Ubuntu 11.04 made quite the stir in the Linux community, by introducing it's new "Unity" interface. Two versions later, here we are with the LTS release: Ubuntu 12.04. Basically this is the same thing, with a few fixes, and it follows the Long Term Support paradigm which means you will get new updates for a while longer without having to introduce instability.
I have to complain about the installer first. I spotted a few issues:
- For me at least, the installer displayed at the absolute maximum display size possible, which made navigating through the pages next to impossible because I couldn't see anything.
- The installer wants to be connected to the internet. This is to download updates, okay, but an OS installer should not need to go out to the internet unless it is a network install; that's why I downloaded the full version in the first place.
- After installation and during shutdown, it can't make up it's mind whether it wants to display a graphical shutdown splash or output crap on the command line. So it does them both, and obscures the eject disc and press enter message.
- It still can't clear the frame buffer when switching over to Xorg, resulting in ugly graphical crud at the top of the screen.
But how about we take a look at Unity and see what all the hoopla is about, shall we?
Apparently it can't be bothered to log in automatically, like I told it to during the installation process...
And here it is. The Unity desktop.
Wow, it really is all different!
- The taskbar is gone.
- The "Launcher" now takes the place of the task bar, displaying gigantic buttons for launching applications (like Windows 7)
- All the menus have been replaced with a title bar which shows menus for the active program (like Mac OS)
- The new "Dash" replaces the Applications menu.
It's like the offspring of a marriage between Mac OS X and Windows 7! And not for the better, either.
Now would you look at that! The installer failed at it's job, what else is new...
Well something imploded, but it doesn't tell you what happened unless you want to Show Details.