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Ubuntu 12.04

May 9, 2012
By

Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) is out. By now there are a zillion reviews of it already, but I wanted to take a little more time to use it before writing one of my own. Before I get into this review, I want to be clear that I’m not going to be reviewing Unity. By now most people know what it is, and either like it or don’t. There really isn’t any point in complaining about it any more. If you hate it then do not use Ubuntu, just find another distro.

Each time Ubuntu does a new release; it uses an animal nickname. This time around it’s called “Precise Pangolin.” I had no idea what the heck a pangolin was so I googled and found this (for those of you who are interested, if not just skip to the What’s New section):

A pangolin ( /?pæ???l?n/), scaly anteater, or trenggiling, is a mammal of the order Pholidota. The only one extant family (Manidae) has one genus (Manis) of pangolins, comprising eight species. There are also a number of extinct taxa. Pangolins have large keratin scales covering their skin and are the only mammals with this adaptation.[2] They are found in tropical regions of Africa and Asia. The name “pangolin” derives from the Malay word pengguling (“something that rolls up”).

Pangolins are nocturnal animals, and use their well-developed sense of smell to find insects. The long-tailed pangolin is also active by day. Pangolins spend most of the daytime sleeping, curled up into a ball.

Pangolin

Pangolins are nocturnal mammals.

For more information about pangolins, see this book:

What On Earth is a Pangolin?

There’s also a cute statue of a pangolin if you’re really into them.

What’s New In This Release
Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:

HUD
Video Lens
Linux Kernel 3.2.14
Rhythymbox is the default music player
GNOME 3.41
Quicklist support added to Unity
LibreOffice 3.5.2
Software Center improvements
Ubuntu One gets a Control Panel

The HUD is an alternative to clicking around on menu items when you want to do something. Just hit the ALT key and you can start typing in a search term related to whatever it is you want to do. If you’re a dedicated mouse clicker, this might seem a bit slower than just clicking an icon. Once you get used to doing it, you will find that it can be much faster. Keyboard junkies will revel in it right from the start though, they’ll get to skip farting around in menus completely.

The HUD isn’t an earth shattering new feature, but it grew on me as I used it more and more. I tend to like having icons handy to click on, so if I grew to like it then I suspect other clickers will probably do the same once they get used to it. Who knew the ALT key could be so useful?

Ubuntu 12.04 HUD

Hit the ALT key to quickly use commands in Ubuntu 12.04.

To use the Video Lens, just click the Dash icon then click on the video icon at the bottom. Or just access the video lens via the quicklist on the Dash icon. This lens will be a huge help to anybody who keeps many videos on their Ubuntu systems. You can also get online search results for your video searches for sites like YouTube, etc. For example, I did a search on the term “how to skin a squirrel” and got back a bunch of results from YouTube.

Video Lens

The video lens makes it easy to find video content on your computer or online.

The HUD and the Video Lens are the two most notable new features in this release. But some of the other things are worth noting as well.

The Nautilus quicklist support makes it very easy to hop around to Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures or Videos. You can also open a new window or hop to your Home folder.

The switch to Rythymbox will please some and displease others. If you prefer to use something else, you’ll find alternatives in the Ubuntu Software Center.

The Software Center has gotten some improvements. I’ll cover those in the software section on the next page.

Ubuntu One has a new control panel that adds an installer, folder & sync management, and a setup wizard.

Ubuntu One

Ubuntu One

System Requirements
Here’s what you’ll need to run this distro:

  • While the minimum memory requirement for 32bit is 384 MB, a minimum of 512 MB is needed for the 64bit installation. On systems with only the bare minimum amount of memory, it is also strongly recommended to use the “Install Ubuntu” option as it uses less memory than the full live session.
  • The Ubuntu 12.04 installation image does not include support for old computers that do not support PAE. If your computer is affected, you can either first install Ubuntu 10.04 or 11.10 and upgrade to 12.04 or you can use the Lubuntu or Xubuntu images. The non-PAE version of the Linux kernel will be dropped completely following the 12.04 release.

Ubuntu 12.04 Download
You can download Ubuntu 12.04 from this page. The ISO file weighed in at 735.4 MB.

If you’re a distrohopper then you might want to try it in VirtualBox, VMWare, or Parallels before running it on real hardware. VirtualBox is free and open source software that will let you run distros on your Linux, OS X or Windows desktop.

You have the option of downloading Ubuntu 12.04 in 32 bit or 64 bit. There’s also a Windows installer available (with instructions), and you can opt to buy CDs if you’d rather do that than a download.

Installation
As you might imagine, installing Ubuntu 12.04 is about as easy as it gets in Linux.

You also have the option of trying Ubuntu 12.04 as a Live CD (burn it to a CD and then boot into that CD) before actually installing it. Note also that you can choose to download updates and install third party software during the install (as shown below in the screenshot). I recommend that you do so, to save yourself time later on.

You can also watch a slideshow that will demonstrate some of the features found in Ubuntu 12.04.

Ubuntu Try or Install

Ubuntu 12.04 is a Live distro, so you can try it before you install it.

Ubuntu 12.04 Install

The Ubuntu 12.04 installer is easy and fast.

Install Slide Show

Watch a slideshow while Ubuntu 12.04 finishes installing.

The Desktop
I really like the Nautilus Quicklists. The Dash icon and the Home icon both have them, and they are quite useful. Click the Dash or Home icon, and you’ll see a list popup as shown in the screenshot of the Home icon below.

You can quickly navigate to various Home folders, or you can access any of Ubuntu’s lenses. It’s much faster to hop around than it was in previous versions of Ubuntu.

I wouldn’t even bother accessing the lenses by clicking the Dash icon and then moving my cursor to the bottom of the page to click on a lens icon. Doing it that way feels like swimming in molasses compared to the quicklist.

Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop

The installed Ubuntu 12.04 desktop.

Home Quicklist

Use quicklists on the Home or Dash icon to quickly navigate to folders or lenses.

System Settings

The system settings menu has gotten some helpful changes in Ubuntu 12.04.

The system settings menu has gotten a few tweaks. Appearance is the new name for the User Interface icon. There are also dividers and category names on the system settings menu. Overall the changes probably make the system settings menu slightly more intuitive and appealing to most users.

Bundled Software

Here’s a sample of the software included in this release.

Games
AisleRiot Solitaire
FreeCell Solitaire
Mahjongg Mines
Sudoku

Graphics
Document Viewer
Image Viewer
LibreOffice Draw
Shotwell Photo Manager
Simple Scan

Internet
Desktop Sharing
Empathy
Firefox
Gwibber
Remmina
Thunderbird
Transmission

Multimedia
Brasero Disc Burner
Movie Player
Rhythmbox
Sound Recorder

Office
Document Viewer
LibreOffice
The Ubuntu Software Center
If you’re new to Ubuntu, you can access the Software Center by clicking the icon on the Dash. Using the Software Center is very easy. Just click the category of software you’re interested in, and you can begin browsing. Or type in an application name in the search box at the top right of the screen.

Once you find an application, you can click on it to see screenshots and user star ratings. You can also read comments from other users. Note that you can change the order of user reviews by Newest or Most Helpful. The application page also contains information about the size of the application, as well as optional addons you can also install.

The Ubuntu Software Center

You’ll find thousands and thousands of different applications in the Software Center.

Adding & Removing Software
Adding or removing software is quite easy. Just find the application you want to add, then click the Install button (or the remove button if it’s already installed and you want to get rid of it). A menu will pop up asking you for your password to begin the install. Once you’ve done that, you can watch the progress indicator as your application is downloaded.

VLC in the Ubuntu Software Center

Top notch apps like the VLC media player are available in the Software Center.

Software Center Changes in Ubuntu 12.04
The Ubuntu Software Center has some improvements added to it, here’s a brief list:

PayPal payment is now supported
Users can opt-in to personalized recommendations
Language support packages are installed automatically
Application sharing with friends via Web Directory
Improved startup time and responsiveness

PayPal users will be happy since they can now  use PayPal to purchase items in the Software Center. If you are looking for software to buy, just click the triangle next to All Software and then select the For Purchase option. You’ll see a list of commercial software you buy right from the Software Center. I like that users have this option, and hopefully PayPal will facilitate developers being able to profit from their software.

To opt-in to recommendations, just click the button at the bottom of the Software Center. Privacy paranoids should note that this means that an anonymous list of software will be sent to Canonical sometimes.

Software Center Recommendations Button

Click the recommendations button to opt-in to personalized software recommendations.

I can’t say I noticed a significant improvement in the responsiveness or startup time of the Ubuntu Software Center. However, it was never really slow starting up for me or while I was using it. So I didn’t have much to complain about before, and I still don’t. Your mileage may vary, however. I’d be interested in knowing if you noticed any significant difference in the Software Center’s performance on your system. Please share your experience in the comments.

Problems & Headaches
I didn’t notice much to complain about in Ubuntu 12.04. The install was easy as it always is with Ubuntu, and everything else worked well for me.

If you ran into any significant issues, please take a moment to share them in the comments. Somebody else might have encountered the same thing, and could have some ideas to help you.

Here’s a list of known issues from the release notes:

Boot, Installation and Post-Installation

  • [Dell Studio XPS 1340,Alienware m17x] Kernel panic and hang on boot due to the ite-cir driver. A patch has been sent upstream and a test kernel is referenced in the bug report. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04′s release. (984387)
  • When closing the lid on a Unibody Macbook, the screen interacts with the touchpad. This can cause spurious gestures and clicks, and potentially lead to corrupted input driver state if the laptop suspends. To work around the issue, remove and reload the kernel module after resume by running:
    $ sudo rmmod bcm5974
    $ sudo modprobe bcm5974

    Note that this may disable some touchpad options, for example horizontal scrolling. These options can be re-enabled by visiting the Mouse and Touchpad settings. This is planned to be fixed in a post-release update (968845).

  • Importing of existing Windows user accounts fails in some cases. (987902)
  • Wubi (the Ubuntu installer for Windows) is not available as an option on the Ubuntu Desktop/DVD any more. Instead, it is now a separate download.

Upgrades

  • Aptitude does not work on 64-bit systems without disabling multiarch in /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/multiarch . (831768)
  • If you have i386 packages installed on an amd64 system in Ubuntu 11.10, it is strongly recommended that you install the versions of apt and dpkg from oneiric-updates before upgrading. A number of multiarch-affecting upgrade issues have been fixed in those versions. (850264902603)
  • In some cases update-manager might appear to hang indefinitely. In that case, open the expander at the bottom and check if there is a debconf question which needs to be answered. (979661)
  • Upgrades from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS do not work using the alternate CD or the server CD as a package repository. It is recommended that users running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS wait for the 12.04.1 LTS point release, scheduled for July, before upgrading. (988941)

Kernel

  • On ARM omap images, the networking support for the Beagle XM board is broken (838200)
  • [Dell Studio XPS 1340,Alienware m17x] Kernel panic and hang on boot due to the ite-cir driver. A patch has been sent upstream and a test kernel is referenced in the bug report. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04′s release. (984387)
  • Missing support for Sentelic touchpad in Asus K53U notebook. Patches have been backported and will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04′s release. (969334)
  • Missing support for BCM20702A0 Broadcom bluetooth device [0489:e042]. A patch has been sent upstream. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04′s release. (980965)
  • Buffer overflows in comedi driver. Patches have been backported from upstream and a test kernel is referenced in the bug report. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04′s release. (981234)
  • Intel gma 4500mhd external monitor suffers from a scrambled picture. A patches has been backported from upstream. The fix will be immediately available as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04′s release. (796030)
  • Kernel Oops – BUG: unable to handle kernel paging request; RIP: nfs_have_delegation+0×9/0×40 [nfs]. Some users attempting to run NFS clients on 12.04 appear to be affected. A test kernel is referenced from the bug report. Patches have been backported from upstream and will be immediately available in a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04′s release. (974664)
  • Patches from upstream stable v3.2.15 and v3.2.16 will undergo a baking period in the precise-proposed pocket during the first kernel SRU cycle. They will then be released as a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket approximately 3 weeks after 12.04 releases. (981162987337)
  • hid-logitech-dj driver missing from the installer. It has been added to the d-i input-modules udeb and will be included in the 12.04.1 point release. (975198)
  • rtl8187 driver missing from the installer. It has been added to the d-i nic-usb-modules udeb and will be included in the 12.04.1 point release. (971719)
  • eGalaxis Touchscreen Driver does not work. Patches have been backported from upstream and will be immediately available in a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04′s release. (913164)
  • ATI/radeon framebuffers on PowerPC only enabled as modules and not built in. This results in issues such as booting to a command prompt, loss of tty consoles, and loss of suspend. A patch to build these in have been applied and will be immediately available in a kernel update from the precise-updates pocket following 12.04′s release. (949288)
  • On systems with an ATI Radeon 9200 graphics card the system will boot to a black screen. As a work around edit the kernel command line in the boot loader and add “nomodeset”. (725580)
  • Fujitsu Siemens Amilo M 7400 and Maxdata 7000DX wireless RF kill handling triggers a kernel panic preventing wireless from operating correctly. This may be worked around by editing your kernel command line and adding “noexec=off”. (979253)
  • Beagle XM systems which are capable of running at 1GHZ will be initialised at 800MHZ leading to slower than optimal performance. (771537)
  • Some EFI systems fail to boot in EFI mode, BIOS mode is advised in these situations. (721576)

Desktop Interface

  • When using the LiveCD in certain languages such as French and choosing “Try Ubuntu” at the prompt, the keyboard will be brought up with the US keyboard map instead of the correct one for the chosen language. To avoid this bug, users can press any key at the very first splash screen and select their language here instead. (985065)

Please install available updates to ensure that the issues below will be fixed on your system.

  • Unity Dash (opened via the “Ubuntu” button in the top of the Launcher, or after pressing the <Super> key) may appear sluggish or slow to respond. This is caused by excessive redrawing of the screen contents in some circumstances. (980924)
  • Unity Launcher. If an application is pinned and then unpinned from the Unity Launcher using right-click->Un/Lock to Launcher repeatedly the application may vanish from the Launcher. It is necessary to log out and login again. This relates to an application monitoring framework called “Bamf” (978401)
  • Window titlebars do not update on ATI graphics hardware with the “fglrx” driver. A solution to this problem will be delivered in an update. (770283)
  • On some NVidia cards, when using the proprietary driver, moving windows and other large screen updates causes some tearing. (600178)

Desktop Applications

  • The mail client Evolution may delete folders and their contents as they are renamed or moved around in IMAP (and IMAP+) accounts. It is recommended to copy folders and contents before attempting to move or rename them. (957341)

I noted earlier that I didn’t want to review Unity, but if you want an easy way to customize Unity then check out MyUnity. It’s free in the Ubuntu Software Center. You can easily customize Unity in various ways. It’s something worth checking out if you find Unity’s default configuration not to your liking.

MyUnity in the Software Center

MyUnity can be downloaded from the Software Center.

MyUnity Font Menu

MyUnity lets you customize Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment.

Where To Get Help
Please take a moment to register for the DLR forum; everybody is welcome. Feel free to post a message in the forum and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. The forum contains discussions about Linux, as well as other topics. Please stop by and say hello when you have a chance.

You might also want to check out the Ubuntu support page, documentation, paid support services, training courses, and community support.

Final Thoughts & Who Should Use It
Ubuntu 12.04 is definitely worth an upgrade if you’re running an earlier version.

Unity is finally coming into its own in this release, plus there are other enhancements that make upgrading worthwhile. Ubuntu is getting better and better with each release. I was one of the Unity skeptics initially, but I’ve come to accept it as part of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu 12.04 is suitable for beginner, intermediate and advanced Linux users.

What’s your take on this distro? Tell me in the comments below. Visit Eye On Linux for Linux opinion columns and distro quick looks; visit JimLynch.com for other technology coverage.

Summary Table:

Product: Ubuntu 12.04
Web Site: http://www.ubuntu.com/
Price: Free
Pros: New Video Lens; HUD; Software Center enhancements.
Cons: Rhythymbox is the new music player and might not appeal to all users.
Suitable For: Beginner, intermediate or advanced Linux users.
Rating: 4/5

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25 Responses to Ubuntu 12.04

  1. wilsy on October 4, 2012 at 12:17 am

    I think 10.04 is the best release so far than the latest versions…

  2. john on June 7, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I’m scratching my head wondering why so many people are having such a tizzy fit over Unity. I hate Unity too, but there is a simple solution for me. I installed gnome-panel and selected it as my default. Ubuntu 12.04 seems just like 10.04 now. Haven’t seen that icky Unity since. Problem solved.

    • shivam on August 13, 2012 at 4:06 am

      That’s FREEDOM when it comes to Linux. Make it the way you like it.

  3. Bruce on May 27, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I found the reviews of Mint 13 and Ubuntu 12.04 so good I decided to donate to you coffee fund.

    It was clear , concise and not full of geeg talk like some reviews.
    I have been using 10.04 since it came out,and now I am not sure if I will stay with Ubuntu or go the Mint way.

    Mint seems to be tempting me a bit more.
    Thanks Jim

    • Jim Lynch on May 27, 2012 at 2:01 am

      Thanks very much, Bruce. I appreciate that.  :smile:

      I’m very glad to know that you found the reviews useful. Don’t forget that Mint is a live distro, so you can always burn it to a DVD and then boot into it to try it before installing it. 

      You can also try it in VirtualBox before installing it as your main distro. That would also give you a taste of it to see if you liked it better than Ubuntu. 

  4. Jim Lynch on May 22, 2012 at 8:33 am

    You are quite welcome, Michael. I'm glad you found it useful.  :smile:

  5. Michael Garvey on May 22, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I am responding to the review as it answers some of my questions. I am thinking about trying Linux and am unsure if I should, you have answered some of them and so may take the plunge. Thanks again for review.

  6. Yan on May 16, 2012 at 10:57 am

    So I downloaded 32b desktop Ubuntu and surely it didn't install. The motive is was incredible: my CPU isn't even supported and they didn't even bother mentioning this on the download page. Thankfully you do.

    What a shame there is no true 32bit version, one that installs on CPUs without the PAE extensions!

    I always get bitten by Linux. New and improved with every version, but it never installs on my machines. And I've tried this 50x over the years, on extremely popular DELL notebooks. Worse, PC-BSD, due to a bug, once formatted my entire disk, erasing all my backups.

    When one shows dismay the linux priests come to harass you. You know, they tell me it was me that did it wrong. For God's sake, all I did was put the damned CD in! Shoot me for that ;)

    • surja on May 17, 2012 at 5:56 am

      @Yan: which notebook are you using? Have you checked in the forums if there is any specific problem with that particular model? Maybe there is a fix or workaround from your problem.

  7. Jingaling on May 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Great review, I published one myself, here is a link:

    http://blog.jingaling.co.uk/2012/05/ubuntu-1204-p

  8. Surja on May 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Thanks for the review. This release of Ubuntu is quite a solid version. Improves the battery life of my Lenovo G570 by quite a bit. There is a major problem though, the EVDO CDMA 3G USB dongle which i use to connect to the net does not work with this version even though it worked with previous versions. There is a workaround and it works most of the time, but the devs should see to it that 3G dongles start working normally again. There are bug reports and forum postings regarding this but it seems like no one is taking care of it at the moment.

  9. DB on May 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I've upgraded my netbook and desktop and I'm really digging it. I'm converting a mint laptop to it next week.

    The installation process seemed way smoother, and lots of the annoying upgrade issues I've encountered were gone.

    I'm really grateful for this review, because there were a couple of really cool things that I didn't pay attention to since I've upgraded.

    Great tip on MyUnity, and thanks to the poster above for mentioning the gimp single-window ppa.

    I was a unity skeptic at first, but now I love it. HUD is quite awesome.

  10. podshot on May 10, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Unity and especially the HUD makes you more productive – :-) Really !.

    Believe me I hated the interface and refused to use it or even spend more then a few minutes with it from 11.x on because it was confusing and I absoltely had no idea how to deal with this. I found myself launching gimp (2.6.x) and getting mad about how to deal with 3 open windows for this app. I even have gone so far to always install Lucid and nothing newer.

    But I gave it a chance now in 12.04, together with gimp 2.8's new single window mode from a ppa ( google for howto ) and I am deeply impressed ( with both ) .

    First Unity's Dash :

    Whatever files are on my machine, be them video,jpegs,music and stuff, in short everything ubuntu supports – one press on the windows-key shows neatly organized whatever I had used the last session. This is the magic of the so called "lenses".

    There are extra lenses ( ppa again ) available for flickr and co – so it not only shows my stuff on the disk but also files that could raise my interest that are online available. The border between local and remote is just gone with Unity.

    My dash acts now also as a terminal, applauncher, calculator, wikipedia/torrent/firefox bookmarks/vimeo/youtube/flickr/deviantart search-engine — just amazing. All other OS with their search technologies, be them vistas startmenu or OSX spotlight are crap against this.

    Also with the apps – If I search my graphics programs I get auto-aware of apps that I not have installed but which could match my needs ( you know how all the thousand linux apps are just confusing – this way you are steered towards only those that might actually make sense for the task you want to do ) .

    Globalmenu seems confusing, but only if you don't use HUD :

    The HUD is plain simple the biggest productivity enhancement ever : apps like the gimp with their hundreds of menus,extension-filters and whatever become now usebale within seconds if you press the 'alt' key and just type in a fragment of the word what you want to do, for instance I open the image, HUD -> "blur" and I get all the filters that are assoicated with this. Else I would need to hunt through all the submenus to find the one I look for.

    It also works with Libreoffice ( except print-preview, but for everything else ) if you install the "lo-menubar" package. Just type "spell" and there be offerd your spellchecker plus everything else associated with it.. The possibilities are endless.

    With "myunity" and "ubuntu-tweak" there are also the first tweaking packages available that make customizing the UI and its behaviour painless and simple.

    It is a new paradigm, but really you don't want anything else if you learn it quickly ( press and hold the Windows-key to reveal the cheatboard for all the commands and shortcuts )

  11. Brian Masinick on May 10, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I'm not a fan of Ubuntu, personally, so I'm not going to download or use this release, but I have been interested in following its progress. I figured that by this release, the major issues surrounding the changes in the user interface would be largely resolved, and based on this review, that would seem to be the case.

    While a bit disconcerting that there were so many defects remaining at or near the time of release, it also looks like nearly all of them have already been resolved, so that is also a good thing.

    I have been using Kubuntu, Lubuntu, and Xubuntu in their versions just prior to, leading up to, and following the release of 12.04. Kubuntu looked really good, early on during testing, took what concerned me as some pretty serious hits as it neared release, but then seemed to 'right' itself, and it's now reasonably solid, though not quite as much so as the two other variations.

    Lubuntu, when I first started testing and evaluating the 12.04 test – at the 02/25/12 daily build, did not even have a graphical user interface at first, but I was able to assemble the pieces myself from the repositories. Had it not been for that one issue (and admittedly, it was just a daily build; it may have been resolved the very next day or soon thereafter), Lubuntu would have been nearly perfect. It has been relatively defect free since then, and it is one of the lighter, faster systems in my collection. Moreover, it doesn't need the PAE kernel, and it may be one of the places that former Ubuntu owners with older hardware may need to retreat to in the future. If so, it's light, solid, simple, perhaps a bit light on default features, but easily customized, so it's worth a look.

    It has been Xubuntu, at least to me, that has been the quiet shining star in the bunch. It is the least pretentious of them all. It's not as small as Lubuntu, it's not as big as Kubuntu or Ubuntu, and it is less flashy than any of them, but for a system that works well, even in testing cycles, a no nonsense work horse, this may be just the system to consider using, especially in Long Term Support (LTS) form.

    The 11.10 release was pretty good for these three versions. The only one that is questionable, as far as moving forward or backward in stability is Kubuntu; with some of the new KDE features, it still wobbles from time to time, but is otherwise useful. But Lubuntu and Xubuntu are, if anything, more stable and useful than ever. They've not necessarily changed a great deal; they've just solidified what they already have in place.

    For that reason, I'd personally put either Lubuntu or Xubuntu above either Ubuntu or Kubuntu in the stability department. IF you need the full featured capabilities of either Ubuntu or Kubuntu, then go for it, but otherwise, if you don't need all kinds of drag n drop capabilities, or heavy doses of eye catching effects, then you may be better off with one of these lighter variations. That is the route that I have taken, and for me, that's what I prefer.

    It's good to have the choice between features, though, so check them out, then choose what makes most sense for each of you.

  12. cwwgateway on May 10, 2012 at 3:19 am

    I'm pretty sure that you're using unity 2d (at least in the screenshots). In unity 3d the icons on the launcher "fold," whereas in your screenshots they disappear behind the trash icon.

  13. Gyanesh Sharma on May 9, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Upgraded some of our desktops from 9.10 to 12.04. The old PCs all of a sudden seem new with the new OS. I'm more used to 10.04 desktop so the UI is a little bit awkword right now. But I love it, so I will get used to it.

    I do like the Dash Home what you are referring as HUD. No more clicking around.

    Good review.

  14. Jonquil on May 9, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    I'm surprised that for an "in depth" review you didn't mention the Privacy feature they've added to 12.04, the changing wallpaper at login, or the color changing desktop. These also are truly unique features that deserve to be mentioned.

  15. Stan on May 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I think people who complain about KDE 3, GNOME 3, and now Unity are not looking to the future. We have to progress at some point, every desktop does, and things change. Every new desktop starts out horrible but after a few releases it is stable and after a few more more people use them over their older versions. Plus none of these are copying OSX and Windows anymore so they are trying new things.

    Anyway, it is sad that the first comment mentions Unity. I'm still holding out for the next Mint though. Not because of Unity but because I need a distro to completely scrub the purple and orange out of Ubuntu. I have never been able to stomach the colors of Ubuntu. Having said that I'm always happy with Ubuntu releases, they mark a higher standard for others to strive for. I may not use it but it makes Linux better!

    • Arie on May 15, 2012 at 11:34 pm

      Whether Unity may be called progress is a matter of taste. It certainly isn't for me and that's why I have abbondoned Ubuntu.

      I use a Linux desktop for my daily work, and the one thing that put me off was Unity to completely change my way of work. So I stick to the belief that Linux is all about free choice; that I can choose my GUI/way of work, and not having Unity choose it for me. I thought I had left that kind of dictatorship behind me when I sitched from Windows to Linux.

      • Eddie Wilson on May 16, 2012 at 5:18 am

        Taste has nothing to do with it. If you noticed, now you have more people praising the efforts of Ubuntu's Unity then people who are dissing it. Yes Linux is about choice and none have been made for you. You have complete control over what you use. You sound more like the dictator type not wanting to leave your walled garden. It's okay that people don't prefer to use Unity, that is free choice, but that does not prove that Unity is not progress.

        • slammin211s on May 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm

          unity ruined ubuntu imo …. currently using lxde and will be going to mint once the new one comes avail … ever since 11.11 ubuntu has been pure shit and hasnt run right, i realize im a new user but my compute ran GREAT on version 10

        • rwg on October 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm

          Unity is a clumsy, burdensome UI. Switching between Applications and Workspaces is tedious. There is a lack of configuration capability. For people who want eye-candy, direct them to Mac. Gnome was so much more powerful. I am also thinking of abondoning Ubuntu. What were they thinking. I can understand trying some things to make it better, but to remove the power that was there is rediculous.

        • rwg on October 29, 2012 at 2:47 pm

          Unity is a clumsy, burdensome UI. Switching between Applications and Workspaces is tedious. There is a lack of configuration capability. For people who want eye-candy, direct them to Mac. Gnome was so much more powerful. I am also thinking of abandoning Ubuntu. What were they thinking. I can understand trying some things to make it better, but to remove the power that was there is ridiculous.

      • Tom on October 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm

        I’m very disappointed with the way Ubuntu is headed too. It’s infuriating how the most user friendly OS turned the least user friendly in just two years. Windows 7 is much more adaptable and intuitive than Ubuntu 12.04. Unity is a disaster, and even Gnome doesn’t work in it anymore.

        I managed to get my mother and my sister, both absolutely computer illiterate people, to use 10.04 and they have loved it. I’m afraid that once 10.04 will be obsolete they will have to return to using Windows.



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