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Ubuntu 11.04

Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9243
    
    1

Anyone upgraded already?


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Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 13884
    
  10

I upgraded it on my netbook.

I've tried the Unity interface before with Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.10, and I was not immediately impressed by it - I didn't find it really user-friendly or more useful than the old GNOME 2.x desktop interface. Also, some things where hard to do (like changing the content of the dock on the left side). Another annoying bug was that you could not set the clock to 24-hour mode. At least that has been solved in the new Ubuntu 11.04.

I hope the Unity interface has improved in 11.04, I'll have to test it out some more.

On my desktop I'm going to wait a while before installing it, because I have lots of special stuff intalled there, such as development versions of the NVIDIA drivers, and I'm afraid that things will break when I upgrade.


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Maneesh Godbole
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Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 9995
    
    7

Looks like they moved the Netbook style UI to the Desktop. The site says you can switch to 'classic' while logging in.
Dare not touch my machine right now. Using it for the current project.


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Atul Darne
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Joined: Jul 05, 2009
Posts: 118

i got this disk mailed from ubuntu version 9.04
is it too old ?
can i run applications that WinXP / Win7 runs ?


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Peter Johnson
author
Bartender

Joined: May 14, 2008
Posts: 5779
    
    7

@Atul: the 9.04 version is two years old and no longer supported. You need to get the 10.04 version, which has long-time support, or the 11.04 version, which is the latest. And yes you can run some Windows apps, check out wine, though I would not rely on it.

I just now installed 11.04 within VirtualBox. Got a dialog saying "Sorry, no Unity for you." Guess Unity needs hardware support, I'll see what happens after I install the VBox Guest Additions... Guest additions are installed and I now have Unity. Hmm, this will take some getting used to - took me quite a bit of clicking around to find the Package Manager.

Continuing this post from Chromium within Ubuntu 11.04. I found out how to reduce the annoyingly large icons in the Unit Launcher:
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/04/video-how-to-change-the-size-of-the-unity-launcher-in-ubuntu-11-04/
I ratcheted the icons down to 32 pixels and that looks much better, though still a little large than what I would like. At least the icons in my Win7 launcher bar look smaller, though the space they take up is about the same; well not quite - the Unity icons are square while the Win7 icons are rectangular. But as I said, the Unity icon size is acceptable.

I do like the Unity start menu so far. I'll play around with the system some and offer any observations in a week or so. I might even pop a different disk drive into my laptop and try installing it there. I don't want to overwrite my existing 10.04 installation on the laptop because of the issues I ran into with the wireless card with 10.10; but if 11.04 works I might just risk it.


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Hauke Ingmar Schmidt
Rancher

Joined: Nov 18, 2008
Posts: 371
Peter Johnson wrote:I just now installed 11.04 within VirtualBox. Got a dialog saying "Sorry, no Unity for you." Guess Unity needs hardware support, I'll see what happens after I install the VBox Guest Additions... Guest additions are installed and I now have Unity. Hmm, this will take some getting used to - took me quite a bit of clicking around to find the Package Manager.


Yes, Unity needs hardware acceleration. A non-accelerated version is in developement, can be found in the repos, but is not production-ready now.
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9243
    
    1

I'm just going to try out Ubuntu 11.04 on VBox. But hey, it is my new Desktop computer and I do not have any CD's to download and burn ISO images. So I'd rather install 10.10 and let it upgrade to Ubuntu 11.04.
Hauke Ingmar Schmidt
Rancher

Joined: Nov 18, 2008
Posts: 371
You don't need to burn a CD, I used a SD card for installation. With Virtual Box you don't need a physical medium at all, just download the ISO and mount it in Virtual Box as device.
Peter Johnson
author
Bartender

Joined: May 14, 2008
Posts: 5779
    
    7

Now that I have used 11.04 for a while a few impressions.

In general I like Unity. I am a WIMP: I prefer using the mouse for navigation, and Unity provides some nice features. I especially like:

a) the mechanism for navigating to the different desktops - click the Workspace Switcher, I then see the screen divided into the four workspaces. I can drag/drop apps from workspace to workspace, and double-click the workspace I want.

b) The mechanism to choose among instances of an application. For example, I usually have a handful of Terminals open. Unity shows multiple triangles to the left of the Terminal icon in the launcher. If I click on those triangles, Unity minimizes all apps other than Terminal, and then arranges the Terminals on the screen in a tabular pattern. I can then click on the one I want. Once I click it, it becomes the active app, and the other apps are restored to their original positions. While this is different from how Windows 7 does this, it is a very acceptable alternative.

But there are some things I don't like:

c) I have to click the center mouse button, while the cursor is on an icon in the launcher, to fire up another copy of an application. After trying many different things to accomplish this i finally had to google it to find this out. To me that is not very intuitive and it will be awkward on a laptop (you have to hit both touchpad buttons simultaneously to simulate a center button click). Additionally, the center button on my mouse is a scroll wheel and clicking the wheel feels awkward.

d) The triangles mentioned in item "b" are at the edge of the screen on a physical box, so they are not that hard to zero in on. However, when Ubuntu is run as a client OS in VirtualBox, and the client is windowed, aiming for the triangles requires some precision. I usually find that I overshoot the window edge and end up with the mouse pointer completely outside the Ubuntu client window. All this means that I have to put a lot more effort than I want to into getting the mouse where i want it (the target is really small). I don't have this issue with a Windows 7 client because I can click anywhere on the icon to get the app's thumbnails to show up. I agree this is a minor point, but it should be simpler.

e) It took me a while to realize that in Unity the menu is at the top of the screen. The worst thing was that until you hover over the application's name on the top bar of the screen, the menu doesn't show up! I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get to the configuration dialogs for both Nautilus and Terminal before I discovered the "missing" menu. Now, having the menu at the top of the screen is probably fine for small-screen computers like netbooks. After all, you will most likely be running everything in full screen mode, so it doesn't matter all that much. However, I am running on a very large screen. I have many Terminals open, all windowed, none running full screen. So I have two issues. First, I have to move the mouse a whole heck of a lot farther than what I used to to get the cursor to the menu. And when I finally get to the menu, am I certain which Terminal instance the menu is for? Or is it perhaps for a Nautilus instance? Or for something else? Add to this the fact that only Gnome apps use the global menu (other apps continue to have their menus within their windows), and you have a very confusing, inconsistent and frustrating interface. (You have probably guessed by now that I'm not a Mac user; I suspect that if I was that this one issue wouldn't bug me so much). Anyway, I found out how to turn this behavior off and all is well: http://oimon.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/disable-global-menu-in-ubuntu-unity-natty-narwhal-release/. Now each app has it's menu within its window.

f) I can't get shared folders to work in VirtualBox. Thus hosts disk drives cannot be mounted within the Ubuntu client. I can access the host's disks via Samba, so I can at leats transfer files back and forth, but that is not as convenient as having mount points. I usually create many symbolic links back to documents, music, pictures, etc. on the host, but this is not possible until I can mount the shared folders. The lack of this functionality is sort of to be expected; I image that the next update to VirtualBox will correct this. But until then I will consider this Ubuntu 11.04 client to only be a toy because I need the shared folder mounts to do real work.
Peter Johnson
author
Bartender

Joined: May 14, 2008
Posts: 5779
    
    7

"d" turned out not to be that big of a problem. When I click on an icon in the launcher, all of the instances of the app are brought to the foreground. If I click a second time, the behavior I described takes place - other apps are minimized and the instances are distributed across the screen. So the small target area of the triangles is not an issue.
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 36579
    
  16
I have had no end of difficulty with 11.04. Since I haven't got hardware acceleration, I don't get a usable desktop. I'm going back to 10.10
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 13884
    
  10

As far as I know with Ubuntu 11.04 you can also choose the old GNOME 2.x desktop, when you choose "Ubuntu Classic" somewhere on the login screen.

I haven't updated it yet on my desktop PC, and Unity doesn't sound very appealing to me, I think I'll stay with 10.10 for a while.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4639
    
    5

I updated my older laptop to it. I hate Unity. But you can turn it off.

Perhaps I'm just a curmudgeon, I have replaced the Ubuntu laptop in daily use with a MacBook Pro. I don't like it. I don't find the OS-X GUI to be user-friendly to me. At least it has the bash shell.
James Sabre
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 07, 2004
Posts: 781

In early April I installed 11.04 beta on a new hard disk on my Desktop and apart from some early (to be expected) instability problems which seemed to have been ironed out it seems OK. Being a bit of a dinosaur I have kept things pretty much as they were on 10.10.

My problems came at the end of last week when I decided to update my laptop from 10.10 to 11.04 through the "Update Manager" . After about 5 hours it started the 'cleanup' stage and then about an hour later is just sat there with no indication as to what was happening. I left it overnight but nothing changed. Eventually I pressed reset and installed 11.04 afresh. Why do I keep trying to update through the "Update Manager" when it has failed every time except once?


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Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9243
    
    1

Just tried Ubuntu 11.04 on my VBox and got a warning upon log on. It reads as follows:



What specific hardware is required to run Unity?
Peter Johnson
author
Bartender

Joined: May 14, 2008
Posts: 5779
    
    7

I have run Ubuntu 11.04 in Virtual Box on three separate machines. Actually, I created the virtual disk once, and then moved it to the other machines as the basis for a VM there. Anyway, on two of the machines (my desktop and my HP laptop) Unity runs just fine within Virtual Box. On my Dell laptop, however, Unity will not run within Virtual Box. As far as I can tell, the difference is the graphics processor on the physical machine. My desktop and HP laptop have nVidia graphics chips, while the Dell laptop has integrated Intel graphics.
Maneesh Godbole
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 9995
    
    7

Peter Johnson wrote:As far as I can tell, the difference is the graphics processor on the physical machine. My desktop and HP laptop have nVidia graphics chips, while the Dell laptop has integrated Intel graphics.

I dont know.
I am running Ubuntu 11.04 on VirtualBox on my Mac which has a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and I still get the "You do not have the hardware to..." message
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 13884
    
  10

Joe Harry: You need a video card or graphics chip with support for accelerated graphics (OpenGL) and ofcourse a driver for Linux for it. Most video cards that are not ancient will support this.

Maneesh, did you install the NVIDIA driver? A GeForce 9400M should be more than capable to support Unity, but you'll ofcourse need to have a driver installed. (If you're running it in VirtualBox, then you'd probably need to install the VirtualBox Guest Extensions in your virtual Ubuntu).
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 13884
    
  10

I updated my desktop machine to 11.04 a few days ago. Fortunately everything still works, even the NVIDIA drivers that I installed manually (I've installed a development version of the drivers, because I'm experimenting a bit with CUDA - using your GPU for massive parallel computing).

However, I switched back to the Ubuntu Classic desktop (GNOME 2.x) after using Unity for a few days. I don't find Unity very useful at all. It makes it hard to find programs, I find the normal menus from the old GNOME desktop much simpler and better organized than Unity's ways to present programs. Unity also doesn't seem to support the GNOME applets; they just don't show up. It also overrides the key combination of GNOME Do that I use to quickly start up programs and find things (Windows-key + Space).
Peter Johnson
author
Bartender

Joined: May 14, 2008
Posts: 5779
    
    7

I can't get shared folders to work in VirtualBox.

Found root cause and fixed the problem. VirtualBox 4.0 has an automount feature, but the directory ownership is set to root:vboxsf. To gain access all I had to do was add the vboxsf group to my account and relogin in. Then I had access to /media/sf_C_DRIVE. Happy.
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9243
    
    1

Jesper de Jong wrote:Joe Harry: You need a video card or graphics chip with support for accelerated graphics (OpenGL) and ofcourse a driver for Linux for it. Most video cards that are not ancient will support this.

Maneesh, did you install the NVIDIA driver? A GeForce 9400M should be more than capable to support Unity, but you'll ofcourse need to have a driver installed. (If you're running it in VirtualBox, then you'd probably need to install the VirtualBox Guest Extensions in your virtual Ubuntu).


The desktop on which I'm running my Ubuntu 11.04 is quite new. I do not know exactly the name of the graphics card that I have on my box. Will post it tonight.
Maneesh Godbole
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 9995
    
    7

@Jesper
Installed the Guest Additions. Still I get the classic desktop. No unity. The funny thing is I no longer get the dialog saying no Unity for me.
Sandeep Awasthi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 597
I installed Ubuntu 11.04 on 28th april ( release date ). Before that I tried beta as well. But I am little disappointed and reinstalled 10.10. It is little slow than 10.10. Unity is not that user friendly or I need more practice. Scrollbar invisible by default ( you can make them permanent visible though with some trick I read ). If unity is only reason to upgrade then you can have it on 10.10 as well http://www.ubuntugeek.com/how-to-install-unity-in-ubuntu-10-0410-10.html.

I am more hopeful from Fedora 15 with Gnome 3.0 releasing this month end.


Sandeep
Jaikiran Pai
Marshal

Joined: Jul 20, 2005
Posts: 9343
    
111

I've been using 11.04 on my laptop since the past few days. Earlier I was on 10.04 and I let Ubuntu do the upgrade to 10.10 first and then to 11.04. I haven't yet seen Unity on my laptop. When I logged in the first time after the upgrade it logged in to a (broken) GNOME session which would not load the system tray applet. I then switched to Ubuntu classic at the login screen and have been using that ever since, without any issues.

The only difference that I have noticed so far, compared to my 10.04 is that this new version boots slowly. Earlier 10.04 used to boot up on my laptop within less than 5 seconds. Now it takes me around 10 seconds to boot up. Other than that, things have been smooth so far.

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Aniruddh Joshi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 29, 2008
Posts: 275

Am using it since more than a month now.
Apart from the desktop everything feels the same.
Some improvement in UI.


Anrd
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Jaikiran Pai
Marshal

Joined: Jul 20, 2005
Posts: 9343
    
111

Some improvement in UI.


Talking of UI, I totally disliked the new overlay scroll bars in Ubuntu 11.04 and had to disable them.
 
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subject: Ubuntu 11.04