Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's almost time for Ubuntu 11.04

Ubuntu 11.04 is still nearly a week from official release, yet some sites have already started celebrating it seems. With Unity set to be the default desktop, it's no wonder. Unity revamps the desktop experience much like GNOME Shell. It'll be interesting to see which becomes the more popular desktop, especially considering both are major changes to the user desktop experience.

I've been running Natty since Beta 1 and it's been generally good. Early on after Beta 1 release things were a bit on the unstable side, but now everything's nice and stable. Even before Beta 2 was out, things have been really solid with crashes appearing few and far between. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not already running 11.04 unknowingly.

Unfortunately, Unity isn't without bugs. It's been stable for some time but occasionally you still get crashers. For example, searching for applications by clicking on the Applications icon on the launcher can cause the entire system to slow down for some reason. Strangely, searching by clicking the Ubuntu button and using the dash doesn't seem to have the same issues. And here I thought they're the same dash

Unity is a completely new experience for anyone coming from GNOME 2.x. It'll take some getting used to. You'll likely be annoyed by it for a week or two. I know I was. But once you get used to the way things work in Unity, it's not so bad. Learn some of the shortcuts and things get better. Unity takes some getting used to but you'll adapt quickly and be familiar with it soon enough. It's almost like learning to use the PC again except the learning curve's much less steep.