Ubuntu 12.04: Still Alive, Still Kicking

12:13 PM

On April 27, 2012 Ubuntu released its new operating system Ubuntu 12.04. Since then I have been playing around with it, and I've got to say that although I had my doubts about Unity it is turning out to be quite a nice desktop environment. So without further ado let's take a look at what's new in Ubuntu 12.04!

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As you can see nothing has really changed about Unity upfront. While Ubuntu has switched from using Banshee to using Rhythmbox and also has removed Tomboy and Gbrainy (making it Mono-free), everything else has pretty much remained the same in terms of appearance and applications. And no, Ubuntu hasn't replaced Firefox with Chrome. I did that, LOL.

Something that IS very new to Ubuntu is the use of Lens. Lens is just a fancy word for the new application menu, which now is split in to five menus. The first menu lists recent apps, files, and downloads. The second menu lists recent apps, installed apps, and recommended apps for installation. The third menu lists recently accessed files, downloads, and home folders. The fourth menu lists music and the fifth menu lists videos. Additionally you have the same search bar you had in Ubuntu 11.10, only this time it is capable of searching not only files you've accessed but any file in your home folders.

xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

The Software Center in Ubuntu 12.04 also now features books & magazines.

xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

Here's a feature in Ubuntu 12.04 I think other distributions would do well to copy: a Privacy menu. Now you can easily control what information gets saved & delete it on the fly.

xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

Here's an interesting feature I haven't had the chance to play around with yet: a Landscape client. According to the information available on it it's a web based tool for managing Ubuntu operating systems over a network. It's not exactly something you'd use in the standard home setup but it's nice to see Ubuntu is making life a little easier for system administrators. xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

The new Heads Up Display, or HUD, makes application commands a little easier by providing a search box in which you can type the command you're looking for.

xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

Additionally HUD is capable of issuing commands for Indicators.

xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

Now it's time for one of my absolute favorite features in Ubuntu 12.04. The desktop automatically changes color to match the color of your wallpaper. While I can see this getting on the nerves of people that like to customize their desktop manually, it's a great time saver for those people that don't like to bother too much with customization. xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux, Oh My!

There's just two things that get on my nerves in Ubuntu 12.04. While I haven't pinpointed the source of the behavior yet, Ubuntu sometimes automatically moves a window to another workspace. This is annoying when I'm having to drag and drop images in to my posts. It means I have to stop what I'm doing to move the opened image back to the workspace I'm working on. Second, when you install an application it's automatically added to the Launcher. This is even more annoying than applications adding shortcuts to the desktop in Windows because at least in Windows you can opt out of it. With Ubuntu you have no choice but to go along with it and remove the application from the Launcher once you're finished.

So far that's all I've found that is noticeably new in Ubuntu 12.04. Have you found any new favorite features in Ubuntu 12.04 that weren't discussed here? Tell me about them in the comments! :)



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7 comments

  1. No I don't see anything different Unity is still there... unfortunately. But I don't see Markie changing that.

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  2. I think it's great what Canonical are trying to do, but they really need to sort out a tablet theme and a desktop theme where those drag bars are a fraction of the size (which IMO looks extremely ugly on a full HD desktop)

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  3. The thing about 12.04 is that, for me, it works well. Better than recent popular Gnome and KDE releases. After years of thinking that Linux had a future, I was beginning to wonder about the value of continuing. But I'm pretty happy with Unity now after a couple days of tinkering.

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  4. Unity is making me very happy as well. I just finished all my tinkering last night, and I'm very happy with how many indicators and lenses are available. It may not be ultra customizable in the appearance department but it is VERY customizable in functionality.

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  5. Actually the launcher isn't that bothersome to me. I've kept mine at the defaults. If it starts to bother me I might check off auto-hide but most of the time that is not necessary. It could be because I've grown accustomed to Windows 7, though. It could also have something to do with the fact I'm on a laptop and not a desktop with a large HD screen. Still I would think it'd bother me more on a laptop than a large HD screen, and it doesn't.

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  6. [...] Ubuntu 12.04: Still Alive, Still Kicking On April 27, 2012 Ubuntu released its new operating system Ubuntu 12.04. Since then I have been playing around with it, and I’ve got to say that although I had my doubts about Unity it is turning out to be quite a nice desktop environment. So without further ado let’s take a look at what’s new in Ubuntu 12.04! [...]

    ReplyDelete