Welcome to Desktop Linux Reviews!

Find the best desktop Linux distros!

Member Login
Lost your password?

Ubuntu Linux 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx)

April 29, 2010
By

The open source world has been eagerly anticipating the final release of Ubuntu Linux 10.04, and now it’s finally here. Canonical has been working extremely hard and it shows in the quality of this release.

To put it bluntly, Lucid Lynx rocks!

What’s New In This Release
There’s quite a lot of new stuff and changes in this release. Here’s a list of some of what you’ll find:

F-Spot replaces the GIMP

PiTiVi video editor added

GNOME 2.30

New themes: Ambiance and Radiance

New wallpaper

Linux kernel 2.6.32

New nVidia hardware driver

Gwibber social media application

Faster boot time, with a different look and feel on the bootsplash screen

Ubuntu One adds contacts and bookmark sharing

Ubuntu One music store integrated into Rhythmbox

Ubuntu Software Center 2.0

This release marks the first time that the GIMP has not been installed by default. F-Spot Photo Manager replaces it. Some people will love this and some will hate it. The thinking at Canonical is that the GIMP was too complicated an application for most ordinary desktop users. If you’re a fan of GIMP, no need to worry though. It’s still available in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Another new addition is the PiTiVi video editor. I don’t do much in the way of video editing, but I’m very glad to see this included. It’s one of the basic kinds of application functionality that users expect to find in a desktop operating system. Will it suffice for hard-core, high-end video editing? Probably not, but it should work just fine for your average desktop user.

I’ll cover the new themes and wallpaper in the desktop section. I’ll also cover the bootsplash and time changes in that section of the review. And I’ll talk about the Ubuntu Software Center in the software section.

Social Media
Access to various social media networks is now built into the Ubuntu desktop interface via Gwibber. You can access this by clicking on the envelope in the panel at the top of your screen. Or simply click Applications then Internet then Gwibber Social Client.

Gwibber lets you have all of a number of different social networks all in one application. You can connect to Facebook, Digg, Twitter, Flicker, StatusNet, FriendFeed, Qaiku and Identi.ca from the Me Menu. You can also chat with friends on Google Talk, MSN, IRC and other networks.

It doesn’t take long at all to set up your social networking accounts and updates appear in one, unified interface. This is tremendously convenient and helps eliminate the need to run these services in different browser windows. You can also easily post updates from Gwibber.

I loved having it available on my desktop. It let me read Twitter and Facebook updates at a glance and made it quick for me to post my own updates.

The Me Menu (based on Gwibber) lets you connect to Facebook, Twitter and other social media services.

Ubuntu One: Music and More
The Ubuntu One service has been enhanced to make it easier to share files and folders. And you can now share bookmarks and contacts too. Each user gets 2GB of free storage from Ubuntu One so it’s a good deal if you want to use the cloud to store files and information.

The Ubuntu One Music Store has been integrated into Rhythmbox music player. You can buy DRM-free music tracks and store or share them on the Ubuntu One service.

To access the music store, click Applications then Sound and Video then Rhythmbox Music Player. When you first launch Rhythmbox, you’ll see a message letting you know that you need to install some MP3 plugins to listen to purchased songs. Just click the Install Plugins button and your plugins will be installed for you. You can then browse the Ubuntu One music store and begin purchasing music.

The prices in the Ubuntu One Music Store seem comparable to the ones in iTunes. Individual songs go for $.99 to $1.29 and albums seem to be about $9.99 to $16.99. I only checked a few albums though so it’s possible that pricing on them could vary more. Still, it all seems very similar to what you’d pay in iTunes or other online music store.

The Ubuntu One Music Store could still use the ability for users to post their own reviews and ratings of music though. But it is definitely off to a good start and I’m sure we’ll be seeing improvements in it as time goes by.

You can now share bookmarks and contacts via the Ubuntu One service.

The Ubuntu One Music Store is integrated into the Rhythmbox music player.

Hardware Requirements & Installation
Here is the official list of system requirements for Ubuntu 10.04, from the Ubuntu Manual:

700 MHz x86 processor
256 MB RAM
3 GB disk space
Graphics card capable of 1024 x 768 resolution
Sound card
Network or Internet connection

Installation
Ubuntu Linux 10.04 is a Live CD distro. You don’t have to install it to use it. Just pop the CD into your computer and boot off of it. Choose the Try Ubuntu Without Installing option and you can use Ubuntu without installing it.

If you’re a Windows user with no Linux experience, don’t worry. Installing Ubuntu is about as easy as it gets. The screenshots below take you through the install, step by step.

While Ubuntu is installing, the install menu displays information about applications such as Firefox, OpenOffice.org and some of Ubuntu’s features. This is a nice touch for newbies to Ubuntu Linux who might not be familiar with Ubuntu’s new features or some of the bundled applications. Old salts probably won’t care too much about this though.

You can choose your language before you install Ubuntu Linux.

Choose your time zone.

Pick your keyboard layout.

Partition your hard disk.

Choose your login ID and password.

Begin your install or hit the back button to make changes.

While the install is completed, you can read about Ubuntu’s features and software.

Reboot your computer after the install is complete.

Booting & Login
The boot time for this release has been sped up significantly. It took just a few seconds for my Ubuntu system to take me to the login screen and then just a few more for the desktop to load up.

Ubuntu boots way faster than Mac OS X, that’s for sure. While it’s nice that Canonical is learning how to do a desktop properly from Apple, it might be nice if Apple learns how to speed up Mac OS X’s boot time from Canonical. Turnabout is certainly fair play when it comes to boot time and desktop design.

Bootsplash Screen
The bootsplash screen lets you boot into the Live CD version so you can try Ubuntu without installing it. Or you can opt to start the install right away. You can also check your disc for defects, test memory or boot from the hard disk.

Other options such as language, keymap, accessibility, etc. are available via the F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, and F6 keys.

The bootsplash screen has the new Ubuntu logo and coloring, and it looks great. It’s simple yet beautiful to look at and is a harbinger of good things to come for those booting into Ubuntu for the first time.

When you first boot into Ubuntu, you can choose to run it as a Live CD or to install it to your hard disk.

Login Screen
The login screen has the new, Mac-like purplish background on it.

The login screen lets you choose your session, keyboard and language.

The Desktop
The new desktop theme is called Ambiance and it’s quite attractive. Gone is the icky orange and brown of previous releases and who among us will miss it? Not I.

The Ubuntu Linux desktop has finally come of age as far as design goes. It is – dare I say it – very Mac-like in some respects. The default wallpaper is purplish and the maximize/minimize/close buttons are now on the left.

Moving these buttons was a bold move on Canonical’s part but one that doesn’t bother me in the least. I own Macs and I use Mac OS X frequently so having the buttons on the left is second nature to me and I’m very happy to see Ubuntu go in this direction. I know that some people will hate this but, trust me, you’ll get used to it very quickly and if you have to use Windows at some point, you’ll wonder why the buttons are on right instead of on the left. Having them on the left just feels so natural once you get used to it.

Canonical seems to have used Mac OS X as a template of sorts for Ubuntu Linux and my hat is off to them for doing so. Apple, love them or hate them, has done a great job with Mac OS X’s interface and I’m thrilled to see Linux taking a page from Apple’s book and perhaps moving away from some conventions used by Microsoft in Windows.

Themes
As I noted above, Ambiance is the default theme. If you dislike it you can use a lighter theme called Radiance. I tried Radiance but went right back to Ambiance, I prefer the darker theme much more. If Radiance doesn’t float your boat you can choose Clearlooks, Dust, Dust Sand, New Wave, High Contrast Inverse or High Contrast Large Print Inverse. If none of these themes pleases you then click the Get More Themes link on the themes menu and download additional themes to choose from.

Wallpaper
There are 18 different wallpaper options to choose from and you can opt to click the Get More Backgrounds link on the Background menu if you want more. I think the default, purplish Ubuntu theme looks very good and I decided to stick with that until I finally get bored with it. At some point I’ll probably take some of my World of Warcraft screenshots and use those as my wallpaper in Ubuntu 10.04.

The Appearance Preferences menu also lets you change your font settings and adjust visual effects. My desktop defaulted to having visual effects off, which wasn’t surprising since I was running Ubuntu in a VM at the time. I tried to turn on the Extra option but, alas, it didn’t work as Ubuntu didn’t seem able to find the proper driver.

The Ubuntu 10.04 desktop using the Ambiance theme.

Bundled Software

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

Games
AisleRiot Solitaire
gbrainy
Mahjongg
Mines
Quadrapassel
Sudoku

Graphics
F-Spot Photo Manager
Simple Scan
OpenOffice.org Drawing

Internet
Empathy IM Client
Gwibber Social Client
Firefox
Transmission BitTorrent Client
Terminal Server Client
Remote Desktop Viewer

Multimedia
Brasero Disc Burner
Movie Player
Pitivi Video Editor
Rhythmbox Music Player
Sound Recorder

Office
Dictionary
Evolution Mail and Calendar
OpenOffice.org

Software Management
The Ubuntu Software Center is where you can add or remove applications. I’m a big fan of the Software Center. I liked it a lot in the last release of Ubuntu and I like it even more in this release.

Featured Applications & Departments
When you first launch the Ubuntu Software Center, you’ll see a list of application categories and a large, orange Featured Applications button. You can opt to browse software via category initially but it’s better to click the Featured Applications. The Featured Applications list has a lot of great software that isn’t installed by default including:

Audacity
Blender
Cheese
GIMP
GNOME Do
HomeBank
Inkscape
Liferea Feed Reader
Pingus
Stellarium
Moovida Media Center

There’s plenty of other software available in the Software Center, probably more than any typical desktop user will ever really need.

Provided By Ubuntu & Canonical Partners
If you look in the left side of the Software Center, you’ll see Get Software. Click that and you’ll see two entries below it: Provided By Ubuntu and Canonical Partners.

The Provided By Ubuntu menu is a long list of stuff that most desktop users could probably care less about. The only things listed in the Canonical Partners menu were two Adobe products, Adobe Flash Plugin 10 and Adobe Reader 9. I don’t doubt though that we’ll probably see some commercial applications at some point.

Adding and Removing Applications
When you find an application you want click on it and you can choose the More Info button or the Install button. If you choose More Info you’ll get a detailed description of the application and a screenshot so you can see what it looks like before installing it.

If you install something and you want to get rid of it, go back to the application in the Software Center and click the Remove button. Each time you add or remove an application you’ll need to type your password when prompted.

You can download additional software from the Software Center.

You can download plug-ins like flash for your browser.

Clicking the More Info button loads a detailed description and screenshot of an application.

Sound and Multimedia
When I first booted into my Ubuntu desktop, the sound worked perfectly. I didn’t need to configure anything. It’s always nice to hear the Ubuntu theme when my desktop loads.

YouTube & Flash
Flash wasn’t installed by default, unfortunately. I installed it by going into the Software Center and clicking the Install button. It took just a few seconds and I was good to go with YouTube videos.

I’m somewhat surprised that I had to install flash on Ubuntu Linux 10.04. It seems like something that should be bundled into Firefox by default. Perhaps I’m just too used to Linux Mint and it has spoiled me? Maybe Canonical could cut some kind of deal with Adobe (assuming that’s necessary) and start integrating flash into Firefox by default.

Anyway, remember that flash is available to you in the Software Center if you find that you need it while browsing the web.

After installing flash, YouTube videos will play in Firefox.

Problems & Headaches
I didn’t come across any real show stoppers while using Ubuntu Linux 10.04. However, I do a have a few, mostly minor things to nitpick about it.

I found it strange that the word Departments is used in the Software Center as a label for application categories. Departments? As in department store? Accounting department? I don’t know, the word “department” just strikes me as odd. Labeling it Application Categories makes a lot more sense to me.

One thing I missed from Mac OS X was the ability to have my desktop wallpaper background automatically cycle through a folder of wallpaper. In Mac OS X, for example, I use the screenshots folder in my World of Warcraft folder. I have my wallpaper set to cycle to the next wallpaper every five minutes. So I get to see my adventures in WOW as my desktop background and I never get bored because my desktop always cycles to a new WOW screenshot every so often.

I was also unhappy to note that the Screensaver menu is separate from the Appearances menu where you change your desktop background. These two things are combined in Mac OS X on one menu (you choose one or the other from the same menu) so it’s easy to make changes. Canonical might want to give some thought to combining these two menus, it just makes a lot of sense to have them both in one place.

As I noted earlier, the GIMP has been removed in this release. Yes, you can easily install it from the Software Center, but I still miss it as part of the default install. GIMP, we hardly knew ye…

One prominent social networking service that was missing in action in Gwibber was LinkedIn. This definitely needs to be fixed in a future patch. Facebook, etc. are all fine but LinkedIn actually has real business value and should most certainly be available in the list of services available via Gwibber.

Where To Get Help
Please take a moment to register for the DLR forum (registration takes less than a minute and you can login with your Facebook account if you want); everybody is welcome. You are welcome to post a message in the Linux Help section and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. The forum contains discussions about Linux, but also many other topics. Please stop by and say hello when you have a chance.

Drop by the forum to get help, talk about Linux or just hang out.

Beginners should definitely take a few moments to check out the Ubuntu Manual. It will be a big help in getting you started with Ubuntu Linux. You might also want to check out the Ubuntu support page for various free and paid support options including professional support services, free community support and Ubuntu’s technical answers system.

Final Thoughts & Who Should Use It
I applaud Canonical for the changes they made in this release of Ubuntu Linux. It’s a terrific update to an already excellent desktop Linux distro.

There are those who will resist some of these changes but I think they will learn to love them eventually. Canonical has pushed the desktop Linux experience forward significantly in Ubuntu Linux 10.04. Other distro developers should pay careful attention to this release and should learn from what Canonical has accomplished.

One last thing, I’d really love to see Valve hook up with Canonical and bundle Steam into Ubuntu Linux. Given all its other strengths, the only thing Ubuntu 10.04 really lacks right now is access to some truly killer games. Steam would be the cherry on top for Ubuntu Linux. I covered this possibility in a column and I still have my fingers crossed about it.

I heartily recommend Ubuntu Linux 10.04 to beginners or experienced Linux users.

There’s quite a lot to love in this release and very little to dislike. Give it a download and enjoy.

What’s your take on Ubuntu Linux 10.04? Tell me in the comments below. For more discussions, visit the DLR forum. For opinion columns visit JimLynch.com.

Summary Table:

Product: Ubuntu Linux 10.04
Web Site: http://www.ubuntu.com/
Price: Free
Pros: Social media desktop integration, new themes and wallpaper, Mac-like minimize/restore buttons. Ubuntu One enhancements including the Ubuntu One Music Store integrated into Rhythmbox Music Player. Ubuntu now comes with the PiTiVi video editor.
Cons: Can’t automatically cycle through desktop background wallpaper. Screensaver menu is still separate from the Appearance Preferences menu. The Ubuntu One Music Store doesn’t give users the ability to rate and review music.
Suitable For: Beginner, intermediate and advanced Linux users.
Summary: Ubuntu Linux 10.04 is simply marvelous! Canonical has taken an already good desktop distro to a whole new level of polish and sophistication. Bravo!
Rating: 4.5/5

 


Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



You can unsubscribe to follow-up comments or new posts via links in the email notification message.



61 Responses to Ubuntu Linux 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx)

  1. Torin on July 13, 2011 at 4:10 am

    I am considering going back to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS from 11.04. I don't like Unity. Lucid Lynx will be supported until April 2013 and is surely rock solid right now since it is out more than 12 months.

  2. Alvin on June 11, 2010 at 5:27 am

    I use Ubuntu on a daily basis for almost 3 years now. After reading your review, I was shocked to realise that the Big Square Orange Button in Ubuntu Software Center labelled "Featured Applications" was clickable! Oh My. Now I need to explore Lucid Lynx much more. Thanks for the awesome review of my savior distro.

  3. Max on June 4, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I have installed Ubuntu 10.04 and I do like it very much however, today I am using Fedora 13 and this system feels more solid. Every time I use Ubuntu I get the feeling (after a while) that the whole system seems to be glued together with sticky tape instead, for instance, with Fedora with "nuts and bolts". Perhaps a misconception on my part. Fedora 13 is equally very nice and seems as already said more solid. I love to have Ubuntu as my main system but something is holding me back and somewhere in my mind I always believe that a distro based on Red Hat is much better. Am I wrong or right?

  4. Bas on May 18, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Actually adding Flash to a 64bit computer is not so easy. You have to download the Flash 64bit .so file and add it manually, creating a plugin folder, under home/.mozilla, otherwise you have problems. :sad: The Flash provided by Ubuntu is not working properly on 64bits computers.

  5. David Gillen on May 5, 2010 at 2:40 am

    I've been running wow under linux (through wine) for quite some time now. Initially some sound problems, but since 09.10 that fiddling to get it working has gone. I installed 10.04 last night, added wine, and ran the wow.exe on my windows partition and it came up immediately. If you're primarily a linux user I would suggest you try this. Certainly for me performance is no worse, and at times would seem better. Note: You may need to add the line 'SET gxApi "opengl"' to your wtf/Config.wtf file.

    Regarding steam, I installed the client and used it to download and run some games (again through wine), and with no problems. I'll admit they were some older games, I'll try some of the newer releases and see how I get on over the weekend time permitting.

  6. Linux NooB12345 on May 4, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I'm a Mac user, and I wiped my notebook's HD clean and installed 10.4 (only, no dual boot).

    Personally, I don't like the window buttons on the left. The color scheme is too "OS X." It's a good step in the right direction (from that horrid brown), but I want to see Ubuntu find it's own style.

    Overall, 10.4 just feels comfortable to use, I like it!

  7. Brwn on May 4, 2010 at 5:30 am

    I agree this version of Ubuntu is good, I run it and like it, but this,

    "Having them on the left just feels so natural once you get used to it."

    Buttons that is… yeah, and having them on the right all your computing life feels even more natural. I guess if one loses a limb, that too feels natural once one gets used to it. What kind of an argument is that? Why should anyone get used to something they don't want?

    If you're going to dig up that controversy from its grave and defend the stupid decision, at least make a real argument in its favor.

  8. monkey on May 4, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Nice review, I'm very excited for Lucid Lynx!

    OT: Steam is a horrendous beast. Even if you own original discs, it *still* needs to decrypt game files via the net. For 3rd-world connectivity this blows, hard. I can't even play the game I paid for.

    Ubuntu, please stay away from close-minded, closed-sourced, nazi-platforms like Steam! Keep our options free, freedom of choice is everything.

  9. ray hartman on May 2, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Pretty amazing … LL_10.04 is practically without issue. Out of the starting gate! On beefy desktop kit I've been using x64_LL since beta-1 and never found the 1st gotcha. I look forward to three-years of effortless bullet_proof OS performance.

    Too much to ask for even one (1) native_Linux killer usrland app eh …?

  10. ForeverNoob on May 1, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks for the nice review. For wallpaper cycling see here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WallpaperTray

  11. tlmck on May 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    @ Stewart:

    @Clif, yes your ATI cards will work out of box.

    With 3D ATI drivers?

  12. tlmck on May 1, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Great upgrade Canonical! Ubuntu went from being just ugly to butt ugly. Thank goodness for sites like gnome-look.org.

    Better yet, they could study a distro like PCLinuxOS 2010-Gnome to see how it is really done. http://pclinuxos.com/?page_id=184

  13. nomasteryoda on April 30, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Joost,

    I wish this was easier to do like it used to be for KDE 3.5.x…

    You could also use this python script to add in other images and update the xml file automagically. Of course this either needs to be run as root, or you have to change the permissions of the /usr/share/backgrounds/cosmos.

    Our very own 11yr-old programmer in our LUG created this when I simply asked if it could be done. Simply put the new images into that folder and run the script… The contents of the script are between the —— .

    Jeff

    ————————————————————

    import os

    dir = "/usr/share/backgrounds/cosmos/"

    print """

    2009

    08

    04

    00

    00

    00

    <!– This animation will start at midnight. –>"""

    files = [f for f in os.listdir(dir) if f.endswith('.jpg')]

    files.append(files[0])

    for i in range(len(files)-1):

    cur = dir + files[i]

    next = dir + files[i+1]

    print """

    1795.0

    %s

    5.0

    %s

    %s

    """ % (cur, cur, next)

    print ""

    ———————————————————

  14. Pete on April 30, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I have to laugh at your video screen shot you chose for flash video running on Youtube. Seriously. Polar Bear eating a Seal? What a choice, and its barely even visible. LOL!!!

  15. jalcradus on April 30, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Ubuntu is OK but I've always liked Linux Mint (which is based on Ubuntu) better, mostly due to the way they handle patented software. I haven't tried version 10.04 yet but with previous versions of Ububtu, things like audio and video codecs had to be installed manually. The instructions for doing this, which are on Ubuntu's help site, are difficult for most beginners to do and sometimes still don't work. With Linux Mint, you have a choice when downloading whether you want to have these included or not. If you download the file that includes them, then all audio, video, flash, Java, etc. work without having to install anything else. This is a much better solution. Linux Mint also includes many other improvements over Ubuntu. Give it a try!

  16. Karen on April 30, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I think Ubuntu 10.04 is getting to be a sexier OS. Love the new look and feel. Still don't care for GRUB (delayed the release because of a bug). I would like to see chameleon in 10.10 Ubuntu release and show them Mac folk an OS cam be sexy and work well too. :heart: :kissing:

  17. Bob_Jones on April 30, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Ubuntu 10.04 looks terrible. If I wanted OSX I would spent the money on a Mac. I think I will either stick with Ubuntu 9.10-which has recently been giving me performance problems for an unexplained reason- or move to Debian. I especially hate my buttons on the far left.

    Bob_Jones

  18. HK on April 30, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Wow… as soon as I began reading the article I knew you were an Apple fanboi. If you like Apple that much, use Apple computers. Linux users want Linux, not OSX. Moving the buttons to the left side of the window is a TERRIBLE "improvement" and I think there will be a lot of complaints…

    At least try to be objective… I think every page had some comparison to OSX or Apple. You're supposed to be reviewing Ubuntu, not furthering Apple's propaganda machine.

  19. Chris on April 29, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    RavenHeart: Whether it's Gnome/Linux/Canonical's fault is irrelevant as far as the user is concerned. The point is the screensaver and wallpaper settings should be in the same place – that's just common sense. The fact that they're not is confusing to an end user regardless, and the reviewer rightly points this out. For Linux to ever stand a chance of succeeding on the desktop (and to me it still seems a LONG way off being able to do that), it's points like this that need to be addressed regardless of any technical or historical reasons.

  20. dyinman on April 29, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    A few things. First, a question: do you want to use OSX or do you want to use Ubuntu? Because it seems like you think everything should be the way OSX does it (I respectfully but very strongly disagree). Since they changed the button placement, it's easy to change back with some Googling but beyond that it'd be swell to have a tool to easily switch back as I prefer the buttons on the right.

    A minor correction: you can cycle wallpapers in a folder. In fact, you can make them do very nice transitions. However, this isn't (as far as I know) easy to configure, at least there's nothing GUI to do it. I'm not sure since what version of Gnome you were able to do this, but it's been a little while at least.

    Lastly, the only thing this took after Mac was the button placement (which I dislike). Sharing a similar base color doesn't mean anything. Beyond color, the default wallpapers and theme isn't even close.

    In closing, I know a lot of people love their OSX (which is fine), and a lot of people like their Windows (also fine). I don't like either, so I don't feel like it's a great direction to start proclaiming that Linux Desktop should be more like Operating System A or Operating System B in their default installs. Reviewing the latest Ubuntu release should be judged by itself and not constantly being compared to how OSX does things.

  21. taff on April 29, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Zac, if this is your first change since 08.04 you are in for one heck of a shock.

  22. Sam Watkins on April 29, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    No gimp? That's outrageous! gnome and gtk are entirely based on gimp. Without gimp, gtk, glib, gnome is nothing and ubuntu would be totally different. Why include a video editor but not the ubiquitous image editor, gimp? gimp was one of the first major commercial-quality app for Linux.

    see this page: 2009 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Award Winners

    Graphics Application of the Year – GIMP (66.48%)

    That's right, 66.48% of Linux users polled think GIMP is the best graphics application of 2009. It's a must-have.

    http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-new

    Other winners by category (perhaps they should be included in Ubuntu base distro too?):

    Desktop Distribution of the Year – Ubuntu (30.13%)

    Server Distribution of the Year – Debian (24.24%)

    Security/Forensic/Rescue Distribution of the Year – BackTrack (43.48%)

    Database of the Year – MySQL (60.81%)

    Office Suite of the Year – OpenOffice.org (90.76%)

    Browser of the Year – Firefox (65.21%)

    Desktop Environment of the Year – Gnome (41.96%)

    Window Manager of the Year – Compiz (23.10%)

    Messaging App of the Year – Pidgin (48.74%)

    Mail Client of the Year – Thunderbird (53.48%)

    Virtualization Product of the Year – VirtualBox (67.43%)

    Audio Media Player Application of the Year – Amarok (38.81%)

    Audio Authoring Application of the Year – Audacity (77.26%)

    Video Media Player Application of the Year – VLC (46.05%)

    Video Authoring Application of the Year – FFmpeg (21.94%)

    Multimedia Utility of the Year – GStreamer (32.84%)

    Graphics Application of the Year – GIMP (66.48%)

    Network Security Application of the Year – Nmap Security Scanner (29.85%)

    Host Security Application of the Year – SELinux (39.26%)

    Network Monitoring Application of the Year – Nagios (51.11%)

    IDE/Web Development Editor of the Year – Eclipse (23.28%)

    Text Editor of the Year – vim (35.29%)

    File Manager of the Year – Nautilus (24.92%)

    Open Source Game of the Year – Battle for Wesnoth (15.45%)

    Programming Language of the Year – Python (27.59%)

    Backup Application of the Year – rsync (48.99%)

    Open Source CMS/Blogging platform of the Year – WordPress (45.20%)

  23. Tensigh on April 29, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Does F-Spot still make copies of every single picture on your hard drive? If that's the case, then no thanks for me! The one thing I hated about F-Spot was redundant copies of all my pictures. If it still does that, fuh-get it! I'll stick with Picasa, thank you very much!

  24. Ewoudt on April 29, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    You can make a slideshow but you need to have the pictures in a directory and an xml file, this is a little more inconvenient than other systems, say window 7 but a lot more customizable, you can set transition time per image and exactly what time of the day the slideshow would start.

    Here is an app that generates the xml for you, it has a gui so it's really easy to use!
    https://launchpad.net/wallpaper-stacks

  25. Asocial on April 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Love the faster boot time and next version of Gnome. Disappointed that so much effort went into the (unneccessary) integration of Social Media, Ubuntu One, and a Music Store.

  26. Pennant on April 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    F-Stop maybe a lot easier to use than the GIMP, particularly for common tasks like red-eye reduction. However, when I tried to use it while correcting red-eye for our Christmas cards, I found that the red colour balance for the whole picture changed for the worse. Maybe F-Stop used poor JPEG compression default settings. GIMP, while much trickier to use for the same purpose (I had to google for a step-by-step walk-through), gave me fine control and much better results.

  27. Theo on April 29, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks for this concise review. I absolutely love this new release. I am (or was) generally a Mac OSX person, recently tending back to Windows 7, but this release has certainly softened my soft spot for Ubuntu. Am busy looking at Vala as a dev language.

  28. commenter on April 29, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    For the guy who said that canonical has NOTHING (sic) to do with Gnome: Canonical is a big sponsor of Gnome. I would think too that they work together in some things and Ubuntu's desktop is quite tweaked so they could make a move on the direction posted by the reviewer.

  29. jsa on April 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Ubuntu, in an attempt to be more like Mac, has placed the close buttons on the left. Emacs, in its attempt to be the worlds most unusable text editor, places their scrollbar on the left. The only thing these have in common is their shared idiocy.

    You might like this change, not many others do. I would say MOST others do not.

    I, like most other people, am right handed. I keep my mouse on the right side, along with my mouse pad. It's an unnatural, uncomfortable reach across my 16×9 screen to hit the close button, where as it is a short simple gesture to close it when the buttons are in a logical place. Even on my netbook, this reach is a pain in the ass since the mouse pointer sits to the right to move the scroll bar.

    I also read left to right, like most people in the Western world. Thus, I want my content on the left, and my utlitiy on the right.

    I also saw no mention of how broken many things become because the buttons are now in the wrong place, and how other themes are screwed by Ubuntu's crude and ugly hack software hack to move the buttons where a simple gconf key was all they needed.

    But hey, you paragraph about how everyone will just get used to it had a very nice Kool-Aid flavor.

  30. Mark on April 29, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Surprised no one mentioned this: F-Spot doesn't "replace" GIMP, it was always there with the default install.

  31. Stewart on April 29, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    More important, I hope that apps like Ubuntu Tweak soon offer the option to change buttons position.

    This has already been added to Ubuntu Tweak, and can also be done through gconf-editor. Also, themes are able to indicate button positions.

  32. Sachi on April 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    You can install "drapes". I assume it's still in the repos.

    @ Jim Lynch:

    Jim Lynch wrote:

    Morning guys,

    Glad you enjoyed the review.

    Joost, I checked the controls on the Appearance Preferences menu (where you change your background) and there seemed to be no way to automatically cycle through wallpaper.

    Perhaps there’s another way to do it though, I’m not sure. It seems like that’s the obvious place to put controls that are similar to the ones in Mac OS X.

  33. quintesse on April 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    "Store doesn’t give users the ability to rate and review music."

    WTF, are you retarded? What for do you need to rate music? Who gives a fuck about your opinion?

  34. linux-man on April 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    "Can’t automatically cycle through desktop background wallpaper."

    Try Webilder Applet from GetDeb.net.

    "Gnome 3 has been released"

    Well, not really. Still in development, still beta.

    That´s true that Canonical does not develop Gnome, but can change Gnome Interface on small things. More important, I hope that apps like Ubuntu Tweak soon offer the option to change buttons position.

  35. Stewart on April 29, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I feel I should clarify what I said about Steam. If Valve wants to hack wine to get a working implementation of their DRM on Linux or assist game studios with native Linux ports of their PC games and set up a partnership with Canonical to purchase and download games through the Ubuntu Software Center, then by all means go for it.

    To me PC gaming is far from a priority, but I do realize that the lack of high quality commercial PC games is a major blocker to some who would otherwise happily convert to Linux. It would be nice for Valve and Canonical to partner up but I really don't see this happening in the near future as Steam DRM has been working to effectively eliminate gaming from Linux.

    There are plenty of free and open source games that work on Linux and a number of commercial PC games that actually run better under Wine than natively on Windows. Linux could be a very viable gaming platform if only someone would take the initiative.

  36. Joe on April 29, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Your con is a serious joke. Give me a break. There are allot of other cons that I could come up with and that isn't one of them. The steam thing is a good idea though.

  37. Joe on April 29, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Flash and Mp3 support aren't included for very good reasons. They aren't free. They aren't free and have restrictions attached. Do you know the difference between free and non-free software? Check out the free software foundation and learn about your rights! http://www.fsf.org/

    It isn't a matter of getting permission from Adobe. That isn't why Canonical has excluded it from the CD. I wish Canonical would direct users to fsf's website for information on why they might not want to install the non-free programs. Maybe then people would choose NOT to give up their freedoms and we'd all be able to enjoy our entertainment and computers rather than deal with the headaches that come along with dealing with non-free software.

    Just to name a few: viruses, spyware, and other malware, vendor lock-in, problems exchanging files with other users often with just differing versions of the same non-free program, problems updating all the different versions of the non-free programs, loss of access to files due to digital restrictions as a result of abandonment of servers or bankruptcy/discontinuing support, inability to transfer files to other devices or computers, etc.

  38. Stewart on April 29, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Yes, the X.org bug has been fixed… https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xorg-se

    I have been using 10.04 daily since Alpha 2 and have never experienced a problem with anti-aliasing in Firefox. If this is the issue you are talking about (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox/+bug/512615) then it appears to have been fixed, but it also looks like that bug has been long standing for many releases pertaining to particular themes. It would not affect default installs nor the themes included with Ubuntu.

  39. Daeng Bo on April 29, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Jim,

    WRT to the slideshow, I just checked and there is on picture of the Earth the has a stacked-photo look. If you mouse over this picture, a play button appears. This is the slideshow.

    Unfortunately, it's not customizable via GUI. I assume this will be added soon.

  40. this guy on April 29, 2010 at 10:47 am

    @ballsack – Gnome shell is not gnome. Its gnome shell. This version of Ubuntu ships with the latest stable GNOME. Gnome shell is a almost completely different environment.

    @stewart, you pretty much said the rest of my thoughts. This article covered exactly 0 of the new features that matter. Well, gwibber to some I guess.

    I would check with OMGubuntu for some REAL reviews.

    Thanks

  41. Felix on April 29, 2010 at 10:44 am

    I could be ok with the "buttons on the left" situation. But, I'm a Chrome user and I'm pretty certain its buttons will be on the right still. This will make things very confusing, as I spend a lot of time in Chrome.

  42. Digitivity on April 29, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Was the issue with the X driver eventually taking up all memory resolved? How about the issue with fonts not being properly antialiased in Firefox, Thunderbird, Chromium and other programs?

  43. Stewart on April 29, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Some rules to writing a fair desktop review: 1) Do it on an actual full release OS (the final version has not been released at the time of this review) 2) Leave your fanboi-ism for other os at the door 3) Do not run it in a virtual machine 4) Do your research and be knowledgeable about what your are saying

    Ubuntu 10.04 does come with the cosmos wallpaper (a photo slideshow), thats the wallpaper that shows as a stack of images. To create your own, just copy /usr/share/background/cosmos to a folder in your home directory, edit the XML file and then add the XML file as a wallpaper as you would a normal image. Granted it would be nice if gnome had a simple way of doing this, it IS included by default and you CAN create your own.

    Flash will never be (and never should be) included with Ubuntu because it is proprietary software. What they need to do is fix the missing plugins handler in Firefox so that when you visit a site with Flash content and the bar popups up notifying you that 'Additional plugins are required to view this content' you can actually install flash through the browser. Similar to how Rhythmbox prompts you to install MP3 support.

    Steam will never be included by default on Ubuntu, and it would never be welcomed. It is a DRM system for proprietary games. Not welcome here, thanks.

    If you do not like the screensaver settings not being available on the Appearance preferences, submit a feature request. I personally think it would be out of place, but a shortcut link or button would be welcomed. Chances are you will never see it because the new Gnome Control Center in Gnome Shell replaces the existing preferences.

    @Clif, yes your ATI cards will work out of box.

    @harvey, pulseaudio is greatly improved

    @Cloudane, your multimedia buttons will work, however there is apparently a bug with the wireless drivers used by the 901 which until fixed will prevent you from accessing most wireless networks.

  44. Robert on April 29, 2010 at 9:59 am

    @ Ballsack:

    Gnome 3 released? what? no! it isn't. Gnome shell is there, but gnome 3.0 isn't there yet. Gnome shell has been around for.. a year?

  45. Cloudane on April 29, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Jim Lynch? Related to Tim Lynch? It was like reading one of his Star Trek reviews :) Very nice review, I shall look forward to trying it out. I wonder how well it works (touchpad, hotkeys etc) on the Eee 901.

  46. harvey not schwartz on April 29, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I hope pulseaudio has improved…I'm really tired of fighting with it to get my bluetooth headphones & usb speakers to work on my laptop. Ugh! A small issue? Not as long as I can still hear…:-)

  47. Clif on April 29, 2010 at 9:03 am

    If it works out of the box with my ATI Card, ill go Ubuntu otherwise im keeping my Windows 7

  48. Dave O on April 29, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Where can I download the release (non-alpha). I don't see it on ubuntu.com yet.

  49. Erik Itland on April 29, 2010 at 8:45 am

    @ Ballsack:

    >> "10.04 comes with gnome 2 for stability. Gnome 3 has been released, install gnome-shell to get it."

    According to gnome.org version 2.30 was released on 31. of March.

  50. Matt on April 29, 2010 at 8:15 am

    In response to "ballsack"- nice name by the way.

    Gnome 3 has NOT been released. It is still in development cycle, and is considered a Beta at this point. From experience, I can assure you that gnome 2.29 is not stable, and is not ready for daily use yet. Hopefully it will be released in full 3rd or 4th quarter this year.

    In response to the writer-

    This is not a "review", it is a comparison. How many of your conclusions of Lucid, favorable or otherwise, did you base entirely in comparisons made to OSX? It was no small number of times. Please, writer; and readers for that matter; remember that Ubuntu / GNU-Linux isn't supposed to be a clone or a carbon copy of Windows, OSX, or any other OS (other than Unix, but that's beside the point :) ). It was created and is developed today as a valid desktop and server alternative, a free standing pillar amongst them. A review of Windows would be no more valid if the entire thing was a comparison to features found in GNU-Linux. It's comparing apples to oranges to bananas. Yes, they are all fruit, but do you describe a banana's flavor as "not-orange-like?" to someone who has never eaten a banana?

    I apologize for preaching, but I can't help but be slightly discouraged by the fact that after all this time, people in our Linux community are still looking for "OSX, but not Apple".

  51. Jim Lynch on April 29, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Ballsack, I noted the version of GNOME in the What's New. Thanks for the heads up.

  52. Ballsack on April 29, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Actually, it doesn't have "the latest version of gnome."

    10.04 comes with gnome 2 for stability. Gnome 3 has been released, install gnome-shell to get it.

  53. Kevin G on April 29, 2010 at 4:51 am

    I have installed a program called "Desktop Drapes" which will automatically change the wallpaper at times you define, as well as the location of the folder that holds your pics. It's an okay program, does what it supposed to. My only fault with it, it crashed a couple of times and once didn't start on reboot. Other than that, it worked okay. It's in the Software Center!

  54. RavenHeart on April 29, 2010 at 4:13 am

    "I was also unhappy to note that the Screensaver menu is separate from the Appearances menu where you change your desktop background. These two things are combined in Mac OS X on one menu (you choose one or the other from the same menu) so it’s easy to make changes. Canonical might want to give some thought to combining these two menus, it just makes a lot of sense to have them both in one place."

    That is a Linux/Gnome thing, and has NOTHING to do with Canonical. Canonical develops Ubuntu, Canonical does not develop Gnome. I would suggest you actually study up on Linux for a bit before you write reviews about it.

  55. Ninth Degree on April 29, 2010 at 4:08 am

    "Maybe Canonical could cut some kind of deal with Adobe"

    Have you not been paying attention to the idiotic decisions Canonical has been making in the past 2 years? They are completely destroying Ubuntu. At the rate they are going they wont even be ON Distrowatch's Top 100 list, let alone #1 in the next year.

  56. commenter on April 29, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Mozilla is said to be already working with Google in an open video codec. Flash (and its closed source model) is past now.
    http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/04/ghttp://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/13/reports_s

  57. Jim Lynch on April 29, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Zac, Steam is Valve's gaming service. It's not out for Linux yet but rumors are flying that it may be coming soon. It's scheduled to arrive for Mac OS X very soon. But a Linux version might also be in the works.

    I have my fingers crossed! :angel:

  58. Jim Lynch on April 29, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Morning guys,

    Glad you enjoyed the review. :smile:

    Joost, I checked the controls on the Appearance Preferences menu (where you change your background) and there seemed to be no way to automatically cycle through wallpaper.

    Perhaps there's another way to do it though, I'm not sure. It seems like that's the obvious place to put controls that are similar to the ones in Mac OS X.

  59. Zac on April 29, 2010 at 3:40 am

    What is Steam? I gonna have to Google it.

    I think Ubuntu 10.04 has shaped up nicely. I am on currently Ubuntu 8.04 and this is the first release where I might upgrade before the end-of-life of my current version.

  60. Paul Mienuo on April 29, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Another nail in Windows Coffin. I normally hate Ubuntu but this is gooood!!! Now have it on my EeePC suffer Microsoft. Steve and Bill you'd better start crying your days are numbered!

  61. Joost on April 29, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Hi,

    Good review. But you mention that is is not possible to cycle through desktop wallpaper. Is that really true? Cause I am now using Ubuntu 9.10 and there it is possible. In the background menu there is one directory (cosmos) already included and optionally, you can add new ones to /usr/share/backgrounds. You can even add a xml file containing the durations that a certain file should stay on the background. It would surprise me if that option is not there anymore??

    Regards, Joost



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Ads and Amazon

Read more about the kinds of ads I run, and the kinds I don't allow on Desktop Linux Reviews.

Thank You!

Thank you if you've whitelisted this site or made a purchase via the Amazon links, your support is very much appreciated.

Google+ Posts