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Google Talks About Its Ubuntu Experience

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the lynxes-grow-up-to-be-pangolins dept.

Ubuntu 230

dartttt writes "There was a very interesting session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit by Google developer Thomas Bushnell. He talked about how Ubuntu, its derivatives and Goobuntu (Google's customized Ubuntu based distro) are used by Google developers. He starts by saying 'Precise Rocks,' and that many Google employees use Ubuntu — including managers, software engineers, translators, people who wrote the original Unix, and people who have no clue about Unix. Many developers working on Chrome and Android use Ubuntu. Ubuntu systems at Google are upgraded every LTS release. The entire process of upgrading can take as much as four months, and it is also quite expensive, as one reboot or a small change can cost them as much as a million dollars across the company." Bushnell also mentions that Google Drive will soon be available for Linux. Other news out of UDS: there was discussion of a GNOME flavor of 12.10, Electronic Arts reaffirmed that they "won't delay their Windows work for Linux," and Unity 2D is likely to disappear in 12.10.

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230 comments

Upgrades do suck (4, Insightful)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982043)

With Linux desktops, it's almost better to reimage them then do a mass roll out of dist-upgrade and pray it works. Even with custom package management, it seems the upgrade scripts can be very buggy.

Re:Upgrades do suck (1, Troll)

detritus. (46421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982075)

Use Debian stable. Yeah, you'r a few years behind the latest and greatest, but it works far better than Ubuntu if stability is what you're after. In fact, I've got several Debian servers that have gone through several stable updates with zero breakage. There's a reason they are slow, because it "Just Works".

Ubuntu simply has a shorter release cycle, thus is more bug-ridden.

Re:Upgrades do suck (-1, Offtopic)

PleaseCleanMyBooty (2637873) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982097)

A few weeks ago, I foolishly ran a strange executable file that one of my acquaintances sent me by email. As someone who doesn't know much about computers, at the time, I thought nothing of it. "Why would my acquaintance want to hurt me?" Following this line of thought, I ran the file without question.

How naive I was. Despite having what is supposedly the best anti-virus software out right now, a virus took over my computer and held it hostage. It was pretending to be a warning from Windows telling me to buy some strange anti-virus software I'd never heard of from a company I'd never heard of to remove the virus.

This immediately set alarm bells off in my head. "How could this happen? My anti-virus is supposed to be second to none!" Faced with this harsh reality, I decided to take it to a PC repair shop for repair. They gladly accepted the job, told me it'd be fixed in a few days, and sent me off with a smile.

A few days later, they called me and told me to come pick up my computer. At the time, I noticed that they sounded like whimpering animals, but I concluded that it must just be stress from work. When I arrived, they, with tears in their eyes, told me that the virus was so awful and merciless that they were unable to remove it. "Ah," I thought. "That must be why they sounded so frustrated and pathetic over the phone. Their failure must have truly ruined their pride as professionals." I later found out that two of them had committed suicide.

After returning home, I tried to fix it myself (despite the fact that even the professionals couldn't do it). After about a day or so, I was losing my very mind. I stopped going to work, stopped eating, was depressed, and I would very frequently throw my precious belongings across the room and break them; that is how bad this virus was.

That's when it happened: I found MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] ! I installed MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] , ran a scan, and let it remove all the viruses! They were removed in precisely 2.892 seconds. Wow! Such a thing! I can't even believe this as such never before! MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] is outstanding! My computer is running faster than ever! MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] came through with flying colors where no one else could!

MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] totally cleaned up my system, and increased my speed! If you're having computer problems, or even if you aren't having any obvious problems, I recommend that you using MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] . As a user, it did more for me that any so-called "professional." It'll even boost your PC & internet speed!

MyCleanPC: For a Cleaner, Safer PC. [mycleanpc.com]

Re:Upgrades do suck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982143)

"Two of them had committed suicide". Wow, spammers are going for new lows in their spam... Disgusting.

Re:Upgrades do suck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982183)

Just because your nipples are asymmetric is no reason to take it out on people with lower levels of computer using skills than you, you jerk.

Re:Upgrades do suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982221)

This spam message was so freaking funny, it made my day. I particularly enjoyed the fact that he was talking about viruses on a thread about linux lol.

Re:Upgrades do suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982283)

"Two of them had committed suicide". Wow, spammers are going for new lows in their spam... Disgusting.

No, he went lower in another post where his frustration over the virus had him abusing his wife and kid. Who wants their software product to show up in searches for suicide and child abuse???

Re:Upgrades do suck (0)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982723)

People who have a vested interest in spreading FUD about what virii do. So this is clearly the work of a Linux/Apple/McAfee global conspiracy. ;)

Re:Upgrades do suck (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982219)

Ubuntu LTS to LTS is typically a longer life cycle than Debian Stable to Debian Stable. And both are derived from Debian Testing. Both these facts make me question your reasoning and your conclusion that Ubuntu is somehow "more bug-ridden". Sounds like typical Debian fanboism to me.

Re:Upgrades do suck (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982293)

Calling a guy a fan boy for the distribution which Ubuntu forked from? Debian unstable is even better than Ubuntu 6-month releases - apt-listbugs with apt-listchanges on Debian unstable makes it very unlikely to break things - you get up-to-date bug listings the moment you retrieve the packages and you have the option to pin or view the bug even before you install it.

Re:Upgrades do suck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982373)

Hence him posting as AC...ooops, pot kettle black and all that but Ubuntu is what Debian would be if some faggot asshole called Mark Shuttleworth took the hard and diligent work of the Debian developers (yes I know he used to be one, on some obscure package) and tried to turn a profit with it, but failed and ended up pissing of a metric shitload of devs and users.

Ubuntu is Swahili for "I can't do anything useful after I sold Thawte so I thought I'd try and graft a living off of some people that actually care about software quality by taking their work, fucking it up the ass, shitting all over it and giving it a cool african name cos we all know that Africa is a leading hotbed of science and tech development...or a shithole full of dumb tribal niggers who get rarked up at the drop of a hat and who can easily be convinced to shoot each other over the most stupid things you can imagine and or turn what was once an economic success story into a modern day genocidal nightmare".

  I have a $100 Zimbabwean note in my wallet as testament to the last bit..

Fuck Ubunut, fuck Shitheadworth and Fuck google.

Vehement? Yes.

True? Absolutely.

Debian has no decent forks...unless you mean 'fork' as in "Lord I forked that up!"

Re:Upgrades do suck (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982671)

OK, tell us how you really feel about Ubuntu.

Re:Upgrades do suck (2)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982447)

Ubuntu LTS to LTS is typically a longer life cycle than Debian Stable to Debian Stable. And both are derived from Debian Testing.

Actually, Ubuntu draws from unstable. And then they add their own stuff, such as Unity.

Re:Upgrades do suck (3, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982233)

Is iceweasel still version 2.5?

Re:Upgrades do suck (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982517)

Debian testing's iceweasel is on...hold on one sec... 10.
10?! That can't be right. How many versions of Firef...oh, 12.

Re:Upgrades do suck (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982713)

The Debian Mozilla Team [debian.net] provides a very simple page describing how to use just about any current version of Firefox/Iceweasel on any current version of Debian.

I'm still using Squeeze myself and I've been getting the lastest verisons of Iceweasel within a day or so of them being released.

Re:Upgrades do suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39983207)

Debian stable (squeeze) is up to iceweasel 3.5.16! If you want some html5 support you can use cromium (which I think is version 6 on Debian stable).

If you care about glitz like Flash and Java and not so much about system stability and software freedom then you can easily install the latest version of Firefox yourself and load it up with plugins but, honestly, if you're using Debian stable and iceweasel rather than Ubuntu and Firefox, you're unlikely to want this.

Re:Upgrades do suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982251)

Or if it's not mission critical, use Debian unstable or Debian testing. It's rolling release, so you never have to upgrade. Despite the name I find it to be more stable than Ubuntu, and it comes minus the biannual headache to keep the latest stuff installed. The downside is you, or someone who administers your computer, will have to know enough about package management to fix the incremental breakage.

Re:Upgrades do suck (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982211)

I've been running the Ubuntu upgrades for the past five or six year and for the most part and have very very few problems.

Re:Upgrades do suck (4, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982295)

It does happen though, and quite severely. For example, roundcube got thoroughly busted on an upgrade when using sqlite:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/roundcube/+bug/900190 [launchpad.net]

This may have bitten debian as well though, so I don't know if Debian fared any better (e.g. the last comment in that bug).

Re:Upgrades do suck (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982439)

I figure, worst case, try the upgrade and if there are problems, do a fresh install then re-install all pps based applications from a backup of the list.

Re:Upgrades do suck (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982451)

I should add, that the only problem I ever had was when one of the repos I needed was off-line during the upgrade, and instead of waiting I told it to continue anyway. It was a mistake.

Re:Upgrades do suck (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982441)

I've been doing it since 6.0something (for some reason I recall it being something other than 04 but...) and there's been at least two occasions when the "upgrade" failed badly, with a single package upgrade failing and this taking down the entire system.

One, the most recent, I was able to fix using a second apt-get command (I forget which), but the first completely destroyed the system and I had to spend a day copying data across the network to back it up, before re-imaging the entire computer.

Ubuntu's system is mostly great, but quite honestly, I have to admit to some puzzlement as to why they don't do something more like Apple's "mv / I'm guessing they don't want to fiddle too much with people's system settings, but perhaps migration scripts would be a better approach than simply trusting each package upgrade to never fail...

Re:Upgrades do suck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982243)

You sound like a Redshat user. (or a windows troll). Only RH and derivatives don't upgrade.

Debian and derivatives are the easiest things to upgrade in the world. And, they are clean and stable machines post upgrade. I have about 30 hosts that were initially running potato (migrated between hardware using dump ... | ssh ... "restore ...") that are now running squeeze and a couple boxes of the boxes upgraded to wheezy. (that is the equivalent of upgrading from windows 95 to windows 7 /8 and having a stable system (hint: ain't going to happen).

Debian makes it simple and stable. They are also working on ability to do in-place upgrades between 32bit and 64bit in the next release too. Debian is really an amazing project. Former slack user, but now sold on Debian.

Re:Upgrades do suck (2)

rev0lt (1950662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982529)

that is the equivalent of upgrading from windows 95 to windows 7 /8 and having a stable system (hint: ain't going to happen).

Actually, is the equivalent of upgrading from Windows 2000 to Windows 7. Have you tried it?

And, they are clean and stable machines post upgrade.

Depends on what you're running. Many many applications changed configuration parameters, paths and misc dependencies since 2000 (starting with X itself), so I don't think it will work that well for everybody.

Re:Upgrades do suck (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982601)

You sound like a Redshat user. (or a windows troll). Only RH and derivatives don't upgrade.

I've never had a problem with minor version upgrades on CentOS. Only major versions need a reinstall and they happen every few years.

Debian and derivatives are the easiest things to upgrade in the world. And, they are clean and stable machines post upgrade.

I took one Ubuntu server through all the versions from 8.04 to 10.04 and reinstalling 10.04 from scratch was easier in the end than trying to fix up the various problems that left behind. I just upgraded my netbook from 11.10 to 12.04 and that was the worst Ubuntu upgrade experience yet; it did a half-hearted upgrade the first time, then I had to apt-get upgrade twice more before everything seems to have been upgraded to the correct version. There's stil one upgrade 'being held back' that I can't get it to install.

Re:Upgrades do suck (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982347)

I jump around distros a lot. But I have had poor upgrade experiences with Ubuntu. Not so good with Fedora either. On the other hand, I have had decent upgrade experiences with openSUSE since they introduced 'zypper dist-upgrade' (not perfect, maybe about 4 out of 5 upgrade seamlessly, including upgrading 2 versions forward.)

What makes them so different? The package management system? Or maybe just the love and care given it?

Re:Upgrades do suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982389)

That tends to be how I handle that outside of Windows installs. (Slightly OT, but at what point is MS going to admit that their system for user accounts is horribly broken)

Re:Upgrades do suck (3, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39983153)

With Linux desktops, it's almost better to reimage them then do a mass roll out of dist-upgrade and pray it works.

Your opinion has been colored by the crap Ubuntu puts out. Try it on Debian, it works. My home server started as Debian Potato with kernel 2.2 and has been upgraded continuously all the way to Wheezy. For most of its life it was my desktop as well as my server. And yes, I run my server on Debian unstable. Just don't let anybody tell you you that re-imaging is a fact of life. Just because Canonical has trouble with it (and Google has major major trouble with it because of certain idiocy I won't get into) doesn't mean it can't be done. And even Canonical has managed to pull off a fairly reliable cross-release upgrade the last couple of releases.

Re-imaging is something that happens to Windows users. Linux users generally don't need to put up with it.

Unity 2D (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982049)

I hope Unity 2D doesn't go away. The 3D version isn't usable on my systems. I'm growing to like Unity, but performance is only acceptable on my machines when using the 2D environment.

Re:Unity 2D (5, Insightful)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982207)

I just had a new bit of Unity experience yesterday. I had tried the early horribly unstable versions but switched away very quickly. Yesterday, I did a long-overdue update of Ubuntu on girlfriend's netbook to 12.04. Here's how it went after the upgrade.

She logs in, the computer seems a tad slow (yea, Unity 3D on a netbook). Figures out the icons for launching apps are on the left panel, wants to add GIMP there. Types gimp in the search bar thing, its icon appears. Right-clicks it hoping for a context menu, instead GIMP launches. Tries again, left-click, it launches. Tries again, drags the icon to the panel, it works. Sort of - the panel gets a button for the GIMP, but there's no icon on it, it just appears blank. Next she wants to run Chrome. As she types "chro", the UI freezes and shortly thereafter there's a message that Compiz crashed. It restarts, now GIMP's button shows the icon, too. She browses the Web for a bit, then I take the computer to see if I can turn some stuff off to speed it up. I open a terminal, check performance data there, try alt-tab, doesn't work. Okay. I open the control center, go to Appearance, Compiz crashes again. Then I find online that, to change Compiz-related config, I have to separately install a settings plugin for it. It's not available by default even through Unity is the default DE. At least then I found you can switch to Unity 2D.

I was pretty open to seeing how Unity would perform now. After all, I had only used the early versions. But this experience was horrible - 2 crashes within the first 15 minutes, definite slowness, and I'm pretty sure my gf will soon be asking to switch to a different interface, she's really uncomfortable with Unity so far.

Re:Unity 2D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982281)

Usually, once you launch an app in Unity, you right click on it's icon in the task bar and tell it to stick in the launcher. Another option for her, would be Unity2D if the netbook is too constrained for the 3D version.

Re:Unity 2D (4, Insightful)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982291)

Yes, Unity 2D is what she's currently trying. Switched to that from 3D quickly because 3D simply isn't suitable for a netbook. I'm surprised some post-install scripts don't switch the default environment to 2D for computers with weak graphics cards.

Re:Unity 2D (2)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982343)

I'm surprised some post-install scripts don't switch the default environment to 2D for computers with weak graphics cards.

..or indeed, people with nVidia cards which are still waiting for a stable driver.

Re:Unity 2D (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982395)

I'm one of those guys. 11.10 actually worked perfectly on it, so something they changed in 12.04 broke compatibility. I'm actually sorely tempted to just roll back to 11.10 for a few months while I wait for them to get their shit together.

Re:Unity 2D (1, Informative)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982703)

I've heard nothing but horror stories about Unity. Yeah, it's installed on my machine, but I'm half afraid to try it. I put the LXDE on it instead and use that with some blackbox slit apps. Just CTRL-ALT-F1 to a shell, log in and 'sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop', let it churn away, hit ALT-F7 to go back to your gui, log out, select LXDE for your new login session, and you'll have a desktop that's useable.

Re:Unity 2D (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39983143)

Meh, ignore the FUD and try it. The world won't end, your computer won't explode. Like most DEs, Unity does what it's supposed to do and generally works well. Try it, if it's not to your taste then use another one.

It's not like it's a big deal just to use a different DE.

Re:Unity 2D (1)

knuthin (2255242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39983253)

I don't understand why this isn't modded up.

I prefer Xfce to LXDE, but basically 'installing a lightweight DE' (or a WM? Even better!) is what you should do.

Re:Unity 2D (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982609)

Usually, once you launch an app in Unity, you right click on it's icon in the task bar and tell it to stick in the launcher.

Which is totally intuitive. Why the heck should I have to run an application in order to create an icon for it?

Re:Unity 2D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39983025)

Usually, once you launch an app in Unity, you right click on it's icon in the task bar and tell it to stick in the launcher.

Which is totally intuitive. Why the heck should I have to run an application in order to create an icon for it?

Not sure if this is a troll or not, but you don't have to do that. Just drag the damned icon to the launcher............

Re:Unity 2D (1)

19061969 (939279) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982771)

But the point of a decent UI is that someone shouldn't have to post to /. to get a solution to a UI problem.

Re:Unity 2D (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982321)

I just had a new bit of Unity experience yesterday. I had tried the early horribly unstable versions but switched away very quickly. Yesterday, I did a long-overdue update of Ubuntu on girlfriend's netbook to 12.04. Here's how it went after the upgrade.

What a coincidence, my girlfriend and i had a unity experience yesterday too. I'd have to check, but I'm pretty sure it involved DDs and not DDDs.

I'm pretty sure my gf will soon be asking to switch to a different interface, she's really uncomfortable with Unity so far.

I wouldn't push her to try different interfaces if she's uncomfortable with you current unity. Be patient, and when she does get curious about trying another interface, go slowly.

Love the OS, really can't get used to Unity (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982337)

Ubuntu/Precise is awesome. It really shows how much effort went into this release. I am extremely happy with how little I needed to customize or fix after installing it on my laptop (suspend/resume, encrypted file systems, unusual hardware drivers ... all the things that usually cause problems worked out of the box).

On the other hand, despite trying to get used to Unity, the new UI just does not work for me. I can even (almost) understand the design choices. It certainly looks shiny and discoverability of most UI features is pretty good. A lot of the UI has been simplified to make it easier to use for casual users.

Unfortunately, almost every single one of these changes really gets in the way of my day to day productivity. I spend so much time every day using my computer, I need a window manager that gets out of the way most of the time. And that defaults to doing the right thing, when I need it to do something for me.

I am sure, as a power user with very specific requirements, I am not in the primary target group for Unity. But fortunately, after installing GNOME Panel and the Awesome [naquadah.org] window manager, I found a solution for my UI needs. I am now as happy as can be. This is by far the nicest Linux distribution I have used.

Re:Unity 2D (4, Informative)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982375)

The thing I hate about the launcher is how ridiculously hard it is to create a custom launcher. My use-case: I have a shell script I like to run occasionally. I'd like to have a nice clicky icon to run it from. This should be simple to do... but is sooooo isn't. Worst part is any documentation I found suggested I could create a file on the desktop, right-click that and choose a "Create launcher" open. Or something like that. Anyway, I think that option used to exist, but they dropped it from 12.04 without apparently thinking to create an alternative.

...I find myself ranting quite a lot over 12.04, but to be fair, I do like that DVD's play perfectly right from a fresh install, and I don't get any screen tearing when watching DVDs / web video. So it's not all bad. Only the bad bits are bad!

Re:Unity 2D (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982445)

You could always just put a shell script on the desktop and click it when you want it to run.

Re:Unity 2D (4, Informative)

F.Ultra (1673484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982739)

Create a .desktop file for your script: https://linuxcritic.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/anatomy-of-a-desktop-file/ [wordpress.com]

Re:Unity 2D (1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39983053)

That's useful. Cheers!! :D

Re:Unity 2D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982527)

Wow! You have a girlfriend!

Re:Unity 2D (1)

andrew3 (2250992) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982655)

If you girlfriend wants to keep using Unity 2D she could just keep using Ubuntu 12.04LTS until 2017. It's also reasonably easy to install other desktop environments such as XFCE, which is very similar to GNOME 2 (perhaps what she's used to?).

Re:Unity 2D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982795)

No problem:Lubuntu. It's Ubuntu with the classic w95 toolbar interface. Install it, then where desired, swap in the apps you're already familiar with; by default Lubuntu has slightly different and lighter versions of many.

After that... just get back to whatever you were doing. You know how this interface works, it's got your familiar apps, and it's part of the Canonical repository system just like Ubuntu.

And yup, it's a "lightweight", but don't worry that doesn't mean you'll be spending any time in CLI to cofig. This is a complete GUI just like you had with Gnome.

Tip - if you install Nautilus, use "nautilus --no-desktop" as the launcher command so that it knows to be just a file manager, not a desktop manager. Though I don't know why you'd use Nautilus when there is Dolphin.

Re:Unity 2D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982827)

Unity sucks...switch her to Linux Mint Debian edition, either xfce, install gnome 3, or simply use Cinnamon. I've been using LXDE 12 since it was released and haven't had a single hiccup.

Precise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982065)

He starts by saying 'Precise Rocks,'

It does, but only if you throw out Unity and install KDE on it.

Otherwise, it's a huge POS apparently aimed at the Facebook crowd who do nothing more sophisticated with their computers than browse the web.

Re:Precise (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982089)

But this guy actually manages a large fleet of ubuntu systems. Do you?

Re:Precise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982409)

Nice ad hominem, what precisely does that have to do with anything? It was still a buggy piece of crap when released and completely unsuitable for use on desktops.

Re:Precise (4, Interesting)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982113)

There is much more to ubuntu than the default desktop environment, right from their hardware support to their extensive list of software and ppas. Even then, it's always good to have a modern but simple DE for people just getting into Linux, and Unity is one of the best DEs for that. (I personally use gnome shell)

Re:Precise (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982165)

I use Unity every day and find it very productive. Maybe you're just an idiot.

Re:Precise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982467)

I think it's more likely that you're a windows user.

Re:Precise (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39983021)

I'm an Awesome WM user at home, but I use Unity at work for a couple of weeks by now and I don't see what's so problematic with it, except for the bugs (which are plenty, unfortunately).

It has keyboard shortcuts to switch workspaces (CTRL+arrow) and a decent keyboard drive application launcher (plus shortcut for the Terminal).

Sure, it's not tilling -which is often annoying- but that'd be a little too much to ask.

Mandatory: Unity Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982105)

Glad to get that out of the way.

No more Unity 2D? (4, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982167)

OK, I'm not sure I understand the whole "get rid of Unity 2D" thing. As I understand it, Unity 3D means it's accelerated, but VMware and other virtualization environments don't support GPU acceleration for Ubuntu yet, so that leave people who prefer to run Ubuntu in a VM without a GUI. Where's the logic in that? Not even Windows forces you to have a modern video card for hardware acceleration -- if your hardware can't do Aero Glass, Windows just switches it off.

Re:No more Unity 2D? (3, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982195)

I think they mean that Unity isn't going to support legacy (pre-2009ish) video hardware. That makes sense. There's a lot of cool stuff you can do on the desktop, but you need the oomph to push it. At some point you need a cutoff, otherwise you end up making a lot of comprimises to help the perhaps 1-2% of your userbase.

Re:No more Unity 2D? (4, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982317)

His example specifically called out virtual machines. The emulated graphics cards *frequently* won't do what is needed for a reasonable 3D situation. Now there is an emulated path (e.g. at least fedora 17 can do gnome shell in a VM even), but the experience is atrocious (CPU load is massive and that's another thing that is constrained in a VM). Even with my not quite-that-ancient integrated AMD graphics, compiz causes mythfrontend to crawl, whereas it is serviceable without compositing.

Re:No more Unity 2D? (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982417)

Do you know what makes sense?

Not wasting time doing graphical gimmicks for a window manager (which will be buggy and slow anyway)

"to help the perhaps 1-2% of your userbase"

I think the number is higher, still, why should I upgrade my machine to run the latest versions?

Re:No more Unity 2D? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982465)

My 2009 era netbook is still running 10.04, which is the last version of Ubuntu to have the "best" Netbook Remix (pre-Unity), and will probably continue to run 10.04 until either the battery completely wears out, or the screen breaks. I have a much older 2003 era laptop that runs hardy heron (2008 release) just great.
 
Generally I don't recommend upgrading beyond the first LTS release of Ubuntu for your system, especially mobile systems. They just can't handle it. Too much damn feature creep. Really, unless you do a major hardware upgrade (wireless networking or video card come to mind), there's no substantial reason to upgrade the OS as well.

Which is a great reason why they shouldn't support older graphics chipsets. I'm reasonably sure the intel HD3000, and soon HD4000 that's in 50% of all laptops can more than handle the basic 3d gui tasks ubuntu throws at them. You don't need to break a bunch of functionality to support chipsets older than the crappy GMA950.

Re:No more Unity 2D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982421)

That kills me. I advocated a switch from CentOS developer desktops (hideous..) to Ubuntu. No more rpm hell, and no uninstalling the whole desktop to resolve dependency issues by other repos (since CentOS 'contrib' repo is a joke)

Being developers, we dont upgrade our desktops every 3 years. Looks like we'll be stuck planning LTS to LTS upgrades, and manually updating our browsers to current. Sigh..

Re:No more Unity 2D? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982475)

This is a UI, not a video game. There's no reason why a UI should require that much oomph to work. At this point if your UI can't run on a decade old computer, that's a pretty good indication that you don't know what you're doing.

Re:No more Unity 2D? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982515)

Which is why they fall back to something like Gnome 3 if the system can't handle it. If you don't like the idea of all the eye candy turned on, you can just default to Gnome 3 and call it a day. I don't know what they call it, but it's probably something along the lines of "opt-out rich computing experience".
 
TL;DR they addressed your issues, I don't understand what you're complaining about

Re:No more Unity 2D? (1)

andrew3 (2250992) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982709)

I thought GNOME 3 required hardware acceleration as well? Except for fallback mode, if you can even call that a desktop. It's like GNOME 2, except no functionality whatsoever.

Re:No more Unity 2D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39983191)

Contrary, pcs have 3d cards that are much better at composing multiple textures tiles with ease that the best 2d cards would be hard to match. Machines have had the hardware for 5+ years, why not use it?

Re:No more Unity 2D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982599)

Funny. Win7 handles pre-2009 video hardware without a hitch.

I think it's time to call it a day after trying to run Unity on a high end 6 year old ThinkPad and watching that train wreck of a GUI. I shouldn't need to dick with a system to get Gnome running without the residue of Unity still pulling on its resources.

Re:No more Unity 2D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39983251)

One slight issue here is that modern graphics capability is very much incompatible with software freedom. Ubuntu is based on Debian, very much a free software OS.

Providing a heavy 3D desktop manager is great but redesiging a very popular Linux distribution to require modern graphics acceleration is questionable. I'm practically certain that somewhere there will be an option to disable all hardware accelerated effects or run an alternative, light, desktop manager. If not, then Ubuntu will experience a rough couple of years as hardware catches up with them. Certainly, using the latest version of gnome on my ASUS Eee PC 900 was a painful experience (not such an old system and one I've used to emulate N64, Playstation, and Gameboy Advanced at full speed). I'm now back to using gnome 2.30.2 with Debian stable (squeeze).

Re:No more Unity 2D? (5, Informative)

grantek (979387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982257)

Unity3D will still be usable without GPU acceleration, it will use a new software implementation of OpenGL called llvmpipe. llvmpipe is a much better software rasteriser than we've traditionally had, but it's still software which means it's significantly slower than even the simplest of hardware OpenGL implementations.

Re:No more Unity 2D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982449)

What do you mean "still". Unity 3D isn't usable without GPU acceleration now. Significantly slower is an understatement.

Re:No more Unity 2D? (4, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982339)

In the Ubuntu case, they are doing the same thing Fedora did in 17. If it can't be hardware accelerated, use the CPU to do the graphics operations. And yes, it is as slow as it sounds, contrary to various advocates swearing it's good enough.

Re:No more Unity 2D? (1)

stas2k (951288) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982371)

Unity 3D will use LLVMpipe to dynamically translate OpenGL to CPU commands. Modern CPUs have enough horsepower to do desktop effects in software. I will miss Unity2d though. It was the only usable Unity type. Check out this Phoronix article for more info http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTA5OTA [phoronix.com]

Re:No more Unity 2D? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982575)

Sure, but I prefer my CPU spends it's time doing things I want it to be doing rather than managing windows and taskbars. Not to mention extra CPU usages increases heat and decreases battery life.

Why do people continue to compare everything performance related to desktop sized hardware and everything GUI design related to mobile computers? They aren't the same things. Unity 3D was designed for mobile/touch devices, but requires desktop hardware. Nice choices guys.

Re:No more Unity 2D? (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982865)

Most of the computers I deal with that can't handle the graphics acceleration certainly can't do it on the CPU (looking at a little Pentium III laptop I still use (Dell C400)).

Re:No more Unity 2D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982455)

Even in gnome 3 the specification to run gnome 3 desktop was lowered, so even old hardwares could run gnome 3 and don't have to boot on classic desktop. Even in my experience old laptops that would refuse to boot into unity and would fallback to unity 2d has started to work on unity 3d.

That covers most hardware, so it is not a good idea to diverse focus of desktop developers. May be both team will focus to get it running even in other low specs. In virtual boxes I often run lxde to get standard desktop speed.

Re:No more Unity 2D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982981)

This makes sense: the developer on the project moved on, and the hope is with llvmpipe to perform software rendering of 3D.

I think the real news (0)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982201)

is that EA has even noticed Linux. Commercial Linux games died pretty hard after all, and it's hard enough getting 3D working under Windows let alone Linux. Yeah, I know a 100 /.tters will chime saying it just worked for them, but you guys hand pick your hardware, you're in the minority.

Re:I think the real news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982285)

Sorry but the EA guy disagrees with you.

Re:I think the real news (5, Informative)

IAmR007 (2539972) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982325)

I work for S2Games, and we have had native Linux clients for Savage 1, Savage 2, and currently Heroes of Newerth. It was the Linux support that originally got me involved with the company's games and eventually hired. Our OpenGL renderer is slightly lacking at the moment, but the main problem is that of business and market share, not technical reasons. Maintaining something around only 4% of the user base uses is difficult (mac and linux combined), but many of the community volunteers come from that mac/linux group. As the guy who runs the technical support, I really wish more people would play on Linux. The Linux problems are usually much easier to solve (except alsa problems). With Windows issues, there's a lot of uncertainty with firewall setups, antivirus, file permissions, and odd behavior in general. With Linux, the problem can usually be identified with a few tests. It's a viscous circle. There aren't many Linux games because not many gamers run Linux, and there aren't many Linux games because the companies don't want to have to increase build times for each patch by supporting another OS. EA taking this small first step may help break this cycle, which is only good news for Linux gaming.

Re:I think the real news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982619)

You guys are were/are? awesome. I played Savage 1 when it turned free. However, I couldn't tell if I was attacking right (I never killed people and they always killed me) and there was no way to practice in a single player mode, so I only played for a couple weeks. I didn't keep track of Savage 2 development, but I hoped you fixed that problem (allow a user to be on their own in-order to learn/explore the game). Anyway, at least I loved the idea of the game (mixed RTS and FPS).

Re:I think the real news (1)

IAmR007 (2539972) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982725)

Thanks. Savage 1 is ridiculously hard. It took me a couple years to get a 1:1 kill:death ratio. There's no single player, but there are practice maps.

Re:I think the real news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39983007)

Thanks for all the hard work, I just played my first match of Heroes of Newerth today and it's a blast! (I'm playing in OS X, it's a hackintosh and can boot into Windows for unsupported games but it's really nice to not have to do that).

Re:I think the real news (4, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982335)

is that EA has even noticed Linux.

They noticed that the browser based games they are pushing happen to work fine in Linux systems without any work at all. That's the only sort of game they are enabling. They aren't doing anything with their 3D game engine sort of stuff. Basically, Linux is a side-effect of pursuing the casual gamer market through browsers.

but you guys hand pick your hardware, you're in the minority.

Except that most people who even kind of care stick with brand names like 'Radeon' and 'nVidia' that do 'just work' in windows and linux distributions that are practical about helping with binary blobs (e.g. fedora isn't 'just work' until you add fusion, but ubuntu just works). Intel integrated as of *late* also just works (in more places) though it's unimpressively slow. In theory you can get non-AMD, non-nVidia, non-Intel graphics, but I'm hard pressed to think of a *consumer* product that does that anymore.

Adwords Editor for linux? (2)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982307)

The irony for me here is that right now one of the things I'm struggling to get working in Ubuntu 12.04 (64-bit) is the Adwords Editor + Wine; this is *always* a complete pain in the arse, firstly to install, and then later on when you think you've got it working and then it wants to update... and fails.

The worst thing is, isn't Adwords Editor written with XUL? Shouldn't that make it portable or something? At this point, I'd prefer it was written in Java!

They should get Android onto the desktop. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982403)

What would be really powerful is a way to write apps in one API that can be run on smartphone, or in a browser, or on desktop. Of course they'd manifest differently in different scenarios, but there are a lot of fields that could use smart phones as tools for work, if they integrated easily with desktop solutions. Google should pick a Linux, and cultivate it for this sort of thing for it. People love Android, they see it as cost effective but cool. If that platform were to grow out, I could see it being picked up by a lot of people. Of course to fly, the cloud would have to be an optional enhancement. Its great in certain circumstances, but when the wild eyed guy tries to explain why storing our personal files on his computer a thousand miles away *just makes more sense to keep everything on* than our hard drives attached to our computers in the same room, people start to turn off...

Re:They should get Android onto the desktop. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982431)

I would love to see a way to test android apps directly in my desktop rather than using a virtual machine. And I don't see why it should be so hard. The phone interfaces are mocked on the VM anyway.

Re:They should get Android onto the desktop. (2)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39983111)

Well, it's probably not what you're looking for, but the next version (Jelly Bean) lists the ability to install and dual boot on a laptop as one of the goals. Reader beware: I'm not really into Android development, so I'm just going off of the Wikipedia article, which lists it as being released third quarter this year: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_version_history [wikipedia.org]

I just read it, so if somebody could confirm, deny or provide more info, it would be interesting. Android could be a nice Linux on a desktop for many people. Assuming you actually mean Linux itself and not "X Windows, etc etc".

Re:They should get Android onto the desktop. (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982727)

Well, some technical and poitical challenges about basing 'Goobuntu' on Android:
When Canonical proposed running Android apps on Ubuntu, they received a lukewarm response from Google.
Google have been reticient about getting their Android patches merged into the main Linux kernel (occuring slowly).
Android uses a cut-down C library (bionic) which would make porting desktop apps. I'm not sure whether Android would build against glibc or whether there's any impetus to add missing features to bionic.
Android uses a custom framebuffer to display graphics rather an Xorg. Making it difficult for hackers to run standard linux desktops on phones because of hardware drivers. Perhaps Google could collaborate with Canonical about using components from Wayland in a future version of Android.
As far as I know, Android has been hacked together to NOT support multiple users.

To me, if I was buying a tablet such as the Asus Transformer, I'd want to be writing apps on it. Quad core tablets have, or will soon have, adequate resources to develop on. Porting SWT to Dalvik would be the first step to running Eclipse and associated toolchains.

Unity? KDE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982433)

Google employees love to use KDE systems and they will be really happy when their systems are upgraded to Precise as lots of great work has been done on KDE since Lucid was released. However, not many employees like new UI changes meant for consumers and not developers. Some of the Google employees also requested removing Unity and Gnome 3 and using xmonad instead.

upgrade killed my computer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982513)

ive been a long proponent of linux, since 1997 i have tried to have at least one pc running linux hoping for the day that could leave windows altogether.
well, after the last debacle i had with the upgrade. i am 100% switched off of linux/ubuntu. and solely on windows.

i root my phones and keep swapping ROMS , i triple boot pc's with experimental OS's . so i do take alot of risks with things.
but , when i followed the distro upgrade that was presented to me through update manager, i went right ahead without worry.

then lost my best ever setup of ubuntu with ftp servers that i had setup like a "dropbox" system for my netbooks and android phones.
media center tweaked to be a sweet jukebox. all was blinged out.

then the upgrade killed it.

Forget Unity and KDE (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982669)

Ubuntu 12.04 + Cinnamon. Better than Linux Mint 12, though I'm anxious to see what LM13 will look like.

Ads in the desktop (4, Interesting)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982823)

The last update to Ubuntu brought advertising into my desktop. I tried to search for an application and the unity dashboard presented me with music albums from the music store.

Fucking hell.

I understand if they pack rhythmbox chokefull of advertising for their music store. I would hate it but I'd at least understand it. But when the simple task of starting an application, the most basic task of graphical shells, is used as an opportunity to advertise to me, I've had enough.

That's jumping the shark twice.

I already ditched Ubuntu for LinuxMint in my desktop but used Ubuntu in my media center. I'm changing OS next time.

Just don't use Unity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39982921)

I recommend not trying Unity. It actually destroys the entire concept of windows. You now only have 1 window for the same application, no matter how many chrome or terminal windows you might have open. That's right. Your usual File menu bar is also at the top of the screen. That's right; not near the actual window. Want to toggle between different applications easily? You can't. Welcome to Alt-tab hell. God its terrible.

Re:Just don't use Unity (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39983067)

You now only have 1 window for the same application, no matter how many chrome or terminal windows you might have open.

I must be missing something. You do Alt-tab to the application, then press down to show all the windows of that application. How is that only having one window?

I've been an Ubuntu user since 8.04 (1)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 2 years ago | (#39982941)

I haven't looked back. I pretty much follow Google's model for my primary desktops (home and work) -- I stick with the LTS releases, and transition several months after the new LTS comes out. In the interim, I load up the non-LTS releases in VMs or on secondary machines to try them out and get a feel for what's coming in the next LTS release.

Have to say, I'm not a Unity fan so far. I've been using GNOME up until now, but will likely transition to KDE when I upgrade to 12.04. KDE does seem to be a resource pig, but hey RAM is cheap these days, all my desktops have at least 8GB.

Does anyone know what this alleged show-stopper (for Google) Python 2.7 compatibility issue is?

Ubuntu Sucks (3, Insightful)

ilikenwf (1139495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39983189)

Just because Google uses it doesn't mean it's any good. I'm not being a troll here - if you'd try a distro other than Ubuntu, you'd find that Ubuntu isy really, really bad, bloated, and slow. Yes, there are other distros that are equally as bad or worse, but there is an abundance of distros that far exceed what Ubuntu provides.

I'd suggest Archlinux myself, or plain old Debian if you want something that's stable and easy. Arch has rolling updates meaning you don't have milestones - packages just get updated as they get changed by their developers, so no real upgrade hell there. Debian is rock solid (more than Ubuntu), and is great for servers and everything in between - it's the right balance of coddling/ease of use and stability, without the bloat and crap.

The real issue with Ubuntu's serious suckage is that it's been made too corporate, and has been hijacked by a corp. While other distros are funded and run by corps, they tend to keep the spirit of open, nonintrusive, non ad-based OS'es going instead of forcing changes, ads, and other BS (like Unity) on their users without any real notice. They also don't make people so unable to fix their own problems by coddling them with a GUI for everything.

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