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Ubuntu 9.04 Is As Slick As Win7, Mac OS X

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the continuous-improvement dept.

Debian 871

An anonymous reader writes in with an opinion piece from ZDNet Australia. "Here's what the official press release won't tell you about Ubuntu 9.04, which formally hit the streets yesterday: its designers have polished the hell out of its user interface since the last release in October. Just like Microsoft has taken the blowtorch to Vista to produce the lightning-quick Windows 7, which so far runs well even on older hardware, Ubuntu has picked up its own game."

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871 comments

screenshots? (5, Insightful)

themacks (1197889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701503)

its designers have polished the hell out of its user interface

and the link is to an article without a single screenshot....

Re:screenshots? (5, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701585)

I realize reading TFA is frowned upon, but:

You won't be able to notice the vast improvement in Ubuntu's desktop experience over the past six months by browsing screenshot galleries of 9.04 or looking at new feature lists. What I'm talking about is that elusive slick-and-speedy feel you get from applications launching fast, windows moving around without jerkiness, and everything simply being where it should be in the user interface.

Re:screenshots? (4, Funny)

themacks (1197889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701711)

eh, that's just a pretty way of saying, "I'm lazy"

Re:screenshots? (5, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701787)

Yeah, why doesn't he just post a screenshot of slick animation?

Re:screenshots? (3, Funny)

themacks (1197889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701853)

hey, he could have made a really awesome animated gif, but nooooo

Re:screenshots? (5, Funny)

Azaril (1046456) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702013)

Where would he have hosted it? Geocities is dead!

Re:screenshots? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701989)

troll:
Probably because there are no good tools for making an animation of the user interface in Linux/X.

Re:screenshots? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701891)

and at the same time it have almost no support for touchscreens (yes they work, no you can't do anything useful, as you have not a writing tool) and multitouch is not working at all, while audio support is a total mess

Re:screenshots? (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702165)

you mean like how Windows XP and Vista has almost no support for touchscreens as well?

I had to go digging for the drivers and apps for my tablet for XP and vista. they did not magicanny install and work without effort.

Re:screenshots? (2, Insightful)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702099)

Yeah, then how about a screencast? It is 2009 you know, you're allowed to put video on your web page. This **is** CNET, you'd think they have the resources to make that work.

Re:screenshots? (1, Informative)

pzs (857406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701597)

FTFA: "You won't be able to notice the vast improvement in Ubuntu's desktop experience over the past six months by browsing screenshot galleries of 9.04 or looking at new feature lists."

Re:screenshots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701683)

You're just going to take their word for that?

Re:screenshots? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701735)

Nah, I figure that they didn't provide screenshots because they can't figure out how to take screenshots on Linux. Perhaps they need a newer libjpg or libscreencap or something and don't know how to change their repository to the non-trusted and run a sudo apt-grab-some-shit?

Re:screenshots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701885)

You see that button on your keyboard with the letters "Prt Sc" on it?

Re:screenshots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701937)

You don't even need to then paste the screenshot into Paint/GIMP/PS/whatever with Ubuntu!

It just works!®©

Re:screenshots? (1)

dem0n1 (1170795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701967)

No, I don't.

Re:screenshots? (1)

aurasdoom (1279164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702131)

He's right. I'm on a macbook and there's no Printscreen button on my keyboard.

Ubuntu- Text Editor,OSX- Professional Page Layout (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701799)

One look at the various screenshots of Ubuntu 9.04 and it is still mind boggling that:

* Font rendering and alignment is still a total joke

* Colour usage is almost completely random

* The same crappy old Linux UI toolkit that looks like it is some late 1990s bastard child of Windows and OS X

* A complete lack of the subtle lighting and shading that every single pixel in OS X is labored over

* Jarring differences between apps.

I guess this is the crap you get stuck with if the response to every Linux/Ubuntu UI problem is "so what? you can change the theme".

It is astonishing that Apple can manage to make something as well known and studied as the standard computer desktop look and feel so refined and polished while Linux continues to flounder around in its own crapulence.

It's not like Apple is doing anything amazingly technical or difficult with their OS X desktop codebase and technology.

Re:Ubuntu- Text Editor,OSX- Professional Page Layo (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701899)

Oh, you're gay? Hey, it's ok...

Re:Ubuntu- Text Editor,OSX- Professional Page Layo (4, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702071)

Never mind aqua, brushed metal, grey slates and black HUDs don't look the same either ...

Way faster than 8.10 (5, Informative)

cbuosi (1492959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701539)

Installed Ubuntu 9.04 over my 9.04RC and all i can say that its a lot faster than 8.10 (RC was faster too). And i mean it cause i have a quite old config.

Re:Way faster than 8.10 (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701709)

how does it compare to the RC?

Polish & slickness are buzzwords (1, Troll)

Willeh (768540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701553)

What one person perceives as "slick" or "polished" another user will describe as unnecessary or cluttered. Comparisons of relative slickness are therefor meaningless, especially if you don't provide any SCREENSHOTS, or you know...proof.

Re:Polish & slickness are buzzwords (5, Informative)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701603)

Well, the author did specify a meaning:

You won't be able to notice the vast improvement in Ubuntu's desktop experience over the past six months by browsing screenshot galleries of 9.04 or looking at new feature lists. What I'm talking about is that elusive slick-and-speedy feel you get from applications launching fast, windows moving around without jerkiness, and everything simply being where it should be in the user interface.

Re:Polish & slickness are buzzwords (2, Insightful)

Willeh (768540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701719)

everything simply being where it should be in the user interface.

I think this sentence describes exactly my problem with this kind of "reporting". Not all users are created equal.

Re:Polish & slickness are buzzwords (1, Funny)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701843)

So wait...they are comparing Ubuntu 9.04 w/ Windows 7's "polish"? So did Ubuntu steal the OS X Ribbon taskbar too? ;)

Isn't it strange (5, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701571)

From the article: I particularly noticed the Ubuntu difference when I put the operating system to the test by simultaneously launching and using multiple applications, listening to music and more while using my spare CPU cycles in the background to encode high-definition video with Mencoder. Ubuntu still felt very fast--even with traditionally sluggy pieces of software like OpenOffice.org.
 
Isn't it strange that people are still surprised that their computers are fast? Computers have gotten ridiculously fast compared during the last 20 years, and still they seem slow to many of us. Is that just the result of crappy programming, or is there more to it?

Re:Isn't it strange (4, Interesting)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701685)

Isn't it strange that people are still surprised that their computers are fast? Computers have gotten ridiculously fast compared during the last 20 years, and still they seem slow to many of us. Is that just the result of crappy programming, or is there more to it?

That's what I want to know, too. If I had known in 1995 what the specs for my 2009 system would be, I would have freaked out and expected it to boot in milliseconds and do everything else instantly.

Re:Isn't it strange (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701691)

"... simultaneously launching and using multiple applications, listening to music and more while using my spare CPU cycles in the background to encode high-definition video with Mencoder ..."

How many of those things would your computer do at the same time 20 years ago? We expect a lot more now than we did then.

Re:Isn't it strange (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701831)

10 years ago I expected my machine to simulaneously...

        Rip/transcode CDs.
        Play mp3s
        Browse the web with bloated browser.
        Manipulate documents with bloaded office suite.

The only thing that's reall changed in the last 10 years
is that the tools have changed in appearance. Some are
more snazzy, and some are less snazzy but more automated.
However the basics are pretty much the same as well as
the expected level of concurrency.

I expect the computationally interesting stuff to run
for as long as it needs to without crashing and without
negatively impacting the "end user experience".

Unix had that part covered 10 years ago.

"using spare cycles for something useful" is what Unix does.

More than 10 years ago (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702017)

"Unix had that part covered 10 years ago."

More like 30, VMS too. And mainframes before that.

Re:More than 10 years ago (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702147)

On the other hand, the price point at which we "have that covered" has absolutely plummeted during those years.

Huge amounts of "exciting new" PC tech is arguably just a rediscovery of stuff that was being done on big iron ages back. The difference, and it isn't a small one, is that the new stuff is crazy cheap.

Re:Isn't it strange (1)

argiedot (1035754) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702185)

Okay, maybe I was behind the times, but in 1999, my family had a Pentium 166 Mhz with 32 MB RAM with Windows 98 SE on it. There's about zero chance it would have been able to handle all those activities. I remember the usual procedure was to close everything to run something else. Otherwise the interface would stop responding to clicks at some random moment and if you waited a little longer you would have a blue screen saying your system is unresponsive. Hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete and then kill that application and then expect the 'Warning! This system is unstable!'. That's with no viruses (we read our mail through HyperTerminal in the beginning when the system was like this).

Re:Isn't it strange (3, Interesting)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701699)

Go back and look at what the GUI was 20 years ago. Lots of that increased speed went to support flashy GUIs and desktops that do more. Lots more processes running, too.

I'm not running Compiz and Ubuntu runs perfectly fine for me on an old hand-me-down 2.4G P4 single core.

Re:Isn't it strange (1)

Markus_UW (892365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702055)

i did the same with compiz on my ~3Ghz P4 toshiba laptop with 512 megs of ram and it runs fine... though i hardly use that machine anymore since i bought a new macbook :) Depending on ram and video chipset, you could probably have a compiz on too is all i'm saying (especially in a more moderate form), it's not that much of a performance hog.

Re:Isn't it strange (2, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701707)

Is that just the result of crappy programming, or is there more to it?

Feature creep?

Re:Isn't it strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27702053)

There is no such thing as a computer that is fast enough.

Re:Isn't it strange (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702105)

Is that just the result of crappy programming, or is there more to it?

Bloated programming to make up for more demands, no.

Your current office package can do more than your 20 year old one could, but then eventually your 20 year old one worked quite ok to.

Something lacking (1, Redundant)

ausekilis (1513635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701579)

Okay... so I gave up and RTFA. There's a lot of "it's pretty, it's pretty, it's quick, it's pretty"... but no details and no screenshots. What gives?
....making me suffer through reading so many words and not giving me pretty pictures...

OT: Debian Squeeze (4, Informative)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701633)

I just upgraded from Lenny to Squeeze and it's in decent shape already.

At the moment there are no show-stopper bugs for your plain-vanilla desktop use. You can pull kde4.2 from sid too.

I'm having no performance issues with KDE4.2 eye candy on a Thinkpad T42. Way to go!!

Note, last week's build of the Squeeze net installer didn't work. Do a basic Lenny install then upgrade into Squeeze.

Re:OT: Debian Squeeze (1)

Markus_UW (892365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702083)

I used to be a KDE user back in the day, but I just can't get into the 4.x thing and have moved to Gnome since.. Still, I miss the good 'ol days of KDE... :(

Re:OT: Debian Squeeze (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702117)


There's nothing to stop you still using KDE3.x. It's the same principles as KDE2 but much improved. I personally prefer KDE4, now that it's more stable, but there's nothing really wrong with KDE3.x for a little while longer, yet.

The shell still bugs me a bit (1)

Rethcir (680121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701645)

I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a good idea for Ubuntu to switch to AWN or similar as a default program management interface? Especially since Win7 is going to have a mac-esque dock.

Re:The shell still bugs me a bit (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702097)

You should try Gnome-Do [davebsd.com] . It gives you a dock, if you want one, and also a QuickSilver-like interface for launching apps, which is far, far better than a dock.

Still Brown (3, Interesting)

Het Irv (1424087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701653)

Shuttleworth has already announced that the color scheme will be changed for 9.10, Karmic Koala. I havn't seen what color it actually is gonna be, but its not brown.

Re:Still Brown (1)

harris s newman (714436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701775)

Honestly, you do know that you can change the scheme, right?

Re:Still Brown (1)

Het Irv (1424087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701957)

Of course, its the first thing I do when I install. But yeah, that is one the biggest complaints that I see every time Ubuntu comes around for a release.

Re:Still Brown (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701803)

It's going to be a yellowy-brown.

Re:Still Brown (1)

deep9x (1068252) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702027)

Shuttleworth has already announced that the color scheme will be changed for 9.10, Karmic Koala. I havn't seen what color it actually is gonna be, but its not brown.

That sucks, I love the brown and orange color scheme. Mostly because it's different from the usual blues and silvers that dominate Mac and windows.

Re:Still Brown (0, Flamebait)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702037)

I find the choice of brown interesting, and it reminds me of Apples (?) Zune ad which goes something like:
"It's really nice, ..., ... brown"

Very Impressed with the update (4, Informative)

Patman (32745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701657)

I just installed 9.04 on my work machine. The upgrade had one minor hiccup, which was quickly fixed(the PCM setting in the volume control was muted). Compared to the 8.10 upgrade, which was an unmitigated disaster, this was refreshing.

I haven't really seen a noticeable improvement like the article's author has yet; maybe that will change. I can say that this is the first upgrade yet that hasn't required fiddling with Envy or the Restricted Drivers Manager to get my Nvidia card humming nicely.

Re:Very Impressed with the update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27702041)

So did you update as opposed to a fresh install?

I usually go for a fresh install because I'm not a hardcore user and can get everything back to how I want it without much effort, but if an update works well I might try it. Fresh installs usually fix things I've broken too :)

Suppose I've nothing to lose trying the upgrade first!

Re:Very Impressed with the update (1)

Patman (32745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702093)

Right, I did the update from update-manager. I usually do; after a re-install, things normally work fine, but the update usually works great.

Except for 8.10, which was enough of a disaster that I had to re-install from scratch. And even that almost didn't work; I was on the verge of moving /home and /etc off and wiping the drive, it went that badly.

Update horror stories ? (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702075)

I have Kubuntu 8.10 on my home 'mainframe' and I'm waiting a few days before jumping into the 9.04 fray just to be sure there aren't upgrade horror stories surfacing...

Re:Very Impressed with the update (1)

willyg (159173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702113)

I've got to agree. After the bad experience I had with 8.10 (broken menus, monitor powerdown lost, that friggin' cashew) I found 9.04 was a pleasant surprise. It's up & running with no additional tweaks needed only a few hours after the upgrade. It took over a month after the 8.10 install before I decided I wouldn't revert back to 8.04 or Fedora. Of course, by then, Fedora 10 had also adopted that damn cashew...

I saw much faster boot times when I moved to 8.10, and I believe it's improved slightly with 9.04.

All in all, a MUCH improved experience out of the box!

composite manager? (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702159)

Hi, can you tell me if you're having any luck running a composite manager with ubuntu 9.04? I'm at the point where I'm considering moving to something like Ubuntu that handles integration with the proprietary drivers automatically because the recent nvidia drivers are driving me crazy. [slashdot.org]

Comparisons (-1, Troll)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701675)

From the TFA (emphasis mine):

... I am starting to prefer using my Ubuntu "Jaunty Jackalope" desktop over the similarly slick Windows 7 beta (which I am currently running full-time on one desktop) and Mac OS X Leopard operating systems, which I also use regularly.

Ubuntu 9.0.4 might have the slickest interface on the planet, but comparing it to Windows 7 beta is hardly a recommendation. Kind of the opposite, for some people.

Consider me impressed. (5, Informative)

JoeytheSquid (1460229) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701677)

I have to admit this is the first smooth Ubuntu install I've ever had. It actually detected my wireless adapter right out of the box. No fiddling, no CLI hackery, no sacrifices to the pagan gods of open source (which is good because my lease forbids livestock and the downstairs neighbors frown upon blood dripping through the ceiling.)

Not bad, not bad at all.

Re:Consider me impressed. (5, Funny)

laughing_badger (628416) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701991)

my lease forbids livestock and the downstairs neighbors frown upon blood dripping through the ceiling

Sacrificing the neighbours would avoid both problems. I'm just sayin'...

Re:Consider me impressed. (5, Funny)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702005)

You should use the bath tub.

Slick UI? Who cares? (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701679)

Let me know when it is as usable as Debian+e17.

Re:Slick UI? Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701725)

it is usable exactly the same...not

Let you know? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27702061)

Ok, but you'll need to post some information so we can notify you. Your mailing address, phone number, something. I mean, come on, how do you expect us to add you to the "notify when usability is better than Debian+e17" list if you don't give us something to add?

Re:Slick UI? Who cares? (1)

Beat The Odds (1109173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702101)

Let me know when it is as usable as Debian+e17.

Yes, it is.

You're welcome....

Following my earlier rant... (4, Interesting)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701697)

... about the state of KDE [slashdot.org] , I upgraded to Kubuntu 9.04 yesterday and have so far found it to be exactly what was promised: it's faster, more compatible, and... well, I don't know about stable because I've never had an issue with stability with Kubuntu.

I am, however, still at odds with a few of KDE 4.2.2's features (namely KPackageKit, Amarok, and the way removable media is handled), but I think I can at last live with it. If you've been pondering whether to upgrade from Hardy (which I know some people have been), I'm sure you'll find 9.04 acceptable.

(in future though, I must remember not to upgrade on the day of the release. A presumed 45 minute upgrade turned into a 3.5 hour slog)

Lightning Quick Win7? (3, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701723)

These comparisons don't help Linux.

The phenomena of giving someone a third choice often drives them to choose from the first two is well known.

They should have used a summary with the new features in this version instead of more comparisons that don't matter.

I'll take the kernel with *no* Digital Restrictions Management.

I love Ubuntu... (5, Insightful)

greenguy (162630) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701747)

I have it on both my laptops, and even installed it on a virtual machine on my work Mac.

BUT... I won't be recommending it to friends and family until they get the damn sound working immediately upon installation. If people can't use Flash and watch Youtube on it, it might as well be green letters on a black background.

Re:I love Ubuntu... (4, Insightful)

worip (1463581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701837)

I've downgraded a few laptops and desktops now to XP, and most of the sound hardware does not work right after install: you actually have to download a few drivers. Might not be the same as installing a brand new OS, I'm just saying that no OS is perfect in its driver support, especially when it comes to laptops.

Re:I love Ubuntu... (1)

greenguy (162630) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702069)

I'm not asking for perfect. I'm asking for sound that's as good as it was a release or two ago.

Re:I love Ubuntu... (-1, Troll)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701881)

Perhaps you shouldn't base these sorts of things on how well a n00b Mac user can deal with a virtual machine emulator.

At least dual/live boot it. Or won't that "easy" Mac of yours accomodate such a thing?

Sound was never a problem on my Macs. OTOH, I actually do run them on bare metal.

Re:I love Ubuntu... (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702121)

I like Ubuntu also, but I can't figure out how to get my sound to work. I've had no luck finding any decent resources, either.

Re:I love Ubuntu... (5, Informative)

pnutjam (523990) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702137)

Try mint [linuxmint.com] . They should have their 9.04 based version out soon, but 6 works pretty nice. Hulu and youtube out of the box, not to mention, DVD playback and everything else. Plus you get to use Ubuntu repositories for other packages.
Best desktop distribution IMHO.

Screenshots (5, Insightful)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701755)

from Lifehacker [lifehacker.com]

As for being as slick as OS X, well, spoken like somebody who obviously doesn't own a Mac. It's nice, but there's no way it's even in the same neighborhood that the ballpark for OS X is in. I'm gonna light a small fire here, but I wish a super talented artist would redesign the widget set for Gnome, it's very very dated as it stands now. KDE is far better looking but even it is getting long in the tooth.

doesn't own a Mac (4, Insightful)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701877)

"As for being as slick as OS X, well, spoken like somebody who obviously doesn't own a Mac"

"I am starting to prefer using my Ubuntu "Jaunty Jackalope" desktop over the similarly slick Windows 7 beta (which I am currently running full-time on one desktop) and Mac OS X Leopard operating systems, which I also use regularly" [cnet.com]

Re:Screenshots (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701959)

All the slickness in the world doesn't matter if you end up with a black eye.

In case you are wondering: this is a swipe at iPhoto.

Re:Screenshots (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701997)

It's nice, but there's no way it's even in the same neighborhood that the ballpark for OS X is in. I'm gonna light a small fire here, but I wish a super talented artist would redesign the widget set for Gnome...

This is an interesting quote because it illustrates how much many users consider "eye candy" to be a critical component of "usability". If only the widget icons were more up-to-date with current styles, Gnome would be more usable?

Re:Screenshots (4, Insightful)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702025)

As a daily mac user, I can say that the author does point out some of the well-known gripes about leopard: 1) the stacks feature of the dock is just weird, and somewhat impractical to use with a folder with a larger number of items (although it has gotten better with one of the updates). 2) Spaces is not well implemented. A standard pager would have been a better choice, so you can see what windows are where. 3) Perhaps the biggest issue, a lot of people suspect (and this is supported by benchmarks) that Leopard is streamlined for intel macs, anybody with a G4 or G5 PPC can run it, but it doesn't run well. This is the first point release of OS X that hasn't been faster than its predecessors and that should say something. I nearly installed it myself on my dual G5, but after looking at the benchmarks, decided that 10.4 ran just fine, and I have a real pager [berlios.de] already.

As for Ubuntu, the real thing keeping me back from using it is the gnome interface. There are basically two problems I have with it, the first is right what you point out, to be blunt, I find gnome and to a lesser extent, gtk, to be ugly. I really don't like it. It works, but QT is much nicer looking. That said, my other major problem with gnome is the minimalist design paradigm. Whenever I use gnome apps, I often find myself getting irritated at the lack of options. It wouldn't kill them to have a few more clicky things on their preferences windows. For the record: I use e17 as my desktop manager and run a mix of gtk, qt and kde 3.5 apps (won't use kde 4 because they nuked the konqueror, which is my favorite file manager of all time).

It's damned fast (5, Interesting)

dave420 (699308) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701771)

And the effects are mostly great (on their own), but it still lacks coherency in its design. The UI elements still look ratty, old-fashioned, and ugly, and the visual effects (while fluid) are all over the place. Don't hate me for this, but at least Windows 7's design is much more coherent, from the UI controls to the visual effects - they look like they work together. What I've seen of 9.04 is quite the opposite - it looks like everything is engaged in a mortal struggle against everything else. A fluid, nifty effect generates a window that's full of 90s-esque design elements. It's rather jarring. Like taking a swanky elevator to a penthouse, and the doors open to reveal a highly-functional chicken coop.

Bizarrobuntu (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701841)

"And the effects are mostly great (on their own), but it still lacks coherency in its design. The UI elements still look ratty, old-fashioned, and ugly .. highly-functional chicken coop"

Your experience is so totally different than the reviewer it's almost as you you were occupying a parallel Bizarro [wikipedia.org] kind of universe.

'You won't be able to notice the vast improvement in Ubuntu's desktop experience over the past six months by browsing screenshot galleries of 9.04 or looking at new feature lists. What I'm talking about is that elusive slick-and-speedy feel [cnet.com] you get from applications launching fast, windows moving around without jerkiness, and everything simply being where it should be in the user interface'

Summary for what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701789)

Just like Microsoft has taken the blowtorch to Vista to produce the lightning-quick Windows 7, which so far runs well even on older hardware,

Whoa there, pardner. Are you stumpin' for microsoft? I'm glad you like Vista 2.0 so much, but so what?

I would hope so (3, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701801)

Because Microsoft had been woken up with Windows 7. For a long time, Windows had a huge loophole that allowed competition - rampant security and stability holes while it's huge benefit was that most software ran on it. Exploiting this weekness allowed Apple to get back into the game.

We all joke about the BSOD, but tability, except for the odd driver, has been mostly a non-issue to the vast majority of users since XP. Security, otoh, seems to have been mostly fixed to the point of being good enough (hardly perfect) in Vista, especially if you don't run as admin all the time. In the days of XP, I had to reinstall my OS once a year just to keep it running at a tolerable rate, 2 years of Vista and the computer is still running fine without running antivirus or antispyware.

Still, this is behind a firewall and I'm not sure I would trust it out in the wireless world or on the road.

I'm glad Ubuntu is upping it's game. Coming out as it did in 2004 probably was probably close to the last point in time that a new linux distro could have been launched, aimed at joe user, that would have gained a significant following. Perhaps if came out in 1998, we'd be seeing Quickbooks for Linux on Walmart shelves by now. But that's making a lot of assumptions about the underlying packages at the time that no single distro could do anything about.

Kubuntu still broken in important places (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701813)

A fresh install detected my NIC, and works on the automatic settings. But my network is setup for Static IP. When I go into the system settings to change the settings for eth0, it says noting is there!! It just shows an empty list of NICs.

This is pretty basic so I may switch over to Ubuntu to get things working properly.

Re:Kubuntu still broken in important places (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701909)

As usual. Canonical puts all the resources in gnome and hardly anything in KDE. That's sad but from my experience, kubuntu is badly badly broken. The problem is that it give a bad reputation to KDE which cannot do anything about that canonical suckage.

They also don't tell you about nVidia drivers (5, Informative)

plasmidmap (1435389) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701861)

An upgrade from 8.10 to 9.04 hosed my polished UI yesterday because there were no nvidia glx drivers available for download. That was a bit of a shock and annoyance, but it's my own fault for not checking its availability before hitting upgrade.

Seems like there is one now in the repos but I think there's a lot of traffic because I can't seem to update.

Patiently waiting... still love Ubuntu.

Re:They also don't tell you about nVidia drivers (1)

briggsl (1475399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701931)

I've abandoned my upgrade as I was informed by Ubuntu's installer that the FGLRX for my ATI graphics card wasn't available anymore, so it's not just nVidia, it's ATI as well

Re:They also don't tell you about nVidia drivers (5, Informative)

plasmidmap (1435389) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702077)

Now the driver has downloaded and it looks fantastic! I spoke too soon.

Dual Monitors - No Sweat (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701869)

At work, the boss gave the developers extra monitors and a video card with dual DVI output. One guy got it working under Ubuntu 8.04 after some hackery. Another guy's Windows XP picked it up without much trouble. My Ubuntu 8.04 workstation wasn't so cooperative, even with the other guy's config options.

Last week, I installed 9.04 beta and it picked up the dual monitors without breaking a sweat. It even put the size/manufacturer in the upper-left corner of each monitor as the display options were being adjusted.

All it needs now is a "Launch World of Warcraft from my Windows partition" menu entry, and it'll take the world by storm.

Re:Dual Monitors - No Sweat (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702151)

Yes, dual monitor support has been better with the inclusion of RandR. More than two monitors, however, at least if they are spread across multiple cards, and you're pretty much out of luck.

I've been using a triple-display setup for a few years now, and several times I've tried to get an equivalent experience in Windows and Linux. Windows wins hands down every time. The xorg developers don't know when RandR will support multiple cards, either. It was supposed to be the latest release, xserver 1.6 I think, but that's no longer the case.

Cue the MS shills...3...2...1... (-1, Offtopic)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701883)

"But I can't run 'foo-app' on Linux! And Linux is too hard for us lusers!"

Okay, for the average Windows user, they 'can't' run MS Office, or Photoshop.
But you can't run Conflicker either! Or a myriad of other Windows malware!

So, all of you MS trolls, just go away. Keep using your precious MS stuff, keep messing with your computer and networks trying to keep them clean, and leave the rest of us alone..we have productive work to do.

Your Distro is Insecure: Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701901)

by Ronald McCarty
Linux Magazine
Monday, April 13th, 2009

Ubuntu Server has one of the cleanest and easiest Linux distribution installers. However, in many cases, its designers choose to ignore security in favor of ease-of-use. The result? An install that is not secure by default.

During the last couple of years, Linux distributions have focused on improving the installation process of Linux in order to make the freely available operating system available to more people. It is a noble goal, however, when making anything in computing easier, a common approach is to make a number of decisions for the user; decisions that can put an inexperienced (and possibly an experienced) Linux installer at risk.

more at the link [linux-mag.com]

Its okay ... still unaddressed issues (3, Informative)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701975)

I like the speed and the new interface. Both are very nice. I was really excited when I read there were improvements to handling multiple monitors and the evolution-mapi plugin that would finally let me use the office's exchange server. Sadly both have missed the mark.

I use the Nvidia driver which means the fancy new monitor settings are not available to me (it pops an alert that tells me I have to open the Nvidia utility). The good thing is I don't have to hunt for the utility, it opens it for me, the bad is the utility is mostly useless. X sees my two screens as one huge screen, which is fine when I have two screens but sucks when I undock the laptop. No way to switch to one screen without hand-editing xorg.conf

I've always had high-hopes for evolution and I don't know why because its always been buggy and slow. This time is no different: "We have REAL exchange support this time! I promise". Sadly while I was able to install the mapi plugin and it shows in my settings, evolution helpfully crashes when I try to login. There are bugs filed against it ...maybe it will get fixed ... someday

And no, I have no love for exchange but I'm forced to use it. I have used the evolution-exchange package that connects through OWA ... its slow and buggy. Often refusing to download my mail, losing the connection to "the backend process" requiring me to delete a certain file. All in all, not worth the hassle.

For now I'm stuck using Outlook in an XP virtual

The problem remains... groupware (4, Interesting)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702001)

I am grateful that Ubuntu and Fedora have world class support, improvements, and update frequently. Ditto for OOO, and many other open source projects (cluster ssh, firefox, openssh, apache, etc...) As long as the support for exchange mail is an OWA connector, I can't leave windows behind. OWA sucks, OWA sucks from IE on Windows, it double sucks with evolution-exchange.

No, I won't virtualize WIN/Outlook. No, I won't run 2 desktops. No, the Exchange server is not going to be replaced with insight or kroupware or any other open source replacement.

While I am happy for the 9.04 release, I can't help but not being too excited because in spite of all the goodness that Linux is, if it can't meet my needs, it's simply not a viable option.

If I can't run it, how the hell am I supposed to get my wife, kids, or parents on it? Yeah, thats a loaded question, and in actuality my kids PC is Fedora 10. I still have to continually answer the "why do you use Windows" style questions from them.

OS X is still a better OS (-1, Flamebait)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702003)

I know I'm a little biased, but I find OS X to still be the best consumer OS. This is not to say bad things about Windows 7 and Ubuntu, but those tw OS's are simply not at the same level in terms of usability.

What limits Ubuntu and various other Linux distros is the GNOME user interface. I know KDE fans will beg to differ, but the recent changes to KDE 4 took a long time to stabilize.

What limits GNOME and KDE is that those environments traditionally offered copies of the Windows UI with subtle differences. Granted, they've distinguished themselves more in recent years, but artifacts of the Windows UI, such as menubars in the windows, no grouping of applications (ex ATL-TAB is for windows, not apps, not possible to close apps, etc), and the broken taskbar paradigm (vs the Dock, which Windows 7 has emulated) remain.

OS X was built from the ground up with a totally different UI design from Windows. As such, it actually groups applications together, and application windows follow logically. There are more options for task or window switch than just ALT-TAB (ex Expose), and installing and uninstalling applications is much easier with .app folders.

Until Ubuntu and other Unix variants come up with better (or at least substantially different) UI design paradigms than past versions of Windows, it will be limited in how well they can compete with OS X in terms of usability.

Terrible Article (5, Insightful)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702087)

From the summary I expected at least a snapshot gallery, maybe even video and benchmarks since it was a CNET address, of this latest release.

But this article is complete shit. It's a crappy fanboy blog post with no numbers, no pictures, and just breathless "it works for me, and I'm emotionally committed to this platform, so it's the best thing ever" anecdotes.

Here's a counter-anecdote to the OS X Leopard (10.5) bashing: I'm running 10.5.6 on my 12" PowerBook G4 and it is great. The machine only runs at 1.33GHz with 768MB RAM. The only time it feels slow is when more than one Flash animation tries to run at once (Fuck you, Adobe). Otherwise I can have more than a dozen apps open, a video podcast playing in iTunes in the corner, promiscuous network monitors saturating the resources, and the only time I wish I had a newer machine is when I'm stuck with audio-only chats with my wife while on the road because this box doesn't have the built-in iSight and I don't want to pack an external one.

Stacks have been great since the 10.5.2 update (which came out in Feb 2008, BTW) added several options to how they work. I use them all the time. Folders that have lots of files and subfolders are set to display as a menu very similar to Windows's classic Start Menu. Folders that have few items, like certain subfolders that hold a category of applications or my Downloads folder, display in a grid for quick access. Stacks are awesome, and they are the reason I have stopped hating the Dock and wishing I could turn it off.

Spaces was updated in 10.5.3 (which came out in May 2008) and addressed many of the criticisms the initial feature faced when 10.5 launched several months earlier. I admit it isn't as good as some virtual desktops in Nixland. But it is very, very solid and waaay better than anything available for Windows.

To avoid "your just an OS X fanboy! Nyaah!" flames, let me say that I do love OS X. But I am also running the last LTS of Ubuntu at home and find it a very nice environment. At work I actually prefer OpenBSD, but Windows is currently on my main workstation at the office following some pointy-haired unpleasantness (OpenBSD is still usually the active window, running in a VM; Its main mailing list is also a source of entertainment all day long). I admin several servers running CentOS. I also have to touch Windows Server frequently, which is more often than not a pleasant experience.

Slavish OS fanboyism and an inability to admit to the faults as well as the strengths of an OS is a symptom of a weak mind.

font rendering (2, Interesting)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702091)

I don't know what it was due to, but for some reason, when I was running the previous version (Ibex?), various bits of text wouldn't render properly. They looked "fuzzy". Actually, Facebook (of all sites) had it the worst. Capital Rs were indistinguishable from capital Ps, for example.

Not so now. Cleaner and crisper text across the board. I was delighted to see that the upgrade cleared that particular issue up. So 9.04 is starting off on a good foot!

(One continuing gripe, though: the Mahjongg tiles still look like they're straight outta 1990.)

agree with some of the praise (3, Insightful)

Vorpix (60341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702103)

i do agree that Ubuntu 9.04 looks slick. i installed a few of my favorite fonts (Futura, Droid) and adjusted the theme. (it's really simple... anybody who complains about the default really needs to learn how to click System -> Preferences -> Appearance and choose one of the alternatives, including *gasp* blue/gray themes! That's right, THEY'RE INCLUDED! YOUR MAIN GRIPE AGAINST UBUNTU IS SOLVED! :-P ) I must say though, those Gnome folks have really improved the font situation in Linux over the years, to the point where fonts look just as nice in Linux as they do on a Mac, IMHO.

but what isn't slick is support for some webcams (mine "works" but in an unusable state), media codecs that must be installed separately and then don't always work (in my personal experience, even VLC has run poorly)... which may be caused by still inferior (to Windows') video card drivers (even when using 1st party drivers from ATI/nVidia). The sad truth is that a hacked together osx86 install gives better media performance and capabilities than a legit Ubuntu install.

I would love for a release of Ubuntu to focus primarily on multimedia and drivers. this is where Ubuntu must concentrate in order to convince users to switch from Windows (if that is in fact a goal). i understand the licensing issues that prevent some codecs from being included. but is there really a need for my Dell's onboard sound card to be listed as a Pulseaudio device AND an ALSA device AND an OSS device? Why not unify this? I plugged in a webcam which had it's own mic, and suddenly i have a dozen possible devices to choose from as an input device in every application that can use a mic. how about just two?

medibuntu repositories should be available by default. people DO want codecs and 3rd party software like Skype, despite what people like RMS might think. they don't need to be installed by default, but at least have the capability there by default. (Totem does go out and search for codecs now at least, which is a good thing.)

in my experience, it's still not there as a desktop OS yet, but Ubuntu is progressing. with each release, we get closer.

review of Gnome, or Ubuntu? (4, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27702149)

To most people the GUI is synonymous with the OS, but they're two separate things. By far the bulk of the review seems to be talking about how he likes this version of Gnome better. Well, that's fine, but Ubuntu isn't the same thing as Gnome. I run Ubuntu, but I don't use Gnome.

He also seems favorably impressed with the performance of the GUI, but again this mixes together a lot of stuff in a pretty uninformative way. He's got a particular nvidia card. I don't have that card, so his perception of "windows moving around without jerkiness" probably means nothing to me, even if I were to use Gnome.

Want Adobe Flash or other proprietary software like multimedia codecs on Ubuntu? Just search for them in the one location, under their own names. No downloading anything from any Web sites. No package management or dependencies. No apt-get. Point and click.

This part baffles me. "No package management or dependencies." Since when have you ever had to worry about package management or dependencies on an ubuntu machine? Dependencies are taken care of automatically by apt. "No apt-get. Point and click." Huh? For years and years now, you've been able to install packages on a debian/ubuntu box by clicking around on a gui, if that's what floats your boat. (Personally I prefer to use apt from the console, since, e.g., it lets me install fifty apps at once just by cutting and pasting a string of package names.) Why is he using apt-get in contradistinction to point and click, as if it was a new thing to be able to access apt via a gui?

I'm surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27702193)

All this talk, and I've yet to see anyone use the phrase "Year of the Linux Desktop". Did everyone give up on this Second (first?) Coming, or did everyone decide it already happened and I didn't get the memo?
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