4 Things You’ll Love About Ubuntu 12.04

Justin Pot 05-05-2012

The new version of Ubuntu–12.04, codename “Precise Pangolin”– is officially here, meaning two things: I get to be really happy about new features, and some people get to complain about Unity in the comments. Horray!


It’s been a year since Ubuntu made Unity the default interface, Ubuntu 11.04 Unity - A Big Leap Forward For Linux It's here. The newest version of Ubuntu sports an entirely new user interface: Unity. It also includes a much-improved Software Center, alongside the usual updates for the thousands of free programs Ubuntu offers. Canonical decided... Read More and man: many of you were not happy. I was thrilled, however: in my opinion Unity is better looking and easier to use than any other Linux user interface. Sure: there were some rough edges in that release, but overall I got the Linux desktop I’d been trying to hack Gnome into becoming for years.

Heck: in a lot of ways I like Unity better than OS X, an operating system I use a lot.

Unity isn’t a tablet user interface being forced on desktop users: you’re thinking of Windows 8. Unity is a system that works well on laptops and desktops–it’s really easy to use using only the keyboard–but will also work well on a tablet if necessary. This interface, along with projects like Ubuntu for Android, won’t bring about the magical “Year of the Linux Desktop”, but they do give Ubuntu a solid spot in today’s complex computing market.

12.04 improves on Unity’s strengths, and addresses some of your old complaints. It’s fast, includes new features desktop users will love, and, as always, gives you quick access to the latest free software. There are even new customization options by default–including the ability to auto-hide the dock.

Not sure what Ubuntu or Unity is? Check out this in-browser demo of Unity to get a feel. Then keep reading to find out why I love Ubuntu 12.04.



First things first: this version of Ubuntu is fast. My primary laptop isn’t terribly powerful: it’s a few years old and I’ve only got one gig of RAM. But upgrading to Ubuntu 12.04 feels like I got a new computer.

Simply put: if previous versions of Ubuntu in general and Unity specifically felt slow to you, you’re in for a treat. LTS releases tend to focus on stability and speed, and Ubuntu 12.04 certainly feels that way.

Press the menu button; see the menu, instantly. Search for something; get results, instantly. Speed is no longer a reason to complain about Unity: it’s one of the its main advantages.


They’ve been there since the 80s: menus at the tops of applications, giving you access to different functions. Somewhere, in the midst of “File”, “Edit”, “View” and “Help” is the exact menu item you’re looking for. Computer users are used to exploring these menus and memorizing locations.


With 12.04, Ubuntu offers a different strategy:

1. Press “alt”.
2. Search for the function you want.
3. Hit enter.

4 Things You'll Love About Ubuntu 12.04 ubuntu HUD

It’s called the HUD, and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite Ubuntu features. It doesn’t replace anything – you can still browse the menu of any application using the mouse – but it sure makes finding features easy. It’s particularly nice in software like The GIMP, the menus of which are a maze of functionality. With HUD you can find what you’re looking for, quickly.


Even better: you don’t need perfect typing to use it. For me it found several items I misspelt, as in the screen below:

4 Things You'll Love About Ubuntu 12.04 ubuntu12

This means I find what I’m looking for even when I make a mistake.

The Main Menu No Longer Sucks

If there’s one thing commenters here at MakeUseOf–and I myself–didn’t like about Unity, it was the “tablety” main menu. With useless, static links to things like “The Internet”, it was rarely used. Good news: the giant uncustomizable buttons are gone. The main menu now defaults to your recently used applications and documents:


4 Things You'll Love About Ubuntu 12.04 ubuntu menu

Only programs not in your dock show up, meaning there are no redundancies. Don’t see what you want?  Just type to search and it will show up instantly. Alternatively, you can browse your apps and much more by looking through the lenses. It’s a way better way for the menu to function, and I think you’re going to like it.

New Customization Options

If there’s one thing people complained about when Unity first came out Ubuntu 11.04 Unity - A Big Leap Forward For Linux It's here. The newest version of Ubuntu sports an entirely new user interface: Unity. It also includes a much-improved Software Center, alongside the usual updates for the thousands of free programs Ubuntu offers. Canonical decided... Read More , it was the lack of customization. Unity is never exactly going to be KDE when it comes to this, but there are some frequently-requested tweaks offered in the “Appearance” settings.

4 Things You'll Love About Ubuntu 12.04 ubuntu appearance

Tired of the dock showing up whenever you move your mouse to the left? Set the top-left corner to be the pressure point instead of the entire side of the screen. You can also turn auto-hiding on or off for the launcher. Another setting, on the “Look” tab, lets you make the dock whatever size you’d like.


If Unity turned you off initially, give it a chance now: you might like it. The improvements go beyond what I outlined above: those are just my favorites. Feel free to tell me your favorite new features in the comments below.

Alternatively, you can tell me I’m a moron and link to Linux Mint. I won’t care, because I don’t want a desktop interface that looks like a version of Windows from 1995. I want Unity.

Related topics: Linux Distro, Ubuntu.

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  1. x
    October 29, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Speed, no i think its wrong to say it is faster, ubuntu 11 and ubuntu 12 is alot slower on my desktop pc than ubuntu 10.. etc.

    unity GUI sucks ass, it is very unconfortable for desktop usage..

    very disapointed what ubuntu has become..

  2. Wilburight
    October 5, 2012 at 1:09 am

    I've been dual booting my PC 50 to 1 in favour of Ubuntu over Windows for a few years. A couple of my applications were Windows-only - hence the need. I installed Ubuntu (11.04?) with Unity on its release, but couldn't believe how awful it was, so it was back to 10.10 for me. I did keep a current release on my dual boot netbook, however, just to remind me how much I didn't like Unity.

    A couple of weeks ago I decided to go 64 bit and give Ubuntu 12.04 another run on my desktop PC. It still annoyed me no end. I get the gist of the application search thing, and the fact that there's a full program menu hiding somewhere, but was all a bit like riding a bike ... backwards! My few favourites were once in easy mouse-click reach, but now appeared to need add-ons to do the same, and searching for an app meant involving the keyboard and my coffee cup or pencil hand! OK, there are no doubt shortcuts and work-arounds I'm not aware of, but I had more reason to dislike it.

    I really like Compiz's eye candy - especially the rotating cube to switch desktops. In fact I use 4 desktops all the time to separate my PC activities, so dragging an application off one screen and onto the next, or spinning the see-thru cube to any of them, was just so easy and efficient. Getting this to work or even something similar proved impossible in the post-11.04 Ubuntu, however. Over two weeks I've tried Ubuntu 12.04, LinuxMint 13 with Cinnamon and Mate, and Kubuntu 12.04. None could reliably replicate my spinning desktops despite some enthusiastic forum help. Other hiccups, large and small, spoilt what were initially promising installations with subsequent tweaks, so I restored my old Ubuntu 10.10.

    I appreciate a rare few liked Unity from the very beginning and that's it's improved a lot since, so others have followed. I also understand the reasons it finds favour with many users. However, there's a lot of long-time Ubuntu-ists who still like the old Gnome look and feel, and also enjoy the clever tweaks they'd added. I guess if I persevered with Unity, I might get used to it, but it still wouldn't be as pleasant for me as it is for its fans. And I might also find a way to make Compiz and/or the rotating desktops work without something else quite fundamental not working after my tweaks. I did about 12 installs over the last 2 weeks, and quite liked LinuxMint Cinnamon and Mate, but there was always something missing. I'll only do another when someone releases an improved 10.10 - no Unity on top or hidden underneath to spoil things for us old Ubuntu'ers.

  3. Francis
    September 23, 2012 at 5:27 am

    I tried ubuntu 12.04 version and it's fantastic i guess, the only problem is that i couldn't eliminate the bug that keeps my laptop fan stay spinning continuously

  4. Declan Lopez
    September 21, 2012 at 3:43 am

    i've been using ubuntu 12.04 for a while now and it runs well even on old hardware

  5. raj
    September 8, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I am in love with unity!!
    Used all windows version (most user-friendly) and Mac (most aesthetic)
    But both are resource hoggers...
    Bring, sleek, functional and sexy....unity 2D works perfectly on age old computer with 512MB RAM.....
    I believe unity is the future and it's FREE...what else you want...ppl may call me crazy....i dnt care....
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

  6. Richard
    August 13, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Is it imitating Icrap that screwed up Ubuntu?

    Ubuntu is selling out its loyal users in favor of racking in new ones with its Icrap look-alike crap.

    For now, I'll use fallback but will be on the lookout for something better. Maybe even Mint? Maybe not. :)

    • Justin Pot
      August 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      Beyond Ubuntu I use Mac regularly, and don't get why people say it looks alike. Is it just the dock and the side the buttons are on?

      But by all means: use whatever distro you want. Debian is great for old-school Ubuntu users, and there are plenty of other choices. Just be happy that Ubuntu is growing quickly despite all the people who are leaving, meaning Linux is growing overall. Everyone wins.

      • rixter
        August 23, 2012 at 6:48 am

        "...Ubuntu (err umm Unity), is growing quickly despite all the people who are leaving..."
        No arguement here, for that piece of truth.

        So, let's face it, "Unity" is just a toy that was built for, and has it's little place, with the Handhelds, Tablets, Silly-Sell-Phoneys, ... ;)
        While, all other Linux distro's, including the other *Buntu's, are more for the serious users, with more serious hardware needs, ...

        "Mint", for example, will give you far more mileage and enjoyment, for your pc's/laptops/workstations/servers, ..., than this "Polka Dot Unity".

        • Justin Pot
          August 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm

          I personally can't stand using Mint: it feels very unpolished and childish compared to Unity.

          It's a matter of preference, really.

        • Saad bin abdul rasheed
          September 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm

          I dont know Why People prefer Mint over Ubuntu?

  7. Bear
    August 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Well, I still don't like unity. Even with these features, I still don't like unity. You can make a desktop with probably just as much eyecandy using gnome, no unity, which is what I do.

    • Saad bin abdul rasheed
      September 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      You still dont like Unity?
      Well Others like...
      :) .. Thanks Ubuntu

  8. GDM40
    August 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    My issues with Ubuntu and any other Open source offering is that it's very limited.

    I've had the same tuner card since 2006 Linux has yet to catch up to even offering a solution to a simple TV tuner card.

    It's sad but it's cheaper just to bow down to the evil empire than to foot the bill for supported hardware that plays nice with open source.

  9. hussain
    July 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm


    How do I get back the Unity launcher side bar and the top panel (title bar) visible, I installed cairo-dock made few changes and I uninstalled it but I'm unable to get back the unity launcher though it is functional in another user login. please so assist to get the desktop working normal. I did try sudo apt-get remove ubuntu-desktop and sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop but of no use.

    Thanks :)

    • hussain
      July 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      got it, sudo apt-get install myunity
      then, unity --reset

  10. Anthony
    July 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I downloaded ubuntu on a host window 7 laptop. The firefox browser in ubuntu doesn't work. Could it be Windows conflicting with ubuntu? Your website is rich however, it did not help in this case.

  11. doug
    July 18, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I like ubuntu, i really do...

    ...but out of the 'box' it still feels unpolished.

    There's nothing really wrong with it, nothing that a decent theme couldn't fix, no doubt, but nevertheless, it still feels a bit 'home grown'.

    Given that most of us spend most of our lives in web browsers, the saving grace of ubuntu is browser support.

    Let's be honest... Most users spend most of their lives online.

    I LOVE ubuntu, I LOVE the fact that it doesn't belong to apple, microsoft or google, but i DON'T love the hemp-clad, bare bones, boring interface.

    Jeez... I can't even easily create shortcuts on the desktop. Windows wins here... and it's not hard, surely.

    Seriously... Ubuntu 12.04LTS is terrific... and well done to all those involved... but please, please, please can we have quick desktop shortcuts reintroduced..... I know they're there in other linux releases....

    I don't think desktop shortcuts are necessarily at odds with a mobile interface btw.

    Thanks for listening.

    • Paul
      July 20, 2012 at 1:49 am

      Desktop short cuts?
      I see those on a desktop and think "so 1990s".
      Unity is the reason you don't need that clutter.
      Want something to do with photos? Hit Super and type "photo" in the dash.
      options shown will include Shotwell, GIMP etc.Unlike what the posters above will have you believe,in their ignorance of Unity,you do not need to know the "arcane name" of an app,just what you would like to do.Type scan and you get Simple Scan scanner app and in my case where I have also installed Xsane scanner app and ClamTK antivirus ,I get those options too.

      I don't even lock apps to the launcher - I only use the launcher to navigate to open apps on other workspaces.

      In Unity there are multiple ways to achieve the same result.

      It's not all roses - my mouse thinks I don't love it anymore.

      • Patrick
        July 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm

        In Unity there are multiple ways to achieve your objectives, just not some of the ways so many think are best. At least they have your methods covered. I for one don't like typing to launch applications. I am happy with 1990s. approach of using ICONS and shortcuts to click on.

        I will use a CLI if I want to type.

  12. xIN3N
    July 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Of course Precise Pangloin is really Great but there are some performance issues with UNITY-3D...

  13. Michael
    July 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I have no idea what I'm talking about (I only just started using linux), but I love Unity. Again, since I only just started using it, I've never witnessed the old Unity or the "slow" ubuntu. I originally tried using linux mint, but I like the ubuntu interface so much more. Even though all the sites said linux mint was easier to use, I had much less problems with ubuntu.

  14. Wayne Gregori
    July 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Great overview of the strienghs of Unity... I must admit that the first time I installed it I wasn't thrilled... but change is always difficult...I have grown to love it. very efficient and pleasing to the eye.

  15. Mr Dizzy
    July 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I tried to give Unity a fair go. I really did. I've been using it for over 2 under Precise Pangolin, but even after 2 months I stil found it cumbersome to use.

    I've just switched to "Gnome Classic".

    Things that annoyed me about Unity:

    1) It's hard to find apps that are not in the launcher. I don't like having to search for apps. I prefer the convenience of a tree-style application menu.

    2) The application's menu bar is the bar at the top of the screen. I find that very counter-intuitive. If the application is maximized it's not so bad, but if the application is in a window that's not touching that bar, it's just weird.

    3) To change apps, you have to alt+tab through all the running apps or go find the icon with the little triangle in the Launcher. I find that time-consuming. I like the convenience of just clicking on the app I want in a task bar.

    The Unity Launcher is a great tool for launching your favourite apps, but by itself it's not enough for me. I like to have an application menu and a task bar. If the Unity Launcher was in "Gnome Classic", I'd love it.

  16. John
    July 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm


    I am new to Linux and this was really helpful. Cheers

  17. Edgar Meixueiro
    July 8, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    I've tried Ubuntu before, and I like it very much, but there are always compatibility troubles that make me come back to Windows.

  18. Tony
    June 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Nope, Unity is still terrible.

    When Unity became the default interface, I gave up Ubuntu in favor of Linux Mint. Mint's Cinnamon menu structure is reminiscent of the Gnome 2 interface, and I like that all the programs appear in logical, hierarchical menus. That makes sense to me. I don't need to know the specific arcane name of some rarely-used program.... I can find it under its function.

    That being said, with all the hubbub regarding the 12.04 release, I decided to give Unity a second shot. It's prettier, but still basically unusable and unfriendly.

    • Phoenix
      July 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      Well, everybody has his own likes and dislikes with ubuntu, we agree that all programs appear in heraachical menus makes sense. it is like windows, yes, a microsoft like as we have used to say, but, unity, this differs from them, those programs or applications can be seen with 3 clicks only, 1 is for clicking the dash, 2 is for selecting the apps, and 3 is for setting it up to see more or 143 results depending on the programs you have installed. i am not opposing to anybody here but i am talking for my own experience. a guy even his knowledge is limited on computers can easily operate it and find the programs he wants with just few clicks. it is something like switching from old analog phone to a touch interface mobile phones and discovering what is in stall for it. just like i have said, i am new with ubuntu, i have got an ubuntu 9.04 before but later on changed it to windows not because i want to, but because, here in our work, everybody is using windows, but now, i decided to stick to 12.04 LTS, even if everybody is using windows OS, after all, we can always open those ms os programs with compatible microsoft layer installed.. But, whatever we write here, one thing will always suffice, every OS will depend on our liking, we can't tell everybody to use ubuntu for their OS for it is them who will use their pc's not us, but on the other hand, Ubuntu helps me discover new things that will help me level up my knowledge. So i guess, i would stick to it..:)

    • Weed
      July 8, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      @Tony -- i agree 100% -- Unity isn't easy to use and it's unfriendly -- maybe they tried too hard to do something new? i reckon it's going to take a few years to iron out the flaws, which is far too long for most users

  19. Jack
    June 25, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Personally, I'm not happy with 12.04. In the name of "security" I can't have a caching dns server without a lot of playing around, I don't like when I'm multi tasking and the thing goes to sleep every 5 minutes and I have to enter password AGAIN, I can't add login screen users (especially root) so since I share admin with another he has to have my password. Hard coding in "security" features which may not be needed or desired violates the spirit if not the principle of open source. I'm calling it "Ubuntows".
    BTW I live in Asia and we have real pangolins here. They are slow, bad smelling, scaled ant eaters. Nice symbolism...

  20. phoenix
    June 25, 2012 at 10:59 am

    hello, i am new to ubuntu, but i guess, i would agree with you. the hud, the dash, the unity, and the programs pre installed in it, is rather than helpful to a newbie like me.. :-) and boring to ubuntugeeks like them...hope i didn't offend someone....hehehehe...all in all, i am admiring ubuntu now for their improvements.. Keep up the good work..

  21. Ben Knight
    June 23, 2012 at 6:27 am

    I respectfully disagree with the comment about speed. I've tried 12.04 on several single-processor Pentium IV's and it makes them CPU-bound. 10.04 did not have this problem. My experience is that 12.04 requires a dual core for snappy response.

  22. Luis Guerrero
    June 21, 2012 at 2:49 am

    I tried Unity, but prefer Gnome. Trying now Gnome 3 over Ubuntu 12.04. Think it will be my preferred GUI.

  23. Jonny
    June 20, 2012 at 9:40 am

    There was a shutdown application in Ubuntu 11.10, so in case your mouse wasn't working you could shutdown and restart using a keyboard. But that app seems to be missing from ubuntu 12.04. Any ideas on how to bring it back?

    • Justin Pot
      June 22, 2012 at 5:51 am

      Can't find instructions for bringing it back, sorry. I'd try pressing Alt + F2, then typing "gksudo halt".

    • phoenix
      June 25, 2012 at 11:08 am

      in case you are asking for the command line for shutting down the computer with using you mouse, here is what i have just did, open your terminal by pressing ctrl+alt+T
      under the command line, you can type this command
      $ sudo shutdown -h now
      or you may use this line:
      $ sudo shutdown -h 0

      for restarting the computer
      open your terminal and type the ff command line:
      $ sudo reboot
      or try the command line below:
      $ sudo -r 0

      if this is what you were talking about...:-)

      • phoenix
        June 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

        sorry an honest mistake i made there, it is a command line for shutting down your computer without using you mouse... :-)

        • Jonny
          June 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm

          never mind... atleast u told me a way to shutdown without using the mouse, which was pretty much what i was looking for :)

    • Paul
      July 20, 2012 at 1:31 am

      in 12.04 use the HUD:
      tap Alt > type sh
      shutdown will be one of the options

  24. reg
    June 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Agreed. Using 12.04 as i type now. I have other 2 distros (with KDE and MATE) on my machine and more 2 versions of win, but can't stop using this ubuntu. Interface is pretty and practical. The "expose effect" is perfect adjusted with the dock and after you get used to the shortkeys it's super-fast. Use the super-W key to complete expose and AltCtrl-arrows to move between workspaces. The Alt-TAB window is very simple and easy to see what you want. The time to boot and shutdown are amazing and the text fonts have a excellent design and size, very different from other distros. I think the menu could be better, but actually i have never been a menu fan, my main applications are in the dock and some others in the desktop.
    I have a big respect for innovation / creativity and these guys weren't affraid to do it, i take my hat to them.
    I think if you're looking for practical interface you should give it a try, but if you like lots of customization maybe it won't be for yourself.

    • jacques
      June 13, 2012 at 1:49 am

      I got interested in Ubuntu (my first experience outside Windows world) when I couldn't install Windows7 nor Windows8 on my laptop (Dell Inspiron 8600) and old desktop computer (Dell Dimension 8300). I installed it first on the the Dimension 8300 and I was *stunned*. The installation on USB worked immediately, installation on hard drive could even repartition on the fly my Windows XP ... and worked!
      The interface is fabulous. Simple and beautiful. It just works well, very well and is super easy to learn.
      The applications can be all installed with a click of a mouse: incredible!
      I phoned many friend enthusiastically and let them know of the new kid in the block.
      Alas.... things started to go downhill when I put them in the Inspiron (with Nvidia GeForce 5200). My Inspiron 8600 is stil top of the line by today's standards with its 1920x1200 screen (only the 2 day old Apple has a better resolution!) but Ubuntu 12.04 won't support it. The nvidia driver CAN'T be installed because the "Nouveau" driver prevents it to be installed. (That's the conclusion after reading Ubuntu support community and trying pretty much everything) for a straight 2 days! What that means, is not only that you have to revert to the 2D interface (that I really don't care, it's almost similar), what it means is that your screen because RIDICULOUSLY slow (scrolling can takes on occasion up to 1 to 2 seconds!) even if you lower the resolution (even though it does improve the speed but not enough). It isn't because Ubuntu has some fabulous browser effet (it is plain vanilla scrollling!): XP does it in milliseconds and does everything DRAMATICALLY faster on the same machine!
      So I phone back my friend and told them the truth: Ubuntu, if you're lucky is great, if you're not (you have an nvidia card on a laptop for example) it's worthless. I though Ubuntu would simplify my life after all the hassles of Windows of the past years: the fact it is actually worse because after a few days of trying you finally solve your problem with Windows, but you don't with Ubuntu and left to revert back to XP.

      • reg
        June 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm

        hi Jacques. My main point was to say for linux users from other interfaces that unity is fast and practical compared to the most common ones as unity was/is being very criticized. The problem you had is not a "ubuntu thing" it's a linux thing because notebooks are very specific and can differ a lot one from another, and of course the main manufacturers work close to MS as in your case (dell) so in some cases it may be difficult to put something else there as it was planned inside tha factory to work with windows. My machine is a desktop that was built, so the parts are well known (gigabyte/ati/ocz,etc) and built to work easy with a good amount of hardware. I have w7 on it and i can say, ubuntu was much faster to install and is faster in any sense: boot, shutdown, application opening, interface and web. Best regards!

        • jacques
          June 14, 2012 at 3:58 am

          hi reg, Thanks for the reply. There is a follow-up to my ordeal: I decided to use the PREVIOUS version of Ubuntu (10.04) and it works great! even fabulously well! Youpi!
          I am *very* impressed with the ease of use of Ubuntu. The main advantage of Ubuntu is not that it is free (but it is a big advantage) it is also that it is dramatically easier to use and reinstall, saving an incredible amount of time.
          I am wondering, is it possible to use only ubuntu: I see you are also using windows7. What are the main type of application that Ubuntu won't be able to do?

        • Reg
          June 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm

          This is great! Who could imagine that going to 2010 could solve it? with so many hardware and software to put together is not a surprise that these things might happen..
          As for the w7, well, check your ubuntu software-center and you'll see that there is a lot of software for linux nowadays, so you'll need w7 only if you need a specific software, if you're a gamer, or top softwares like photoshop and autocad, or like myself: i have to use it because i need to use a bank check capturing program that i still wasn't able to run inside linux (but i'm working on it). You'll see that the program WINE can make many windows programs, including 16bit run on linux. I use it to run the ARENA chess program, it works perfectly. For people who use only the basics ubuntu/linux will do everything well.
          Good luck with your system Jacques. ;-)

        • Luis Guerrero
          June 21, 2012 at 3:06 am

          I have found that, apart from games, Linux was weak supporting different video formats (solved with VLC), Autocad files (solved with Dassault's Draftsight) and some MS Office files (mostly solved now with LibreOffice).

          Some banks required MS Internet Explorer in order to give access to managing your accounts, now most don't.

          And .. Netflix does not work with Linux (for now) ...

          Will continue using Ubuntu / Gnome 3 for now.
          I am working and surfing with

  25. Eric
    May 28, 2012 at 1:08 am

    I gave Unity a fair shot, and I still don't like it. I've found it was too resource-intensive for the older computers I've installed it on. And since I do 95% of my work using only a handful of applications, it makes more sense to put launchers on the Gnome panel instead.

    Even so, I couldn't be more pleased with 12.04. I installed it on two old laptops, giving them new life, as well as the netbook and the desktop I use constantly. Except that I don't have suspend on one laptop, everything worked fine out of the box.

  26. DeepNew2Linux
    May 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I installed Ubuntu 12.04 with wubi, and when i press the shut down button, it LOGS OFF and does NOT shut down! and it even hangs on the login screen when I shut down! I had to uninstall Wubi, although I REALLY like Ubuntu! PLEASE HELP!

  27. Karl K
    May 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    'Way back when, I had a dual-boot system on my floortop computer with Win XP Pro and Ubuntu 10.1. Is there a way to create a dual-boot system with Win7 Pro (X64) and this marvelous new Ubuntu 12.04? I haven't seen any tutorials on a "How To...".

    Do you have any tips?


    • Justin Pot
      May 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      If you have Windows 7 installed, just boot up the Ubuntu CD and start the installation process. You'll see a clearly-defined dual-boot option.

      • Karl K
        May 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm

        Many thanks, Justin for your prompt reply! I should have been more "gutsy" and tried just what you suggested, but I didn't want to take a chance on blowing up my newly-configured Win7 operating system (it was a new installation from the previously-mentioned Win XP).

        With your reassurance, I can now "boldly go" where I wouldn't have before!

        Again, thank you!

        Karl K.

  28. Robert
    May 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    the "main menu" totally sucks. no order to finding apps and if I have to type names to launch programs why not just stay with the command prompt! All flash little substance.

    • Justin Pot
      May 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      You can still browse the traditional way in the "Applications" lens. But every system–from Windows to OS X–offers some search method for finding applications. It's how I find applications on every platform, because using a keyboard is way faster than a mouse when it comes to loading programs.

  29. Syed Abdul Rahim
    May 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Thank You - Interesting and Useful

  30. Kshitij Verma
    May 14, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I recently installed ubuntu 12.04 alongside windows 7 and ubuntu 10.04.
    Now i cannot see the grub menu and my windows partition is corrupt.
    Oh god.. Why

    • Justin Pot
      May 14, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      I can't help you much without more information, but you can probably restore GRUB using a live CD. Good luck.

  31. Pulkit
    May 13, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I'm a COMPLETE noob in the Linux world. I have absolutely no experience of operating systems other than windows.
    I'm thinking of switching over to a new Linux distro but am torn between the numerous choices and the fear of incompatibility of the various programs that i use.
    Finally seeing an expert on this topic could you please tell me what Linux OS would be the best for me ?

    Priority List :

    3.)visual aesthetics
    4.)Slick, easy to use and EASY TO INSTALL.

    • Pulkit
      May 13, 2012 at 8:28 am

      I have a DESKTOP PC which i bought 2 years back.

    • Justin Pot
      May 14, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      I think Ubuntu would be best for you. It's easy to use, and a great starting point for any new Linux user.

      Try it out, and if it's not to your tastes give Linux Mint a try. It sports an interface similar to old-fashioned Windows, and supports a lot of things out of the box that Ubuntu neglects for legal reasons.

  32. dockc
    May 12, 2012 at 7:16 am

    I have been working on, and in, computers for 50 years now. I don’t need a fancier interface. A computer is a tool for getting things done; or even playing on, but I don’t want to have to relearn how to use it every six months to access different things. I’m running 11.10 but reverted to the screen layout in 10.04. I’m sorry, but WinXP was just fine as layouts go. No reason to break something that worked. I do like to run faster. Increased abilities and speed, not the GUI, are my reasons for change.

  33. Mikk
    May 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    The screenshot under the section “The Main Menu No Longer Sucks” looks very promising indeed. I feel encouraged to write Apple and ask if they plan to release a 17 inch screen (or larger) iPad with Unity installed, so that I may have the same usage of the entire screen (a whopping 13 icons almost fills it) when I’m away from my desktop. Is this an operating system for the almost blind?

    The good?

    Speed? Yes
    Search bar? Works well
    Installation of OS? Very smooth, yet technical issues concerning the partitions of my hard drive require me to use the alternative install version instead.
    *It sees my drives as 1 whole drive in a RAID format and will not let me choose each drive & partition seperately on LIVE-CD

    Unity still leaves some things to be desired unless there is a way to reduce the sheer size of these icons. Would still prefer a simple menu in the traditional sense when it comes to this. Many of us just prefer a very minimal menu that makes better use of the screen aka legacy Windows 95 and above, Gnome, Fluxbox, etc.

    • Justin Pot
      May 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      I have no love for the traditional menu, which certainly paints my opinion of Unity. On a Mac I always use search to pull up programs, and on Windows I hit the start button and start typing. To me Unity's menu is simply bringing this functionality to Linux.

      Unity certainly isn't alone in lacking a traditional menu. OS X never had one, and Windows is removing its with Windows 8.

      • Mikk
        May 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm

        Justin, the search feature is a very powerful tool when one knows what to type. After that point unity becomes a huge mess.

        The new user of linux who doesn't know what all is installed and those of us who have switched between different...
        operating systems (windows, linux, mac, etc.) desktop environments (gnome, KDE, aero, etc.) and windows managers (fluxbox, blackbox, icewm, etc)
        and want to explore just what came installed by default when trying something new. Even upgrading within the same distro can bring about new changes.

        Anyhow somewhere out there some poor soul is trying to type
        “Internet” instead of Firefox to try to find a way to browse the web.

        Alright so here exactly is my beef with Unity,
        For me, on my 19'' Samsung displayed @ 1280 x 1024 resolution the icons range in size from a 6x4 grid (default sized window) or an 8x7 grid (filling the entire screen). Ridiculous! Even some of today's smart phones make better use of the screen space... I'd hate to imagine what those with 30'' monitors have to go through.

        Its a pain when having to click 1 time to search, a 2nd to change the tab to see what is installed, and a 3rd time to see more results and list all of the installed applications... for something that looks like a child's room with toys (icons) scattered all over the place. At least many of the traditional menus bring it up with a single click or keyboard button.

        So what comes next? iPads the size of baking sheets with the same setup?

  34. Litho
    May 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I've used Linux for around a decade now. Currently run OpenBSD on my desktops and Linux based operating systems (usually Debian or Arch) on my laptops/netbooks.

    With that level of experience, Ubuntu usually isn't my kind of OS (I'm not the target market), but I do make a point to try out their LTS versions, just to get an idea on what the majority is using.

    You're right about the speed. The first installation I did (Atom netbook, 2GB DDR2, Intel 40GB SSD) was the full install, Unity and everything. Not quite as fast as a highly customized lightweight Debian or Arch, but still faster than just about any "out-of-the-box" OS I've done on this system. I think it's mainly due to Upstart.

    Unity isn't really my thing, though. I'm primarily a tiler, meaning I use tiling window managers (search wikipedia) like Xmonad, Dwm and SpectrWM. It's just an apples vs orranges thing, and Unity is a step back for me in terms of workflow. Plus it's too shiny and bubbly for me.

    So I wiped the installation and did it a second time, using the mini.iso. This iso just installs the backend and leaces you at a shell prompt, letting you install what your want and configure it to your liking. Not quite as robust as a minimal Arch or Debian install (Ubuntu's apt-get behaves differently from Debian's... it still tries to bring in way to many "recommended" libraries, just to make things safe for newbies), but still pretty decent. I installed the base system via the iso, then rebooted, set up my permissions and installed Xorg, wireless drivers, audio (ALSA only, cos PulseAudio is bloated garbage) and my preferred window manager, Xmonad. Decided to install LightDM as well. It flies now. I might actually keep this for a while.

    My conclusion:
    Base system is the best it's ever been (though I'm still not convinced aboutUpstart), but Unity and all the GUI bloat isn't my cup of tea. I'll probably go back to a more modular distro in the long run, but I must say I'm impressed with some of the optimizations they've done. Too bad the Ubuntu kernel doesn't support Linux-PHC (undervolting), so I might have to compile my own to get the battery life and temperatures I used to get with my more customized installs of Arch or Debian. Might need to incorporate the Con Kilivas' ck patch for better responsiveness as well.

    • Mikk
      May 11, 2012 at 12:17 am

      The screenshot under the section "The Main Menu No Longer Sucks" looks very promising indeed. I may just write to Apple and ask if they plan to release a 17'' screen (or larger) iPad with Unity, so that I may have the same usage of screen real estate (a whopping 13 icons almost fills the screen) when I'm away from my desktop.

  35. Aaron Couch
    May 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    This is a great post and this new version of Ubuntu is gorgeous! Now I just need a machine to put it on...

  36. veganinha
    May 9, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I'm really excited about it. Love Linux a lot.

  37. Rajeev Dandu
    May 9, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I didn't like it! Because, during installation, in partition step, I'm not able to see the partitions I've made (I made partitions using EASEUS partition master 9.1.1 home edition). It's showing 500GB hard disk that's all. What's happening?
    How to install it first of all? And even how to connect to a network (not wifi)???
    That's why.

    • Justin Pot
      May 14, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      You may need to enter the advanced partition editor to install properly. Installing to a network usually happened automatically, unless you have a rare unsupported card.

      I'm sorry your experience was frustrating. You can probably find answers to your problems at one of these sites, all filled with friendly people smarter than myself:

    • Mikk
      May 15, 2012 at 12:15 am

      Instead of the Live-CD version you may need what is known as the text-based alternate installer. The Live-CD's manual install partioner does not even solve this problem.

      Currently I am using ubuntu-12.04-desktop-i386.iso

      However this installer is much more complicated than Live-CD but it's the only thing that works for me.

      Be very careful of the setup...

      At least 1 partition needs to

      and those you wish to keep use K
      andt those you wish to erase use F

      sorry this is one where you just gotta get your hands dirty. I don't have a link to a tutorial that shows exactly how I go about things... I just have been using it for so long I don't think about it.

  38. Shriganesh
    May 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Well, the only thing I don't like about Unity is that you cannot minimize the active applications by clicking on the icons, like you usually do with the taskbars... Other than that, IMO, Unity is just fantastic on 12.04. It's very fast now, unlike in the 11's. And now that it's quite customizable, it's very satisfying.. :)

  39. Ben M
    May 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Oh, my..,oh no...I feel a rant regarding a non-central point made by the author coming on...Oh dear...HONEY?...Honey, have you seen my antirant pills anywhere?....Honey? ....hmm.

    Well, sorry folks. Let me just get my soapbox out here to stand on. I'll try and get this over with a quickly as I can:


    In reference "The Year of Linux", we'd surely get there faster if the majority of distros didn't boot-up with a painfully long set of progress status messages scrolling up a black screen. The text is incomprehensible, confusing and even downright scary to most mortals, especially when lines end in the reassuring "Failed!" in red..

    I started working with Unix in 1981 and then switched to Linux later on, first as a "hobbyist", then for work. During these past three decades, I also used MS Windows and Macs, watching one version after another of each age with varying degrees of grace.

    Over these past three decades, I've watched the Mac OS incrementally grow in capability & become honed into an elegantly-refined highly-functional work of art. However, regarding MS Windows, it's been, you know (ahem), another story. The Linux's evolution is much longer, more fluid and still hasn't solidified--which is good until now.

    There are specific historical reasons why MS Windows, Mac OS and Unix/Linux developed the kind of UI personalities and qualities they now have. From that historical context, one can easily see how and why the boot-up process looked as it did in version 1.0 of each, and how and why the boot-up screens of each platform have evolved up to what is now on the market.

    The Mac OS & iOS hasn't strayed from it's boot-screen experience, which is zen-like in it's non-existence. The PC boot-experience has been s-l-o-w-l-y evolving.

    For too long, booting a PC was a time when every (freak'n) piece of hardware, software and legal agreement stood in line and announced themselves during roll-call, each asserting its presence, status & level of happiness using the language of low-level systems programming, or, if we're not lucky, in a primitive code of beeps.

    Over time, boot-screens into DOS and then Windows became a bit shorter. Now, with Windows 8, we are greeted with a strange geometric representation of a fish (a fish! of course!)

    Sadly, Linux has no such fish. Linux can and does boot silently in "instant on" mode when embedded in, say, mobile devices. But on PC's, there's still a fire hose of technical gibberish and bewildering status codes seeming to scroll by endlessly to elicit confusion, fear and resentment in new users. The boot screens & the boot experience are essentially the same today as they were during early Unix days in 1969.

    Rightly or wrongly, most people experience an OS starting with what happens when they press their computer's "On" button, not upon their arrival to the desktop and being ambushed by a bunch of system and app notifications.

    Can't an OS open to the world bring more refined,even customizable, boot experiences to the long-suffering masses? Can't a world of Linux Wizards come up with, at least, a much simpler and visual way to represent the same information?

    If a user in the woods boots-up a Linux machine with one hand, and then observes a gentler and more reassuring boot-up screen, will it negate the power of Linux?

    Is it wrong to want my computer to turn on and off without a fire-hose of information that is almost never used, let alone understood, by 99.9% of people 99.9% of the time?

    While we wait for, at long last, the arrival of "Zero Start-up Time", are the only options we can provide for boot-up feedback limited to: 1, black screen with nothing on it; 2) a static image; or a black screen with technical gibberish, giving such reassurances as "FAILED!" in red-lettering and then continuing to log on, every single time I boot Linux regardless of machine, distro or install?

    [ok, well, i'm done. thank u for being here for me. your a good listener, you know that?]


    • Bart Janssens
      May 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

      Have you seen a recent ubuntu install (last 6years?) boot?

    • Justin Pot
      May 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      I like the rant. I can't personally remember the last time I saw cryptic things during an Ubuntu boot, but I enjoyed this comment anyway.

    • Paul
      July 19, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      whatchoo talkin bout willis?

  40. Zden?k
    May 8, 2012 at 11:12 am

    One big problem I had with Unity UI were the workspaces. For many years I've had a system how to divide my running applications across 6 workspaces (grid 6x1) depending on what I use that application for. Older versions of Unity I tried forced me to use 4 workspaces in grid 2x2, and I didn't find a way to chage it. What about the new Unity? Is it still hardcoded or did things get better?

    Also, Ubuntu abandoned the old systray that was in Linux for many years and then Ubuntu changed it to the indicators. That would be fine in case they would continue supporting the old-way as well. They removed it and as a result, some applications stopped working completely. It is possible to make it working but needing to use commandline or gconf editor to make some apps that use the old systray working is in the contradiction with the requirement of having an OS easy to use for BFU. The same applies to moving the menu, from applications to the top panel - it doesn't work for all the applications, not even for such "mainstream" apps as LibreOffice. The problem is that Ubuntu team just tests the default apps and don't care much if the rest works. Sometimes they don't care even if the default apps work before they do the release (because of their policy release-as-planned-no-matter-if-it-really-works). This is a good example, but there are unfortunately plenty. :-/

  41. MC
    May 8, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Nice article. Just tried Ubuntu after a couple of years and am very impressed with this new interface.


  42. gpvprasad
    May 7, 2012 at 5:09 am

    I am having issue with 12.04 so I am planning to remove 12.04 and put back 11.10

    The Bug is unable to handle page ffffd04.

  43. theguy
    May 7, 2012 at 12:40 am

    My only complaint about unity is that it doesn't work very will with focus-follows-mouse. If you have to cross some other app's window on the way to the menubar, you get the wrong menubar. I'm trying to get used to clicking for focus but it's hard! Old dog here.

    • Justin Pot
      May 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      I never noticed that, but can see why it would be annoying. Hopefully a fix is in the works.

  44. Viktor Sundelin
    May 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Have a question. I have a TOSHIBA Satellite p755-114 , have tried to install Ubunto 11...
    But there is no support for the Graphic Card (No drivers that works, at least on first install). And possibly other drivers.

    If I want to buy a computer with full support for Ubunto, what type, developer have good support for Ubunto ?

    Want to use Ubunto, but if the drivers doesn't work it's no fun :)

    • Zenit
      May 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      Have you tried additional drivers?
      The proprietary drivers are most of the time accessible for download there. You get the best possible support for -buntu distros. So Before buying a new laptop, search in ubuntu forums for solution.

      • Justin Pot
        May 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm

        I'd highly recommend checking out the additional drivers in the settings, as Zenit recommends.

  45. Womble
    May 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I installed Ubuntu 12.04 to try after becoming a little disillusioned with the way Windows 8 is heading. I quite like Unity although it's still a tad buggy.

    The thing that very soon pushed me back in the direction of Windows was not being able to find a simple thing like a music player that was easy to use and worked with tags in a mature manner. The nearest I got to finding a player that met my needs was Banshee but sadly even that fails due to a bug in GStreamer tag handling that has probably been around for years. Sadly this lack of accountability will always be the Linux Achilles heal. After many many attempt I still wait for the day that Linux can live up to the hype.

    • Justin Pot
      May 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      There are so many music players for Linux, but you're right: none of them are quite perfect. Linux is great as an operating system, but it needs better apps.

      • Warez J. Coxtrong
        May 10, 2012 at 12:50 am

        I don't know, I've been using Banshee for almost a year now, and I haven't had a problem with it yet. It's starting to become my favorite music player.. although I've still got a soft spot for Winamp.. the XMMS team should get on the ball.. or Nullsoft should just port Winamp...yeah I know, you can use WINE, but it's just not the same.

        Haven't tried 12.04 yet, my laptop is still on 11.10 (with a heavily customized Gnome 3, to the point where I actually like it [and I HATE Gnome 3, and 11.10 Unity, first time I tried Unity], just found out 12.04 is out when I ran across this article. About to go download it and give it a shot though.

        One more thing.. Ubuntu needs to fix their proprietary ATI drivers.. My laptop card worked fine on older versions (9.10 is the last one I used before 11.10, although with 9.10 it required a little bit of hacking the driver on there for the first time). Yes I have about a 5 year old laptop.

    • Ben M
      May 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Womble, sincerely, maybe I'm missing your point. You don't need to return to an inferior, restrictive and costly Microsoft OS in order to use your favorite Windows software. Whenever I want to use a windows app because it's better than anything I can find on a distro or in a repository, I just use the windows software on Linux. I installed "Wine" & "PlayOnLinux". If your Windows software of choice requires an install, install it per usual. If it's "portable", no install needed, just copy and run. If you are thrown, like some of us were, initially, by a speed-bump like drive access or drive-letter issues, that's easily troubleshooted, documented and accessible via forums, chat, etc. Wish you hadn't thrown the baby out with the bath water. Now he has to wallow around in sludge, poor thing.

  46. jesus b.
    May 6, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    i give it another shot. ^ ^.

  47. 9d99020067b23013c2d904eb108bfae6
    May 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Some times, altering compiz settings can crash unity...unity is awesome

    • lkm32
      May 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Not anymore, they locked it down in 12.04

      • Marty B
        August 7, 2012 at 6:30 am

        Compiz crashed Unity on my first reboot after install...Apparently it wasn't locked down after all.

  48. Jim B
    May 6, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    You're full of it. Yeah I can say that. Unity gets bad press and people complain because it deserves it. Your arrogance is in assuming there is nothing wrong because you don't mind how bad it is. Others do. It is an interface that emphasizes the stupidification of Linux.

    Is there anything wrong with you liking it? Nope. But to treat those more reasoned than yourself in computing as fools in public articles show arrogant idiocy.

    • Fister
      May 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      I didn't see the article personally attacking you....

    • Justin Pot
      May 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      This might be my favorite comment ever.

    • reg
      June 7, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      "arrogant idiocy."
      You could use this as your nickname: perfect for you!

      • Justin Pot
        June 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm

        There's no reason to personally attack him. Jim B might unintentionally hilarious, but I don't doubt for a second he believes what he's saying. People care about Linux and open source; that's the reason things get done. He and I can disagree without resorting to childish i'm-a-wall-and-you-are-glue comments.

    • Rasmus N
      June 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm

      "Unity gets bad press and people complain because it deserves it. Your arrogance is in assuming there is nothing wrong because you don’t mind how bad it is. Others do. It is an interface that emphasizes the stupidification of Linux. "

      I saw a very nice video with Linus Thorvalds recently ( ) , and he actually says that Linux's biggest failing has been its inability to capture the desktop users as desktops is what it was developed for to begin with.

      i think what you need to remember is that for Linux to be used by normal people (non-tech, non-developers) needs a very simplified userinterface which Unity provides. Its a simplification, and the beautiful thing about Linux is that even though it might look different, its more or less the same awesome thing under the hood.

      If you think that Unity is Stupid because it is simple, i think that implies that you prefer something more developer oriented, and that is completely understandable. I must however stress that a post such as your own shows a complete lack of understanding of all of this, you have a very strong oppinion about unity, yet you think that others are are showing idiocy for stating theirs?

      Let me put it this way, i like using Linux, and I LOVE Ubuntu for its simplicity, even though i like taking a dive into the terminal and mess with things that can destroy my installation, its always awesome to get back to the surface and see that even when i just want to lean back and relax i have an absolutely awesome OS, with a userinterface in worldclass.

      furthermore, my parents have no understanding of computers what so ever, yet they love using Ubuntu, because it is fast and simple.

      I will not comment anymore, as i feel i have already spent more time on reasoning with you than you deserved. To everyone here using ubuntu *highfives* and to everyone out there who dislikes unity but can go about their opinion in a manner that is respectful to others *highfives* the internet needs more people like you.

    • Marty B
      August 7, 2012 at 6:29 am

      A bit harsher than I would have said, but yes. Unity is a dumbed-down interface which makes it HARDER for power users to exercise any sort of power. It takes me far longer to open any app that isn't already on the dock than it does in Gnome or KDE, or Windows XP with icons on the desktop.

  49. Ben Ghaith
    May 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Ubuntu is a shit OS never to be compared to OS X, LinuxMint Debian is my main Linux box

    • Don Birdsall
      May 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      Oh yes you CAN compare Unity to OS X. OS X will win on most counts EXCEPT..

      You cannot install OS X on a garden variety machine. So you go with your favorite Linux distro which might be Ubuntu Unity.

    • Prad
      September 23, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      Just to give you a quick lesson - Ubuntu is not an OS. It is a distribution (version, if you must) of the Linux OS, the very same OS that drives your Mint.

      Also, it will do well to remember that Mint is based largely on Ubuntu, but with a different (read: older) graphical interface.

  50. Anthony Ogden
    May 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I've just wiped Windows 7 and using Ubuntu 12.04 as my main OS again now, I've been using linux since Slackware 3 and I've got to say Unity has it right. Its kind of strange though that its like "STEPping" back to AfterStep/WindowMaker days that I used to have in probably 1998 with the simple buttons on the side of the screen for launching :-) BUT the HUD is what make a massive difference, killer feature and I love it, very fast access to functions without having to take your fingers off the keys.

    Ubuntu is pressing all the right buttons for me :)

    • Justin Pot
      May 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      Judging by the comments you're not alone in loving Unity.

  51. Scutterman
    May 6, 2012 at 7:17 am

    This solves almost every problem I had with the Unity interface, except for the fact that the window bars are at the top of the screen. When I have a window that isn't maximise, it's so inefficient to keep going to the top of the screen to do things like close or maximise.

    • Yiff
      May 6, 2012 at 8:27 am

      Just double-click!

      • Scutterman
        May 6, 2012 at 9:52 am

        That will maximise, but what about close or minimise? I sometimes use alt+F4 for close, but I've always found that a bit of a stretch. If I'm holding the mouse it's easier to move to the corner of the window.

        • Justin Pot
          May 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm

          I'm not sure I understand the problem. You can still click the "X" to close the program, and that's very much on the window itself...

        • Scutterman
          May 6, 2012 at 11:16 pm

          I may be mis-remembering then. I only used it for a couple of weeks because, apart from unity annoying the hell out of me, attempting to update to the next release made it unbootable and I wasn't going to spend time debugging an OS I didn't like.

        • Qw3rtz
          July 26, 2012 at 11:34 am

          You just move your cursor to the top left corner of the screen, and click. Pretty simple.

  52. liar
    May 6, 2012 at 7:10 am

    you said this is 4 things you love about ubuntu.
    but the artical made it clear that it is 4 things you love about unity

    • avastyu
      May 6, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Ubuntu = Unity
      Unity = Ubuntu

      • 9d99020067b23013c2d904eb108bfae6
        May 6, 2012 at 6:41 pm

        ha ha unity rocks , its just stunning

  53. Kyem Ghosh
    May 6, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I find it much user better than the previous versions.... As said, its true that the main menu is good this time!!!! The sound driver failed to install for the very 1st time! But it was fixed as I updated the kernel!!! Its good!!!!

    • Reý Aetar
      May 6, 2012 at 6:40 am

      mine after instal in the first boot gave an error and ended with a black screen but after a restart all is fine,
      and apps dissapear from the launcher sometimes
      rest all fine with that killing look

    • Justin Pot
      May 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      Glad you guys are enjoying this version. The menu sucking less fills me with happiness.

  54. machbio
    May 6, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Unity does not seem to work at all.. I Upgraded from 11.10 to 12.04 .. but the GNOME seems to be working though... I had both Unity and Gnome in 11.10 .. any solutions to the above problem..

    • Justin Pot
      May 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      Not sure I can help without more information. A fresh installation would probably work, or you could try installing the "ubuntu-desktop" package in the software center.

      • Old-Soul Youth
        June 25, 2012 at 5:04 pm

        As my name implies, I am an old-souled youth. I want to be "hip" and up-to-date, but I'm more like my hippie predecessors than my hipster successors. I really want to try out this Ubuntu update, especially because I find so many things wrong with Windows 7...But I don't have the first clue to downloading another OS, or even backing up my stuff from Windows before the download! I was wondering if a dual-boot would allow me to access on will all the stuff in Windows or at least keep the features I like... To be honest, I think you should make a guide for all us technological simpletons so that we may also have the best possible PC experience. Just because we don't know how to do things doesn't mean we don't know what we're missing!!!

        Either way, thank you for this, Justin.

  55. holyKow
    May 6, 2012 at 4:35 am

    i really wanted to run a linux os, but i cant seem to get my wireless adapter to work with it. ive tried ubuntu, mint, etc. and i just cant figure it out. u guys should post a tutorial or something on how to set up a wireless adapter to linux.
    also.. fyi, i have linux drivers that came with the adapter, so i dont think its a compatability issue.

    • Jose Ramon
      May 6, 2012 at 7:43 am

      Yeah, I have seen people with problems with wifi since 2008 or so.

      • Justin Pot
        May 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm

        I've not had a wireless problem with Ubuntu since 2008, so I probably can't help much. The majority of wireless cards seem to work out of the box; for everything else, you're stuck Googling the model name. I'm not sure I can provide a universal how-to, because the steps required are different for every card out there. Sorry!

        • Dashi
          August 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm

          I figures the ability to use windows wireless drivers would fix this... idk where to get it but there was a package installed when I got my laptop with zorion installed, never used it because I didn't need it but thought it was cool

    • Don Birdsall
      May 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      Not all wireless adapters will work out of the box. I have had success with some using NDISWrapper, but the easiest thing to do is to find one that DOES work out of the box. Do some googling. At this moment I am using a NETGEAR WG-111v3 with no problems.

      • Justin Pot
        May 7, 2012 at 10:47 pm

        And because of your comment, some pour soul Googling "NETGEAR WG-111v3 ubuntu" is going to end up on this page and find no help whatsoever. :)

    • Izzaz
      May 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      go to settings-> additional drivers. additional driver should automatically discover a driver for your wireless. But u have to be connected to the net for that. After the installation of the additional driver, your wireless should work fine

  56. Ankit
    May 6, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Ubuntu rocks..

  57. Chris Hoffman
    May 6, 2012 at 2:21 am

    "Unity isn’t a tablet user interface being forced on desktop users: you’re thinking of Windows 8. "


    On a serious note, the HUD is really interesting. It could use some more discoverability, though -- it suffers a bit of Windows 8-itis. How are average users supposed to know they need to press Alt to access the HUD?

    • Petar
      May 6, 2012 at 9:28 am

      It is written on your desktop if you press and hold Super (or Windows) key.

      • Chris Hoffman
        May 7, 2012 at 4:32 am

        Yup, I know all about that -- but that's another non-obvious trick. A built-in, optional, first-time tutorial would be pretty cool

        • Petar
          May 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm

          When you first time install Ubuntu 12.04 there is a “Help” file in Dash. You can press on it and it will open Ubuntu Desktop Guide with info about HUD and other stuff.

    • Jeremy Bicha
      May 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      If anybody reads the documentation: [Broken Link Removed]

      • Justin Pot
        May 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm

        I've discovered so many features in GIMP I wouldn't have found before thanks to the HUD. It is a little hidden, though, something I'm sure the team plans to fix later.

      • Curt
        May 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm

        What is documentation? Never heard that word before. :)

  58. James
    May 6, 2012 at 12:17 am

    While I think I personally will switch back to another desktop I can see the brilliance and thinking behind Unity. My 75 year old father sat down with Unity and with no instructions was able to check his e-mail and read his news. Much to my mother's relief there was none of the swearing the accompanies the same action on a windows machine.

    • Justin Pot
      May 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      Ubuntu has always aimed primarily at non-Linux users, and I think this release does well at that. I understand why some power users would rather use something else, and the fact that they can is part of what makes Linux so great.

    • Don Birdsall
      May 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      I hope you don't mean that we seniors need things simplified. I'm 70 years and I am a computer geek. Anyway, I dumped Windows 5 years ago in favor of Ubuntu. I still swear at Windows when something goes wrong in my wife's machine and I have to fix it. My daily machine is a Mac. Unity confused me for a few minutes until I realized that HUD was somewhat like the Mac Spotlight.

      Geek or not, a major selling point of any OS is EASE OF USE. Unity has bumped the Linux world up a notch or two in this respect.

      • Justin Pot
        May 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm

        Don't mean to imply that at all. I think people of all ages can benefit from simplicity, particularly if they're not power users. And I agree: Unity does make Linux easier to use.

        • DissidentRage
          September 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm

          Unity only makes it easier if you have the prerequisite knowledge of every program that's installed on your machine and every feature a program has available. It's like taking a programming reference with a tree that can be descended through and replacing it with a strict auto-correct feature. Fine for people who know the material well, but woefully inefficient for those who are learning. Unity can and should at least attempt to meet both needs.

  59. ArtemZ
    May 6, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I like Ubuntu and I enjoy using 11.10 on my laptop. It's really beautiful.
    But I find unity in 12.04 to be quite slow on my desktop (yes, I did a clean install). Maybe it's just my silly hardware (Athlon II 250 4G RAM GeForce 210), but workspace switching and launcher pop out is not that slick as I expected.

    • Justin Pot
      May 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      It's odd that 12.04 would be slower on your desktop, because the consensus seems to be its faster. Have you installed the proprietary drivers for your graphics card?

    • JL
      May 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Try upgrading your GeForce to a newer one. The cheapest models are really cheap but still fast.

  60. Anshu
    May 5, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I am using Ubuntu since 9.10, and it has improved. When Unity was launched in 11.04 there was so much cry about this however I never came across any problems. After all its a new and innovative way of accessing the applications, isn't it?
    There are a couple of things about Ubuntu 12.04 which I don't like. One of them is disabling the auto-hide option when I open an application. Having used all possible customization in XP and Windows 7 and being a power user it doesn't actually matters to me where you put the bar. Second comes the "input not supported" error which is there and this time its not even getting resolved by changing the monitor settings and editing grub. Third is they still don't have support for voice and video chat. Skype is simply not upto the mark and I am not sure why this is not resolved.
    Two things that standout in 12.04 is its privacy setting options and speed, when i first did a clean install i was really shocked and happy to see how fast it loaded and installed. Not to mention about new themes. :)
    Coming to windows 8, well I think its the best OS Microsoft has ever designed. Its awesome and beautiful and uses the new and old hardware efficiently. My desktop which is an AMD Duel core 7750 processor with an old LCD 17 inch of display never looked so b'ful. And the kind of security measures they have taken is simply mind boggling.

    • Andrew
      May 6, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Anshu: "Third is they still don't have support for voice and video chat." I do both all the time with Google Talk on 12.04. Works perfectly.

      • Justin Pot
        May 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm

        Yeah, Google Talk works well for me as well.

        You can turn auto-hide back on in the settings; I showed you where in the article above. I'm not sure what's going on with your input settings, but you should ask around on the Ubuntu Forums about that: I'm sure someone could help.

        • Anshu
          May 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm

          Hi both, thanks for you advice.

          Andrew: I know about google talk, however it's too much plain to me. Moreover I can use that from browser not as a standalone application. If browser application is the way to go, I can switch to imo which helps me to use multiple chat applications. What I am looking is something on the lines of Yahoo and MSN messenger. Skype- well, I won't advice that to anyone on Linux. It's buggiest at it's best.

          Justin: I tried that auto hide settings. It is hidden all the times, and I have to hit windows button to go to hud and it's visible than only. Ideally it should be hidden when you open an application and maximize it which is simply not happening.
          I used input settings tweak in all the previous versions and they worked, except 12.04 which is baffling. It's not a big issue, you just need to remove # from the code and provide a range of display settings!! Not sure why not happening??

        • Justin Pot
          May 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm

          Yeah, I noticed that too. Got used to it myself, but I could see it annoying someone used to the old settings.

      • Anshu
        May 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm

        Andrew: I guess you are referring to gtalk integrated in gmail and than using support from there. However I am referring to individual applications such as Yahoo Messenger, MSN messenger etc. Skype is buggy at its best. If you know something like that, please let me know.
        And if I have to refer about browser based applications, imo is what I am using. It allows me to different chat applications along with the voice and video. However it sometimes works and sometimes not.
        Justin: Thanks, I tried from forums however it was not fruitful. About the input settings well I know how to resolve that and i did that in 11.10, somehow not working on 12.04. And it's not resolved in Ubuntu since the time i am using it. And strange thing is, I have not encountered this in Mint, Fedora or Suse!!

        • Justin Pot
          May 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm

          It's really weird that this doesn't happen in Mint or Suse. Can't explain that, but let us know if you ever do find a solution.

  61. Pedro Muniz
    May 5, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Unity rulez!

    • Still Not A Fan
      May 6, 2012 at 3:54 am

      no. it does not.

      • Robert
        May 6, 2012 at 6:28 am

        I agree. I've just download 12.04 and have been running it with Virtual Box. I currently use Lucid 10.04 and was waiting until the next LTS to upgrade. Why did they remove so much? Can't even change the fonts. It's like an OS that you would put on a child's computer to keep them from goofing anything up. I'm not sure if there is enough wax in the world to put a shine on this turd. Guess I'll check out KDE and maybe Mint before those get jacked up too. Or possibly even go back to Windows.

        • James
          May 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm

          I have heard some good things about cinnamon, so mint may be a solid option for you.

        • Justin Pot
          May 6, 2012 at 8:22 pm

          If you don't like things being removed and simplified, I've got some bad news about Windows 8...

        • Toto
          May 7, 2012 at 6:20 am


          I thought that we were talking about Ubuntu, not Window$

        • Justin Pot
          May 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm

          @toto Robert said he may return to Windows, and I'm saying simplification is happening on every platform. Call it the iPad effect, if you will.

        • DissidentRage
          September 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm

          That doesn't detract from the point that Ubuntu is slimming down to the point of being about as configurable as OS X.

        • Zak
          May 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm

          You can change your fonts if you download the app "myunity" from the software store. It is free and acts sort of like the gnome tweak tool did.

        • Thor
          May 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

          The iPad effect sucks!
          A good portion (not too much and not too little, what that may be!) of options for the users to "tweak" settings of the system to make the personal touch to it is always for the best, either you're a novice or an expert.
          Not like Apple products ( kindergarden toys for fanatic grown ups!)

        • airtonix
          May 11, 2012 at 11:01 am

          good news for those config whores.

          kde desktop provides an abundance of options.

          sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop.

        • dockc
          May 12, 2012 at 7:13 am

          Good on you, Robert. I have been working on, and in, computers for 50 years now. I don't need a fancier interface. A computer is a tool for getting things done, or even playing on, but I don't want to have to relearn how to use it every six months to access different things. I'm running 11.10 but reverted to the screen layout in 10.04. I'm sorry, but WinXP was just fine as layouts go. No reason to break something that worked. I do like to run faster. Increased abilities and speed, not the GUI, are my reasons for change.

        • Marty B
          August 7, 2012 at 6:15 am

          dockc I agree with you. I have been working with computers since the early days (DOSSHELL, Tandy DeskMate) and I like having the option to have icons for all of my frequently accessed apps on my desktop or in a tree-style start menu. Unity (also my third attempt at liking it) still leaves me cold. I spend more time finding out how to do things than I did through 30 years of Windows.

  62. Ken Gunther
    May 5, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    I'm finding it truly wonderful. I'd completely given up on Canonical after the 11's, (I'd switched to Mint on my laptop and "portable" briefcase PC, but was still on the 10.04 LTS on my desktop) but this has made me and advocate again. A lot of my time is in front of the classroom setting, so how it handles 2 monitors is critical for me. The ability to have the launcher on both screens is now invaluable to me in the classroom. And the ease and speed is a surprise after the previous releases. This is a very easy OS to promote for users with a slow XP machine. I'll try it on a few colleagues that have been complaining about their slow laptos over the next couple of weeks.

    • Justin Pot
      May 6, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      I'm glad you're enjoying it; let us know how your Ubuntu spreading efforts go.

  63. BjornP
    May 5, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Since 12.04 is an LTS-release, I installed it last week, and decided to give Unity it's third chance to win me over. I decided to give it two weeks, if it doesn't manage to convince me in 14 days, I'm switching to Cinnamon (I strongly dislike stock Gnome 3, and tweaking it to my liking takes too much time). While not yet 100% convinced, I'm no longer counting the days until I can install Cinnamon.

    The HUD wasn't half as bad as I had imagined, the launcher has it's advantages (and the gigantic icon size is easily tweaked) over the dock I use in Cinnamon (mainly: it's directly available from the keyboard) and can be set to auto-hide (it sometimes overlaps some fullscreen apps I use regularly), and while I much prefer Cinnamons workspace-functionality, I'm even slowly getting used to unitys workspaces.

    I still have the date marked on my calendar (May 11) when I am allowed to install Cinnamon, but it might not be my default desktop when, or maybe IF, i've installed it.

    Good job Canonical.

    • Justin Pot
      May 7, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      Great comment. Thanks for running this experiment with yourself, and sharing it with us.

  64. Gary
    May 5, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I agree. The Precise update to Unity is really nice. I was using Gnome Shell in Oneric but Unity is much better now.

    • Curt
      May 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      Agreed. I still have some issues with Unity, but overall I've gotten used to it and I actually like it now! One thing I will say is that I like it a lot more than Gnome Shell. A lot more!!

  65. Reý Aetar
    May 5, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    just if the launcher could have been moved to bottom of the screen it could have been fantastic i think

    • Daniel15
      May 5, 2012 at 11:25 pm

      I think the left makes sense - Screens are wider than they are taller, so you have more horizontal space available for use.

      • Reý Aetar
        May 6, 2012 at 6:36 am

        yes i agree but you know :p a bad habit of moving the pointer to bottom left corner
        anyway unity is great like it

        • Bill P
          June 22, 2012 at 4:51 am

          We have been trained to the lower left, unless you've been using an Android tablet for some time. You aim for upper left in that instance. I don't think it matters though as the windows/super key is easy enough to reach and click once you've learned that it's there for use.

      • James
        May 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm

        True, but there's no harm in having the option to move it as you wish and leaving the default on the left. I think that would have been nice.

        • Justin Pot
          May 6, 2012 at 8:21 pm

          An easy way to move the dock would be nice. I mean, even Apple offers that...

        • jfgen
          May 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm

          I think there is more to it than just offering a change in the position. I'm thinking on the integration of the dashboard, HUD etc..

          I am a fan of the launcher on the left now, took me some time to get used back when it launched.

        • Reý Aetar
          May 9, 2012 at 7:10 pm

          and yes another thing i liked was the launcher placed in the title bar(the top most toolbar) like it was in ubuntu 11.4
          as the launcher takes time to show up though i have increased the sensitivity

        • Reý Aetar
          May 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm

          sorry i ment the dash home button (the first icon in the launcher)

      • DissidentRage
        September 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm

        So because it works for you, that justifies locking out the configuration for everyone else (for whom it may not work efficiently)?

        • Daniel15
          September 20, 2012 at 11:02 pm

          No, I didn't say that. I was only saying that thewre's justification for having the launcher on the left of the screen. Being able to change its location (like Windows has had for years) would be excellent.

    • Saïd
      May 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      It is possible - just search for "ubuntu unity plugin rotated"!