back to article Unimpressed with Ubuntu 16.10? Yakkety Yak... don't talk back

Before I dive into what's new in Ubuntu 16.10, called Yakkety Yak, let's just get this sentence out of the way: Ubuntu 16.10 will not feature Unity 8 or the new Mir display server. I believe that's the seventh time I've written that since Unity 8 was announced and here we are on the second beta for 16.10. Maybe that's why …

  1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    The early releases of Ubuntu were a revelation and made Linux a practical desktop, but...

    ...since Unity, Canonical seem to have gone all Microsoft. Sad. I'll carry on using Mint XFCE for the foreseeable future.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: The early releases of Ubuntu were a revelation and made Linux a practical desktop, but...

      agreed - I like Ubu when you use a Mate desktop, but Unity STINKS no matter HOW you package it.

      Let's just hope the default themes aren't "all 2D FLATSO" like what happened with Mint 18 [forcing me to customize it to avoid the 2D FLATSO look that I *HATE*].

      So, when will the MILLENIALS that have taken over the direction of open source software (and, Micro-shaft) *FINALLY* get it that people genuinely prefer 3D skeuomorphic to 2D FLATSO at least 2:1 ? When will they GET IT that phone-like interfaces (such as Unity) really *SUCK* on desktops? When will others (like Mozilla) just *STOP* *IT* with the 'hamburger' menus and DEFAULT BACK TO A CLASSIC MENU BAR instead? [it's as bad as the 'ribbon' in Micro-shaft Office and Windows 7 'Paint' ].

      All of these "changes" which are CHANGE for the WORST, makes "up"grade a "down"grade, and I don't want to have to load CRAP versions just so google docs and github won't fail to work any more [this happened to me within the last year].

      Yeah, when the UPgrade is a DOWNgrade, and "other forces" are HERDING you into HAVING to adopt them, it's a SYMPTOM that open source software is becoming REALLY SICK, you know?

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Ubuntu meant for a VM these days

        Granted I use LMDE bare metal at home but I do find Xubuntu (fsck Unity) in seamless mode in a VM to be very useful for a generic Linux development platform at work. Unlike say RHEL its trivial to get virtually any up to date development tool or library you need. There is almost always a PPA for that.

      2. fajensen Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: The early releases of Ubuntu were a revelation and made Linux a practical desktop, but...

        That's some micro-aggression and privilege you got showing right there, citizen. And without a trigger-warning and the mandatory eight support providers for handling emotional disturbances!

        Please report yourself immediately to the nearest re-education centre for sensitivity training so, in the future, you know how to handle any issues that might potentially be upsetting to generation snowflake.

        Remember: The sanctity of even one snowflake's feelings are more important than you!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The early releases of Ubuntu were a revelation and made Linux a practical desktop, but...

          Granted there is a lot about millennials that annoy me (especially their inability to understand the concept of privacy, and desire to give everyone else's away) but the millennials didn't vote themselves a prescription drug entitlement, give us W Bush and the two total turds we having running for POTUS right now like a certain other generation (hint: their parents knew they would be fsckups and they were right).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The early releases of Ubuntu were a revelation and made Linux a practical desktop, but...

            Oh yeah forgot to mention pretty much exclusively in the leadership roles that lead us to the worst recession in 70+ years. Nice little feather in the cap at end before they leech on other smaller generations because the lottery was usually their retirement plan.

      3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: The early releases of Ubuntu were a revelation and made Linux a practical desktop, but...

        Wow, so shouty

  2. James 51 Silver badge

    Did you have the opportunity to try the new AMD drivers with it?

    1. David Roberts Silver badge

      New AMD drivers?

      By any chance a fix for the USB issues?

  3. cantankerous swineherd

    didn't like like it, kubuntu better imo, ymmv of course.

    1. asdf Silver badge
      Trollface

      plus kubuntu is great way to do constant ram testing while using it!

  4. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    16.04 Long Term Support

    AIUI you can keep Ubuntu 16.04 and keep getting necessary updates for... quite a long time. And that may suit you.

    Less time if you use a different desktop such as Xubuntu - the support arrangement is different from the LTS product.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: 16.04 Long Term Support

      Ubuntu 16.04 and its Mint 18 derivative are both LTS to early 2021. I'd wait until 2018 when the next Ubuntu LTS is probably due for release. Then wait a year for it to 'settle down', then wait for a year until 2020 when the next LTS will probably be released. Bleeding edge is a bleeding nuisance.

      1. kryptylomese

        Re: 16.04 Long Term Support

        Bleeding edge is quite a bit more performant though which may help some applications

    2. MT Field
      Linux

      Re: 16.04 Long Term Support

      Xubunut is more than just a different desktop - the intention is to make the whole system run well on lower-powered hardware. Whether or not in practice this just means its the XFCE desktop on the same underlying system is a matter of discussion.

      As someone already pointed out for LTS one of your best choices would be MINT with XFCE.

      And as any fule kno, the MINT project is a dervative of Ubunut focussed on the most recent LTS.

    3. thames

      Re: 16.04 Long Term Support

      I Intend to stick with 16.04 (with the mainstream Unity UI) until the next LTS. If you jump off the LTS track into the intermediate releases, then you either have to follow each subsequent release until the next LTS, or else somehow jump back to the previous LTS (not sure if you can do that without re-installing).

      The changes to the Gnome derived "Software" program sound good, but I've been sticking with the original "Ubuntu Software Centre" anyway, which already does everything. The only thing which might temp me to upgrade to a non-LTS is if I wanted to develop "Snap" packages and needed the new functionality.

      I've been very happy with Ubuntu. It's been steady incremental progress since the transition to Unity. The change to System-d turned out to be a non-issue, as Ubuntu delayed touching that until everything had settled down. I haven't noticed any change other than that System-d seems to take significantly longer to boot than Upstart did.

      Unity itself has turned out to be a very good UI (the best of all the ones available for Linux in my opinion, and better than any version of Windows) and I don't think it needs any changes at this time when being used as a desktop keyboard and mouse UI.

      The major development work in Ubuntu at this time seems to be focused on server, especially anything to do with "cloud". With phones taking a greater share of the client side, and with Android so massively dominating phones, that is probably a reasonable direction to take.

      1. Fatman Silver badge

        Re: 16.04 Long Term Support

        <quote>then you either have to follow each subsequent release until the next LTS, or else somehow jump back to the previous LTS (not sure if you can do that without re-installing).</quote>

        Here is a hint: 'IF you can afford the space, set up at least 5 partitions (6 if you must have 'swap'), and keep your data files separate from /home. Load the O/S into its own partition, and set up the data partition to be 'automagically' mounted at boot. Like this:

        /dev/sda1 : Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

        /dev/sda2 : Ubuntu 16.10

        /dev/sda3 : Ubuntu 17.04

        /dev/sda4 : Ubuntu 17.10

        /dev/sda5 : data

        /dev/sda6 : swap

        You might 'adjust the location of 'swap' if you want it in between the O/S partitions. You get to the other O/S installs by embedding the GRUB bootloader for in that partition in that partition and chainloading it. In essence, you 'boot twice' for any of the non LTS installs. It isn't the easiest thing to do, but once you "get it", you are free to blow away an outdated O/S partition, and experiment with something else.

  5. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    For example, Software will now track and install non-GUI apps, libraries and fonts alongside your "regular" applications

    What, you mean like Synaptic has done for all these years?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. J 3
      Flame

      I know, right? Only thing I ever used the Software thing for was to immediately install Synaptic ono a fresh Ubuntu. Just today, coincidentally, this damn Ubuntu Software crap took a few seconds of my life. A collaborator brought her Ubuntu laptop over to solve a scientific problem of ours here. Long story short(er), I decided to install a program that needed Java. There was none. Searching for "java" in Ubuntu Software returned a long list of programs that depend on Java... but not the OpenJDK or anything useful like that. Not willing to spend even more time trying to figure out whether (and if yes, how) that damn thing could show everything that is in the repos, I just installed Synaptic instead.

      Hopefully the new Ubuntu Software will ease that pain -- mind, I will probably still use Synaptic anyway, but at least I probably (hoepefully?) won't have to install it in other people's computer when I help them...

  6. 38292757

    Have you tried . . . ?

    If you don't like Ubuntu, you might consider Windows 10. It uses the cloud, which is nice.

    1. Palpy
      Coat

      Re: Have you tried . . .

      ... an OS that doesn't suck? Like Q4OS, OpenSUSE, Manjaro, or, for the light-on-the-feet, Salix? Or if you worry about insecure connections is ill-lit grotty airports and coffee shops, Qubes?

      No need to go to an OS which requires the "help" of Mr. Kaspersky to avoid constant infections. I swear, that guy -- Mr. K. -- periodically locks my work PC up tighter than a bulldog with lockjaw. I think he's using it to mine bitcoin or something. Darned Russians.

      But frankly, I like Ubuntu. My install is tweaked a bit, with extra application menus and a different app dock. And I'm the one with a Ubuntu live USB in the pocket, for the next time my Windows PC stops booting and I still need the data on the HDD.

    2. AlexS
      Devil

      Re: Have you tried . . . ?

      Yes use Windows 10. Have you upgraded yet? Have you? Why not? Why haven't you upgraded. You should upgrade now. It's time to upgrade! Upgrade you must! Yes upgrade. If you don't upgrade you won't be able to upgrade in future. Why don't you upgrade? Come on time to upgrade. Yes use Windows 10. Have you upgraded yet? Have you? Why not? Why haven't you upgraded. You should upgrade now. It's time to upgrade! Upgrade you must! Yes upgrade. If you don't upgrade you won't be able to upgrade in future. Why don't you upgrade? Come on time to upgrade. Yes use Windows 10. Have you upgraded yet? Have you? Why not? Why haven't you upgraded. You should upgrade now. It's time to upgrade! Upgrade you must! Yes upgrade. If you don't upgrade you won't be able to upgrade in future. Why don't you upgrade? Come on time to upgrade.

      Have a nice day...

      This message was sponsored by Microsoft.

    3. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Have you tried . . . ?

      Jesus if you insist on just cloud computing even Chrome OS is better than Windows 10.

    4. J 3
      Trollface

      Re: Have you tried . . . ?

      ...thinking before writing?

    5. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Have you tried . . . ?

      I see what you did there.

      Well played.

  7. James 51 Silver badge

    Ubuntu gets a lot of stick for Unity (and the scopes) but at its worst it doesn't even come close to Win 8/8.1/10 in terms of UI or built in spyware.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Indeed, and you can disable such advertising feedback spying in Ubuntu without having to pay for the most expensive enterprise version of the software (unlike Windows 10).

    2. TVU Silver badge

      "Ubuntu gets a lot of stick for Unity (and the scopes) but at its worst it doesn't even come close to Win 8/8.1/10 in terms of UI or built in spyware."

      While Unity is not to my taste, at least it is a functional interface that is at least comprehensible which is more than can be said for the Windows 8/8.1 interface.

    3. mrtom84

      I genuinely love Unity. I used mint for a few years on my work box, probably out of some snobbish misconceptions about Ubuntu proper. Made the switch at 14.04.

  8. phuzz Silver badge
    Trollface

    I'll give it a go as soon as someone writes me an idiot level guide (I started off as a Windows admin) on how to fix the shit that systemd has done to my init's.

    Given that systemd was greeted, well, much like a new version of Windows by the linux faithful, I'd have hoped someone would have mentioned "oh, by the way, half your services will no start any more, just because we couldn't be bothered to convert their startup scripts as part of the upgrade".

    Oh well, backwards compatibility is for Microsoft, not linux it seems.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. asdf Silver badge

      /home is key

      >we couldn't be bothered to convert their startup scripts as part of the upgrade".

      Ubuntu upgrades have always been a crap shoot especially if you install 3rd party stuff. Its a big reason why semi/psuedo rolling (Debian testing, LMDE) to true rolling distros (Arch, Gentoo) are so popular. In either case it is always a good idea to keep your /home on a different drive or at least partition (with a backup solution) as honestly that will ensure if you do have to start over with a new install things will be a lot less painful (just be careful to not let installer format it). As for systemd well Red Hat showed the world quite clearly they could churn out a tangle of code dependencies on it faster than anyone could work around it so sadly that ship of cow manure has sailed.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: /home is key

        > ship of cow manure has sailed.

        For Linux going forward (missed edit period). Whether the BSDs can still be a viable option in most roles remains to be answered. Sadly I fear more and more FOSS is going to be Linux only over time.

    3. AdamWill

      wat?

      I dunno if Ubuntu is doing something weird to it, but vanilla systemd doesn't change your sysv init scripts in any way. On Fedora, it runs them perfectly well. If Ubuntu is doing something weird/wrong, that's on Ubuntu, not on systemd.

  9. jake Silver badge

    Ah, yes. Canonical.

    Purveyor of kitchensinkware, trying to be all things to all people in one package. The Redmond/Cupertino of the FOSS world ... and with all the same problems, for all the same reasons.

    Me, I'm still sticking with Slackware. So call me a fuddy-duddy Luddite. At least I get computer work done without constantly having to fiddle with the system.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Ah, yes. Canonical.

      >The Redmond/Cupertino of the FOSS world .

      No that would Red Hat cashing in on everyone's work and catering to the laptop crowd. There's little money to be made in POSIX these days so the solution is Windows lite.

  10. mstreet

    Why even bother with Unity?

    I've been an Ubuntu user for 4 years now, but have never used Unity for more than the few days I need each new release, to verify that it is still awful.

    The Mate desktop is what makes it usable for me. Use the Mate tweak tool to switch to the "Redmond" theme, and it looks pretty much the same as Mint Cinnamon, without the bells and whistles.

    It's my distro of choice whenever I revive an old windows box for the newly converted. Especially on older hardware.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Why even bother with Unity?

      Mate is remarkably memory efficient last I looked. It wasn't much more heavy duty than LXDE. Still many times greater than JWM though lol. The holy grail of doing more with less.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Why even bother with Unity?

      I'm not big on Unity either. Never liked it from day one, but as another commentard posted, it's still better than Win 8 or 10 and it is good that an alternative is available for people who do like that kind of interface.

      Mint Mate here when not using Win 7.

  11. batfastad

    XFCE

    That'll do.

  12. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Ubuntu version numbers...

    Version = YY.MM.

    16.10 = 2016 October

    YY scheme isn't 'Y2.1K Compliant'.

    LOL.

    1. steogede

      Re: Ubuntu version numbers...

      It's not Y2.1K compliant, but they'll run it off letters before then. True already on'Y', so they've only got one release left.

  13. Mike Flex

    From the article...

    "... Unity 8 is available for testing if you'd like to try it."

    Personally, I'd have preferred not to have had to try Unity 1.

  14. Chairo
    Coat

    ... particularly in places where download speeds are not what they are in the west.

    I think in the far east download speeds are significantly faster than in the poor, underdeveloped west.

    A while ago I downloaded the 16.04 image via torrent and wondered why it didn't work. I started the torrent, checked the download status and nothing was going on.

    Turns out that image is so well seeded, that the download finished in just a few seconds. I downloaded the image several times before realizing it.

    Mine is the one with the gigabit fiber in the pocket...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >I think in the far east download speeds are significantly faster than in the poor, underdeveloped west

      Need to qualify that some because in North Korea if the donkey died that day you are screwed.

  15. Tom7

    I find what people hate about Ubuntu weird

    Because Unity is one of the better interfaces I've come across. I say that as a fairly die-hard command-line/Emacs user: With Unity, you never have to touch the mouse. I mean, using the keyboard is actually faster than using the mouse for almost every task. Every application you want to start, just hit the super key and start typing its name. Four letters in, you're almost guaranteed to have the right one[1]. Same for menu commands; hit Alt and start typing. You'll get what you want.

    What's got me worried about recent releases is Snaps. The great idea of distributing every application with all of its dependencies. Remember DLL Hell? Yeah, that. It can only be so long before they realise that snaps take up a *lot* of disk space and hit on the brilliant idea of a central repository of every version of every shared object used by every application. Remember Windows SXS? Yeah, that.

    I'd like to know, for how many people was conflicting dependencies on Ubuntu actually a problem? I've never seen it - but perhaps I'm not quite keen enough at following the bleeding edge.

    1. Tom7

      Re: I find what people hate about Ubuntu weird

      Forgot to add the footnote:

      [1] Except that typing `calc` brings up LibreOffice Calc and not the desktop calculator. Perhaps it's just me, but I find this one of the most annoying things about any desktop I've seen in the last five years (though I managed to avoid Win8.x).

      1. dc_m

        Re: I find what people hate about Ubuntu weird

        Nope, same things happens on Win 10 as well!

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: I find what people hate about Ubuntu weird

      " I say that as a fairly die-hard command-line/Emacs user"

      No, you say that because you're a die-hard command-line user. Having to type to start a piece of software is the chief reason making it a non-negociable non-starter for me. And I say that as a computer user whose white-hot burning hatred of any CLI shall outlive him by at least a thousand years.

    3. Mike Flex

      Re: I find what people hate about Ubuntu weird

      "With Unity, you never have to touch the mouse. I mean, using the keyboard is actually faster than using the mouse for almost every task."

      Well, there's the problem. Unity is a command line interface masquerading as a GUI. It was originally presented as a new GUI needed for a new wave of Ubuntu tablets and smartphones so we come to it expecting a GUI. If I'm going to have to type in the name of the program I want I might as well just type it at a command prompt.

  16. Bill Michaelson

    I just want KDE 4.X

    But I couldn't get it to run on 16.04. Cannot/will not deal with the regressions in KDE 5. So I moved back to 14.04 for desktops.

  17. LawAbidingCitizen
    Linux

    Ubuntu rocks!

    I love using Ubuntu. I'm currently using 16.10 on my desktop, and really enjoy it. The only thing I've come across that I don't really like is the new "progress balloon" the appears when you copy files - it's appears on the Nautilus instance you're copying from, and the Nautilus instance you're copying to. Other than that, I'm really enjoying it so far.

    1. simonsaysthis

      Re: Ubuntu rocks!

      Couldn't agree more. Haters will hate

  18. simonsaysthis

    Poor Journalism

    This is very poor journalism. It has been announced long ago that Unity 8 will not be part of Yakkety and that is because Canonical is learning from past mistakes of putting out things which are not refined enough. It was only promised that it could be downloaded for testing purposes once the final release is out. This article is referring to a Beta 1 version. Here is also the oversight that Unity 7 is an absolutely excellent and polished desktop environment and has come a long way.

    There is also a complete lack of understanding between the long-term release and what 16.10 is. Canonical are not even saying please all upgrade to 16.10 but there are a lot of good reasons to do so. If you are - like me- using recent machine with Skylake etc Kernel 4.8 and the associated graphics firmware is highly welcome; so are the newer version of Libre Office etc. So this article is implying unless there are massive new visual changes, don't upgrade? Will there also be an article recommending to not upgrade to Fedora 25 when its out or turn off upgrades on rolling distros like Tumbleweed and the Arch-based families?

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