back to article Ubuntu 17.10: We're coming GNOME! Plenty that's Artful in Aardvark, with a few Wayland wails

For the first time in recent memory, there are some very big changes in the latest release of Ubuntu: 17.10. And it's not all to do with going, er, GNOME. The new GNOME-based Ubuntu desktop The new GNOME-based Ubuntu desktop (click to enlarge) This release is the first since Canonical announced it would cease development of …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Nice

    So now Ubuntu is also insecure by default.

    The biggest issue with the goatse.cx also known as Gnome is that 10+ of its key components including and proudly lead by the security ones - the keyring and the gpg/ssh agent will not terminate if you log out.

    So if you are having any delusions that your encrypted $HOME directory has been unmounted and is now inaccessible they are that - delusions. Gnome has taken care of that so that it is nicely easily accessible.

    Some of the bugs filed on that in Debian and Fedora are 5+ years old. The Gnome self-righteous crowd just does not give a f***. Your security is not our concern.

    Compared to that the systemd and desktopization malaise they have shovelled down our throat are relatively mild maladies by the way.

    1. James Dore
      Mushroom

      Re: Nice

      Use Kubuntu instead. None of that Gnome nonsense.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nice

        Use Windows 10 instead. None of that RSI inducing command line nonsense...

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Nice

          Use i3wm - give your mouse to your cat for a while!!

          1. Jonathan 27

            Re: Nice

            Hell, no. My mouse would be destroyed within an hour. My cat's already destroyed one computer mouse and if he gets his little paws on another it's sure to be destroyed.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Nice

          "None of that RSI inducing command line nonsense."

          Nice to see there are still people who can follow scripts. Even if they can't write them.

        3. Avatar of They Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Nice

          **Cough** - POWERSHELL - **Cough**

      2. Fibbles

        Re: Nice

        You're all spelling XFCE wrong.

    2. oiseau
      Linux

      Re: Nice

      Use PCLinuxOS instead.

      None of that systemd nonsense.

      There you go. =-)

      Cheers.

      1. td0s

        Re: Nice

        slackware ftw

        1. Chemical Bob Bronze badge
          Linux

          Re: Nice

          "slackware ftw"

          No, Bloody Stupid Linux FTW!

          http://bloodystupid.clockwatching.org/

  2. Tom 64
    Windows

    Gun, meet foot.

    What's now to differentiate between Ubuntu and Fedora, which works very nicely with weyland?

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Gun, meet foot.

      Do you like your software downloads in .deb or .rpm?

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Gun, meet foot.

      "What's now to differentiate between Ubuntu and Fedora"

      apparently not much. Systemd, and now Wayland.

      icon, because, FACEPALM

      let's hope Mint and Debian have the decency to NOT go with Wayland. It takes away a specific feature that I find INCREDIBLY useful for a LOT of reasons, particularly with headless systems: It allows me to run a GUI that's hosted on one machine, and displayed on a different one. Works with X11, but _NOT_ with Wayland.

      And that's a DEAL BREAKER for ME.

      It also works pretty well with X11 if you have different logged-in users on the SAME box.

      Let's say you want to run Firefox *NOT* as the logged-in user. Let's say you're doing this for security reasons, and have a sandbox user specifically intended for this, with its own home directory, a cache that auto-purges [along with all history, cookies, etc.] when you exit, and NO group permissions on the login that might be a security problem. You see a somewhat suspicious sight (maybe on facebitch or twatter] that you dont' want a permanent cookie or script tracking you for whatever reason.

      OK so you log in with your "special" login using "su - special" (or whatever), then type in something like "export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0" into the command line [or put this in your login script, whatever] and then [after xhost +localhost from a console in the logged-in session] run firefox from the 'su -' shell, and VOILA! You're running firefox on the same X desktop as before, but logged in as someone else. It's NOT going to snoop on what you've got running elsewhere [it can't]. It's not going to start tracking other sites that happen to have the right magic javascript code, or the right invisible graphics on them, or the right 3rd party cookies. It's a completely separate process, running as a completely separate user.

      And I _like_ that.

      Or let's say I have a VM running that does the same thing. It's a VM on my machine, or maybe on a different machine. Whatever. I log into the VM via 'ssh' then run firefox in a similar way, displayed on MY DESKTOP, except it's running on the VM. Now I can visit those "dangerous" sites [or the ones that track the CRAP out of you], and when I'm done, the history goes BYBY! And I dont' have to close one of the 30 or so browser tabs that I leave open with the logged-in user.

      But try and do THAT with WAYLAND! G'head, g'head, try it! Oh, does NOT WORK???

      Well that just proves what a piece of **CRAP** that Wayland is, huh!

      Yeah, ubu, be like Micro-shaft and TAKE CAPABILITY AWAY. Or worse, change it around completely like systemd does. Yeah, THAT will "fix" things.

      At least you had the sensibility to abandon UNITY. And you support Mate installs, which is also good. But, when it comes to X11 vs WAYLAND, I think the choice is CLEAR for true power users. I'll keep my X11 thank you, and give it up when you PRY IT from my COLD, DEAD, FINGERS!

      1. Tomato Krill

        Re: Gun, meet foot.

        Mebbe you wanna think about spending less time surfing dodgy pron sites?

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: Gun, meet foot.

          "Mebbe you wanna think about spending less time surfing dodgy pron sites?"

          Ah, yes - the famous Linux Defence. When faced with "doesn't work" just reply "but why would you want to do that...?"

      2. Anonymous Bullard

        Re: Gun, meet foot.

        I also do that. We're the minority.

        However, the vast majority would prefer the performance improvements that Wayland provides. I'd much rather see that.

        You wanted Linux on the desktop. Be careful what you wish for, next time - and stop advocating Linux to Windows users.

      3. WonkoTheSane
        Headmaster

        Re: Gun, meet foot.

        You _do_ know that Mint is based on Ubuntu, which itself is based on Debian?

        Debian "Buster" (the current testing build) & "Sid" (the bleeding edge build) both now default to Wayland, leaving X11 as a backup alternative (for now!)

        https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Debian-Buster-GNOME-Wayland

        1. oiseau
          Facepalm

          Re: Gun, meet foot.

          "Debian "Buster" (the current testing build) & "Sid" (the bleeding edge build) both ... "

          Have the systemd virus inside.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Gun, meet foot.

            it just means checking out what's up with devuan. Hopefully THOSE guys "get it" and REFUSE the Wayland, too, along with systemd.

            1. hplasm Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Gun, meet foot.

              Refuse Wayland!

              Next will come David, then AVP - nobody wants that.

              Don't install Yutani either...

              1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: Gun, meet foot.

                Don't install Yutani either...

                Why? What's wrong with being used as an unsuspecting host for an alien combat species? You got something against science? Eh?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Gun, meet foot.

              Devuan and the BSDs :)

      4. hititzombisi

        Re: Gun, meet foot.

        "Hey, common people want that Windows & blue-screen-crashing-all-the-time comfy old-time feeling, so Wayland it is".

        /s

      5. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Gun, meet foot.

        Or for an alternative Display Server - look into Arcan

      6. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Gun, meet foot.

        Bob, Bob..

        Can you please stop randomly CAPITALISING things? It obscures the good points you do make by looking like a childs attempt at a forum post.

        The 'amusing' re-spellings of Microsoft et. al. don't help either.

      7. Hugh McIntyre

        Re: Gun, meet foot.

        Best not to use "xhost +".

        "ssh -X special@localhost" means you get the X11 display without xhost insecurity.

      8. This post has been deleted by its author

      9. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: Gun, meet foot.

        I contribute to Mint with money.. not coding for the project.. and the cinnamon project is just dire, worse than unity.

        It just doesnt work right at high resolutions and multimonitor. Memory leaks + bizarre problems.. and nvidia doesnt help much with the drivers, I can choose the crippling problems I prefer...

      10. grizzly

        Re: Gun, meet foot.

        "It allows me to run a GUI that's hosted on one machine, and displayed on a different one" - can still do that in ubuntu 17.10, but only because it falls back to X11 for remote sessions. Either they need to fix remote sessions via Wayland, or otherwise keep X11 (dual gnome-shells) in 18.04.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gun, meet foot.

      > What's now to differentiate between Ubuntu and Fedora, which works very nicely with weyland?

      Do you like doing a complete OS upgrade every 6 months? Or do you prefer a LTS release every 2 years, with 5 year support?

    4. Chemical Bob Bronze badge
      Coat

      Re: Gun, meet foot.

      "What's now to differentiate between Ubuntu and Fedora, which works very nicely with weyland?"

      Wait until it merges with the yutani project. Then things will be quite Alien....

  3. frank ly Silver badge

    Ch-Ch-Changes

    "Files (formerly Nautilus) has completely different right-click menus and toolbars."

    Why do they make these changes? Who asked for different right-click menus and toolbars?

    Note: Files is what happened when Nautilus was simplified to death. If you liked Nautilus then Caja (part of the MATE ecosystem) carries it on in spirit, look and feel.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

      I like caja. 'caja' is spanish for 'box'. easy to remember the name that way.

      (no, not THAT kind of box)

      And 'pluma' (the editor) retains everything I liked about the gnome 2 version of 'gedit'. [gnome 3 gedit is CRAP and irritates me]. 'pluma' is Spanish for 'pen'. also easy to remember it that way.

      OK Mate is just _SUPERIOR_ to Gnome 3, that's all. Heh.

      (and FreeBSD has _NO_ systemd, nor will it, EVAR)

      1. John Sanders
        Linux

        Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

        Mate is indeed far superior to Gnome3

        They're transitioning to GTK3 and refining the interface, slowly evolving things, fixing bugs, keeping things that make sense and removing things the user-base disagrees with.

        Surprise, they behave like normal human beings and not arrogant elitists.

        Having said that, lately Gnome3 has improved a lot, credit where credit is due.

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

          "[Mate is] transitioning to GTK3 and refining the interface, slowly evolving things, fixing bugs, keeping things that make sense and removing things the user-base disagrees with."

          In other words, it's converging with Cinnamon. MATE was about continuing GNOME 2 after the GNOME devs dropped it and decided that GNOME 3 was going to use a "converged" UI, while Cinnamon was about using GNOME 3 and its improvements over GNOME 2 but taking it more in a GNOME 2 direction in look and feel.

          If MATE moves to GNOME 3, why even have it anymore? Y'know, once I wrote that, it occurs to me that I read (I think) about that possibility somewhere before (that the two would possibly merge into one project). FWIW, I tried both MATE and Cinnamon and found them to be quite similar, but Cinnamon was the one that I liked best. I liked the Nemo file manager more than Caja.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

      "Why do they make these changes? Who asked for different right-click menus and toolbars?"

      It's the same as the reason behind Windows "Ape" and Win-10-nic. CHANGE for the SAKE of CHANGE!

      A bunch of millenial CHILDREN noticed that a whole bunch of us old farts have either retired, or moved on to other things. As a result THEY were left in positions of reasonably high authority. A handful of 'old farts' remained behind, but were easily tricked into believing whatever CRAP the millenials were preaching.

      After all, to these millenials, it's THEIR turn now. We old farts are DINOSAURS, sticks in the mud, living in the past, refusing to change, refusing to adapt, refusing to believe that what THEY want to do is so superior to the way things have been done for DECADES.

      It's THEIR turn now, and DAMMIT, they're gonna SHOVE IT UP OUR DOWN OUR THROATS, for our OWN GOOD, whether we WANT it or NOT, because, CHANGE is *ALWAYS* better, right? [in THEIR minds it is apparently so]

      In the case of Micro-shaft, they went to "the Metro" UWP and a phone OS on the desktop. Unity isn't much better, but THANKFULLY it was ABANDONED by Canonical.

      However, Canonical still needs a CLUE BAT when it comes to systemd and Wayland. And so do the project managers over at Debian [hence, Devuan].

      Obviously these people have NEVER read Arthur C. Clarke's 'SUPERIORITY'.

      So that handful of "old farts" who STILL retain some decisionmaking power should *NEVAR* enable those damned millenial CHILDREN who want all of that "change for the sake of change". Just because they're YOUNG does _NOT_ make them "hip with the latest beat". OK my age is _REALLY_ showing now.

      The fact is, THESE CHILDREN do _NOT_ know arses from holes in the ground, CRAP from shinola, etc.. They *FEEL* they do, and their emotions drive them too much. "Old Farts" that ENABLE them are as much to blame, if not MORE. Yeah, it's HARD for some people to say "No". I had to teach that to someone a long time ago who fell for telephone hard-sales too easily. You just say NO, and hang up the damn phone. "What do you say when they start talking about how you need this?" "NO!"

      Same with those 2D FLATSO 4" phone UI loving millenials (some call them "4 inchers" based on how they see the universe through a 4 inch screen). They have NO CLUE what's possible, and they're more than willing to TAKE IT AWAY and SHOVE THEIR CHANGE into whatever bodily orifice an unsuspecting end-user might have, simply because they are:

      a) arrogant

      b) inexperienced

      c) full of themselves

      d) horribly misinformed

      e) short sighted

      f) smug

      g) living in a bubble world of ONLY others like themselves

      h) totally clueless

      i) unable to drop their phones for 5 minutes and have a REAL conversation

      j) way too influenced by social media

      k) caught in the trap of "new, shiny"

      and that's all about I can think of at the moment. Add all of that up, and you get your explanation.

      You're welcome.

      1. M. Poolman

        Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

        You sure do live up to your name bombastic bob!

      2. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

        @bombastic

        Sooooo true. Now, I feel so old I wanna retire, still have decades to work, though :-\ ...

        PS: Devuan kicks ass, I have it running, here!

      3. Kurt Meyer
        Megaphone

        Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

        @bombastic bob

        Good choice of icon.

        For a lightweight text editor pluma is fine. i wouldn't mind a few more plugins though.

        Caja, on the other hand, is terrible. There may be a worse file manager out there, but I thank my lucky stars that I haven't encountered it.

        1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

          Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

          There may be a worse file manager out there, but I thank my lucky stars that I haven't encountered it.

          *cough* Finder */cough*

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

        @Bob -- you're an incredibly offensive, bitter and twisted man. You make sweeping generalisations about what 'millenials' think and do as if they're just one homogenous mass. You sound so bitter because some things change sometimes. By the way, I don't like stock Gnome 3, not one little bit. But I can give very specific reasons about it without resorting childish insults and moaning. Good grief.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

          "you're an incredibly offensive, bitter and twisted man"

          thanks for the pejorative. I suppose I owe you an FOAD. but I won't. oops, too late.

      5. This post has been deleted by its author

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

        Tell us how you REALLY feel? =P

      7. rmullen0

        Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

        While I am inclined to agree with Bombastic about change for the sake of change with regard to computing. I'm not sure it is fair to blame it on Millennials. There are a lot of things in computing these days I believe are total hype. And the new isn't automatically better than the old. In fact, I believe a lot of the old is better. Look at what all generations are doing to the planet with regard to climate change. The older generation screwed the newer generations big time. I remember when I was young and I thought the older generation was responsible. I now that is false. They are totally reckless and most of them are only looking out for their own interests. So, overall, I think you are just outright wrong trying to blame everything on Millennials. I am a Gen Xer and first learned about global warming back in the early 90s. What has been done about it since then? Virtually nothing. And now we have criminal oil goons in the government trying to rolling back what little progress we have had. And who voted for these people? The older generation.

      8. Michael Maxwell

        Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

        "We old farts are DINOSAURS, sticks in the mud, living in the past, refusing to change, refusing to adapt, refusing to believe that what THEY want to do is so superior to the way things have been done for DECADES."

        Stop it, I resemble that remark!

        And for the record, I also resemble point (a) in your description of millenials: arrogant.

    3. Jim 59

      Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

      Note: Files is what happened when Nautilus was simplified to death. If you liked Nautilus then Caja (part of the MATE ecosystem) carries it on in spirit, look and feel.

      And PCmanFM does the same to Caja as Caja does to Nautilus, in that regard. (On Mint 17 MATE, anyway). Faster and less buggy.

  4. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    It's nice to see Ubuntu geting its mojo back, but...

    ...like a lot of Linux user I migrated to Mint during the Unity years and I'm more than happy with it.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: It's nice to see Ubuntu geting its mojo back, but...

      Linux user I migrated to Mint

      If Mint switch to using Devuan as the base I might be interested..

  5. Dave Bell

    Tension, apprehension, And dissension have begun.

    I use Linux Mint, one of the non-gnome versions, and things look as though they could become altogether too interesting. As you have pointed out, Canonical seems able to back away from stuff that doesn't work, and Mint looks pretty good, while some projects are worrying: systemd, and now Gnome? I had to look up Wayland, and it has been around a long time. I don't understand the Jargon, and I can't tell if they have devised a whole new set of jargon or not, but I've not found that a good sign

    I just want something that works.

    1. Andrew Newstead

      Re: Tension, apprehension, And dissension have begun.

      "Tenser said the Tensor" - damn, I'm not going to get that out of my mind for the rest of the day...

      Must re-read The Demolished Man again soon.

    2. Barry Rueger Silver badge

      Re: Tension, apprehension, And dissension have begun.

      I just want something that works.

      HERETIC! Back to Windows with you!

      Seriously, my measure of a distro is whether I can plug in a USB stick with the ISO, have it install with everything working with no extra steps, and make the few changes that I prefer (add Chrome; disable CapsLock) in under fifteen minutes.

      I'm currently liking Pop!_OS. Super easy install, and super-minimal experience. I care less about Wayland and SystemD than I do about how it stays out of my way when I actually want to work.

      1. MrBanana

        Re: Tension, apprehension, And dissension have begun.

        "I care less about Wayland and SystemD than I do about how it stays out of my way when I actually want to work."

        I thought the same, until systemd bit me in the arse. No apparent reason. No useful debug info. No easy recovery. No reason to want a distro that uses it.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Tension, apprehension, And dissension have begun.

        "I'm currently liking Pop!_OS."

        Your link is a 404

  6. ChrisElvidge

    ubuntu -wayland -gnome3 -systemd +debian

    Try antiX core install, then add MATE

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To-do item for v18

    1) get rid of stupid product names

    Bigoted Bully

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: To-do item for v18

      No. They absolutely, positively, cannot do that until they've used Mango Maniac or Mango Mussolini.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: To-do item for v18

        "They absolutely, positively, cannot do that until they've used Mango Maniac or Mango Mussolini."

        Jumping Jackalopes?

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: To-do item for v18

      1) get rid of stupid product names

      Maybe after they release Zippy Zebra? ☺

  8. nijam Silver badge

    > A lot of companies would never have admitted that the vision of convergence wasn't what people wanted.

    And Canonical were only 5 years later than they should have been. The only thing that made the otherwise-awful Unity seem acceptable was that Gnome switched to the possibly-even-worse Gnome Shell at about the same time. Wayland has promise, but Mir never did. All of this was apparent at the time.

  9. OtotheJ

    I wonder why it's *still* not the year of Linux on the desktop

    Perhaps the fact that as evidenced by the comments above, no-one can agree of the best distro/desktop combination!

    1. AJ MacLeod

      Re: I wonder why it's *still* not the year of Linux on the desktop

      Nobody _needs_ to agree on the "best" distro or desktop combination, it's pretty much irrelevant... this has always been one of the major strengths of the Linux (or other OSS) desktop.

      Frankly I wouldn't use Gnome 3 if you paid me to, WindowMaker has been my "desktop" of choice for work over the best part of two decades and works better than ever... consuming a whole 2599 kB of RAM at the moment.

    2. conscience

      Re: I wonder why it's *still* not the year of Linux on the desktop

      Having a "best" distro, implies a "worse" one, but that isn't the situation. All distros are comparable and all good, there are just choices for those who want a slightly different flavour e.g. different desktops to appeal to different aesthetic preferences.

      Looking at a screenshot of the various desktops to see which you prefer is really all that is needed for people new to Linux to choose which distro to install, they are all equally capable and you can always change your mind later as you learn more.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I wonder why it's *still* not the year of Linux on the desktop

      "no-one can agree of the best distro/desktop combination!"

      Because the best combination for you might not be the best for me. One of the good things wbout Unix-like systems is their modularity. You can either tailor an existing distro such as Debian or Fedora to what you want or roll out your own spec from Gentoo. Or you can start from a BSD base. What you don't have to do is put up with the one size fits all vendor approach.

      For instance, one of the comments usually made here is that Linux is unsuitable for older users. Well, I've just been setting up a new laptop for SWMBO. Amongst other things I've been able to take advantage of the configurability of the typical Linux desktop to choose features such as the best system font to improve the readability for her, a necessity after macula problems a little while ago.

    4. Jim 59

      Re: I wonder why it's *still* not the year of Linux on the desktop

      "Perhaps the fact that as evidenced by the comments above, no-one can agree of the best distro/desktop combination!

      Choice is bad, and the best restaurants have only one dish on the menu, right?

      The lack of Linux desktoppery might have more to do with 3 decades of business agreements which legally ensure that every PC comes with Windows fully integrated.

  10. msknight Silver badge

    Running Mate....

    ....because Gnome 3 is more Unity than Gnome 2. So... yeah... when Gnome returns Gnome, then I'll celebrate. I had to go to something because Mint was just too far back on some apps.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Five people who still care about Ubuntu

    1. Microsoft

    2.

    3.

    4.

    5.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Five people who still care about Ubuntu

      Actually, Ubuntu has seriously betrayed the GNU team, you know, the guyz who wrote all the CORE userland stuff Ubuntu so heavily relies on ... by giving it away to proprietary slurping scum.

      The thing is, you will very soon find out why they wanted it ... keywords: linux docker images, HyperV VM's, libContainer, Windows überbloated containers ...

      Interesting times ahead ...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks tempting

    I don't use Ubuntu, but I think this is probably their best release so far. They're done a good job with putting the major changes in before the LTS.

    Wayland: About time. Pushing all UI through a pipe/socket was good in its day, but the desktop needs more. X11 has had its time, and they're no longer wasting time with Mir.

    There's a few cry-babies who think they can not have remote windows. Well, I guess they haven't heard of XWayland... it's the clients (on the remote) that need to support X11. Properly isolating the windows so they can't see each others display + input feels a lot better, too.

    The more distros that use it, the better it will become, because 3rd party and closed applications will have to support it.

    GNOME 3: Not my thing, but at least they're no longer wasting time with Unity. And Ubuntu's twist is a little better. Try it.

    and window buttons on the right!!!!1

    As for systemd, it's been in for at least a year - Mint, too. Didn't notice it? Sill able to use init scripts? exactly. FUD.

    Linux is ready for the desktop, has been for a while for some of us. It's the user's that aren't.

    1. AJ MacLeod

      Re: Looks tempting

      "Wayland: About time. Pushing all UI through a pipe/socket was good in its day, but the desktop needs more. X11 has had its time..."

      So I keep hearing. Strangely though, my desktop doesn't need more anything - it works brilliantly, just like it has since the 90's in fact. I'm not quite so skeptical about Wayland as I am about SystemD though - as far as I can tell it's a far better idea and implemented far less badly; with proper, flawless backwards compatibility with X11R6 and equivalent, reasonably effortless network transparency I would be prepared to accept it. Not any time soon though... it just isn't necessary.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Looks tempting

      "Wayland: About time. Pushing all UI through a pipe/socket was good in its day, but the desktop needs more. X11 has had its time, and they're no longer wasting time with Mir."

      About that... let me describe some of my experiences with low-level X11 coding...

      several years ago I decided I wanted a proper IDE for X11. And because NOBODY supports "virtual space", something I really like, I started on my own toolkit. still working on that one. yeah, time, money, lack thereof, getting in my way.

      Anyway, one thing I discovered early on is that the X11 protocol is _NOT_ what causes "perceived slowness" in X11 applications. In fact, my application was popping up SO fast that I was like "Oh... it's already running". I'd type the command into a shell, and *poof* it was already open, displaying the menu, etc.. When I added clipboard support, there was an additional 1/2 sec delay to do all of the messaging to and from the desktop, and I also added a nice splash screen with 3D animation, which gives you that "perception of doing something".

      But I have _NOT_ run into _ANY_ performance problems dealing with X11's communications pipe (or TCP connection). In FACT I've seen a CLEAR ADVANTAGE here, because it's CLIENT/SERVER, so you are using at least 2 CPU cores to make it work. It's leveraging multi-core, and has ALWAYS done so!!!

      The *REAL* problem with performance from X11 applications is the way the GTK's have to suck in EVERY BLOATWARE LIBRARY on the planet (cairo, bonobo, pango, yotta yotta yotta) even though maybe YOUR application only needs just a fraction of their capability. This increases load times. And *THEN* there's the "object oriented insanity" associated with things like the 'File Open' box you see in the gnome world. Do you *REALLY* have to scan *EVERY* file to determine what the icon needs to be, *BEFORE* loading up the list o' files to choose from? Windows does this, too [and it's disreputably SLOW because of it]. _MY_ file open dialog box looks like Windows '95 era but loads BLISTERINGLY FAST, even with hundreds of files. Try THAT with a BLOATWARE version. Yeah. The objects are MINDLESSLY collecting unused and worthless "information" about EVERY! STINKING! FILE! and that has NOTHING to do with X11 protocol or the network or the file system or X11's client/server model.

      It's also worth pointing out that a typical X-based application *COULD* be statically linked with the X11 libraries, and it would probably run/load just a _teeny_ bit faster. it could also be [*gasp*] shipped as a BINARY that way, and not have shared-lib-dependency-hell when copying to destination systems. Just sayin'. Not sure about Wayland applications, though. I bet it's so Windows-like it might as well have been designed in REDMOND. [but it was probably Silly Valley, nearly as bad]

      1. keithpeter
        Coat

        Re: Looks tempting

        "About that... let me describe some of my experiences with low-level X11 coding..."

        Any code out there at all Bombastic Bob? Sounds interesting.

        (I could imagine a live iso demo of your work - would need a loud hailer icon. And a *really* loud welcome sound...)

        Coat: off out now

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Looks tempting

          "Any code out there at all Bombastic Bob? Sounds interesting."

          It's probably full of random capitalisation.

      2. bazza Silver badge

        Re: Looks tempting

        @Bombastic Bob,

        I too have never found X to be a problem. GTK is a miserable pile of ordur.

        I think if one is doing a lot of work that involves a load of texture maps in 3D, the pipe does become a problem. Hence moving away from that architecture. However...

        Internal DMA

        Of course the only reason why a pipe is problem in that circumstance is that it inherently involves memory copying, a lot of context switches back and forth (especially for large amounts of data flowing), a so forth. However modern Intel CPUs have features that would completely eliminate that problem; internal DMAs. A pipe-like facility could be implemented around internal DMAs, which would be lightning fast (indeed, very fast), and would take far less CPU time to shift data from a client application (e.g. texture maps) to a display server's internals. If mailbox semaphores were possible (I don't know if they are on an Intel platform) the DMA could even ping off a semaphore post to wake up a display server once new data had been provided by the client. Et voila, a client server architecture with far more bandwidth (by definition, the best possible bandwidth) and zero context switches in/out of the kernel.

        A thin layer on top would all this to optionally pump client data down a real pipe or socket (for remote servers).

        What do you think? A good idea?

        It seems that no one involved in replacing X is stopping to think whether or not the client-server model could be retained. I think they've blundered straight on into replacing it with a fairly crude driver architecture without casting an eye around to see what hardware facilities now exist to improve the existing client / server architecture. It'd be a great pity if all that nice DMA silicon that Intel now put in their CPUs ended up not being used by an updated X server for *nix.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Looks tempting

          "I think if one is doing a lot of work that involves a load of texture maps in 3D, the pipe does become a problem. Hence moving away from that architecture"

          that's where GLX becomes a better solution than native X11 calls. Since that involves device driver stuff, I suppose you'd have to query for support, and have an alternative method available when it won't work...

          ideally all of that would be done via the toolkit

          /me has heard of GUI toolkits based entirely on Open GL (and that should have GLX support)

  13. Piloti

    Unity, Unity, Unity......

    Unity, where art thou Unity.......

    I did my migration from Unity to Gnome this morning and now I know why I hated Gnome and why Unity was damned good.

    The amount of screen real estate wasted at the top with empty title bars [four in Evolution, three with Firefox...... Two in Unity] and up down / north south nonsense instead of the logical left right / east west, Synapse no longer working......

    I have some more gripes but will be spending the evening looking at alternative desktops. Mate / Cinnamon ? I know Unity is there in the 17.10 download, but Canonical aren't going to be supporting it... So, pastures new.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Unity, Unity, Unity......

      There's still Yunit:

      http://sourcedigit.com/22464-install-yunit-unity-8-fork-ubuntu/

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Unity, Unity, Unity......

      This post by Piloti is the perfect example of why there is no one ideal desktop for everyone. Clearly what Unity was just what Piloti wanted. Because I want the desktop primarily as a place to put files and directories it's as unsuited to me as KDE would be to him. However, we can both have the style of desktop we want, so no problem.

      1. J 3
        IT Angle

        Re: Unity, Unity, Unity......

        Uhm... I don't think I understood what you meant by "because I want the desktop primarily as a place to put files and directories [Unity]'s as unsuited to me as KDE would be to him", since I've been putting files and directories on my Unity desktop for many years now. At least I was until this morning, when I updated to 17.10, not knowing what awaited me... and still am, since they are still there (at first, I thought Ubuntu had just an updated Unity version, to be honest; then the problems started).

    3. J 3

      Re: Unity, Unity, Unity......

      Did you mean Synaptic is not working? (genuine question, maybe there is something out there called Synapse)

      I myself prefer Synaptic to anything else, so that bummed me. There is a workaround though; run:

      xhost +si:localuser:root

      After that, Synaptic works, reportedly only during the current login session. I haven't rebooted yet, so I haven't tested that.

  14. Triumphantape

    Looks like Unity to me

    I think I'll stick with Mint.

  15. matjaggard

    I hate three letter acronyms

    I use Ubuntu every day and I still have no idea what UFW or HUD are without googling. Why does all of computing have to be full of confusification?

    1. kneedragon

      Re: I hate three letter acronyms

      RTFM....

  16. Jonathan 27

    Sounds like it's an idea to give 17.10 a pass, but, saying that. I'm probably going to install to tonight anyway. I can always just roll back a backup.

  17. FatGerman

    In with one desktop, out with another, I remember when I was using KDE3 and KDE4 was released about 3 years before it was ready. What a pile of shit. I've tried unity and gnome3 since but only out of curiosity because they're shit too. Why don't Ubuntu realise that people just want something they're familiar with that fucking works? Been using a Mac since KDE4 arrived. I pay the Apple tax happily because I can actually be productive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @F*tGerman Absolutely agree....except that in my case it's XFCE that I've been using for ever.....on top of Fedora, so no tax to pay either.

      *

      Back on topic.....GNOME 3 is absolutely horrible. And remote X sessions are very useful....It's still not clear to me whether Wayland (implemented everywhere) will allow me to use:

      "ssh -X -C -l <user_name> -p <non_standard_port> <remote_ip_address>"

      .....so I can run X applications on a remote server from my laptop. Can anyone tell me?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "KDE4 was released about 3 years before it was ready."

      Complete with a statement that it wasn't yet intended for production. Which people promptly ignored.

  18. bazza Silver badge

    Popcorn / Fireworks / World War 3

    From the article:

    A lot of companies would never have admitted that the vision of convergence wasn't what people wanted. That's the sort of move that takes guts and honest appraisal of what you're doing, what's working and what's not. The GNOME project has never displayed that kind of thinking. And as far as I can tell, it operates on nearly the opposite premise. It's to early to say, but I predict conflict down the road. Keep a bag of popcorn handy, I believe there will be plenty of fireworks to watch.

    GNOME is particularly objectionable. Seems typical of the projects with heavy duty RedHat involvement these days. It's like they thought, let's take everything that's good about a desktop and minimise it or, preferably, throw it away altogether. God knows what all that bloaty code is for, but it's not giving me the desktop environment I want.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BSD

    TrueOS is worth a look

  20. phil_n

    MX16

    Try MX16. Mint has gone goofy for me on both of my computers and been replaced by MX16. No systemd - xfce4 - and makes devuan look like a vanity project. YMMV

  21. IGnatius T Foobar
    Linux

    The year of Linux everywhere except the desktop

    We've been going at this for too long. The conventional wisdom was that unless Linux takes the desktop, Microsoft will leverage its monopoly to take everything else. Well guess what, kids -- here we are, literally DECADES later, and Windows still rules the desktop. But Linux has taken over literally EVERYTHING else. Linux dominates handheld devices like phones, embedded devices like set top boxes, network infrastructure, and even servers: no one uses Windows Server anymore except to run Microsoft's own server software.

    The lesson learned here: if Linux hasn't taken the desktop by now, it probably never will; and if Windows hasn't taken "everything else" by now, it probably never will. The truth is that Microsoft is no longer the existential threat to everything that is not itself, as it was in the 1990's and 2000's. That mantle now belongs to Amazon and Facebook. As for me, this dyed-in-the-wool Penguinista who ran desktop Linux for 20 years has switched to Windows 10 (with Cortana disabled, of course). It's safe now, kids. Come on out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The year of Linux everywhere except the desktop

      Linux has become a viable alternative OS for even non-technical people. Even PC World is selling Linux based laptops.

      Domination isn't required, nor desired; Being the most popular among the less informed isn't appealing. If that where to happen, then it could mean Linux desktop would be as bad as Windows (for me, at least).

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The year of Linux everywhere except the desktop

      "switched to Windows 10 ... It's safe now, kids."

      Have you read the T&Cs about telemetry? Go read them. Look for what statements they make about restricting what they allow themselves to take. Is it safe?

    3. J 3

      Re: The year of Linux everywhere except the desktop

      "switched to Windows 10 (with Cortana disabled, of course). It's safe now, kids. Come on out."

      If I enjoyed throwing money away on useless (for me) stuff, I would definitely switch, thanks for the tip!

      Also, I have used Windows 10 while fixing a relative's laptop; I shudder just from recalling it.

      Funny how my relatives whose laptops had Ubuntu installed never call me though...

  22. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    WTF?

    No more menus

    Ubuntu 17.10 has a redundant mini-dock where the top menu bar should be. Now all apps supporting a system menu bar have no menus.

  23. DaemonProcess

    anything but Unity

    Unity was the only desktop that I rated worse than Vista. Ouch.

    It was clearly an attempt at providing a free and simple desktop to newbies who cannot afford Microsoft or Apple. I applaud the attempt and it definitely had some nice features if you had a personal supercomputer, but the result for me was slow bloatware. After a month long battle I backed up all my files and went elsewhere so that I could some memory left to actually run an application. I installed Mint Cinnamon, then Bodhi, then Kubuntu, then Solaris (for a laugh), then Ubuntu 17.04 ... what will be next.... The comment about backups/restores is very pertinent and reveals a key weakness about us and change. By changing desktops a lot I am also part of the 'change' problem. My main excuse is 'your release is not supported any more'.

    1. J 3
      Paris Hilton

      Re: anything but Unity

      "nice features if you had a personal supercomputer, but the result for me was slow bloatware"

      Either you are trying to run it on a Pentium II or something was very wrong with your install. Until this morning I was running Unity on a 7 year old computer; still run it on a 6 year old Asus "netbook", without problem. Admittedly, both have (cheap, consumer-level) SSDs.

  24. Howard Hanek

    Desktop Smeshtop

    There are soooooo many desktops available to plug in. If you don't LIKE Gnome....change it to just about anything else.

  25. Stese

    @Bob

    When are you going to explain what on earth you mean with "Win-10-nic".

    I find no reference on the net for it. I know you are using it instead of Windows 10.... but WHY?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @Bob (Win-10-nic)

      Apologies if English isn’t your first language, but Bob is punning: he’s not referring to a customised version of W10 with a network driver that blocks the telemetry/spyware (although I’m sure that many people would welcome such a thing), but Win-10-nic => Win-ten-nic => Wintanic => Titanic, look out for that iceberg!

      (See also: Itanium => Itanic)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Bob (Win-10-nic)

        I cannot believe I had to search for this. Thank you, anonymous stranger.

  26. jb99

    Step one done

    All the need to do now is remove weyland and systemd and we'll be back to the usable system we had 10 years ago. I'm still hopeful this will happen :)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    whatsoever you say, unity is soul of this os. unity is one which make it stand out of crowd. with unity os apears more user friendly than any windows variant forget about linux. gnome gives same typical hard to learn and non user friendly linux feeling, as ever. it reminds of RHEL and fedora, which my friend who is professional linux system administrator only understands and can tame. keep home users like us away from it. i will stick to 16.04 till 2021 and see if something better comes by that time or will say good bye to ubuntu with full heart than. its really heart breaking to miss unity. even if gnome is more powerful it comes at cost of simplicity of unity and unity can stands well against any windows. My 3 years daughter finds it easier than MS windows. it feel as if this os has been backported to seven years back with gnome.

  28. ostrolk

    Use Unity7.iso instead. Its based on 17.10 and pure Ubuntu with Unity 7. Check at Sourceforge net /projects/unity7sl/

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