UI. I don't mind them switching default apps. What I do mind is the "do it our way or not at all" approach of removing the old way of doing things. I feel it's almost as if they are deliberately making a statement of disinterest in some of their most loyal users.
I have recently been unpleasantly reminded about how unresponsive Canonical can be. I know that they have limited resources, and also rely on knowledgeable community members, but I don't like how fast thing change in the normal release process, and how quickly problems are swept under the carpet. I keep to LTS releases, because making significant changes on a regular basis to my daily use machine is not of interest to me. I have been using Hardy since about 6 months after its release, and I was suddenly informed that Google were stopping builds of Chromium for 8.04, because it had moved out of support.
They were right. As a desktop release, Hardy dropped off of support (on desktop systems) in about May this year.
Why was I still using Hardy? Well, in Lucid (10.04), Canonical imposed KMS (although to be fair, it was part of the Kernel), and completely broke suspend and resume support for ATI Mobillity graphics adapters even though it worked flawlessly in 8.04, broke Composite Rendering support (for Compiz), and also crippled Xv performance for video playback. Despite several defects raised by users of Thinkpads and Dell laptops, the calls languished unresolved, and the last suggestions were to upgrade to 10.10, which is *NOT* an LTS release. I spent 10's of hours trying to work out why all of these things were broken, before deciding that I could not afford the time to understand enough about KMS to be able to do anything useful, and went back to Hardy.
I've now (mostly) switched to Lucid, but have had to disable KMS (which is a blunt fix) to allow suspend and resume to work, and also turn off Advanced Desktop Effects (which I used to catch peoples attention), and switched mplayer and Xine to use a raw X11 frame buffer for rendering video (I've not worked out how to do the same for GStreamer/Totem). If I can't get Composite Rendering working, there is basically no chance that I will be able to use Unity on my Thinkpad, even if I wanted to.
So, I will keep the Hardy partition until I've checked that there is no other gotcha's from Lucid, and will then look around at my options. Maybe I will use Xfce on Ubuntu, but it was nice, for a while, to be able to use a Linux distribution that just worked without too much fiddling.
I've tried scores of linux and then ubuntu releases over the years and they always find some way to disappoint. Every installation manages to have some gotcha which makes me stick with windows. The 11.04 looked down its nose at the graphics hardware on three older boxen I tried it on. The one that Unity deigned to run on froze when I plugged in a projector. Fail.
Tried ubuntu in various guises but never really liked it (never too keen on gnome either actually).
My system is a cut-down debian squeeze with openbox for both session manager and window manager. It is the most configurable setup I've ever come across. Focus is always where I want it and window stacking is as I set it - with one notable exception Firefox will come to the top if you open a new tab via some other application :(
I can type, cut & paste, etc. in any window I chose without changing the stacking, and move/resize windows without changing their stacking either (unless I specifically want to).
The icing on the cake, to deal with rouge windows, a double click on the title bar centres the window, clears maximise if set, and makes the size 800x640.
Dump the desktop metaphor. Dump any terminology that means anything to most of us. Introduce your own strange language and impose your strange design ideas. It's all getting rather cultish.
Never mind, there's plenty more Linux for us to choose from. Watch Ubuntu's share slip away...
[Still on 10.04 here]
"Zeitgeist is a service which logs the user’s activities and events (files
opened, websites visited, conversations held with other people, etc.) and
makes the relevant information available to other applications."
# Delete previous logging.
# stop read or write
chmod -rw ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/activity.sqlite*
Deep, meaningful sigh. I feel like the Linux universe and I are drifting apart. It's not you, it's me.
I want a personal *NIX laptop system so I can
- run lots of terminal sessions
- have a pleasant, if old-school, development environment for casual programming (a little C, Java Perl etc)
- run Wireshark like the good lord intended
- use an X GUI that is somewhere between the balls-out lunacy of twm and motif and the childlike idiocy of Gnome and KDE. If you started twenty processes or ate a gig just to boot my GUI home screen, sorry, you just failed.
- use a reasonable package manager for those times when I just want something to work
I don't particularly want to ditch Linux, but the best contenders seem to be the BSDs. OpenBSD is super-lightweight for example. Is there a distro out there that meets all the above criteria?
As a long-term unix addict that spends all day every day in a terminal window, I find macs scratch that particular itch quite well. With the exception of package management (assuming you want open souce packages, not just programs in general), all of the things on your list work great on a stock mac, once you installed the developer tools off your OS disk.
In terms of packages, darwinports isn't perfect (they tend to lag behind current versions, sometimes ridiculously far), but it works for most things. And if they don't work, the old "sh configure;make install" method almost always works from a source tarball. I can't think of an open source package that I've not been able to install. Wireshark has a droll-bib installer for macs, so that's sorted for you.
Pick up a used mac mini and try it out, you'll like it if you like unix, and keeping it up-to-date couldn't be easier.
I've been ubuntuing for a while now (Dapper Drake was the first one I had a proper go with), but it does look like our journey together has come to an end. Still on 10.04, because I've not seen anything worth upgrading for since then.
While it's nice to see someone trying to improve on the desktop experience, why they're betting the farm on Unity beats me. The fact that I feel that I need someone to explain what the various bits of unity are for just highlights how badly designed it is - a desktop should just be obvious.
I'm not against change - Gnome 3 / Gnome Shell looks far more polished and sane. I'm quietly waiting for a couple of minor releases of that to smooth off the rough edges, and will then look at what's got that running on a Debian base.
And that's the wonderful thing about linux, if you don't like it, there's plenty of other options...
Open up a terminal, type:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gnome-shell gnome-tweak-tool
Let it download, then reboot. At the login screen, click the little gear next to your login name and select "GNOME". Then it will log you in under the (imo) much better GNOME3. Good to have it in the repos now. If you're looking for GNOME2, then I think there is a repo somewhere...
(just for interest, here's my "getting started script"... the packages are off the top of my head, so just tweak them to work if they don't!
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install flashplayer-nonfree freemind gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-good pidgin gnome-shell gnome-tweak-tool xchat synaptic
that's what I used on my laptop last night, to get me going from a fresh install to ready to work. after I downloaded dropbox, that is...)
I started Ubuntu with warty...
I stopped any thought of dIsUnity after 20 or so tries on 3 different computers. It is a piece of phone crap poorly executed with no redeeming value.
I have stayed with 10.10, and am hoping some one goes with a fork and makes it better.
For that crappy looking garbage all over the desk top....
None of the so called 'non-unity spin offs, are non-unity, which is a resource and cycle drag on the system. Warty was much cleaner and faster. Hell, Windows 7 is faster and cleaner... and only poorer security risk
Just like Ubuntu used to be but even better.
Beautifully rendered UI.
Everything that used to be good about Ubuntu before they crapped all over their own product.
A promise to stick with Gnome 2.3.
Evolution not the 'out-ofthe-box' choice, but installable.
Synaptic still present.
...and I'm not talking about the 'fancy' GUI installer.
I gave up on Linux for my desktop some time ago and right now it only runs on several Internet servers. But that doesn't mean I'm not curious every once in a while; and for that I have MS Virtual PC. I know I can resort to stuff like a "free" VMWare client or a completely "free" VirtualBox (even though this one /is/ quite good) but I just cannot be bothered since Virtual PC does what I need.
So I tried Ubuntu but it simply won't boot. That is; it won't boot in X. It runs, sorta, and it seems to respond to lots of stuff. But all it leaves me is a blank screen (ofcourse CLI is no problem). CentOS is worse; that segfaults on me and continues in a reboot cycle.
Debian, to my utter surprise, is the only one so far which runs easily straight from within Virtual PC. And not merely a CLI installer; the 'fancy' GUI installer runs without any hassle what so ever. No drivers, no tweaking; just select the option and go.
I know you can't please 'm all, and I also know its hard to try and resolve any possible scenario out there. But considering how Ubuntu is targeted at the end user I must say to be surprised to find out that it won't run on Virtual PC what so ever, whereas its bigger brother does.
just install whatever WM you feel comfortable with and stop whining.
i use enlightenment e16, have been for the last so many years and cannot imagine working without it.
anyone who whines is just a sore windows/mac luser who still doesn't "get it". linux is all about choice and freedom to choose.
and if freedom to choose is too much for you to handle, just go back to being told what you can and cannot do.
i was just pointing out that linux doesn't force you to use any particular interface. i've rarely used either gnome or kde or xfce. i have the *freedom* to choose and customize my desktop, even though i am just an average user.
i've used and continue to use enlightenment because it remains in my opinion, the fastest, most lightweight and configurable and also the most functional and least obtrusive WM period. in the past i've used redhat, mandrake, debian (both vanilla and knoppix), fedora and now ubuntu. and i've always used enlightenment. even if it wasn't part of the install cd/dvd it was just a few clicks/keystrokes away once your installation was complete.
so i really do not understand why the gnashing of teeth about unity replacing gnome. just go to the package manager and select which wm you want to use. as i've mentioned earlier, you can CHOOSE to use what you want to use.
I won't disagree about choice, but choice is not what is needed to get non-technical users to use Linux, and lots of non-technical users are what is needed to get the application and content providers to take note of Linux as a viable desktop.
Making it so you have to install non-standard applications in order to make it usable is not going to get you the critical mass of users, and will keep Linux in the hobbyist and technical space with no hope of going mainstream.
Canonical appear to have bet the farm on the new interface, hoping that the non-technical user will see the bling and want it, but quite frankly, unless they get a manufacturer to make it a pre-installed alternative to Windows, users will never see it to want it, and Microsoft will never allow one of their large OEMs to also offer Linux without applying their anti-competitive practices.
Looking at all the available desktop UI's out there the only conclusion that makes sense is that no-one now exists who has the right to call themselves a UI designer.
All of them seem to have forgotten that ease of use and a minimal learning curve are the be all and end all.
Minimise buttons that are hidden?
FFS what's wrong with these people.
I truly think that the lunatics have taken over the asylum on all the OSes.
People want PC's and OSes that just work. They are tools not an end in themselves.
What I think we are seeing here is something like "justifying your existence" or in this case job.
Having thought about the changes in the UI that have been introduced lately, i.e KDE 4 Gnome 3 and Unity, I think that they have basically run out of things to do with the, shall we say, conventional desktops and are frantically searching about for new ideas that will allow them to do "neat things". Unfortunately for them, they seem to failed to grasp what the user really needs, something that launches applications and allow maintenance of the users' system but basically gets out of the way. As they say in cricket "if you don't notice the wicket keeper, then he's doing his job."
I think that Xerox PARC got it right all those years ago, after all if you were to design a hammer from scratch I would put money on it looking like a hammer when you finished. They're just designing solutions looking for a problem.
Windows has always allowed its taskbar to be dragged to any edge of the screen, but I've never seen anyone move it from the bottom edge - so it's a solution looking for a problem.
Ubuntu will be the "Smartphone OS for PCs" for masses, anyone else more demanding will look elsewhere.
"Windows has always allowed its taskbar to be dragged to any edge of the screen, but I've never seen anyone move it from the bottom edge - so it's a solution looking for a problem."
I use it that way right now. Granted, I just started within the last few months, but I was getting sick of having no veritcal resolution. It only makes sense with todays wider and wider screen displays.
That being said, I used of WindowMaker and Afterstep (set up with one column of buttons along one side of the monitor) for quite awhile. I see to remember running a command to move the Apple dock to the left side of the screen on my housemate's Mac some years ago too.
I guess that since the Unity interface is soo.. much like those on Smartphones this will finally be the year of Linux On The Desktop...
When I read all the discussions on whick Desktop Environment/Window Manager to use it makes me think of two bald guys arguing over a comb.
How many people actually use *nix on the desktop (outside of El Reg readers)? Very few
Wise up. Microsoft won the race and Apple got the silver.
Linux is big on the server side but as for the desktop forget it. Even big projects like Munich failed. Live with it.
If you want to use a minority/hobbyist DE/WM go ahead but don't expect that anyone in the real world will notice or pay attention.
... are so many supposedly grown-up and tech-savvy people winging and whining like a bunch of spoilt kids?
Yes, unity threw me for a bit until I got used to it and did a bit of RTFM. I tried pure Gnome 3 too and that was also a culture shock. In the end I decided to stick with Unity. I particularly like the way it minimises the wasted vertical screen resolution on my wide-screen laptop.
If you don't like Unity, you've got a choice of other desktops and distributions to chose from so stop crowing and move on.
I've used Puppy Linux a lot too and if you're after a lightweight desktop then it doesn't come much better than that.
Linux Mint 10 Julia was my first introduction to Linux.
I guess I struck it lucky for once.
It gave me a thrill and a sense of empowerment that I never
have got since all those years ago inhaling the wonderful
world of computers. Now, If I could only figure out
why it turns my laptop into a frying pan. Some say Katya
(11) is worse. Get lots of help at the Linux Mint forum. So,
I'll figure it out soon. Anyone semi-computer-literate would
have no problems and would revel in the experience, I should
imagine. Plus there is the Xfce, Debian and original flavours
to choose from. My first distro. I shan't be looking
elsewhere for a while. Solving the over heating issue
has given me a good project to delve deeper into the mighty
Penguin world. Finally, I get what all the fuss is about.
Now, If I could just figure out how to post a message at El Reg
without the super-imposed double-spacing.....
I may be gone for some time................
I have always run Debian on servers, and I have run Ubuntu on my desktop since 6.04 if I remember correctly. Now, given the fact that EVERY new interface looks like Barbie's kid computer, it's time to switch to Debian also on the desktop. Maybe I'll look at KDE4, but it's time do say bye bye to Ubuntu anyway, I don't like its philosophy any more.
I'd need an EXTRA-FAIL icon...
For me, the major annoyance introduced at 11.04 wasn't Unity (I tried it, didn't like it and switched back to Classic). It was those damn invisible scroll bars. To scroll a window up and down, you hover over where you think a scroll bar should be and it appears. Sometimes. And on at least two applications I know, you try to click on it to scroll down - and it promptly vanished.
And they are there in XFCE, Gnome or Unity.
Yes, I found out how to revert to normal ones. You have to do a command line hack.
FFS. Scroll bars have worked for twenty years or more. Why change them just for the sake of it?
I believe the madness was caused by a few individuals (who are in position to push their ideas). Normally, developers don't want to break things that work, just for the sack of something new.
As "Do what users want", Linux Mint is your best bet..
I have 10.04 on a notebook and 11.04 on a different notebook.
I can use both and once I'm in an application which is where i do my real work the desktop doesn't matter.
I have to click on something to launch the app, but that's about it.
So, I'm sticking with Unity because I'm not that bothered and actually looking forward to seeing how 11.10 makes it better because that's my main take away from this article is that 11.10 makes Unity better.
@phlashbios, out of the box? Really? Or did you get a Win7 install that is customized for that machine and preloaded with it's drivers? In general, I haven't had great luck shoving a Windows disk into a box and having everything just work. XP of course is a disaster since even with later service packs they didn't add any actual driver support for newer stuff. Win7, a lot better but still tends to miss drivers, and of course for older hardware they just don't exist. Anyway, yeah, Ubuntu (and Linux in general) support *most* wireless cards out of the box, but it's a bitch when it doesn't. Probably ndiswrapper is the quickest and easiest solution.
@James Hughes 1, it's there. Unity's performance in 11.04 isn't *that* bad, and if you have some high-powered box meant to run bloat like Win7 probably not noticeable at all. But, it is slower (i.e. more bloaty) than it should be, which apparently 11.10 addresses.
I've been messing around with Oneiric for a couple of days now and it's still pretty flakey. Processes drop like flies, the bug reporting system constantly crashes and there are still annoyances in Unity which weren't addressed at all in this release.
Biggest annoyance for me is the Ubuntu icon ALWAYS resets to the first page even if I want to see my apps every time, and it doesn't dismiss properly when I click away from it. Other annoyances carry over from the last release such as why is this sodding Ubuntu panel is eating up 1/3 of the screen space to recommend me apps from the store? I don't care about apps from the store. Why can't that crap be on its own tab where I don't have to see it?
I do think Unity is better though than it was and almost tolerable. I sure as hell hope they resolve these crashers though. As it's a beta I'll let them off on those points.
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