We’re beginning to enter Linux distribution release cycle season. This period in time tends to be far more exciting than anything having to do with a sporting event; much more frightening than dealing with a tornado in Mid-West USA. Out is Ubuntu 12.04 Long-Term Release. This extremely popular Debian-based flavor of Linux is sporting many improvements and enhancements to the controversial Unity desktop environment. I installed this bad boy of an operating system to give it a proper go and to see just what Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has been up to with
its flagship product.
Let me just say on a daily basis. This new 12.04 thing is fast. I mean it is really fast. Now this is on my desktop computer. Lets not get into system specifications.
Unity’s dockbar, dock, or thing that just stands out brings about an auto hide feature for it as well so users no longer have to see it regularly. A simple movement of the mouse or the touching of keyboard shortcuts brings it back when it is needed. Out, can now be re-sized (thankfully) to fit users wishes.
12.04 also brings about an auto hide feature for it as well so users no longer have to see it regularly. A simple movement of the mouse or the touching of keyboard shortcuts brings it back when it is needed.Something I wish they’d add is a minimize/maximize options on the Dash, part of the right-click options I suppose.
Also very handy about the dock is the new ability to select locations such as on the dash or file manager icons. A simple right-click on either icon displays a variety of options. On the file manager for example the default /home directory choices are available (Documents, Download, so forth). For the Dash users can navigate quickly to Applications, Files & Folders, and other areas.
Oh and about that Dash thing, inside users will no longer be greeted with large icons for Firefox and other applications. Instead users will see Recent Apps, Recent Files, and Downloads.
One of the best additions to 12.04 or any operating system in fact is the new Privacy section in the System Settings. Users can adjust the level of information their operating system stores locally (files and installations and such) and the anonymous data collected by Canonical. Think of it as the Ubuntu version of Red Hat and Fedora’s SELinux, though obviously not exactly the same.
I do like this release of Unity. I think it will be smashing good fun for Ubuntu fans and could certainly draw in new ones. This Unity even, dare I say it, is much better than Gnome 3. Before 12.04 I would not say such a thing. I still use XFCE (on Xubuntu even) but may use Unity later down the road.
It’s quite stunning on a good size monitor. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much. On my smaller screen laptop I didn’t like the experience as much but still found it usuable. I’ll take another look perhaps when the final release is out and see what all is going on then.
I did not actually spend too much time in Gnome 3 so I cannot offer much information there. However, here’s something else.
For a fun filled look into the yesteryear of Ubuntu (and Gnome in general) there is in 12.04 LTS, Gnome Classic. I must point out that no other Linux distribution, that I know of anyway, brings about this pleasant and very familiar environment. Gnome Classic is a near drop replacement for what was Gnome 2. Sporting a more modern look and approach this oldie but very much a goody environment offers a large amount of features Gnome users have grown to love. New in this edition of Gnome Classic is the return of the bottom panel, bringing back the familiar dual-panel layout.
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS offers much. We’ve got Unity, Gnome 3, and Gnome Classic, and a slew of features in each. Cloud storage, a music store, impressive dash lenses offering quick and easy access to material, security, thousands of applications, and a world wide community await new and seasoned Ubuntu users. 12.04 is sure to be an award and crowd winning achievement.
[Review by Mike]
Download Ubuntu 12.04