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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Ubuntu 11.10 impressions

    I guess I will start the 11.10 post.

    The first thing that surprised me is that it has been out for about a week now. I usually don't expect it until the last week of the month. I installed it within VirtualBox on my desktop and work laptop. Some initial impressions:

    * Unity seems to be a little better behaved than earlier. In addition, Unity runs on the laptop (Unity on 11.04 didn't run on the laptop). I think I will stick with Unity for a while to see how it goes.

    * CDs now automount - they didn't in Unity on 11.04 within VirtualBox. I don't know if that was due to VirtualBox or Ubuntu/Unity.

    * I still hate the global menus (the way Apple does them). It might make sense on a small screen where you are practically forced to run apps full screen, but with a large screen the extra mouse movement to get to the menus is a pain in at @$$. It is even worse if you are running a dual or three screen setup and the menu isn't even on the same screen as the app. But there is a way to turn that feature off (see link below, and on Firefox you have to disable an extension) and get the menus back on the apps window.

    * What, no screensaver other than a blank screen? And no way to change that without installing a screensaver?

    * If you share folder within VirtualBox (for example, I share my d: drive with Ubuntu), you must add you Ubuntu account to the vboxsf group in order to access the shared folder: sudo usermod -a -G vboxsf xxxx, where xxx is your user name

    Here is a link that details some tweaks you might consider making:
    http://www.webupd8.org/2011/10/thing...ng-ubuntu.html

    I'll report more if I notice anything in particular.

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger jockmullin's Avatar
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    I upgraded my laptop to 11.10 about a week ago. Previously was running Natty, so it is a big change.

    Still getting used to the Unity desktop and slowly starting to like it. As a general comment I would say it abstracts the user even more from the Linux internals. I don't like that so much, but I can see it would be good for the average users and may make Ubuntu more appealing to a wider audience. I quickly found I wanted more accessibility features and resorted to insalling and learning the Compiz Config Settings Manager, which gave me what I was looking for (magnify, inverse window) plus a lot more. It also gave me major grief when I did something (not sure what) which resulted in the loss of everything but the wallpaper and the top line (File Edit View ... Help); no menus, no search nada. Couldn't even shut down. Restarted to the same state.

    Thankfully Ubuntu Forums put me in contact with a guru who gave me 5 lines of arcane code to paste into a tty window (once we got that open) which restored everything so I could try again (after taking an image this time). Apparently I'm not the first to do that.

    I also was surprised at no screen saver, but installed one which is fine. Also got slideshow desktop background working, like Win 7, which is nice, especially since the desktop isn't used for much else under the Unity shell.

    I did make the change to allow choosing Unity or the Gnome-like shell at login time, like Natty. Gnome-like would be the operative word here - it just makes the menus etc like they were in 10.04, but I think it is really a simulation under Unity, not really gnome, but I have been meaning to check on that.

    I have run into a couple of problems. Maybe it was always like this and I never noticed, but windows can be partly in one workspace and partly in another. I often shove a window down or aside if I only need to refer to part of it or am cutting/pasting stuff across, say from a forum into a terminal window. When I do that and switch to the workspace below or beside, there is the part of the window from the other workspace overlaying the stuff I have open there. Very messy. So really the workspaces are not separate. If there is some way to prevent that I haven't found it. I find with the workspace switcher I am using them a lot more than previously and it is very handy.

    Like a lot of people I am not crazy about some of the default programs chosen for things like email and terminal server client. Thunderbird is the default email, which I can live with because I use it in Windows, but using the default remote desktop client for RDP protocol is a big step back. I have installed Remmina, which is in beta and it is ok but doesn't handle sounds, always strips host wallpaper (ok by me) and at least has multiple tabs if you are monitoring multipls RDP hosts, like I do. Opening multiple instances took some figuring out (middle mouse button of all things).

    Speaking of which there are a ton of new keyboard shortcuts to learn for those of us who prefer typing to mousing, but they are quite good.

    I suspect a number of things now "missing" in the default install were left out to save CD space. Ubuntu still installs from a CD, so you should figure on looking for additional/replacement apps after install. At least the process is easy, quick and even pleasant. Also the update process remains exemplary.

    All in all, so far so good with Unity. Stability is good. Performance is not very, but still quicker than Windows on the same machine (dual booting XP), though it seems slower than gnome 2. I find it takes a fair while to start some apps (Firefox, Stellarium) for the first time, subsequently OK. I had problems with the keyring thingie under Natty, but that is working properly now and everything connects up smoothly at startup, both wired and wireless.

    Upgrading to Oneiric from a previous version is more a replacement than an upgrade. A lot of software and most settings do not get carried forward, even things like Samba configs will get clobbered unless you tell it not to or sit and wade thru a line by line comparison of the files. I didn't bother and am still regretting it, as I am running two Windows workgroups on separate subnets and for the moment connecting to some machines by IP, etc. But so it goes.

    Jock

  3. #3
    2 Star Lounger
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    I've been using Ubuntu for a couple of years on a dual-boot (Ubuntu/Win 7) Acer Aspire 1 netbook. Each version of Ubuntu gets noticeably better. It's always booted much faster (2 to 3 times as fast) as Win 7, and it reclaims my bluetooth mouse each time, unlike Win 7--I have to remove and reinstate the BT mouse on that OS. I boot with Ubuntu 9 times out of 10 for web surfing, etc. BTW, Teamviewer works great with Ubuntu, I use it on all machines, Windows and Linux based.

  4. #4
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    I had black screen problems with 11.10. Ubuntu forums had a cure for that. I never could get the system to see my wireless device. Then, it wouldn't find my cursor so that I could log in. After fighting it for three days, I took it out and loaded 10.04 LTS.

  5. #5
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    I'm running Ubuntu 10.04 on my 4 year old HP laptop (as dual-boot) mainly because none of the versions of Ubuntu after that worked with the wireless NIC. Hence why I now run mostly within a virtual environment.

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