Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Unity Desktop first impressions

I recently tested Unity Desktop and thought I would write about it. The latest step by Ubuntu is said to have made things complicated and some also think it has copied parts of Mac Os. But linux users will prefer the classic and simplistic gnome feel.

But I think Unity is worth a look. It is powered by one of the best teams in Linux, Canonical.

Unity Doc on the left side

Unity Doc

So far the experience is good. I haven't got to explore the nooks and corners of Unity desktops but they look best in wide screen monitors ie. 17". There is enough space for the doc on the left and it doesn't consume much screen size if the monitor is big. The doc is customizable with options even to disable it.

One of the bugs I noticed was with the program descriptions. It is that when a mouse pointer is placed over a program, the description pops up but it often breaks. Incidentally this feature doesn't work well with MATE desktop too. My next article will look into the process behind it, a possible fix maybe.

Ubuntu Button and Dash

There is a Dash home button also known as Ubuntu button at the top of the doc which brings a Dash for searching any files, apps within the system. This looks very good with fast and accurate searching.

Ubuntu Software Center

If you ask me about the most elegant feature in Ubuntu Linux I would say it is the Software Manager. The program is better now with accurate search and install. Now I would like to mention that the Software Manager with LMDE 13 is broken. It searches and displays but install fails. There isn't an update available yet for that in the rolling release.

Better, stable Notification area and its applets

In 10.04 and later, I've noticed that Notification area breaks and applets go out of order after reboots. I have not seen that issue in 12.04 so far.

notification area and applets on top right
Ubuntu help

Another thing I found is Ubuntu help (the Ubuntu Desktop Guide) which comes with the OS. Topics are well organized and of great help.

Long Term Support (LTS)

Being an LTS release its great to have Ubuntu 12.04. It will give software updates for very long time so we won't have to worry about an update. The latest softwares and binaries will be available in repositories. The update settings will automatically inform us which can be managed via Synaptic Package Manager.

Precise Pangolin is the other name

Lastly let me say about the funny default wallpaper. Every Ubuntu release will have an animal associated with it. This time its a Pangolin. And they have named it the Precise Pangolin meaning the OS is precise and elegant.

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