Ten factors that make Ubuntu 11.10 a hit

Ten factors that make Ubuntu 11.10 a hit

Summary: Thanks to a number of real improvements, the latest release of the Ubuntu operating system has put earlier disappointments behind it, says Jack Wallen


 |  Image 1 of 10

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Unity Dash

    Ubuntu 11.10 is important because of one major issue: Unity. When Ubuntu 11.04 arrived, the Unity shell interface for the GNOME desktop environment seemed to be a step backwards — at least on the Ubuntu front. It was buggy, based on dated libraries, and showed little promise. But with the release of 11.10, things have taken a turn for better. Here are the 10 factors that I think have given Ubuntu a fresh impetus.

    1. Unity Dash
    Unity Dash is a tool that opens when you click the Ubuntu icon in the top-left corner. It allows you to access applications that aren't on your favourites bar, and it opens files and search, among other things.

    When Unity first arrived, Dash was as efficient as a web server without a network connection. But now, it has had a facelift that has made it work more efficiently, giving it features such as new filtering mechanisms. If the state of the Dash in 11.10 is a sign of things to come, Unity might have some serious firepower in store for end users.

  • Login screen

    2. Login screen
    This point may not seem hugely significant, but the new login screen for Ubuntu 11.10 has noticeably improved. Not only have its look and feel been updated, but its ease of use has also improved. I like the way users are displayed and selected, as well as the improvements to selecting the desktop to be started. This enhancement may not be critical, but it gives Ubuntu a sleeker look.

    Image credit: Ubuntugeek

Topic: Operating Systems

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I just cant get on with Ubuntu Unity
    Although I still use Ubuntu 11.10 the first thing I do is install gnome3 also known as gnome-shell (apt-get install gnome-shell).

    unity uses global menu - like a mac - so it's file-edit menu is in the top right of the screen, this optimises screen real state when windows are maximised but when not maximised application usage is disjointed. In addition not all apps work properly with global menu I have seen apps that are just unusable... New users shouldnt be exposed to this but with ubuntu unity they are.

    Gnome3 / Gnome shell isnt perfect but it is better and more coherent than unity... I have to admit that Gnome3 has significantly changed since first previewed and incorporates many of the unity ideas... but it is just done better and has many great features of its own.

    Gnome3 and KDE4 are the best desktops currently available for Linux.

    This is what I do after installing a fresh ubuntu 11.10 system... in case it helps anyone.

    # Nautilus; tweaked.
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:am-monkeyd/nautilus-elementary-ppa

    #handbrake repo - 11.10 not currently available
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases

    # gnome 3.0 team repo
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3

    # medibuntu
    sudo wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/$(lsb_release -cs).list && sudo apt-get --quiet update && sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get --quiet update

    sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

    sudo apt-get --yes install ubuntu-restricted-extras app-install-data-medibuntu apport-hooks-medibuntu libdvdcss2 mplayer vlc smplayer gnome-mplayer filezilla chromium-browser ssh nfs-common gimp ttf-mscorefonts-installer handbrake mythtv-frontend

    #add to the end of the previous line either w64codecs OR w32codecs depending if you installed the 32 or 64 bit version of ubuntu.

    sudo apt-get --yes install nautilus-actions nautilus-scripts-manager nautilus-gksu nautilus-open-terminal nautilus-ideviceinfo nautilus-script-manager nautilus-filename-repairer nautilus-image-converter gnome-photo-printer gpointing-device-settings
  • Ubuntu is buggy and the upgrade process from one version to the next leaves a lot to be desired. After using Ubuntu for many years Ive made the switch to Debian last year and until I did I didnt realise how good Linux was, I actually thought all those bugs were in 'Linux' but they're not, the're just in Ubuntu. Interesting to look at the screenshots to see how ugly each new release is, but I shant be going back.
  • Like a Mac eh? Mmm dont tell Apple!
  • 1000272134 and bluedalmatian

    with you both there but then I'm still in 10.04 land (and happy with it)