Ubuntu 14.04 was released recently and as usual the other flavors of Ubuntu have also been updated to 14.04 including Ubuntu GNOME. Ubuntu GNOME tends to get overlooked a bit, given all the attention that goes to the main Ubuntu release. However, that’s a shame since it has quite a lot to offer anyone who prefers the GNOME interface to that of Unity.
Please note that Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS is a long term support release. Such releases tend to focus on polish and stability rather than introducing loads of new features. So bear that in mind if you are looking for a desktop distribution that will be supported for a longer term.
If you aren’t familiar with Ubuntu GNOME, you may want to browse the FAQ about it on the Ubuntu GNOME site. There’s some helpful background information there that might be of interest to you. Wikipedia and DistroWatch also have information pages about Ubuntu GNOME.
Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS Features
Here’s a sample of the features in this release:
Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 is now an LTS (Long Term Support) release. This is our first LTS Release supported for 3 years.
Most of GNOME 3.10 is now included. See the GNOME release notes for more details. The few missing bits of 3.10 are available in ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3. gnome-weather, gnome-maps, gnome-photos and gnome-music are all available to install from the archives.
With GNOME 3.10 comes enhanced support for online accounts, and some general optimization of the user interface.
A set of 10 new high-quality wallpapers are included. For more details, see Ubuntu GNOME Wallpaper Contest.
GNOME Classic session is included. To try it, choose it from the Sessions option on the login screen.
The fact that this is a long term support release will please many current Ubuntu GNOME users since it means that they can rely on it for quite a long time before needing to move to a newer version. Plus, as I noted above, such releases generally zero in on stability rather than loads of flashy, new features.
GNOME 3.10 also adds some zip to Ubuntu GNOME 14.04, particularly with its support of online accounts and user interface improvements. You may also like some of the ten new wallpapers that have been included with this release, some of them are quite beautiful.
And of course GNOME Classic is also an option for those who dislike GNOME 3. I’m very glad to see GNOME Classic included, it’s great for people to have options. I’ve pretty much made my peace with GNOME 3, however. If you take the time to get used to it and you take it as it is rather than comparing it to other desktop interfaces, you may find it to be quite useful in its own way.
Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS Download and Install
You can download Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS from this page. Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS is available in 32-bit or 64-bit versions. I used the 32-bit version for this review.
Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS is also a live distribution, so you can run it off a disc before actually installing it on your system. The install itself is quite simple and easy, and it takes about the same amount of time as installing regular Ubuntu (fifteen to twenty minutes at most).
Linux Software Included in Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS
Here’s a sample of the software included in this release.
Shotwell Photo Manager
Evolution Mail and Calendar
Transmission BitTorrent Client
Ubufox Extension for Firefox
Brasero Disc Burner
Cheese Webcam Booth
Rhythmbox Music Player
LibreOffice Calc, Impress, Math and Writer
Where To Get Help for Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS
If you’re having problems, please post your questions in the comments below or post in the Desktop Linux Reviews forum. Other readers might be able to assist you. You might also want to check out these Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS resources:
Please note the following known issues from the release notes:
System Details shows Ubuntu 13.10 instead of 14.04 (1299912)
screen giberish (1307776)
Can’t select which drive to resize when using “install alongside” in Trusty (1262824)
Final Thoughts About Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
I know that some might be disappointed that this release of Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 isn’t chock-full of mind-blowing features. But that is perfectly fine in a long term support release like this. The absolute last thing we want developers doing is sticking in experimental doodads or other things that could adversely affect stability and performance.
For me the highlights of Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 (aside from it being an LTS release) are GNOME 3.10, the new wallpapers and GNOME Classic. Each thing adds some additional polish to Ubuntu GNOME 14.04, and I think that most reasonable users will appreciate them after spending some time with it.
I have seen some reviews of regular Ubuntu 14.04 that have proclaimed it to be “the best version of Ubuntu yet” and that sort of thing. Well, I think it’s fair to say that Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 may also be the finest version of Ubuntu GNOME as well, and that’s something that the Ubuntu GNOME developers and users can take pride in.
What’s your take on Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS? Tell me in the comments below.