Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch?

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Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch?

Postposted on Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:34 pm

I have to finalize which distro I want to work with in a near future, and since I've been using 10.04 for like 5 months without any issues at all, aside from some application freezing GUI and requiring Alt+Ctr+F7 + kill -9. I decided to try 11.10 to see if it's better.

So far:
GUI sucks, why, why, why?!!!! Where is the classic desktop, or something like W7? Was it done for tablets? I have a friggin 1920x1080+1280x1024 super miniature one without specks of fingertips right in front of me!!!
Installing recommended Nvidia drivers killed WLAN.
Some freezing issues, can't fully understand what's at fault, but seems to be video processing related.
Themes and customization are gone.

Pros:
TRIM support

What are your opinions, should I try getting used to the GUI, or is it worth staying with 10.04 LTS?
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:42 pm

I ended up switching to Kubuntu 11.10. Not 100% happy with the change, but KDE 4 has gotten a lot better since the .0 release.

The cool kids seem to be switching to Mint nowadays.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:44 pm

Take a look at Xfce 4. Not too shabby at all. I couldn't stand Unity and went back to Xubuntu.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:04 pm

bthylafh wrote:I ended up switching to Kubuntu 11.10. Not 100% happy with the change, but KDE 4 has gotten a lot better since the .0 release.


+1 for Kubuntu.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:08 pm

Yes, Unity was designed for netbooks/tablets, i.e. systems with limited screen real estate. IMO it is non-optimal for a "normal" desktop system, as you've also discovered.

I am still running 10.04 LTS myself, but I am considering a switch to Kubuntu 11.10 (KDE desktop). Xubuntu (XFCE desktop) is another possibility.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:25 pm

Are those KUbuntu and XUbuntu versions equally well supported? Or am I going to get into a whole new set of problems?

I'm still kinda noob in Linux.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:37 pm

Madman wrote:Are those KUbuntu and XUbuntu versions equally well supported? Or am I going to get into a whole new set of problems?

I'm still kinda noob in Linux.


Kubuntu and Xubuntu use the same repositories as Ubuntu. So you get the same packages as Ubuntu. So the same version of Firefox, Python, GCC etc and the same security patches etc. For most things, drivers are also the same. Graphics cards, audio etc that worked in Ubuntu has usually also worked for me in Kubuntu. However, network managers in particular can be different and at least once (on an older release) I had a wireless card that worked in one flavor but not the other.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:36 pm

+1 for Ubuntu 11.10 - i have no issues running with the default UI... kinda neat if u ask me! :-)
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:19 am

Ubuntu flavors in a nutshell...

All of the Ubuntu flavors are built on top of the same base OS, follow the same release cycle, and receive the same security updates to the base OS and common applications. What changes are the default set of installed packages, and (most importantly for desktop users) the desktop environment that comes bundled on the distribution media.

Ubuntu - The "standard" release, which includes the current default Ubuntu desktop environment; historically the default desktop environment was GNOME, but in recent versions it is Ubuntu's own Unity desktop. You can install GNOME (unfortunately it is the new GNOME 3 and not the GNOME 2 "classic" desktop most GNOME users are familiar with) by installing the gnome-session-fallback package.

Kubuntu - Uses the KDE desktop. This is the most feature-rich (and Windows-like) of the current Linux desktop environments. Fairly resource intensive (I wouldn't install it on anything with less than 2 GB of RAM).

Xubuntu - Uses the XFCE desktop. Meant to be a lightweight alternative to GNOME.

Lubuntu - Uses LXDE, an ultra-lightweight desktop environment which uses minimal resources. Good for older or memory-constrained machines.

Ubuntu Server - Installs no desktop environment by default (CLI only), and includes an OS kernel which is specially tuned for server workloads.

All of the desktop flavors also come in an "alternate" version, which provides additional options during installation to allow expert users to fine-tune the system. The most common reason to use an "alternate" version is probably to create a software RAID-1 array during OS installation (not for the faint of heart, but works quite well once you get it set up properly).

You can also install multiple desktop environments alongside each other in the same Ubuntu installation; this makes it easier to try them out. When you have multiple desktop environments installed, the login screen will allow you to choose which one you want on boot-up. To install KDE into an existing non-KDE installation, install the package kubuntu-desktop. To install XFCE, install xubuntu-desktop. To install LXDE, install lubuntu-desktop. To install the default (GNOME or Unity depending on version) desktop, install ubuntu-desktop. These same packages can also be used to add a desktop environment to an existing Ubuntu Server installation.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:27 am

just brew it! wrote:Xubuntu - Uses the XFCE desktop. Meant to be a lightweight alternative to GNOME.


It's not much lighter at all than GNOME 2, but the user interface is more reminiscent of that than GNOME 3 is (modulo the OSX-style dock), so it might still be a good alternative for someone coming from Ubuntu 10.04.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:28 am

Forgot to mention in my previous post...

Although many GUI applications specifically target (or come bundled with) one of the major desktop environments, you can generally mix-and-match applications and desktop environments at will. For example, K3B is KDE's CD/DVD burning application; but you can install and use it even if you are running GNOME as your desktop. The downsides to mixing desktop environments and applications this way are:

- Consistency of "look and feel". The UI style varies a bit between desktops, and there are differences in how you interact with applications. For example, by default KDE uses a single-click to open files, while GNOME uses a double-click.

- Bloat. If you install an application that was developed for a "foreign" desktop environment, the package manager will automatically pull in all of the associated run-time libraries that the application needs. This can chew up a few hundred extra MB on your hard drive; but on the bright side, if you install multiple applications that need those libraries, they only get pulled in once.

- Desktop environment integration. If the application interacts directly with the desktop environment it may not work properly. This should be relatively rare for "normal" applications though...
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:36 am

Installed both packages, and so far Kde seems to be a whole lot better than everything else, a lot more polished and usefull. Although there are some "trendy" gadgets that would be better if removed.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:45 am

Madman wrote:Installed both packages, and so far Kde seems to be a whole lot better than everything else, a lot more polished and usefull.

About 4 years ago this situation was almost exactly reversed. KDE 4.0 had just debuted, and was a flaming pile of suck; GNOME 2 was the mature, stable option. Now KDE 4 is mature and GNOME is in a state of flux (with the major desktop distros migrating to the new GNOME 3).
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:50 am

I see these 'application crashes in distribution so'n'so' and 'interface sucks' and whatnot in looking for a distribution and I wonder.

A distribution is just a packaging of available code with an infrastructure. The issues and judgments that so often come up in these forums like here seem off base.

If you have application crashing problems then you need a different version of X or a different display driver or a less buggy version of your application.

If you don't like the shell UI, then choose another shell.

At least with Ubuntu, it is very easy to install and use different UI shells and it is very easy to run back in time to find a release with the kernel and related system software in various versions to suit your particular application mix if need be.

From where I stand, pissing on things you don't like isn't anywhere near as productive as trying to figure out why someone had a different idea. One of the biggest benefits of Unity in this line is to get a better understanding of how the use of computers is changing. The desktop and application launching is such a small part of what anyone does on a computer, I wonder why all the fuss about that particular aspect of things. What change in such a small part of the experience causes such dissonance and why?

From the OP, I don't see the question as being about Ubuntu. Instead it needs to be such things as rpm or deb, readily available application library and software installation maintenance, kernel version and video driver versions, X version (or wait for Wayland?) default security model, support community and options, and so on.

If you've got a UI problem, just what do you want to do? - someone has probably got a shortcut figured (or will soon) or plug in an alternative.

If you've got an application crashing problem, debug it. Locate the source of the error. Determine its particularities. Report it on Launchpad (bug management is another distribution selection criteria, I thing). See if anyone shares your pain and what others do to work around it, fix it, or deal with it some other way. And if you find you are alone, think about what that means as well.

But then there are the frustrations. I've got a machine with ethernet hardware that is very selective about driver version. I am trying to find out why HP has dropped the all-in-on multifunction printer fax support in later versions of various distributions. I'd like WSJT or FLDIGI to be in the PPA process so I could get more modern versions (that work) in the Ubuntu software applications management paradigm,

The change is so rapid and there is so much going on that it is nearly a full time job trying to keep up - and to deal with regressions, improvements, and bumps on the road.

If you've got to ask if a newer version is worse or not, you are probably in the spot of 'if it works, don't fix it' - that's the reason there's a lot of legacy software out there. COBOL makes for an interesting case study on that.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:51 am

The big selling point about Mint seems to be its user interface: it's GNOME 3, but it has some specific extensions to make it more GNOME 2-like, with a panel and a launcher menu.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:52 am

bryanl wrote:snip


Hoo boy, where to even start on your misconceptions? :o
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:14 am

just brew it! wrote:IMO it is non-optimal for a "normal" desktop system, as you've also discovered.


I'm running 11.10 on dual 1920x1200 displays. I think Unity works very well on a desktop system.

The folks behind Ubuntu definitely have the desktop in mind http://goo.gl/snsrp

Unity is here to stay. If the OP does not like Unity then Ubuntu is no longer an option. I would recommend Kubuntu/Xubuntu.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:18 am

bryanl wrote:...


Since I've grown lazy, I'll summarize everything in few sentences:
I want Linux to penetrate 10%+ of market segment.
By default, non-geek users have heard only about Ubuntu.
Ubuntu was almost as stable as Windows and had a chance of getting larger user base, I really liked 10.04.
Unity sucks.
With 11.10 I have problems, with 10.04 I didn't.

I seriously value my time nowadays, I can't sit days on fixing some things that have been broken in the name of who knows what. And if I have to fight with these problems for days, then I can bet Regular Joe has no desire/skills to do so. And this is the problem, Linux finally has to grow into a stable OS, not a "here are the parts of your new car, construct it yourself, oh, and on the side note, the steering wheel is missing, construct one yourself".

With 11.10 it has been two days, and the result is:
Unity has been replaced with Kde, so I'm able to work normaly and efficiently (I'm very gratefull for the suggestions I was given in this thread, I will reformat and reinstall the Kubuntu after I've found how to fix all issues)
Nvidia nonrecommended drivers seem to work, more or less (found a fix online - sudo nvidia-xconf, sudo nvidia-settings, no auto elevation, incompatible xconf)
X-Fi works somehow (switched to digital IEC958 so 2 out of 6 channels work in Firefox/VLC/Desktop, but not in Skype)
Flash player (after fighting for multiple hours, youtube seem to work fine in Kde, not so much in Unity, other flash embedded sites doesn't seem to work, asks for Flash 11.x which I cannot find how to install on amd64)
There are still some font issues, Kde renders them badly in terminal, Unity is created for Elephants, and switching main main font size to smaller causes visual issues.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:15 pm

As far as installing Flash goes, you should just have to install the kubuntu-restricted-extras package and it'll pull in automatically.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:29 pm

Bryanl wrote:If you've got to ask if a newer version is worse or not, you are probably in the spot of 'if it works, don't fix it' - that's the reason there's a lot of legacy software out there. COBOL makes for an interesting case study on that.


:o
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:01 pm

I installed Unity for a friend onto his netbook (Aspire One?) and Flash (& Youtube) worked great after a few clicks.

just brew it! wrote:Ubuntu flavors in a nutshell...


Thank you very much for that summary! I found it very informative.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:14 am

bryanl wrote:From the OP, I don't see the question as being about Ubuntu. Instead it needs to be such things as rpm or deb, readily available application library and software installation maintenance, kernel version and video driver versions, X version (or wait for Wayland?) default security model, support community and options, and so on.

Some of these just seem... strange.

I agree that availability of updates and quality of the support community are important, since they directly impact the end user experience.

However, I can't see rpm vs. deb package format being something that should be a make-or-break issue for most desktop users. Or kernel version. Unless you're a Linux developer or server admin, these things are pretty far down the list of selection criteria. Even default security model is not a big deal for a standalone desktop installation; at the end of the day the system will be as secure (or insecure) as the person maintaining it makes it, regardless of whether the security model is sudo-based or not.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:15 pm

Hoo boy, where to even start on your misconceptions? :o


perhaps, if you got into it, you'd find they weren't "misconceptions"

e.g. "I can't see rpm vs. deb package format being something that should be a make-or-break issue for most desktop users." -- when you talk about a distribution, as in the title of the post, desktop issues are just minor considerations. Software maintenance, updates, and management methods and practices are significant factors in distinguishing distributions from each other.

re: "Some of these just seem... strange." -- if you are stuck on the idea that a particular Ubuntu distribution choice is only about a desktop, then perhaps so.

But if you see tje question about a distribution as something more than a user interface, then maybe 'strange' isn't so strange after all.

The title of this topic has a lot to do with goals of Ubuntu and how they fit with the goals of the Debian distributions. It does not have to do with a particular desktop or user interface. Ubuntu is intended to be closer to the 'bleeding edge' and that has implications when it comes to stability and applications support. It is why my web hosting service isn't using Debian testing or unstable, for example, but Ubuntu is.

But then, what is the definition of "worse" and why is the choice between which is worse rather than which is better? The focus on the negative is part and parcel of the inability to get off a UI and the ability to make a distinction between a Linux distribution and its face.

I provided a number of issues as 'red meat' that I felt worthy of discussion and pertinent to the adoption of Linux and that are being worked out in regards to various distributions. I am very sorry that the response was so blind to them and tackled me rather than the points I was trying to raise.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:32 pm

It seemed pretty clear from the OP that the main issue was with the change in desktop environment from 10.04 to 11.10. Therefore that's where this thread has (mostly) focused.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:05 pm

Use Cinnamon to get rid of Unity:

http://www.ubuntugeek.com/install-cinna ... g-ppa.html

Works in todays 12.04 build.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:16 pm

Seems like a promising project.

But for now I resorted to stay with 10.04, and so far I have zero issues with it. Everything works out of the box, no glitches, no hangs, no custom installs. A good, stable, productive OS, just what I needed.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:40 pm

It's pointless to upgrade a *nix that is working well for you. The various window managers are a dog's breakfast of GUIs. The main part of any *nix is the OS. The ability to get it, usually quite easily, to do anything you might want has little to do with the GUI.

That said very few people want to take the time to understand Linux on a deeper than superficial level. Who can blame them? Life is to short to do stuff you find unattractive.

I just use Fluxbox, one of a few lightweight window managers. I have most of my stuff scripted. A command will usually start a script that will invoke the stuff I need to do the job. My media goes to the appropriate display/device and life is quite simple.

Took years to get it perfect though. Now I just dump all my config files into my new install and I am pretty well done in just a few minutes.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:22 pm

Madman wrote:But for now I resorted to stay with 10.04, and so far I have zero issues with it. Everything works out of the box, no glitches, no hangs, no custom installs. A good, stable, productive OS, just what I needed.

For day-to-day desktop usage, or as a host to run VMs to try out other distros/OSes, it's hard to beat IMO.

I do plan to take a serious look at Kubuntu 11.10 though. (Already have a VM set up with it, and intend to install it on real hardware in the next week or two.)
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:42 pm

Madman wrote:GUI sucks, why, why, why?!!!! Where is the classic desktop, or something like W7? Was it done for tablets? I have a friggin 1920x1080+1280x1024 super miniature one without specks of fingertips right in front of me!!!


You can switch to the classic desktop on the login screen. The small gear icon adjacent to the username gives you interface options, just switch to Ubuntu 2D to revert to metacity rather than Unity.
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Re: Is Ubuntu 11.10 worse than 10.04 LTS, or should I switch

Postposted on Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:54 pm

ultima_trev wrote:You can switch to the classic desktop on the login screen. The small gear icon adjacent to the username gives you interface options, just switch to Ubuntu 2D to revert to metacity rather than Unity.

Unity 2D is an option, not Ubuntu 2d. Unity 2D is Unity for those systems/VMs that lack a decent GPU.
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