With Ubuntu 11.04 you will notice some big changes from 10.10, namely the Unity interface will now be default (as opposed to Gnome). But if you don’t like Unity, don’t panic! 11.04 will come with 3 different options for your user interface:
Ubuntu: it runs Unity. It requires 3D driver support.
Ubuntu Classic: it runs GNOME with gnome-panel. It supports all video hardware and video drivers.
Ubuntu Classic (No Effects): it runs GNOME with gnome-panel. It is in 2D mode only.
These are easily selectable from the login screen. When I get a chance, I’ll put a quick post up with some screenshots for those more visually inclined.
There are also some nice updates to the Software Center (allowing user rating/review!) and also some nice updates to Ubuntu One!
Since my laptop has been sitting in its case doing nothing for several months, I think it’s about time I break it out and do something with it. I’ve had a triple-boot on it, with Ubuntu (originally 8.04, but upgraded all the way to 10.10), Windows XP, and Windows Vista (which I NEVER used, never even activated). Since I rarely used the XP partition, I think I might wipe the whole hard drive and just install Ubuntu 11.04 and maybe do XP through VirtualBox… If I do that, maybe I’ll put up a guide…
Today I decided to upgrade my Netbook from Ubuntu 10.04 to 10.10 so that I could test out the Unity interface without having conflicts from my custom settings I had going on with the previous interface…
On one hand I have to say it is a lot cleaner and more crisp than I had first thought. The glitchy/buggy issues I was having with the menu/title bar were gone and the launcher bar seemed to work correctly this time. Also the overhead hub (or whatever they call it) for viewing files and applications seemed to be better as well.
The Bad and The Ugly
So what didn’t I like? Getting to my files was a major pain! I have multiple partitions and like to keep most of my media files (audio, video, and even digital comics) on a separate partition and it took me a solid 5 minutes before I could figure out how to access them.
Here’s what I had to do:
on the launcher bar, select the grey/white icon for “Files & Folders”
wait 10 seconds for the overhead hub thingy (I’m just going to call it that until I figure out what the official name for it is) to show up.
Then click the “Documents” folder at the bottom-left (any folder would work I suppose, but the options are limited to the main 4 or 5 folders in your Home directory).
Look at the upper-right corner (just below the powerbutton icon) and click on the folder (again, grey/white) and FINALLY the “File Manager” will show up!
The “File Manager” should look familiar, so browse files & folders and mount drives as you normally would.
I highly recommend this step: in the launcher bar you should now see an orange/pink icon that looks like a folder with an arrow cursor on it. right click on that bad-boy and then select: “Keep in Launcher” so you don’t have to go through this mess all over again!
Why did that have to be so stinkin’ difficult?! They better fix that before 11.04 when it hits the Desktop version as a default interface!
**And No, you can’t just go to “applications” and search for “File Manager” because it wont show up!**
You can’t use print screen when the overhead hub thingy (told ya lol) is active. Also, looking for applications is a little annoying… sorting through the system applications is even more annoying as now they are all grouped into one “System” category instead of having sub-categories of “preferences” and “administration”. There are a few other “minor” issues, but I can look past them for now.
The first 3 minutes I thought – Oooh Shiny!
The next 20-30 minutes I thought – GIVE ME BACK THE OLD NETBOOK INTERFACE! (or even Gnome)
After that I thought — Meh… it’s not bad once you figure it out, but that’s not a good way to kick things off… I may be more forgiving than most… Anyone coming over from Windows or Mac for the first time is probably going to hate it and curse Ubuntu and perhaps shun Linux altogether for it…
That’s just my thoughts…
So I spent the past couple days helping my brother-in-law try to figure out why he was having issues booting not one, but two Ubuntu installations…
They were both Ubuntu 9.04, one being a single OS machine and the other a dual boot with some flavor of Windows (I never asked as I didn’t think it relevant, and it wasn’t). All of our correspondence was done via email and facebook.
I’m going to post a very ugly overview of the situation below (for anyone desperate, bored, or just curious), but it’s going to be ugly (at least for now) as I have little to no time to format it or include relevant commands and other details.
I have asked him to compile his experience into something useful/readable, but he’s very busy… I’m not sure who is more busy, he or I… So we’ll see…
The single boot machine… The problem was that when he booted the machine up, instead of loading the GRUB menu, it dropped to the GRUB prompt.The cause was an issue (probably an update gone-wrong and/or that was interrupted) where his menu.lst was truncated and lacked significant boot settings/options as well as menu items. The solution was to recreate his menu.lst which I did with help from some output he sent me, and he had to modify because I goofed on the hd’s as I put (hd0,1) when it should have been (hd0,0) and then replacing the old truncated menu.lst with the correct one.
The dual boot machine… The problem was that Ubuntu would not boot up at all and he was unable to access the files (even with a Live CD). The cause was actually fairly easy to determine. On this machine he used Wubi to install Ubuntu inside Windows. This meant that not only does (Wubi) Ubuntu rely on the Windows MBR to boot, but the file system for Ubuntu is stored inside the Windows partition as a virtual disk! Windows is notoriously bad at managing file systems (hence why you need to defragment the hard drive/partitions at frequent intervals). Windows caused an error that essentially moved his Ubuntu virtual disks and renamed them as something like “found.000” (or something like that). Anyway, you can find more about that here: http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/wubi-install-ubuntu-in-windows-partition/ and here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WubiGuide#Cannot%20boot%20into%20Ubuntu