back to article Ubuntu savaged by rivals infected with fondleslab fever

The penguins are on the march: they are leaving Mark Shuttleworth's Ubuntu and migrating towards other Linux distros, fresh data suggests. Distrowatch's annual web rankings claim Ubuntu's top spot has been snatched by Mint during the last 12 months. In the past month alone Ubuntu's been kicked to fourth place by Fedora and …


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  1. teknopaul

    touchy subject

    touch friendly OS on a laptop or netbook with keyboard and mouse is annoying. long mouse click, really stupid idea. ubuntu on mobile?not if they don't get the basics of hci right.

    unity get the screen space issue right, for the weigh reason, first unity was operatable with keyboard only, next ver needs a touchscreen, doh!

  2. Dave Murray
    Thumb Down

    Try reading your own site

    "Now it seems the distros are more or less on the same page, although Ubuntu got there first in April - seven months ahead of the latest Fedora and openSuSE."

    Fedora 15 had Gnome 3 back in May so they were 1 month behind Ubuntu in shifting to a different interface, not seven. One month hardly counts as Gnome not moving fast enough as Shutleworth claimed and you are implying. You would have known that if you bothered to do a 5 second search on this very site or didn't that fit with your personal Ubuntu bias?

  3. kurkosdr

    Canonical should die in a fire

    The Linux community should have raised a red flag on Canonical from the moment they packed bleeding-edge PulseAudio with Ubuntu, breaking audio for most Ubuntu users, and generally for releasing broken versions of Ubuntu just to catch the silly self-imposed 6 month release cycle. How many times you tried to upgrade Ubuntu and the computer woke up from the upgrade not working as it should? Such a strict 6 month release cycle is something that not even a proprietary software company could do. But don't worry, we are Canonical! Release every 6 months even if it's broken!

    Is the Linux Desktop community so desperate for corporate support they keep tolerating Canonical?

    I am glad they are finally getting the message and moving to Mint.

    1. deains

      Not to mention

      Including a beta version of Firefox 3 with one of their releases (I forget which one). That's the default browser for the entire operating system, updated to a testing build. The mind boggles.

    2. DJV Silver badge

      And the server version, too

      I run a couple of test servers and upgrading from 9.10 to 10.04 (or maybe it was 10.04 to 10.10, I forget) on one of them totally screwed it. Now, I only update major revisions now when I build a new server or replace the main hard disk.

      However, I detest the RPMs that some non-Debian ones use and am thinking seriously of switching from Ubuntu to Debian for the next update.

      1. kissingthecarpet

        I've been shocked

        by the apparent low quality of some Ubuntu releases, judging by forum threads. Fair enough, do an alpha or beta release, but one really needs to be very clear to potential users that they are taking a big risk with something that is a testing beta (that is based after all on Debian's unstable dist). You have to really shout that out, to counteract users' natural desire for the latest versions of everything.

        I've used Debian since Potato & I cannot recommend it highly enough, especially for servers. No distro is perfect, but the only issues with an update I've had were my own fault. I have apt-listbugs & apt-listchanges running as well when I update, so I'm notifed of any bugs & changes that could be trouble (if I heed the warnings :-) Their "stable" release is rock solid. I use "testing" at home, & that's more stable than a lot of distros "stable" releases. I started on rpm-based distros (RedHat etc) & apt is a breath of fresh air - I couldn't go back.

  4. Richard Wharram

    I'd rather...

    use Unity than GNOME 3 :/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Me too...

      Tried Gnome 3 for a couple of days and was just fighting it the whole time. Unity is what's on my laptop at the moment, but for my desktop I was in a quandary recently. Tried Kubuntu for a whole week but found too much flakiness and the default set-up needs lots of tweaking to be vaguely useful. So I switched to XFCE and it's a revelation: exhibits all the distilled goodness Gnome 2 and no cruft. I do quite like Kate as an emacs alternative.

      1. The Penguin


        I am using Gnome3 after using Unity for a while. The saving grace for both these efforts is the tint2 task bar which gives window management back to the user.

        Perhaps I am missing something but I don't understand how Gnome3 and Unity have no real way to easily switch between apps/windows other than with Alt-Tab or Alt-` or Windows+mouse click - it is just a killer for productivity.

    2. Jad

      RE: I'd rather...

      I used Unity for just under 2 hours, I could use it, but it wasn't nice.

      Gnome 3 lasted 30 seconds ... long enough for me not to find my applications, but to find the "log out" button.

      Gnome Classic looked more like what I wanted, but just try to set up a printer and you will decide that it's not worth going there.

      Of the new interfaces Unity does _work_ so therefore is the best of them, but I'm trying XFCE and I reckon that's where I'll end up ...

      I'm going to get my 10 year old son to try all the interfaces (without help) this weekend and see how well he does with them, I think I'll have a better clue after that.

    3. Peter Murphy
      Thumb Up

      I'd rather use GNOME 2 than both.

      That's why I'm sticking with 10.04 LTS for now. Things work.

      1. Richard Wharram

        But GNOME2 is doomed. Personally I'm happy with XFCE now.

  5. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

    Makes no difference to me, but I can see the problem

    "Given today's changes in computing - the shift away from keyboard and mouse on the desktop and towards finger and mobile"

    And right there you make the same mistake Canonical made. There are additional devices coming online with touchscreen interfaces, but the vast majority - and I mean orders of magnitude more - are still keyboard and mouse.

    Canonical forgot the golden rules:

    1. Thou shalt not change things in an incompatible way unless you have a very good reason.

    2. Thou shalt optimize for the most common case, while ensuring that other cases are possible.

    3. Thou shalt avoid change for change sake.

    Not that I care of course - I access our boxen via the shell, the interface that just keeps on giving.

    1. Paul Shirley

      touchscreen has it's place and its not on a PC

      Touchscreen on a tablet sitting under my fingers, works.

      On a phone sitting in my hand, works.

      On a laptop, better than the woeful touchpads most have - worse than the mouse I actually use on mine.

      Touching a monitor sitting an arms length in front of me, hello RSI, muscle fatigue and buggered up eyes because I can't sit further away and still use it.

      I'd also like to know how well touchscreen monitors deal with my multi-monitor setup. Dragging from 1 screen to the next would seem to be a challenge...

      Touchscreen has it's place but that's not on the machines I actually do work or play games on. A UI that compromises my PC experience is a UI I won't use on it.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Touchscreen monitors?

        You omitted: Hello trying to work out whether that's an "8" or a "B" through that fingerprint.....

  6. Anonymous Cowherder

    I've just downloaded mint 12 and installed on a test machine with a view to replacing ubuntu 11.04 on my main work machine.

    I'm fine with unity at home and happily run 11.10 in full unity mode (gnome 3 doesn't like my graphics card) but at work I need gnome 2 style bottom panel activity.

    Whoever in the community decided we need to lose about a centimetre of screen real estate needs a good long talking to, my monitors on my desktops can more than afford to lose 2 centimetres with both a top and bottom panel and still leave enough space for me to do pretty much anything I want computing wise inbetween. Even if it didn't, losing the bottom panel doesn't free up a revolutionary amount of real estate now does it?

    1. Captain TickTock

      gnome 3 doesn't like my graphics card?

      I think it's not so much Gnome 3, as Gnome 3 on Ubuntu.

      The Fedora 15 live CD looks lovely on my laptop (AMD/ATI radeon) although it has broken apps, maybe the fedora 16 live CD will be better.

      While Ubuntu 11.10 fully updated with Gnome3 (installed) has awful font and graphics problems in the top bar

      (strangely fine everywhere else)

      Come on Canonical - show willing!

  7. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    God save me from tablets!

    WTF is this obsession with tablets? I can see MS wanting to catch Apple (money there) but who is going to SELL a tablet with Linux on it that is not Android? And who is going to change one to non-Android Linux (OK if you are one of the sad few to get a Windows one, maybe...)

    My beef with Canonical is the rush for change at the expense of fixing things. And I think Gnome 3 & Unity are a bad move and a waste of developer time. Time they could have spent fixing things :(.

    I would be much happier with Gnome 2 being kept as an option as its much closer to the last 25 years of GUI use, so friend & family don't need re-training every 6 months when they bugger about.

  8. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Unity is no reason to jump

    Changing the desktop manager is a few minutes work and is already done in several distros that surely count as part of the Ubuntu stable.

    Your average Penguinista would surely be aware of this and so I don't believe they'd move outside the stable just because they didn't like Unity. That leaves the "I used to use Windows but a friend eventually persuaded me to use this Ubuntu thing but I still don't know much about it and wouldn't dream of tweaking settings under the hood" crowd. They might object to Unity, but if they jump to anything else, it will be back to Windows.

    Perhaps people are moving because they *originally* chose Ubuntu based on its reputation as a "starter distro for the small and frightened" and it has worked so well for them that they are now curious about other animals in the zoo. If we take this interpretation, then Mr Shuttleworth and his team have truly succeeded in bringing Linux to the masses. (Well, 1% of them at least.)

  9. bill 36

    UI is not the reason i moved

    I just got pissed off trying to fix other broken "features" like wifi and RFkill. The last straw was "upgrading" to 11.04 i think when the keyboard and touchpad failed to work after the download.

    Opensuse on the other hand, while its not perfect either, at least gave me a working keyboard and touchpad back.

    I still had to download a newer kernel to fix the wifi issues just works.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    I'd be another leaver... least from the unity GUI. Still think Ubuntu "under the hood" is a good distro. Currently run Bodhi (Ubuntu 10.04 LTS) with the E17 desktop. Bit of a convert really.

    /advert over.

  11. John Robson Silver badge


    Other window managers exists - why not offer options at install time.

    My preference when I was allowed to work on a real OS was actually ion3.

    I was really impressed with the latest Ubuntu install - it asked me about the partitions I wanted, then went off and formatted/installed in the background while it asked me the remaining few questions. For one of those to have been "Which window manager do you want to use" with screenshots of each wouldn't be that hard....

    1. Jordan 1

      That's great in theory. Unfortunately it would mean having to download a DVD image instead of a CD, having to "officially" support more desktop environments (Xfce and Xubuntu are actually community sponsored), and make it harder to give somebody instructions on how to do something.

  12. Cameron Colley

    As has been mentioned, another reason to leave Ubuntu is when they break something.

    I used Ubuntu for a few years then they broke my sound setup with Pulse Audio, I just got that sorted and an update meant I couldn't get Nvidia drivers to install. Jumped ship to Debian and, apart from having to get proper Firefox installed manually, I haven't looked back.

    Canonical should be thanked for getting more people into Linux, but they do have a habit of introducing flash new features that turn out to be huge annoyances for the existing userbase.

  13. Richard Lloyd
    Thumb Up

    As long as a distro gives a choice of WM's, then at least we can switch

    I recently installed Fedora 16 on a netbook, but chose all available window managers to be installed so that it was easy to use the gdm pre-login options to switch WMs if I didn't like GNOME 3. Sure enough, GNOME 3 was appalling, so I easily switched to XFCE and managed to get it close to the look of my typical GNOME 2 session.

    As long as we have an easily installable and switchable set of WMs provided with Linux distros, then I don't mind if the default one sucks donkey's naughty bits. It also gives us a distinct advantage over Windows if we really don't like the default desktop (Windows handling of scrollbar jumps if you drag a scrollbar button and drift left or right is appalling, as is maximising a window if you drag the top of it to the top of the screen - who thought either of those were sensible faults?).

  14. James Hughes 1

    Said it before

    But I have no issues with Unity at all. Takes a while to get used to it, but the latest version is pretty good. Minor niggles about finding stuff on the dashboard aside.

    People who go off in a rage really need to find better things to be upset about.

    What is annoying is recent WiFi issues (fixed now by setting MTU to 1500 rather than default), and I have had one crash requiring a restart which is very unusual - but the children where using it for full screen iPlayer, so maybe something to do with that. Also, Nautilus occasionally dies, not sure who to blame for that one.

    However, compared to the other half's Windows PC, it's a dream.

    I do use LXDE over Debian on the RaspberryPi though! Basic but seem to work

  15. Patrick O'Reilly

    The Gnomes are happy

    Of the 10 or so friends I know using Ubuntu, only one has moved to Unity, the rest of us have stuck with the last good build with Gnome 10.10, some stil on 10.04 LTS.

    Those versions are still stable enough for everyday use. I wouldn't even entertain moving over to a Red Hat derivative. Those numbers are for the number of people looking at the various sites, not active installs.

  16. the old rang

    Still looking...

    When I first ran into Unity, I hated the idiotic cell phone rip off. The stupidity of it. The crashing of my system. The dragging down of any speed. I left Windows because of that (and lack of any security... Windows flamers, eat it... with Active X there is no security), and went to Ubuntu, many years ago. That Ubuntu chose that abomination, has had me looking for a better Linux distro. I still use Ubuntu 10.10.

    Over the last few years, every time I tried Mint... I hated it... scratch that. Not too fond of the other options.

    Why doesn't someone just work on integrating reasonable computer sense, with the likes of Ubuntu 10.10, for the millions that have said Unity and garbage like it, suck?

    I don't want a cell phone for a desk top. I want a computer, simple and functional, not dragged down by useless gee-gaws and noise.

    If I wanted it, and all the crashing, virii, and snooping from Redmond, I would still be using micro-soft... most apt name for a ...

    And, like Redmond, it seems, they will patch it forever, and never fix it.

    1. A. Lewis

      Have you tried xubuntu? It's the ubuntu you know and love with an efficient and customisable XFCE desktop...

  17. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Well, I just took another look at KDE, it's still somewhat bloated (compared to things like openbox) but unlike both Gnome and Unity, it now has almost all the configuration options I prefer.

  18. lsatenstein

    Counting the mouseclicks

    The Unity interface is subconciously geared to one activity at a time. To have more than one and to switch between takes too many keystrokes. Also, when users have a wide screen, (such as 1920 x 1080), we would like to freeze the right half with some static information, and work with the left half, or viceversa. I did not see that in Unity's future.

    Too many mouseclicks to switch from virtual desktop to another, or establish a virtual desktop.

    I actually reverted to the 10.4.3 version with Long term support. I also use Fedora 16, with compiz, which gives me a half-half and a comfortable interface, with fewer mouse clicks needed to move from window to window, and also the ability to have multiple windows available at one time.

    Unity can be salvaged if in the favourites, one can post folder links. This would provide a means to have a rapid view and quick mouse click switch.

    I also have tried and do like Linux Mint. However, I have not decided if that is the one for me.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fisher Price for Shuttleworth

    For god's sake, give the man a seat on the board at Fisher Price, and get him away from anything to do with even half-serious computing.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Debian Squeeze

    Ok it's a bit behind the curve and the updates are only security related, but that saves breaking stuff and it still have GNOME 2.30

  21. lucmars


    If Unity upset those who want a PC and not a Pad, Canonical better have to release a Gubuntu version beside the Xubuntu and Kubuntu versions.

    For the moment one should believe that a single WM fit all, but that can't.

    1. Captain TickTock

      Shouldn't that be...


  22. PyLETS

    Linux's Vista desktop moment

    KDE and Gnome seem to be leaving many of their users annoyed and behind with very major UI changes - which don't yet seem stable or usable enough let alone the hardware requirements. Thankfully plenty of alternative desktops are available - but none of these are yet quite as smooth, fully functional and usable as Gnome 2 on hardware < 5 years old.

    Ubuntu seem to be busy trying to reinvent the wheel with Unity, which is OK on a netbook but slow and frustrating on a desktop. Quite a few are pinning back to Gnome 2 long term support distros - myself included on my home PC. I've just installed XFCE ( the xubuntu-desktop package) on a machine remotely administrated for an elderly close relative which seems to offer a UI closer to what he knows, after he mistakenly dist-upgraded the thing.

    I've used Debian on a server for several years and on that, apart from the occasional fixable dist-upgrade unsupported or broken package glitch, I've not needed to do a full reinstall for over 8 years. But I wouldn't dream of anything having that level of stability on a desktop with the much more complex, larger and more numerous software packages that desktops require. Sometimes dist-upgrade works without breaking anything important when upgrading a desktop, but too often doing a clean reinstall leaves a much more workable system.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've stuck with 10.10

    I will have to continue to do that until I can find a UI that is as unobtrusive and customisable and just generally "OK" as what I've got.

    Windows 8 and Unity are ugly and very obstructive and opaque in my opinion and yes, geared to tablets not desktops. OS X Lion is also quite horrid for much the same reason so I'm sticking with 10.5.8 with that.

    I will say that Ubuntu with a future version of Unity on a tablet might be a success. I might even buy one but do not want for my desktop or 17" laptop.

  24. Scaine

    So much Unity hate...

    ...but very few people ever articulate what is wrong. I find it sad but a little amusing that most linux users will make the huge jump to something new, like Ubuntu, but then cry like newborns when their desktop evolves into something new.

    You have various choices :

    1. Adapt. I have. I miss the cube and docky, but accept that the Dash/Launcher and Wall are more functional now that I've been using them for 8 months.

    2. Change the interface. Try Gnome 3, or XFCE. Or hell, try LXDE.

    3. Change distro. Or go back to Windows.

    4. Whinge constantly and unproductively.

    5. File bugs against what you don't like. Might not work, but if you care, you'll try.

    There's a whole lot of 4 going on and I'm getting tired of reading it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You forget...

      ..Choice 0: Don't spent time re-learning stuff that changed for no good reason, so I an still on good old productive stable 10.04. I dread the time I'll spend moving on... someday.

      This WM change stuff is as dumb as MS' stupid ribbon.

      I want to do work, not :

      - reinstall stuff,

      - learn something I already know how to do, I'd much rather learn new things to be more productive, do a better work, use enhanced features. Not look for the latest way to start a bl**dy app.

      - file bugs for stuff that used to work,

      - try distros (I am trying to have a life), try WMs, etc. What next? Should we start from scratch each time? Should try to build my own CPUs and RAM sticks? Sheesh!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      When something that works well, is intuitive in terms of interfaces that the majority are used to, is highly competitive with certain commercial systems because of that, and offers infinite scope for customisation to the compulsive home decorator is changed, to something that isn't and doesn't, how much articulation do you want?

      Expletives are quite sufficient. You can't constructively criticise crap.

      Unity is not a million miles away from using a "dock." It is not a million miles away from icons on a panel. Fine: those things, and much, much more, are all available to Gnome-2 users. We can even delete the menu if we want (I delete the applications-places-system menu, and replace it with the single ubuntu-symbol menu).

      Even changing the appearance of the thing is still not as bad as changing the underlying working methods which i just wasting everybody's time and increasing world frustration.

      The more I find out about Ubuntu, the more I wish I had chosen something else. Shuttleworth doesn't speak English, he talks marketing-bull. Enormous amounts of effort are wasted over stuff like the boot-up and login screens: things that nobody even looks at for more than a couple of minutes a day!

      *nix systems are very good at telling us exactly what they are doing as they start. On today's machines, that all happens too fast to be visible, but, at least when it slows down or stops, we can see what has slowed or stopped it. Ubuntu covers it up with something pretty with a silly name.

      "Something pretty with a silly name" seems to be Ubuntu policy. Well, "pretty," is, of course, arguable.

  25. Phil the Geek

    I just went over to the green side

    I've been using Ubuntu on my laptop and desktop since Hardy Heron, and I've been very happy with it. I use Win7 at work and I definitely prefer Maverick. I've tried Unity and I hate it - I can see it could be good on a tablet but that's not what I'm using.

    I stayed with 10.10 to avoid Unity but I was aware I would have to transition sooner or later. Yesterday I upgraded to Mint and so far I'm delighted.

  26. Fatty Eglon

    This is business guys...

    It's simply a business choice. Ubuntu/Cannonical want to make money. This is understandable. Their goal is not to warm the cockles of existing Linux users hearts, but rather to win over non Linux computer users. Sorry, but it's that simple. For all the great work Mark et al have done for the community, this is where it's headed.

    Yes Unity/Ubuntu is dumbed down Linux for the masses. That said it has to work out of the box, which it doesn't always do. I don't like what's happening with either Gnome Shell (in part) or Unity when it comes to removing my beloved customisation etc.

    People go on about Linux Mint being the future. Linux Mint 12 at the moment seem a bit cobbled together, neither one nor the other...some kind of Gnome/Gnome Shell love child. I've been using Linux for 10 years now, with 5 years as my sole OS and have not felt this uncomfortable since KDE 4 came out. This month I've been through Ubuntu 11.10, back to Ubuntu 10.10, then I tried Mint 12 which got borked by compiz and then Pinguy 11.04 (Some apps didn't work anymore). Finally I settled on Ubuntu 11.10, Gnome Shell (with shell extensions) and Docky. This sort of works.

    I must admit these last 3 weeks I've begun to hate Linux again. That's saying something as the last time I hated it was when I was using Mandrake.

    Sorry but it's true. Linux has given this geek a headache.

    I need a lie down.

    Just had a thought maybe I'll buy a Mac, then again....nurse bring the hyperdermic!!!

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      @This is business guys...

      Ideally yes, but if it is then it is really badly thought through.

      I like/liked Ubuntu a lot, and I have no problem whatsoever about Canonical making money out of it. I just wish they listened and thought through things a bit better. Here is my main gripe list:

      1) Changing user interfaces FOR NO GOOD!

      Moving someone from XP is hard, as most non-geeks don't want change and just want to keep doing things without the diet of worms that Windows offers them.

      Gnome 2 was good enough for that. Maybe Ubuntu's hand was forced with Gnome 3, but really I feel saddened by the loss of 'normal' GUI design and am now looking to XFCE as an escape.

      2) Not fixing bugs.

      I know of a few that I have participated in the reporting / diagnostics and they are being ignored, even for 10.04 LTS that is *supposed* to be supported. In a few cases the community has already fixed/moved on but nothing has been done to make it 'just happen' with Ubuntu updates.

      3) Changing package choices (related to #2).

      Why can't they choose something and stick with it? For example, dropping Rhythmbox for Banshee as sound player, or F-Spot for photos. Sure they were not perfect, but why should users of a non-geek type be forced to learn new stuff and system admin foreclosed to train/support changed for the sake of it?

      Shades of point #1

      While I am happy with things being added like like Ubuntu One for cloud storage/backup, or for paid apps in the repositories, it should not be at the expense of dumbing down package management to the point of uselessness (WTF dropping version & dependency info?).

      There is a big market for an alternative to XP that is 'free' as in speech, and maybe paid for extras, but that is not going to be tablets. Cheap & old PC can use Linux/Gnome2 style software and users liked it.

      Don't piss them off...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Every Point A Good One

        Microsoft are in a position to this sort of stuff, because they won the battle already. If ribbon menu is the new flavour of the day, not much choice but to suck on it, like it or not --- but even MS isn't going to change Word for something else today, and back again tomorrow. To the home user, the music player or the photo manager are not trivial things: they are front ends to managing more data than some companies have.

        When I have problems with Ubuntu, it is not unusual for Google to discover that the same problems were posted about years ago, but remain unfixed.

        It looks like management that has Gates/Jobs illusions about itself leading contributors who would rather spend their time decorating rather than fixing the building.

  27. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    The Golden Rule

    Only ever use Ubuntu LTS releases.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And then...

      ... Miss out on all the new stuff that people are developing /only/ for latest releases.

      ... Get dropped in the /really/ deep end every three to five years.

  28. Medium Dave

    I regard it as a bad sign...

    I recently went to upgrade to the newest version of Mandriva (my usual distro) where I discovered the default desktop is now a monstrosity called Rosa, which looks like Unity's inbred cousin from Alabama.

    Now yes, I can switch to another UI in short order, but if they've decided that that steaming pile is the way to go, what else have they done? Beta filesystem drivers? Sole update repository in Guatamala? Yet another media player to learn my way around? There are enough options out there so an hour later I had a new silver coaster and a Sabayon install, which I'm become quite pleased with.

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I'll be dammed if I'm going to spend the next week sequencing it's DNA.

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I moved

    Long term user of Ubuntu since 5.04, Unity I could cope with and is actually the default on my little X60. But in 11.10 the configuration options are *gone*.

    I mean honestly screen dims on battery after 10 seconds...oh sorry were you reading from a webpage at the time ? wiggle the mouse every 10 seconds or as I did hunt about in dconf and fix it because the power management page has been stripped of most options.

    You can sort of tweak a few things with a combintation of ccsm and the gnome tweak tool..neither of these are available by default and neither cover the full scope of anything like a reasonable set of options.....Choice of shortcuts on the app launcher or stuff specific to Unity rather than Gnome/Compiz seem to be set in stone.

    Then hard locks on removal of external storage (after unmounting) on a machine that is after all green lights all the way on Ubuntu's hardware compatability register.

    Oh and my core i7 laptop (Thinkpad W510 good to go on the register and actually shipped with Ubuntu as an option from Lenovo) was throttled back by 25% which I thought was a Kernel 3.0.x problem but it isn't present on Mint which is also Kernel 3.0.x

    I could have messed about for hours and fixed most of my problems I am sure, but if I wanted a distro I had to mess about with to get it working then I wouldn't have been running Ubuntu would I ?

    But the very worst thing is the total ignorance from Cannonical, people have been trying to make constructive comments on Unity since it's release in 11.04..if anything the implimentation in 11.10 is worse.

    On Linux Mint Debian Editiion for my main machine at the moment, which is working out kind of ok. I'll keep an eye on Ubuntu hopefully tthe LTS will be better...but at the moment I'd say Unity is not even fit to be a default option let alone the only option on a fresh installation

  31. Faust5151

    Unbuntu goodbye, hello Mint!

    Thanks to an ubuntu "upgrade" my laptop was rendered useless on my vacation. Seems my video hardware was not compatible with the the base graphics drivers. I learned to tolerate the annoying bongo splash, preachy multi-culti vibe, and doo-doo browness but automatically disabling my laptop where I cannot fix it is something I cannot accept from a legitimate OS. That's amateur hour. Ubuntu should try the hypocritical oath "first do no harm" Moved to Mint. Looks good. Simple interface. Installs like a champ. Everything works.


  32. Mikel

    Classic Menu

    Get ClassicMenu Indicator and tint2. That fixed all my issues with the new UI. Or choose "Ubuntu classic" in the dropdown when you log in.

  33. Anonymous Coward


    See above. Go green.

  34. Steven Pemberton

    What a lot of fuss about so little

    If you don't like Unity, install Gnome from the Software Centre, and then select Gnome (classic) when you log in. All fixed.

  35. hillsy

    I use Mint

    I also donate to the Mint project. Because desktop Linux needs at least one good distribution* where the direction of travel is community-driven, rather than being arbitrarily dictated by the likes of Canonical & Mark Shuttleworth.

    * Yes, I'm aware there are others. I'm sure they're great. But I like and use Mint, so that's the one I support.

  36. llewton

    yes, but;

    "it's not necessarily an actual measurement of solid market share by more accepted metrics such as downloads, installations or revenue"

    i agree, but please - what is? anyone who claims they have any known number of users are liars (and that would be canonical with their alleged "20 million users").

    there is no way of knowing "the solid market share" of any linux distro, and that is the whole and only truth at this point in time.

    distrowatch, on the other hand, has been and still is a good, valid indicator. this was true while ubuntu topped the list, it's true now that ubuntu's gone. as a debian user it would be unnatural for me to like ubuntu or care about its fate, but i'm not particularly pleased either to watch its decline. it *could have been* a linux success. but canonical managed to mix a poisonous concoction of a half-baked product with poor community management. and that's all she wrote.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    So much nonsense is such a little space...

    The idea that the DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking actually indicates which Linux distro is used by the greatest number of users is ludicrous. When I was running PCLOS from .p93 through the 2007 release PCLOS was ranked #1 for almost an entire year, but it never came close to the number of actual Ubuntu users.

    In fact, there is another DistroWatch metric which is more meaningful:

    It reveals that 47% of visitors to DW are WINDOWS users, and only 45% use Linux !!!!! Anyone willing to bet that those 47% Windows users are actually using Mint?

    Only 5% of the visitors are Apple users. This assumes, of course, that browser agents aren't disguising the identity of the underlying OS for most visitors, which is probably the case.

    A minor group of KDE3 users made a lot of noise when KDE4 replaced it, but KDE4 has proven to be a very beautiful, powerful and popular DE. I suspect that the same thing is happening with Gnome vs Unity, as a small group of dissidents invade forums and give an impression of being more numerous than they are.

    After all, Unity was written to appeal to Windows users, not Linux users. And, it was written to eliminate the problem of maintaining a separate DE for a desktop, a laptop, a netbook, a tablet and a smartphone. Unity is a single DE designed to run on ALL of those devices and present a single interface regardless of which device is used. Those new arrivals to Ubuntu/Unity have never run Gnome and most probably have never seen it. Judging by the ratio of Windows users to Linux users at a Linux website, I'd say Canonical's game plan is working.

    1. candtalan

      GreyGeek77 said:

      'After all, Unity was written to appeal to Windows users, not Linux users. And, it was written to eliminate the problem of maintaining a separate DE for a desktop, a laptop, a netbook, a tablet and a smartphone. Unity is a single DE designed to run on ALL of those devices and present a single interface regardless of which device is used. Those new arrivals to Ubuntu/Unity have never run Gnome and most probably have never seen it. Judging by the ratio of Windows users to Linux users at a Linux website, I'd say Canonical's game plan is working'

      I think you are correct in this. However, the *way* in which the changes have been handled has caused upset, offence, and even enemies that did not exist before. How people (users) *feel* about a product is the stuff of a good marketing specialist, and not all to do with the product content or quality. For example, if you know you are going to do something which is going to hurt someone else, but still has to happen anyway, it is human to recognise this and at least be apologetic. This is a piece of the jigsaw I have not yet seen.

  38. terminator

    Build your own in 10 min !

    I've found it preferable to build my own linux 'distro' using a debian minimal install iso. Its pretty straightforward and infinitely customizable using both the Debian and Ubuntu reps, either in deb packages or with source files for own build of apps.

    Check out my blog on building your own distro in 10 mins here:-

    I prefer to keep it basic with just Fluxbox, a terminal and a few other bits and bobs to start, but you can substitute those for pretty much anything including Gnome, KDE, LXDE, and much much more from the vast Debian/Ubuntu resources.

    The Debian minimal I've found also to be faster and more responsive than others, and I've tried quite a few.

  39. Paul 135

    tablets are the spawn of satan which has destroyed the desktop interface

    I really can't wait for the death of this stupid tablet fad. It should happen soon enough when all the non-Apple tablet manufacturers take a look at their P&Ls, and then realise that the iPad was only selling due to the Reality Distortion Field.

    This revolt will be nothing compared to the one which will occur when Microsoft releases Windows 8. I suspect we may get an exodus of Windows users to Linux. As a current Windows user, I may be one of them...

    1. kissingthecarpet


      Win8 will have 2 GUIs - "Metro" - their sandboxed, locked down smartphoney iPaddy GUI, & the other one, which is AFAIK just Windows 7 + bugfixes + updates. They'd be crazy to try to do both in one GUI, wouldn't they? If they did they might alienate nearly all their desktop users...<cough>Unity</cough>

      As it is though, there are a lot of IT-challenged Windows users out there, who might boot into Metro & go into one, like the day when a link to Facebook didn't appear at the top of a Google search for "Facebook" (I think it was ReadWriteWeb where they had their collective fit)

  40. kissingthecarpet

    I like Gnome 3

    I wasn't sure at first & I can see why people won't like it, but surely its early days yet, give it time. I'm using Debian Wheezy so its only just arrived, but it hasn't got any weird issues like some are having AFAIK. If you want the desktop back, you can set the "let File manager control desktop" option in the tweak tool. I thought I couldn't do without the old desktop, but after a day or 2 I switched the option off.

    I suppose the best thing to do if you have strong views would be to get involved & try to influence development. You're not paying for it, after all...

  41. them

    Drivers, drivers, drivers

    Whoever can get their *nix to install seamlessly on an Android or iOS tbalet, and work without fighting with it, will win this war.

    The issue of "Unity vs Gnome 2" is trivial compared to this.

    The main R&D investments to make are:

    - hardware drivers that work on the more popular devices, and

    - an easy and automated installation process that doesn't require much knowledge.

    Without this investment, widespread use of open-source linux on touchscreen devices is a pipe dream.

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