Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ubuntu 11.04 First Look

The latest Ubuntu is out. And with that Canonical has brought a number of changes. I downloaded the ISO right away and used usb-creator to put (burn???) it to a USB Drive.

My eMachines e727 is well supported so I booted to Live Version straight away. As usual ubuntu didn't take long to start and get me to the unity screen.

I am yet to try out Gnome 3 so I can't tell between the two. But I did spend some time with Unity and I also made one of my friends use it and tell me his impression. My impression isn't much here because I felt Unity was okay - just okay, nothing ground breaking. I have a few gripes about the placement of things and the BIG app dock on the right.

But my friend who is using Ubuntu 10.04 for last 6Months and is a Chemical Engineer by Profession liked Unity. He loved the dock and the interface pleased him. Guess what I'll soon roll out a custom ISO of 11.04 with all bells and whistles for him using Remastersys.

Anyway there's the Classic desktop too which we can access using classic option while logging in. Also Unity needs Graphics Support. So on older PC's we'll get only Ubuntu Classic which is the old gnome2.

To get to the other changes, there are a few. Rhythmbox is replaced by Banshee. The menus are moved around a bit though I don't think you'll notice them. One big sad thing I noticed was under System menu on top panel you see lock screen, Log out, and shut down menus which used not to be there especially since Ubuntu has a separate power button in Top Right corner. Annoying little thing, but then little things annoy us very much!

OpenOffice is replaced by LibreOffice, and it's icons look better. Most other things remain same. I am not going into system internals and tell you this service is changed and that service is tweaked and so on. That stuff is for hardcore geeks! (There are such People! And don't snigger, I hear you!)

Ubuntu One integration is a major plus point here and I believe they have put in some more efforts in Software Center too, though I didn't check it out.

Overall this is another incremental update. Canonical will tweak Unity further so as to make it essential to the whole Ubuntu experience. As to Gnome 3 I think we'll have to wait for at least 2-3 implementations and see what everybody does with it and who has the best implementation.

p.s. Photo gallery coming in couple of days.

This is one of the many reviews that caught my eye and this review says all I experienced with Natty.

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