Monday, 7 March 2011

Ubuntu Natty Alpha 3 - First Impressions

This will be a short post since I haven't played with Ubuntu Natty for long. But first impressions are mixed if I'm to be kind. On the upside Ubuntu is still usable. On the down side, it's not what I'm looking for in a desktop OS.

The new interface just sucks for desktop users. It might make sense on a tablet where only one application is being used at any given time. But it just doesn't work as a desktop GUI. I don't like it. It's not what I'm used to and I don't want to be "converted". Imagine my eation then when I discovered the "Ubuntu Classic Desktop" option at the log-in screen. Then imagine my disappointment when I realised it didn't actually do anything yet.

Mono is once again a sore point. I just don't see the point. Mono doesn't bring anything to the mix that isn't already there. Other than possible legal troubles of course and a ridiculously bloated install foot print. So as you might expect I tried removing it. And guess what? Ubuntu didn't seem to lose any functionality that couldn't be replaced by installing alternatives. The applications I lost included Gbrainy, Tomboy Notes and Banshee. All of which I can live quite happily without. has been replaced with Libre Office. Again I'm not really sure what the advantage is other than Libre Office has been contaminated with OOXML support. Canonicals leanings towards Microsoft technologies is beginning to annoy. I moved to Linux to get away from Microsoft. Please for the love of all that's still pure in the world don't drive me on to a Mac.

The Gimp was notable by it's absence. Which means I'll have to install it since I was planning on doing a clean installation for 11.04. It's not a hard thing to do. But the Gimp has been a standard application on the Linux desktop for so long. It just doesn't seem right it's not there any longer. I'm a Gimp user. So I need it.

The one thing that did really impress me with this installation was the new Ubiquity installer. Hopefully I'll have a video posted to YouTube soon. This is the one part of Ubuntu that has gotten better with every version of Ubuntu. This time around basic information is collected as the system is being set up. So it's no longer a case of collecting data and then copying files. Files are copied while basic user data is collected. Which does speed up the whole process by a few minutes. And lets face it. Anything that helps cut down installation time has to be good.


  1. Some points:

    1) Banshee is the new default player for Natty, so I'm not clear what you mean when you say that you lost it.

    2) One of the stated goals of LibreOffice "is to produce a vendor-independent office suite with ODF support and without any copyright assignment requirements." So it is a little confusing that you claim that Canonical is leaning towards any given vendor by adopting LibreOffice, yet alone Microsoft.

    3) GIMP was removed from the installation CD starting with Lucid, not Natty. So it is odd that you blame Natty for the change.

    4) You shouldn't have any problem running Natty with the Ubuntu Classic Desktop, since this is the default Natty falls back to when it can't run Unity because of older hardware and some other problems.

  2. 1) Clearly you can't read. I quite clearly state I removed Mono and as a result lost Banshee, Gbrainy and Tomboy Notes.

    2) Novell reportedly leaned heavily on the LibreOffice project to include support for OOXML. Novell is a Microsoft gimp. The logic is simple. Canonical seem to be doing all they can to lace Ubuntu with glaring patent traps.

    3) Indeed it did and I'm still pissed off about it. I don't blame Natty. Natty is a GNU/Linux/Mono distribution. It can't think or make decisions. I blame Canonical.

    4) You're right I shouldn't. I've just seen the latest version of GnomeShell. It could win me over. Although I'm once again drifting towards KDE. I won't have a problem running Unity or "Ubuntu Classic" because I won't be running Unity or "Ubuntu Classic". Which is actually just the Gnome desktop. I might not even be running Ubuntu.

    I moved to Linux to get away from Microsoft. Not to run Microsoft laced applications. Oh and since when did Linux apps have .exe extensions on their file names?

    Now next time you choose to post on my blog. At least have the balls to use some kind of user name!