Friday, November 18, 2011

I am moving back

to Ubuntu 10.10. I give up. Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) was a disappointment and so was Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot).

Not that I didn't like the new simpler desktop management tools they offered through Unity - It's just not stable. I cannot afford 2 days every fortnight to figure out how to make it work again. If it's a one time thing - I am proud enough to suck it up and do it. If it happens again and again - I am not sysad enough to handle it. And oh the other issues! It eats up about 40W all the time! My battery life drops to a quarter of what windows gives me. My productivity(in terms of time I spend working and not hobby-ishly trying to defend Ubuntu) drops by half.

I have spent enough time trying to defend Unity to my friends - I can't anymore. It's undefendable. It's so extremely buggy that I would consider popularizing it and making it a default only if I was actually working for, say, Microsoft. Sweet Lord! They removed proxy settings' Ignore-Proxy option! I also couldn't figure out a way to increase workspaces. Want more? Well, if you want to make some changes to how the Unity behaves - install Compiz-Settings-Manager. And when you do it - it will result in gnome being fubar.

Only good thing about it all: I am using Wubi, and I keep all my code - all my files, outside the Ubuntu installation. Best decision I have made in this respect. Now I can simply remove Ubuntu from Windows and move back to Ubuntu 10.10.

Probably I am not good enough for Ubuntu 11.10, say "Aye!" if you aren't as well.


  1. Gnome Shell has a nice fresh look; and even though it may not yet be completely glitch-free, it's a much smoother experience than Unity. Still, the more relevant performance of recent Ubuntu releases remains a concern.

  2. I actually don't care much about the smoothness. I will adapt, it's not that hard/unproductive. What's frustration is the lack of reliability that 11.* releases have offered. I appreciate the effort of making things more user friendly, but the changes should be pushed to release only after there is significant confidence that it works.

  3. I agree with all the arguments and confess that all of them bugged me too. What I feel is, as I mentioned to Prashant the other day, we have quite a bit of inertia towards change so frustrations are inevitable. There are solutions to all the problems you mentioned through gnome-tweak-tool and dconf-editors - of course you would know that and I agree with your view that a user should not have to do such things to obtain basic functionality. But I think we should give it some time. BTW +1 to Prashant, Gnome shell wins hands-down against unity. You should try it out sometime.

    Secondly, I had a weird problem and you'll laugh at this - my comp could handle 4 flash videos and 7 HD movies while on battery but while on charge, a single flash video or any cpu sucking process would shoot up the temperature to ~100 and my comp would give way and shut down. Also it couldn't handle the spikes in temperature when you pull out a charger cable from your laptop. Didn't know how to google that so was planning on buying a new laptop. Thanks to my subscriptions on Google reader, came to know that it is in fact a bug of the linux kernel 2.6+ series onwards, some incorrectly coded switching behavior of the ASPM module -

  4. Oh I know! ASPM is incredibly buggy.

    And dconf/gconf editors have their own issues. For example, there are at least 3 places where proxy can be specified. Some applications pick the settings from one place, some others use some other way. Some have their own UI. Now, the earlier gnome-settings exposed one UI for changing all values. It works for most cases (expect that it overrides username:password in /etc/apt/apt.conf). Now, one would expect that the new configuration manager would behave *better*. Unfortunately, I think, it now has *another* place to have settings and UI to expose it - it's incomplete as well as buggy.

    About not liking changes: I loved the most parts of the feature set that Unity provided. Incredibly responsive launcher (and on the right - better for Widescreen monitors), Zero wastage because of title bars etc! Unfortunately, it PMSes, every other week - twice as much as a girl friend would. Now, I wouldn't know how painful maintaining the later is, but Unity is definitely high maintenance.