YAAAUU (Yet Another Article About Ubuntu Unity)

 I tried.  I really did.  I tried to like Ubuntu’s new Unity interface and tried hard to make it work. Unity felt ok on the Acer Netbook -- the small screen is a good match for the new vertical application launcher.

It was sort of ok on the larger Dell Latitude E6500s laptop.

It was ultimately a disaster on my 64-bit desktop with the 24-inch display. Not because I had to fiddle for an hour or so to figure out how to use Compiz to give me more than the default four virtual workspaces.  Not because switching between workspaces is kind of clunky, requiring either two hands to perform a triple-key shortcut followed by a mouse click to switch workspaces,  or alternatively being required to navigate the fussy vertical app launcher to find the switcher app. I could have eventually accepted that. I think.

What ultimately made me go back to the Gnome 2 shell was that for the third (and last) time last week Unity crashed while I was trying to switch between workspaces. Each time the switcher application froze mid-switch and locked my desktop up *hard*. I could not even ssh into it from another machine to kill the session, I had to do a hard reset.

The crash behavior acts like a memory leak or other kind of memory error because it takes about three days of heavy use and lots of switching between workspaces before it crashes, but that last time proved to me that Unity is not yet ready for prime time, at least not for this user.

Now, running Ubuntu 11.04 under the nice, comfortable Gnome 2 interface, I only have to deal with one little annoyance:  when I switch between workspaces there are frequently graphics “artifacts” left over from the workspace I just switched from. This no doubt a feature of how Ubuntu integrates the proprietary driver for my Nvidia 8200 chipset.

Life isn’t perfect, but it still beats the alternatives.




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Talking on the usage ability

broadband's picture

Talking on the usage ability Unity is far better than Gnome-shell as we have loads of things involved.
least cost routing

Jewel Jubic

Gave it a good go and then switched

i hack sites's picture

Ubuntu is great, I have been using it since 5.04 and regularly switch between gnome and Fluxbox.

I fired up 11.04 and gave Unity a good crack on my production desktops. I tried I really did, combing it with keyboard short cuts made it fairly usable. After 1 month I switched to flux box. I have no major complaints with Unity - change can be good. In the end I can get stuff done faster with Fluxbox.

The wife was not happy with the change from Gnome to Unity but my offer to switch her profiles to gnome was rejected. She is now quite happy with the experience.

Peter (I Hack Sites)

Great desktop diversity

Anonymous's picture

I really enjoy the diversity of desktop experiences out there and everyone has their own preference. I just need my desktop to work and not get in the way as I use linux at home and at work it would be horrific if my DE was unstable. So I use the old 10.04 LTS at work and it is fine, still much newer than my counter parts using Windows 7 and much nicer.

I am using a customized Enlightenment environment at home and it is great. I have old hardware so really like the fact that my desktop is not taking up so many resources.

I look forward to seeing how Unity progresses I think it is a great idea and hope to see the best of KDE and Gnome in there in future. Brave move by Canonical and if anyone can pull off making it a great end user experience I'm sure they can.

Upgrade Issue? && First Impression?

Eric Smith's picture

I upgraded from 10.10 to 11.04. Everything about threw it's hands up and screamed when I rebooted. After a minor headache, I gave in an did a fresh install + upgrades + 3rd party software. Everything (including Unity) suddenly worked. I have yet to get a non-user related crash (my 'mess with' tends to 'mess up'). I think that there are too many differences between the versions to have such an 'easy' (ie: remove and install) upgrade utility.

My first impression of Unity was horror. Everything I was used to was suddenly gone. I seriously thought about going back to Shell, but I remembered about my fight with Emacs. Both times I almost gave up. Now I can't live without Emacs and I'm sure that Unity will soon become home as well. To me the issue now is 'will the effort be wasted?' (I'm very pessimistic).
I believe that people first dislike something because its different from what they are used to. That would explain the great schism between GNOME and KDE. Different users like different approaches.
Also, I do not deny that Unity is not stable. However, I am using it to help find bugs to make it stable.

If it works, don't fix it.Especially if I like it!

DublinFrench's picture

Unity was a disaster for me, because:
1 - I love my cube. I want my compiz to be on a 3D cube with the cool effects. Life sucks enough to have a few guilty pleasure people don;t take over from you without warning.
2 - I often have a lot of different applications open at the same time on my screen. I want to see all my applications menu at the same time. I don't want to have only one menu displayed at the same time on the top screen, and to have to click on an application window to have visual access to their top menu. This is a huge reduction of my visual possibilities.
3 - my desktop is my working tool. I can't have everything different like that one morning for my professional tools. The ergonomic is too strongly remade. Please keep teenagers under acid influence out of the Ubuntu development team.
4 - at the same time, I will appreciate my application and preferences to stop disappearing from my Ubuntu after every release update. If I install Virtual box, it is because I use it. I don't want to have to reinstall it once again after a release update. I know i had a lot of useful software before, I don't really remember their name as I didn;t use some of them very often, but I know they were here, somewhere, ready to be used again if I need. And they disappeared after the released. So bad for me.
5 - More generally, I'm an IT developer. I learnt with the time it is very bad to brutally change and break everything in a good working tool. You have to go by small updates, to offer choices, to add functionalities, but you can't break everything to make new as you lose a lot of your users who were very satisfied _before_ you decided to move everything. Only apple made that once, and they said later they regret and it was bad decisions.

If it works, don't fix it.Especially if I like it!

kylea's picture

Hi there DublinFrench

Just to help, I have AMD64 Unity 11.04 on a Dell E6510 Laptop, here are some comments and suggestions:

1) I have the cube it works fine
2) Launcher will take you to any desktop to maximize the required app - this is actually better than the classic approach - we don't need to rotate thru the desktops
3) This one seems to be a general comment on the process
4) I did an upgrade and Virtualbox still worked fine as did most things - other than having to initially white-list a few notification applets - that was annoying - should have been the default position possibly
5) I agree - have to ask the question - as a developer what upgrade methodology did you use? I had another similar laptop (an E6500) I did an upgrade from 10.04 to 10.10 then 11.04 and then applied updates and tested my various apps, over a period of 3 months - because I knew this was a big changed and I wanted to be sure my workspace would be acceptable and an improvement.

So I think with a bit more planning an using our normal SOP's (standard operating procedures) as software developers we should not have to be in this position.

10.04 is LTS - so plenty of support and 10.10 has another year of support at-least?

I like it!

HawaiiMike's picture

I had problems when I upgraded from 10.10 to 11.04 on my laptop. However, after getting a new SSD drive and a clean install those issues seemed to not occur. As a business user I end up using Windows 7 allot despite my preference for linux. The ability to search for programs using the Win key is actually the best part of Windows that I missed moving over to Linux. So I guess I"m one of those individuals who is happier with the 11.04 version.

Switching between workspaces

kylea's picture

"Not because switching between workspaces is kind of clunky, requiring either two hands to perform a triple-key shortcut followed by a mouse click to switch workspaces, or alternatively being required to navigate the fussy vertical app launcher to find the switcher app"

I set up Compiz to use the mouse scroller to scroll desk tops - dead simple.

Rotate Cube, Viewport Switcher...

I'm so used to Ctrl+Alt and

HawaiiMike's picture

I'm so used to Ctrl+Alt and arrow key that I feel strange when it doesn't work on my Win7 machines....

unity is not the only reason I left *buntu

markh's picture

to me unity is just a final symptom of a bigger problem with *buntu......I could easily switch to xubuntu or run xfce on top of a ubuntu mini install. My problem with *buntu is no longer the DE but the base system. Too buggy and the rushed 6 month release whether its ready or not.

Peridically basing it off of sid or like they do just enherits problems that debian flushes out on its way to testing.....why do the work twice?? I really think *buntu would be better off forking from debian and continuing it on their own instead of making a fork every 6 months (which is really what they are doing). The packages are far from interchangeable anyway so they might as well maintain their repos from scratch.....Just fork it once and be done with it. Keep apt-get etc just remember that the debs are not interchangeable (which they really are not anyway).

case in point I was turned off to KDE for a long time but it turns out is was Kububtu slapping everything together last minute (I know the K team doesnt get much help from canonical so I really dont blame them just the schedule they are forced onto)...I am running KDE(with openbox as the WM) on LMDE & openSUSE and its working quite well (much better than kubuntu).

.....long story short the fork festival is decaying the ubuntu base. I mean if you really think about it trying to upgrade from one 1st generation fork to another 1st generation fork that just happens to use the same package manager is a disaster waiting to happen. Why do you think linux mint STRONGLY recommends a re-install instead of a upgrade? because they understand that 9.04 is NOT the same distribution as 9.10 they are seperate distros but with the same name......I mean would try to upgrade from mandriva to mageia? HECK NO but canonical asks you to do it every 6 months (or every 2 years on LTS which is a bigger ****up waiting to happen).

I owe alot to ubuntu for getting me back into linux but I am waaaay more at ease using other dstros that use a little more caution these days.

Why Mark Stallworth is developing the Unity Desktop

Roger T. Imai's picture

For those having trouble (like me) adjusting to the Unity desktop:

Google Mark Stallworth's blog comments on why Ubuntu is taking the desktop direction that he is. We may not be happy about it, but I think it's a matter of Canonical's survival.

Check out the competition. Google 'Windows 8 demo' videos. It's all about how new users work today. They don't organize their stuff. They just want to be able to find it when they need it. Windows 8 and Unity are both attempting to accommodate to the quick-and-dirty working methods of today's users. Stallworth calls the new desktop "search-centric."

And it's all about integrating applications so they communicate with each other and share data. Unity depends on Zeitgeist to know what to display in its menus. Zeitgeist tracks usage and detects semantic relationships between events. Zeitgeist, like most of Unity's other components, is still in development, and it probably will eventually even begin to provide additional resources in the Cloud that the user wasn't even aware of. The operating system will become a user's coach and adviser.

To some of us it seems dumbed-down and pretty-fied. But that's what today's user needs.

The Age of the Computer is drawing to a close, and we've entered Convergence, when all kinds of different computing devices will be so ubiquitous that users will no longer be conscious that they're online or "computing."

It's kind of like how, in third-world countries, villagers trek miles every day to tote back containers of water so they can wash and cook. That's what MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 was like for computing! We turn on the water tap without even thinking about it. That's what 'Cloud Computing' will be like to users.

We are also entering a new universe of security issues, like what happened during the transition to online banking. Except, online crime has raised the bar considerably. There are cities built on criminal funds, and black ops hackers sabotaging countries' infrastructure systems.

Commercial scams:

Industrial sabotage:

This is a rough patch we're going though, guys, maybe a really rough patch. But nobody can stop it, nobody can change it, because the direction we're going is controlled by global collective behavior. We can only hope the right people figure it all out before civilization reaches melt-down.

I hope this provides some perspective on our complaints about Unity desktop.


Roger T. Imai's picture

The founder of Canonical is Mark SHUTTLEWorth, not STALLWorth. My brain crossed the name of Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation with Mr. Shuttleworth's name and produced the false hybrid name. I didn't even realize it until just now.



That no one has corrected me, I guess, shows that readers are not interested to learn Canonical's rationale for the evolution of desktop design. I find Mr. Shuttleworth's commentaries interesting and insightful, while I'm also aware that his vision is not shared by all developers.

Answer to comments

Roger T. Imai's picture

I never said I agreed with the direction that Unity is taking the desktop. Read what I wrote. Neither did I say that the search-centric features were even near full implementation. In fact, most of the Zeitgeist semantic association features are not implemented yet. All that is Stallworth's vision for Unity. Everything about Unity is STILL IN DEVELOPMENT.

I don't particularly like Unity, nor its philosophy either. I will probably eventually switch to a niche desktop.

I work in a campus environment, and I deal with young users every day, and I see how they work. They are neither systematic nor thorough. They read only the first paragraph of email notices and respond immediately. They ask me what our store hours are when it's clearly in my sig. The bulk of students no longer tote their notebooks around. They work off their smartphones. If you think the generations after you will learn to work as you do, you're fooling yourself.

Desktops are not only only interface that's changing its working method. Gmail supported folders in which to organize your mail. But they a long while back realized that more and more of their users were not organizing their mail in folders, and so they've transitioned to labels users can attach to their mail, so they can search for them. Labels also allow the same document to appear in diverse searches. Gmail has also become search-centric. I don't say that this is good either. It's adjusting to users' changing working styles.

Complain all you like, stick your heads in the sand for all I care. I don't like search-centrism either. I'm just telling it as I see it.

apology for rant

Roger T. Imai's picture

After re-reading my follow-up I want to apologize for my short-tempered little rant, and the comment about sticking one's head in the sand. I took others' upset feelings about the direction of the desktop design as a personal attack, which was definitely misplaced. My impulse came from my own displeasure with the current state of affairs.

I did want to note that the semantic association features of Zeitgeist have not yet been fully implemented. So, yes, Doug is right, he doesn't see it in the current Unity desktop except for the Dash menu focusing on recently-used items (and including a "see more" option, which still doesn't "show all.") And the Ayatana Team at this point promises hardening security features for potential issues that usage tracking raises. Currently the Activity Journal includes a blacklist feature which allows the user to prevent various activities or locations from being recorded, but there is probably much more that can be done to secure the Unity desktop.

As for the vision of a semantic desktop, one may see this reflected in the speculations in this article published in the year 2000. Ubuntu is far from the only organization investigating the development of a semantic web-based desktop. So is Apple, Google, Microsoft, and a host of heavyweight players.

I recently visited an old friend of mine who is a computer consultant, and watched him work on his desktop. He still prefers the traditional desktop organization, with full menus and minimal eye-candy. I noticed that many of his menus contained numerous sub-menus, and the lists of items in the drop-down windows were frequently extensive. I realized that this method of organization certainaly would not work well on mobile devices with limited screen space. A search-centric interface, which attempts to display selections by relevance and recent usage would have to be the logical choice.

The Unity Desktop really is the tip of the iceberg in a sea-change that is occurring, and it is global, not merely limited to Linux.

Go to go.

I appreciate your

Dale L.'s picture

I appreciate your points.

There will always be the "change" factor in software developments because we're always coming up with new ideas and developments and that's OK - ofcourse. I still disagree though with the "intrusive" style they employ. That's where the trouble starts.

As for youth, we as responsible parents/society need to watch their ways and correct them when it's necessary. If they work the wrong way - why encourage them to do this? Is it just to make more money and who cares about the destiny of our youth? If your youth gets in your car and drives at a top speed of 200km everywhere he/she goes - are you gonna let him/her do it? And just shrug it off and say, Oh well, it doesn't matter, we'll design more safety features in cars to handle the "next generation" super wave of stupidity. Are software design companies just capitalizing on youth behaviors and ignoring the moral issue of it all? Are we pushing our youth off the deep end? Somewhere you need to draw the line between "sane" developments and inappropriate ones. If they go in the wrong direction in organizing their information, and really way off in this affair, are developers saying: Oh, don't bother with that -just design a new software to accomodate bad organizational behaviors and make more money...? And when youth gets on the work force with bad organizational skills and plenty of bad habits, what are we going to do with that? It's hard to change the ways of an individual especially when they've done their thing for years. Did you ever see the new "chat" language youth employ...?!! Are we going to change our dictionaries and make more money on youth behaviors? Or will we correct them?

As for Gmail and the labels, the truth is that labels work exactly the same way as folders do - there's not much difference except that you can see the label/folder name at the top of the email. But both work out to the same thing. Even when you setup email message rules, the same thing applies. There really is no difference - we're just playing with words...

Anyways, I myself like to use the search to some point but the truth is, when you get to a place where you have loads of stored information, it gets real difficult to "remember" words to enter in a search box to find what you are looking for. In reality, you are constantly making a blind search hoping to find your data. On average, how many attempts will you make per search before finding the right thing? That's not very re-assuring! When I'm in a rush and can't think of a word to use, I'm really stumped. How will I find my information? When all the emphasis is on "searching" you are defeated to some degree. You are not organized. Searching is hoping and organizing is finding...! There really is a difference between the two. The end result to that after some time, will be heaps of data and I mean mega-loads with very little "access" to the stored information. Afterall, I think we need to first structure our information - that is like a foundation and after that, developments can prosper... but where are you going without an appropriate foundation for stored data? Oh, just throw it in the dump zone and hope...

Companies have spent millions and years in researching data mamangement and we are ready to throw all that out the window for bad youth habits...

To what extent can you emphasize search-centric operations and be efficient?

As for Gmail and the labels

Stefano T's picture

I don't think it's just a matter of playing with words.

Topologically speaking folders implement a tree, labels a graph and these two are quite different objects, leading to different things one can do with labels or folders.

You can use labels as if they were folders, but not the contrary.
For example you can't put the same email in different folders, while you can assign differnt labels to the same email (with no hierarchy constraints).

folders vs. labels

Roger T. Imai's picture


Thanks for your supporting comment. Tree vs. graph is a very apt illustration. Functionally, labels allow grouping documents with disparate Subject lines so that a comment on, say, the evolution of desktop design can be found in a message with the Subject "Update from Jack."

Dealing with Change

Roger T. Imai's picture

Dale, shall we abolish airbags in cars, then? Certainly you're touching on a major dilemma in adapting to change, encompassing social policy. Doug, see what you started? :P (anyone still use emoticons?)


Doug.Roberts's picture



Doug.Roberts's picture

Thanks for the follow-up, it was most thoughtful.


Inevitable death of the desktop paradigm

Roger T. Imai's picture

As much as I preferred my classic Gnome 2 Ubuntu desktop, I keep coming across mind-boggling chronicles of the migration to mobile devices that eschew the desktop paradigm. It's already too late to say we shouldn't encourage the sloppy organization of today's users by adapting to their working style. It's already happened. Today's desktop developers are merely playing catch-up to iOS and Android. I believe we have to learn to embrace this change, for better or worse, or grow increasingly bitter.

The following video is on the growth of mobile LAST year. It's almost scary. Actually, it IS scary...


Highlights of the Mobile Year in Review 2010 Video
Massive increase in apps downloaded

FIVE BILLION apps downloaded — up from 300 million in 2009
Whopping expansion of location-based services

FIVE MILLION Foursquare users — up from 200,000 users in 2009
Surge in mobile social media platforms

347 PERCENT growth in Twitter mobile usage
200 MILLION mobile Facebook Users
100 MILLION YouTube videos played on mobile devices everyday
Ongoing explosion in data traffic

3,000 PERCENT growth in one carrier’s data traffic since 2008
3,339: average number of texts sent per month by US teens.
Unprecedented competition and choice

96 PERCENT of mobile users can choose from 3 or more providers
92 PERCENT of mobile users are satisfied with their provider
4 CENTS: average voice rate per minute in the US
77 MILLION: number of smartphones shipped in the fall of 2010.

©2011 All Mobile Future. Rights Reserved.

Paradigm shift in desktop design

Roger T. Imai's picture


In my hurry to go (4th of July dinner) I forgot to include the URL to the article published in 2000 I referred to previously. What we are are only beginning to see in Unity, people have been talking about for over a decade already.

The Graphical User Interface.
Time for a Paradigm Shift?
Christine Zmoelnig
MA Hypermedia Studies
HRC Westminster University
London, 01 28 2000


Several of the article sections mention concepts akin to semantic webs, 3-Dimensionality, net/cloud-centrism, etc., long before their time. They may help us understand what the new desktop changes are TRYING to accomplish, albeit not always very well at the moment. I do think we are definitely in a transitional period. There will be lots of problems for a while, and they won't be seen only in the Linux world.

Happy 4th of July (to fellow Americans, that is. Apologies to the Brits.)

Don't see the mapping

Doug.Roberts's picture

I had to read this comment a couple of times before deciding that I don't see the mapping behind the new Unity interface and the supposed implementation of better search and security on the desktop.

Unity might be pretty, but it is clunky in terms of the user's ergonomic experience. I'd have to have it proven to me that Unity improves security or provides better desktop organization capabilities for the user.


"It's all about how new users

Dale L.'s picture

"It's all about how new users work today. They don't organize their stuff. They just want to be able to find it when they need it. Windows 8 and Unity are both attempting to accommodate to the quick-and-dirty working methods of today's users. Stallworth calls the new desktop "search-centric."

To some of us it seems dumbed-down and pretty-fied. But that's what today's user needs."

New users?
Nobody wants to organize their desktop?

Personally, I don't care for the "dump & search" bad habit, I don't buy that crap! - people are TOO lazy to get organized...

We shouldn't be listening to stuff like that. If it takes too much time to organize, then it takes too much time to search... you're NOT solving the problem - you are just substituting organizing with searching and I would say (based on my experience), it takes MORE time to always search compared to being well organized. I find my stuff much faster through an organized structure... the search is an added complimentary tool.

I am a today's user and I don't need the search-centric nonsense. I never did and I never will... and I'm not interested in promoting bad habits...

Ubuntu & Unity

cwl's picture

I couldn't agree more although I think it's a sad fact that anything designed to appeal to the broad masses HAS to be dumbed down. One only has to look at the success of commercial television compared to national/community broadcasters. The general public would much prefer to watch mindless programming frequently interrupted with often times downright insulting advertisements rather than a good documentary. With that mentality having a well structured and organised system is just too much effort. Someone once quoted "the sum of user intelligence and computing power is a constant"... Really I don't care whether 2011 or any other year is or isn't the year of "Linux on the desktop". I'd hate to see Linux degenerate into a Windows style system aimed at the broad masses. Ubuntu might have made huge strides forward in popularising Linux but popularity isn't everything. Linux isn't a commercial system designed to boost it's market share and make profit. I don't see why there should be so much emphasis on popularity/market penetration.

Unity is not ready, nor gnome3-shell, nor kde4, the answer is...

ZafX's picture

I was a convinced user of kde3, a long time ago.Despite his messy menus, i was liked qt applications but i coudn't use kde4, to much gadgets, to mutch slow-down... So I came to gnome. But now, there is gnome3, it's good, it's nice but it's not finished. That is my feeling. It will be great but it is not finished, at this time. And it keeps crashing! I work with my computer, I need it to be stable!

For me, unity is better than gnome-shell only beacause it's less buggy but...

Workspaces... you speeking about workspaces so i am not the only one who need more than 10 workspaces, i cannot use my desktop without them!

So i'm now using openbox, tint, mc and other lightweight softwares, that's all i need, speed, reliable and i can work with them!

Gnome3 will be great... will be... but it's not. nor unity

Gnome 3 is stable, Unity is not

AD1972's picture

I tried Unity, it crashed hourly. I've been using Fedora 15 with Gnome 3 daily for over a month with not one single crash.

Gnome 3 is there, Unity is alpha software at best.

Importance of Debian project

Pavithran's picture

Well unity now and in in future wayland kind of proves how important the upstream project debian is to the success of Ubuntu !

Debian's standard Gnome is well packaged and maintained by a community hence is stable , while its not the case in unity :)

You know

Doug.Roberts's picture

This whole Unity exercise demonstrates that even (otherwise) smart, successful people can occasionally make a big mistake. Unity may well end up with a niche in the desktop market, but I sincerely doubt that it will ever be a one size fits all replacement for the Gnome shell. You just have to wonder what Mark Shuttleworth was thinking when he bought off on this concept.


Unity Review - Great news for Mint

Anonymous's picture

It's Horrible!! Why sugar coat it and say "It just takes some getting used to." I never saw so many of my Ubuntu work buddies moving to Mint.

Unity 11.04

Kyle's picture

I use it everyday - love it and love where it is taking us - TOUCH - people

Unity crash

TonyP's picture

Did you report a bug for these crashes? It seems a definite situation. I.e regularly crashing when swapping between workspaces and I have n workspaces. We all know Unity is new. Ubuntu needs co-operation to debug it so when the next LTS comes it is solid.

Unity and Garbage are both free.

Otter's picture

I tried Unity also. I like the concept; however, Canonical has pushed something onto users that isn't even half way finished. After the third day of tweaking, Webbing around for work work-arounds, and putting up with too many applications not working correctly; I had my fill of Unity. It left such a bad impression with me that I've download other OS's and I'm not sure I'll ever come back. Canonical has increasing pushed one release after another without ever getting any of them complete. In short, they have become pushers of junk and I won't use junk anymore. It's free but so is trash left at the curb.


fioan89's picture

For those of you who tried to give Unity or Gnome 3 a chance,just do the same thing with KDE.And if you are fair with yourself,you'll get a nice DE ,very stable desktop,fast and clean.
You will never regret it,just try to be fair.

10.04 with compiz and awn

mkquist's picture

10.04 with compiz and awn makes a really nice desktop and netbook. I guess I wonder, why change what ain't broke? Whats worth the upgrade/headache? Is it like a major safety thing? Just asking...

Nice idea, bad implementation

konqrunner's picture

I love the overall concept, but I have to admit that I am p*** off by the unprofessional implementation of it - something which is absolutely uncommon with Canonical.

Within a couple of hours after freshly installing 11.04 on my 3 years old Satellite, I had to go through all the pains experienced by the author and several of the commentators (nVidia graphics problems, freezes, depleted resources, trouble configuring compiz, anger rages when trying to find an application with the new menu etc.)

All in all, this has been the single most terrible roll-out of a new Ubuntu version I have ever seen. So, I'll certainly revert to 10.04 LTS - especially since KDE has proven to be just as unstable, resource hungry and un-intuitive in recent versions as Unity has now.

I agree with you Rich H.I use

JASH's picture

I agree with you Rich H.I use Ubuntu for work and run Crossover to run MS Office. My desktop is not used for facebook, twitter et. al. It is for WORK. I ran as a live on a USB and I preferred the Gnome 3 simply because the menus on the right of the screen where logical, familiar and got me going in less key strokes than Unity. I really detest the inflexibility these new desktops lock us into. The thing I love most about Linux is the ability to configure it to my needs. Unity and Gnome lock you out - bugger off if you don't like it - windows & Apple mentality now dominates.

I will wait to see if 11.10 is better, otherwise I will probably go with a Gnome2 variety of some other kind. I run Pinguy on my netbook and works well. Maybe that is where I will end up.


Unity is still in it's

Anonymous's picture

Unity is still in it's embryonic stages in some respects, but I've gotten to the point that it makes more sense than anything else does for the most part. I can navigate faster, it doesn't ever crash for me, and it works with most of the programs I use on a daily basis. What I don't like is the behavior of apps that used to run in the panel as background processes. These aren't well supported yet. The prime example is QJoyPad. Also, you can't edit menu entry commands or the entries themselves, leaving you completely helpless when the default launch is not what you need.

I am sticking with it because it works for me. There are a lot of people it doesn't work well for. I'm not one of them.

You can edit the launchers;

Velociostrich's picture

You can edit the launchers; just do 'locate "*.desktop"' and you'll find the 'applications' directory full of launchers.

No matter what you throw out

Dale L.'s picture

No matter what you throw out there, some people will be happy with it... cause we all have different needs and ways of doing things... and that's OK...

my rant is that developers these days constantly fork out applications to the public without sufficiently developing them and so they always upset almost the entire "user" community and cause endless hardships, disappointments and frustrations. They should develop there applications to a more sensible degree and then afterwards make it available... seems like we got the cart in front of the horse...

it's no fun being stuck with a software that's imposed on your system like a violation of your privacy on your desktop and you've got to wait endless months or even years sometimes before things change. And then finally after that, they surprise you with still another new software or version that isn't developed enough and so it all rolls over again - like an endless cycle...

I think the general user community is getting really fed up with this trend... as that is what I see in forums and blogs everywhere... I think the developer community needs to change their ways...

For example, I know that many users are abandoning Ubuntu because of Unity. If the developers think Unity is good or "will be" good in the future, then let them win the public over with substantial software developments AND allow the user to choose Unity. If you really have confidance in what you are doing, and you think it's good, then your user-base will grow BY CHOICE. The error is to IMPOSE it.

To their credit they did warn

blue_bullet's picture

To their credit they did warn that only unity would be available in 11.10 thus giving us (me) time to migrate to LinuxMint 11. Been with Ubuntu since 7.04. This change was the worst upgrade and update I have encountered. Too little testing, too big a rush. Bad enough I had to sort of leave by going to mint.

How is Mint? I think I will

Dale L.'s picture

How is Mint? I think I will eventually go that way...

I was able to configure Linux

blue_bullet's picture

I was able to configure Linux Mint 11 just like I have Ubuntu 10.10 with a panel on the top and bottom of the desktop. By default it comes with only the bottom panel. The top is easily added so LM11 is much the same as I had Ubuntu 10.10. I use displex 0.7.1 to deal with compiz/metacity issues.
LM11 menu for applications/control/admin is a bit different but not enough to slow you down. You can copy portions of your Ubuntu home directory to your LM11 directory if you use multiple boot. I have Windows 7/Ubuntu 10.10/Linux Mint 11. Scrapped Ubuntu 11.04. I am happy with Linux Mint though I would caution that the user community is not as large nor as helpful as the Ubuntu community.


Dale L.'s picture


Well, I'm on 10.04 LTS with

Dale L.'s picture

Well, I'm on 10.04 LTS with Gnome 2.3 and everything runs smoothly and the LTS is still around for a couple of years. I'm happy with it! Sure beats windows... from what I see and what I've read, UNITY doesn't attract me at all and "they" should have offered users the OPTION to use it or not but they impose it... and that's stirring quite an issue...

KDE is my new DE

Anonymous's picture

I found Unity and Gnome 3 to be far too unstable for me and went KDE4. Wow is all I can say. So much more polish and configuration. Last time I used KDE it was much bulkier and slower than Gnome or any of the other DEs I tried. KDE 4.6.4 is like greased lightning. I can't stand that every developer feels the need to include a 'k' in the name of their app, but I guess it's not much different than Apple's 'i' everything. My only gripe is that the Kontact/KDEpim package is still pretty ugly, maybe it'll get a little more polish in the future.

GNOME 2? So, do you like

Cont3mpo's picture

So, do you like dumbphones too?


Doug.Roberts's picture

If Unity is a smart phone, then I definitely prefer the dumb ones.

I love Ubuntu as much as the

Anonymous's picture

I love Ubuntu as much as the next but when it comes to 11.04 + Unity, its a shame that most Ubuntu zealots can't look at 11.04 objectively.

I had to revert to 10.10 on my laptop because there were serious, unforgivable regressions (power consumption and stability). My desktop has 11.04 and I am, however, still trying with all of my heart to like Unity + 11.04. I'm on my 6th or so fresh install since 11.04 hit (almost went back to 10.10 the other night).

Unity is beta quality and not ready

GNOME 3 or KDE 4

Jayesh Badwaik's picture

Try GNOME 3 or KDE 4, you might just get it going good....