back to article What's your flava? Ooo, tell me what's your flava... of Ubuntu

The Canonical project is gearing up for one of its biggest releases yet. Ubuntu 17.10, due to arrive October 19, will be the company's first release since it abandoned its Unity desktop, Mir display server and the dream of "convergence". Instead Ubuntu users will get the GNOME desktop with a few tweaks that promise to make it a …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What if I want it to be just like 16.4 LTS is?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Then just use 16.4 LTS.

      That's what it's there for.

    2. WonkoTheSane
      Linux

      16.04 is supported for 5yrs. You can use it until 2021 if you want.

  2. jake Silver badge

    I must be missing something ...

    "That means KDE users can now litter their desktops with icons and files named "newfile", "newerfile", "newestfile" just like everyone else."

    I'm pretty sure this has been possible since Slackware (at least) started using KDE; certainly it works with 2001's Slack 8.0 and KDE 2.1, the oldest version I have handy at the moment ... Perhaps it wasn't enabled in Kubuntu?

    1. K
      Pint

      Re: I must be missing something ...

      I may be misunderstanding this.. But I've used Kubuntu for a couple of years for development, and the Desktop has always been a folder..

      I'm confused.. can anybody shed some light on this? Beers on me if you do :D

    2. fandom

      Re: I must be missing something ...

      A few years ago, with version 4, the KDE developers decided that they way we had been using our desktop was primitive and went on to create something better. A desktop that wouldn't let you have documents or icons in it.

      Pretty much nobody liked the idea, so they allowed you to configure the desktop as being a 'folder view' and it would work as expected.

      I guess Kubuntu is now using that setting as the default one.

      1. Chika
        Linux

        Re: I must be missing something ...

        You mean that whole Plasma thing? It's one reason why, even to date, I still use KDE3 and substitute "plasmoids" for Screenlets. Like that lot over at GNOME, my thought was that KDE were concentrating a little too hard on self indulgence and not enough on what users were actually asking for and while KDE3 isn't perfect, KDE4 wasn't the answer IMHO. Plasma 5 isn't as bad but it still doesn't quite come up to the mark either.

        Yet again, it seemed that certain types within the Linux community were trying to reinvent the wheel for no other reason than that they could. The only difference with KDE4 and GNOME3 was that they had a lock-in that Unity didn't have, though while the backlash against GNOME3 brought forth such projects as MATE and Cinnamon, I've come to conclude that Trinity isn't KDE3 in every respect and certainly doesn't have the push of the two GNOME offshoots.

        If KDE are finally coming to their senses with Plasma 5 then all power to them, but I'll keep my KDE3 install going for as long as I need to until I'm happy with what they have done. Mind you, moving to Ubuntu of any stripe is unlikely for me...

        1. fandom

          Re: I must be missing something ...

          Don't worry, they haven't. If KDE 4 was a couple steps below 3, KDE 5 is like they went to the cellar and started digging.

        2. Justin Case
          FAIL

          Re: I must be missing something ...

          For me it was KDE 3.5 or thereabouts that hit perfection. Everything was so easy to use. Even Kontact email / calendaring worked great. It's just about getting back to somewhere near now in KDE 5 but the devs seem still to be antagonistic to the idea of a good user experience.

        3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: I must be missing something ...

          If you like KDE3 there's always Trinity: https://www.trinitydesktop.org/

          1. P.B. Lecavalier

            Re: I must be missing something ...

            I missed very much KDE 3.5, then finally accepted KDE 4, as it became more mature. Now I find KDE Plasma 5 too experimental (last time I tried: 10 months ago maybe) and I absolutely despise how it drank the FLAT Kool-Aid. It's about time to let KDE4 go (lxde-qt not quite ready), so I might as well return to KDE3 through Trinity.

  3. Paul Woodhouse

    hmm, think I'll be going with Mate, I like it on Mint on the odd occasion I've used mint, am I a heretic because I actually quite like unity though?

    1. Avatar of They
      Thumb Up

      You are not alone.

      I have been waiting for Unity to die. Awful side panel and having to have a mouse wheel to move up or down in a folder. (Touchpad on a laptop make that feature a real winner)

      Heretic maybe but not everyone actually liked Unity.

      1. Teiwaz

        Re: You are not alone.

        I have been waiting for Unity to die.

        - Do you think the same thing about celebs you don't like...?

        If you didn't like Unity, you didn't have to use it - there were no end of alternatives

      2. ntevanza

        Re: You are not alone.

        Unity was originally why I gave up on Linux as a desktop OS. Anyone over 25 and in regular employment, who therefore lacked the time to test or even read about 100 distros, and wanted a stable and sensible desktop with high adoption, just had to bail. That hasn't changed. Choice, bollocks. Look at this mess.

        1. BitDr

          Re: You are not alone.

          "Anyone over 25 and in regular employment, who therefore lacked the time to test or even read about 100 distros, and wanted a stable and sensible desktop with high adoption, just had to bail."

          Yeah well the gang from Redmond was also messing about with the usage-paradigm too but that doesn't seem to have bothered you too much. Win 8 and 10 (Redmond it seems can't count as they skipped 9) both have terrible User Interfaces.

          I jumped ship to Gnome 2 when the KDE developers when the went insane and released KDE 4. Then the Gnome devs went round the twist. I stuck to Gnome 2.2 as long as possible, finally moving to Mate. I used to use Fedora, but started using Mint and grew to really like Cinnamon.

          1. ntevanza

            Re: You are not alone.

            "Yeah well the gang from Redmond was also messing about with the usage-paradigm too but that doesn't seem to have bothered you too much. Win 8 and 10 (Redmond it seems can't count as they skipped 9) both have terrible User Interfaces."

            There's no doubt the Metro experiment led to an upswing in the Linux curious. What they would have found is, well, 100 distros and about 50 shells to sort through, each with some annoyance or other. In the end it was easier to stay with Redmond, spend the 90 seconds installing Classic Shell, and carry on as if nothing had happened.

            Interestingly, there are now far more instances of Ubuntu Server out there than Desktop. How may flavours of that are there? Two.

  4. AMBxx Silver badge

    Shiny pretty

    Good to see that nobody's wasting time on just making it look nicer! There seems to be some UI disease going around at the moment - started at Microsoft and spread from there.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Shiny pretty

      Obviously ms are to blame. Bastards!

      Wait, what? In an article about all the different ububtu desktops you managed to decide ms are at fault?

      Quality thinking.

    2. shawnfromnh

      Re: Shiny pretty

      Problem with MS was they wanted windows on the phone also and pushed that vision onto the desktop users with 8. Major fuckup in their leadership with that flub and Unity just looking at the screenshots made me decide not to try linux for years after. I now have cinnamon mint and I don't even use win10 anymore on my dual boot. Mint is so good and so fast.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Shiny pretty

        I wasn't blaming MS, I was identifying them as the source of needless tinkering with UI.

        For the record, it's wall to wall Microsoft here.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: I was identifying them as the source of needless tinkering with UI.

          I think Apple are more likely to be the source of this change. How many designers want to copy ms? Google and Apple are seen as a lot more relevant, surely, and both have changed to flat designs.

  5. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Linux Mint for me.

    Although I'll try the Budgie one. Until Sylvester comes along and spoil things :p

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Facepalm

      If I pirate a copy of Ubuntu 17.10 ... am I a budgie smuggler?

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        RE: macjules

        Pirating software? You'll end up doing bird for that

        1. Chika
          Trollface

          Re: RE: macjules

          Pirating software? You'll end up doing bird for that

          Why? You a stool pigeon then?

          I'll have a piece of Pi with not so much Rat in, plz...

      2. Shaha Alam

        no, but you might be a kdefiddler

  6. Christian Berger

    Does KDE work now?

    So far in the last decade or so, every KDE installation I've seen over various hardware devices and various software versions, from SuSE to Kubuntu had severe display problems. This starts with rounded borders of windows having messed up backgrounds and goes on to actual crashes.

    Has this been fixed now?

    1. Chemist

      Re: Does KDE work now?

      "So far in the last decade or so, every KDE installation I've seen over various hardware devices and various software versions, from SuSE to Kubuntu had severe display problems."

      Well all I can say is I've been using SUSE and then OpenSUSE since ~~1995 - it's on all my regular laptops/desktops and I've never had these sort of problems. What can I say ? Have you researched it or reported it ? . Anyone with experience of KDE care to comment ?

      I have just bought ( for general use ) a new cheap laptop which came with Kubuntu (17.04) pre-loaded and I've not had any problems with that either ( other than this dreadful trend to flat UI with kindergarten icons)

      1. gv

        Re: Does KDE work now?

        Running vanilla KDE on Arch Linux and had absolutely no issues. I always turn the file indexing/searching stuff off though.

        1. Alistair
          Windows

          Re: Does KDE work now?

          vanilla KDE on fedora since F18 for work. Indexing gets shot in the head when I set it up and other than the plasma "taskbar" occasionally not hiding correctly, and the fact that dnf doesn't do categories causing apper to complain, I've had no issues with kde. Mind you it wasn't till 4.8 or so that KDE 4 was really usable in my view. My home gentoo desktop run blackbox while kde was sorting its act out.

          Since the firewall is now bsd instead of slack, and I've not needed any gui there it doesn't have one.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Does KDE work now? (& @Alistair)

            KDE has worked for me since it got to Slackware (Slack 3.9, KDE 1.1, 1999). It's not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but it gets the job done without getting in the way, or indeed without me even noticing it day to day. Can't ask for much more than that in a GUI.

            Alistair, why do you think you need to run a GUI with Slackware? I use BSD on firewalls for larger installations, but I use Slack for smaller offices when the desktops are also Slack (makes for a smaller learning curve for whoever is doing maintenance). No GUI needed. In fact, most of my firewalls are headless beyond an ASCII terminal. No need for the overhead of a graphics subsystem ...

      2. Teiwaz

        Re: Does KDE work now?

        I've been using SUSE and then OpenSUSE since ~~1995

        Ooh, dedicated. I dropped Suse when the Novell takeover happened, after two broken desktop experiences when the desktop had been improving rapidly up 'til then.

        1. Chemist

          Re: Does KDE work now?

          "Ooh, dedicated."

          No, I've got 8 Pis running lxde, and quite a number of various VMs. But OpenSUSE has generally been my very reliable distro of choice ( and indeed SUSE before that when we had to pay )

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does KDE work now?

      I've been using the Kubuntu LTS versions since Windows XP went out of support, and had no problems with it, apart from very occasionally it forgets my dual monitor layout and reverts back to cloning the display to both screens. That could be a hardware problem though, one of the monitors is old and a bit temperamental. Never had any problems of the nature that you described.

    3. Chika
      Linux

      Re: Does KDE work now?

      Another SuSE user here who is a little puzzled. I've been using SuSE since I switched from RedHat at the end of the 1990s and have used KDE on most of these. Don't believe I have ever seen this fault on any version of KDE. Even the time I flirted with TDE on Mint this didn't happen. I'm using KDE3 on openSUSE Leap 42.2 at this present moment and haven't noticed any messed up backgrounds or crashes. Not even on my ancient openSUSE 11.4 netbook.

      You sound like you got very unlucky.

  7. gv

    Move to QT

    It's interesting that both LXDE and Budgie are moving to QT.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Move to QT

      Well would you really want to depend on GNOME developers' GTK not becoming more stupid in the future (useful features removed, deeper integration with systemd)?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Move to QT

        Well would you really want to depend on GNOME developers' GTK not becoming more stupid in the future (useful features removed, deeper integration with systemd)?

        Heresay and rumour. I'm far more concerned over Gnomes increasing NIH syndrome - Not getting involved with Ubuntu and KDE in Notifications discussions, then complaining they weren't consulted on the solution, cobbling together Flatpacks when news of Snaps reached them....

        Ubuntus decision to go it's own way with Mir and further subdividing it's resources when it already had a new desktop to create.

        I honestly think Gnome and Ubuntu deserve eachother.

  8. Will Duckworth

    XUbuntu

    is a great workstation distro - my stock since Ubuntu left Gnome and I think I'll be sticking with it now

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: XUbuntu

      I'm running Xubuntu 17.04 on an old HP Mini 2.10 so I can have something to do in the car while waiting for the daughters to finish surfing club/netball club etc when its not worth driving home and back again and I must say so far I'm impressed with it. Its only got a gig of ram but there's more than enough free to do some serious coding!

  9. nematoad Silver badge
    Joke

    Good.

    "Ubuntu 17.10 will be a stock GNOME desktop with a couple of add-ons to improve the overall experience."

    Oh, you mean like Cinnamon and Mate?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2017 Year of the Linux Desktop

    Do any come with a choice of systemd or not ?

    (I would add the flame icon)

    1. LDS Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: 2017 Year of the Linux Desktop

      Hurry up! Only four months left!

    2. Chika
      FAIL

      Re: 2017 Year of the Linux Desktop

      Do any come with a choice of systemd or not ?

      Unfortunately, the various big distros either make it as tricky as possible or simply don't provide for it. It gets worse as some packages rely implicitly on systemd being there. The only distros that come to mind right now would something like Slackware, Devuan or Gentoo.

      Poeterring's shitware just seems to get everywhere.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: 2017 Year of the Linux Desktop

        Void and Antix/MX are also good non-systemd alternatives.

    3. M. Poolman

      Re: 2017 Year of the Linux Desktop

      Do any come with a choice of systemd or not ?

      I don't know, but Qt based desktops might well make it easier to get away from systemd. Gnome depends on it but Qt doesnt (iirc),

  11. frank ly

    Worth a look

    I keep Linux Mint MATE going and updated even though I've happily settled on Debian Stretch MATE now. MATE 1.18.0 in Mint 18.3 has managed to introduce some problems into itself, both cosmetic artefacts and functional shortfalls. Because of the general flexibility, open nature and multi-layer nature of Linux and MATE, I've been able to work around these but it was annoying for a while.

    I'll have a look at this latest version of MATE as implemented by Ubuntu to see how it behaves and if it offers any advantages over the Mint implementation. After all, the only cost is some time on a wet weekend and the occasional blood pressure spike when I see how they've changed my favourite feature or theme.

    1. frank ly

      Re: Worth a look

      It's a cloudy afternoon so I thought I'd try it. What follows is my personal opinion.

      The panel style/layout changes that can be chosen from MATE Tweak are 'interesting' but only to people who pine for Unity or some Mac lookalike. If you're used to standard MATE then they will be of no interest at all to you. Note that you can save the panel style/layout as a named custom setting but this 'saving' does not include the exact contents location and layout and so you will mess up any existing icon layout if you select something different and then try to go back to a saved setting. This is a one-off decision that you should make at an early stage.

      MATE 1.18.0 here has exactly the same cosmetic 'glitch' and functionality shortfalls that I've seen in the Linux Mint version.

      It has some new themes - woohoo.

      I'll wait for the LTS in 18.04 then see if they've fixed the MATE problems.

  12. Allonymous Coward
    Linux

    Ubuntu MATE user here

    Have been for a few years, mostly Just Works, probably won't change. The project has a good ethos too, which is a bonus.

    It's never going to be the Year of Linux on the Desktop, but actually desktop Linux is pretty good these days whichever flavour you pick.

    1. keithpeter Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Ubuntu MATE user here

      @Allonymous Coward

      We face the real prospect of it not being the Year Of The Desktop again for any platform/system/kernel/ecosystem. I've spent a few days working with colleagues advising people coming into various educational centres. Tablets/phones/phablets being used by just about everyone now to find info &c.

      I agree that just about any DE on top of just about any maintained distro on hardware that is not totally bleeding edge/released last week will work and work well.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5 people who still care about Ubuntu

    1. Mark Shuttleworth

    2.

    3.

    4.

    5.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: 5 people who still care about Ubuntu

      Microsoft? They've only just started to embrace it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 5 people who still care about Ubuntu

      Would have looked cleverer if you didn't have to scroll past 30 or so comments avidly discussing it to get to your witty put down.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moved from kubuntu to Mint cinnamon

    I Moved from kubuntu to Mint cinnamon. I had been using KDE for 13 years but decided I wanted stable over shine.

    1. fishman

      Re: Moved from kubuntu to Mint cinnamon

      I've been using KDE on Linux for about 16 years, both at home and at work. I haven't seen any stability problems with it.

  15. davidp231

    MATE...

    "Ubuntu MATE takes the popular MATE desktop – probably best known as a Linux Mint desktop"

    Even better known as GNOME 2.0 before it got it got borked completely.

  16. Timmy B

    Well don't I feel smug...

    I have been saying in threads lately that Linux would end up looking all flat and Windows / OSx / Android Material like. Then I saw the kubuntu screenshot. There it is. How long before all Linux distributions look like this and then people will be saying flat is the new bumpy or similar?

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Well don't I feel smug...

      Last time I tried kubuntu I just hated it. Had been a KDE fan years ago but it's all the new terrible not-quite-as-nice-as-Windows-3-running-on-EGA flat look that all the idiots in charge of software design departments seem to like these days.

      Incidentally, they're trying to ruin iOS even further, I'm awaiting the screaming when 11 finally gets released.

    2. Alistair
      Windows

      Re: Well don't I feel smug...

      KDE provides that option.

      On fedora it comes with 6 other options, I and I can see .... 8 others available for download.

      Personally I prefer oxygen theme over the breeze light (which I think is what is being shown)

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Well don't I feel smug...

      It's certainly one to cross off the list.

  17. Saint
    Terminator

    Flava-tism there somewhere

    Why is it that whilst the new Mate & Budgie have attractive desktops, the older, (better, solid & much loved) distros look like they fell out of a kids bag on the way to kindergarten ? They are just as capable of displaying nice (advertising) backgrounds as the other two !

  18. cysec

    I want my old Amiga operating system back !!

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Is AROS still going? And can it be installed on x86 hardware yet? If so I might try it out in a VM.

    2. Chika
      Angel

      I want my old Amiga operating system back !!

      That reminds me. Wonder if that RISC OS Linux UI is still about?

  19. Palpy

    Mmm, Ubuntu.

    Myself, I just recently switched from mainstream Ubuntu (16.04) to Ubuntu Studio (XFCE desktop). As always, I did a bit of tweaking -- Docky and a few other things. But overall quite pleased with the choice, and I can finally quit typing ctrl-t pulseaudio -k all the time.

    1. Chika
      Trollface

      Re: Mmm, Ubuntu.

      ...I can finally quit typing ctrl-t pulseaudio -k all the time.

      Like I said, Poeterring's shitware gets everywhere!

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Mmm, Ubuntu.

        Someone should do an Enlightenment Ubuntu with systemd and pulseaudio enabled just so we can see what peak fail looks like.

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

          Re: Mmm, Ubuntu.

          Bodhi is pretty much there already - they forked E17 (into Moksha) to keep the last good version going. Otherwise it's 16.04 LTS under the hood.

          http://www.bodhilinux.com/

  20. michael15

    XFCE on Canonical Ubuntu

    I want my security updates from Canonical, not filtered through another distribution. But Unity sucks. XFCE is the most direct and efficient desktop I've found. This page is the easiest way I've found to get real Ubuntu and XFCE at the same time.

    https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/alternative

  21. Howard Hanek
    Linux

    That's Nice But......

    You can pretty much find a desktop YOU like from among so many offerings

  22. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Budgie now at 10.4

    The latest version of Budgie is now 10.4 - I suppose this will be included in the official release next month.

  23. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    It flashed twice and now some apps are launching

    I like shiny new things but I dislike removing the hundreds of global key mappings in Ubuntu that hijack app commands.

  24. Daniel von Asmuth
    FAIL

    26 flavours or Ubuntu

    with Harry-Potterish names ranging from Ardent Aardvark to Zany Zebra or something.... Thank Gates we've reached the end of the Ubuntu alphabet.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why go back?

    I first tried Ubuntu 7 but only loaded and used it seriously with the release of Ubuntu 10.04. I wanted a classic desktop similar to XP. The GNOME desktop did the trick.

    I abandoned Ubuntu when they went away from the classic desktop layout and went for flying side panels etc. It didn't take long to find Linux Mint with the Mate desktop. That now meets my needs.

    My question is for those like me who have left Ubuntu; why go back?

  26. Paul Chambers

    ...I quite like

    budgie desktop, but the flavour of ubuntu that I now favour is Debian.

    I'm tired of all the various not quite joined up bits I run into on ubuntu, and there is uncertainty on the desktop given the demise of unity. Stretch is pretty up to date, at least for now (and there's always sid for development). Gnome on debian is surprisingly quick. My multi-desktop with an ati grahpics card has never been more stable. I have a gnome desktop, which can be duplicated (in terms of look and feel) on pretty much every distribution.

    So I'm finding I use centos for supportable non-bleeding edge applications, and debian for development, and everything I do has never worked better.

    So for me it's Gnome first (as a desktop), and whatever platform suits the application. The ubiquity of gnome helps when it comes to moving platform.

    Most every distro defaults to gnome these days, and despite it's reputation it's not a bad choice.

  27. Bashfulrobot

    Budgie desktop version correction

    Hi there, just a small correction... Ubuntu budgie 17.10 will feature Budgie desktop 10.4. We already have it included in our daily build of 17.10.

    Thanks!

  28. To Mars in Man Bras!
    Trollface

    Wake me up...

    ...when they release a Linux desktop with some usable graphics software [and, no, The Gimp isn't within a million miles of being a 'Photoshop competitor']

    ...and when one of the Linux file managers approaches a similar distance of being as useful as OSX's Finder.

    And I say that as someone who thinks OSX Finder is mediocre in the extreme and who would run Linux full-time at the drop of a hat, if I could get some serious [graphic design] work done with it.

    But, in its infinite wisdom, the Linux community has decided that; unending internecine warfare over shite that no-one outside of a few geeks cares a jot about [SystemD, GTK, etc] and providing "choice" in the form of 57 crap versions of any application [in order to massage 57 egos] rather than cooperating together to produce one or two quality applications —is the way to win converts.

    1. zero2dash

      Re: Wake me up...

      "would run Linux full-time at the drop of a hat, if I could get some serious [graphic design] work done with it"

      I use Inkscape, GIMP, and Scribus now instead of CC, "get some serious [graphic design] work done", and get paid for it. Have had no downtime or issues once learning my way around all the apps. I'm still in Win7, but all 3 apps are available in Linux.

      Actually prefer the 3 to CC, especially Scribus, which is a lot better at PDF form creation than InD was.

      Not sure what you're doing that you consider GIMP a non-worthwhile Photoshop alternative... then again, I'm mainly in the vector art business in AI & Inkscape. GIMP still does exactly what I need it to do, same as PS before it. No complaints.

  29. PeterBelelius

    To be honest, Ubuntu 17.10 this time round is great, it's not 'all' complete yet, but it's quick and smooth, I reinstalled it this morning and I had my PC up and running, and configured, within an hour, congratulations team UBUNTU, I'm coming back from Mint, not that Mint is not so good, it's just different and there's a 'gentler' feel to Ubuntu, use it, take it, install it !!!!

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