Ubuntu11.04 trial and experience

Source: Internet
Author: User
Ubuntu (NattyNarwhal) is about to be released. The official website of Ubuntu has prepared a new welcome title for the new version, many Ubuntu fans also put a new version of the inverted counter on their blogs. The most popular release version is ready for the moment. Of course, if you are a loyal fan of Ubuntu, or you are a Linux user who enjoys early adopters, you may have come up with Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), the most anticipated Linux release of the year) it is about to be released. The official Ubuntu website has prepared a new welcome title for the arrival of the new version. Many Ubuntu fans also put a new version of inverted counter on their blog, the most popular releases have been prepared for the moment. Of course, if you are a loyal fan of Ubuntu, or you are a Linux user who enjoys early adopters, you may have installed the new version in advance. I tried this brand new version on two machines as a Linux user who liked it. Here are my feelings.

New Term

As we all know, as early as last year, Mark Shuttleworth said that Ubuntu will enable the new desktop environment Unity in 11.04. As a new desktop environment designed from scratch, let's take a look at some new terminologies used by Unity before getting started (if you are already familiar with Unity, skip this section ). A question from askubuntu:

The corresponding terms of numbers in the figure are: 1. launcher; 2. launcher items; 3. workspace switcher; 4. windows title; 5. application menu (Global menu); 6. application Indicators; 7. windows decoration; 8. windows buttons; 9. tool bar; 10. status bar; 11. desktop; 12. home button; 13. dash.

Another important term not listed in the figure is Lenses (also called Places ). Lenses is an architecture provided by Unity. On this architecture, you can easily customize your own Lens (or Place), a Dash-like searchable interface. By default, two Lens, Application Lens, and Files & Folders Lens are placed on the Launcher in Ubuntu 11.04. Is one of Application Lens.

Installation, upgrade, and first impression

I installed the Alpha version of Ubuntu 11.04 on a machine. The installation interface does not seem to have changed, and the installation process is smooth. However, the first impression after installation is very poor. Aside from the brand-new interface, the default 11.04 interface is very ugly and has huge icons, and cannot be found for customization. In addition, the Alpha version often crashes. After a while, I gave up [Linux community www.Linuxidc.com.

After being updated to the Beta version, the crash seems to have been fixed and has never encountered a Unity crash. In addition, I personally adapted to this new interface, so I ran update-manager on another machine with Ubuntu 10.10 installed, the upgrade process is also smooth.

One thing to note is that both of my machines are installed with Unity by default, not a Unity-2D. One Laptop using Intel 945GM integrated graphics card meets the minimum display requirements for Unity installation.

Updated software

In addition to the new Unity interface, many important software packages of Ubuntu 11.04 have been updated to the latest version. Of course, the most important thing is to update Linux Kernel to 2.6.38. 2.6.38 has many performance improvements compared to 2.6.35 in version 10.10, But what common users can see is the newly Supported Hardware drivers. 2.6.38 and 2.6.35 have greatly improved hardware drivers, such as integrating open-source Broadcom drivers and the latest drivers for various graphics cards.

However, when Ubuntu 11.04 is installed on a desktop that includes an Nvidia independent graphics card, I still need to use the Nvidia private driver. It seems that Ubuntu does not recognize the Gallium3D feature of the open-source Nouveau driver. In addition, the Broadcom BCM4311 wireless network card in my other notebook is not supported by the Open Source driver of Broadcom because the model is too old, I also had to use the old b43 driver and download the private firmware from the Internet.

Other frequently used software packages that are updated to the new version include Firefox, LibreOffice, Shotwell, and Evolution. Firefox is the latest version 4.0, which is now quite familiar to everyone. The latest Shotwell version adds video management. LibreOffice has replaced OpenOffice, but at least for me, there is not much to use, [Linux community www.Linuxidc.com] Living in a MS Windows and MS Office world, with LibreOffice, you will have to deal with all sorts of small compatibility issues with docx files until the crash stops. Evolution faces the same problems as LibreOffice. When connecting to the company's Microsoft Exchange 2007 server, the Exchange MAPI plug-in can now be used to connect to the server and send emails through Evolution, but still cannot receive emails.

Unity Innovation

Unity is the core weapon of Ubuntu's effort to attack Windows in the Desktop System field, although from the moment Mark Shuttleworth announced that Unity was enabled as the default desktop system, disputes over Unity have never been terminated, but you must acknowledge that Unity has brought many very good design ideas, although these ideas are not necessarily disruptive.

Launcher is not a new design, because it is easy to remind people of the Windows taskbar, but to save the vertical desktop space, Launcher is selected on the left side of the desktop by default. Similar to Dash, Dash is a bit like a Windows Start Menu. Lenses is a very good design because it allows you to customize your own Place. Application menu is also a good idea, but it is also the most difficult place for Unity to adapt. As for the Application indicator, although it was re-designed from the underlying layer, its appearance and usage are in the same line as the notification of 10.10. In addition, Unity has a series of other small user interface changes.

Difficult adaptation process

While bringing new ideas, Unity must also experience a painful adaptation period, whether it is new users from other operating systems or old users who use Gnome 2, the first time you use Unity, you will feel a strong sense of frustration.

First, the icons on the Launcher are too big by default and look ugly, but you cannot find a place to modify them. Launcher is similar to the previous Gnome panel, but it does not respond when you right-click it using existing experience. After some searching, I learned that to customize Launcher, compizconfig-settings-manager (CCSM) must be installed, while Ubuntu Unity Plugin in CCSM does not provide many options. You can set the Icon size, but to add a new program icon to the Launcher, you must use a very intuitive method. Generally, I first run the program to be added. The program icon will be displayed on the Launcher, and then right-click and select 'keep In Launcher '.

Note: CCSM also provides many other compiz options, including setting various effects, but the integration of CCSM and Unity is not perfect. After some options are set, this will make the entire Global Menu panel on the top of the desktop invisible. At this time, you can only log out again and then log on again to recover. In addition, compiz has many options and is complex. If you accidentally set the options incorrectly, the entire Desktop may be invisible. If this happens, you can run the gconftool-2-recursive-unset to roll back the entire compiz setting by default.

In addition, Launcher is also a component that Unity needs to adapt. Launcher is hidden by default when the program runs in the maximum window. If you need to switch to another running program, you will move the mouse to the bottom of the desktop, but Launcher is on the left side of the desktop. You have to move the mouse to the left-side of the desktop where the Launcher appears. In addition, on my machine, Launcher's response seems too slow and there is always a delay.

The icons in Dash are larger, and I still don't know how to customize the size of the icons in Dash (for example, the size of the icons in Application Places is enough ), not to mention customizing your favorite program icons (for example, changing Check Email to stardict ).

Dash, Application Places, and Files Places both have a button in the lower right corner to maximize the interface, but cannot return to the original size after maximization. In addition, the drop-down menu in the upper-right corner of Application Places and File Places is different from the entire Places style, which is very ugly.

Application menu will be the most difficult part of Unity to adapt to, although this is a good design to reduce space. Whether the program is running in Windows maximization or normal mode, it is always confusing to move the mouse to the place on the Gnome 2 panel and select the menu, especially when the window is not maximized, it is even more abrupt. In addition, a considerable number of programs have not been integrated into the Application menu, such as Firefox and Chromium.

Other functions that are enabled by default and need to be adapted include overlay scrollbar, which is a cool design, but if you are used to clicking the upper and lower spaces of the scroll bar to flip pages, you need to adapt to other methods, because overlay scrollbar does not provide this method, but it is configurable to disable the overlay scrollbar function.

Application Indicator may be the easiest part to adapt to, because the design is in the same line with version 10.10 and so on. We are used to checking the status and exiting the system in the upper right corner of the Panel, application indicator only integrates these functions and adds more new functions. A very important function is to add the system settings option in the session menu. Of course, some features also have bugs. If you click the time setting option under the time menu, there will be no response.

Master shortcuts

If you have adapted to the Unity interface, the next step is to use it skillfully. At this time, you need to master the keyboard shortcut. There is a question on askubuntu that lists some of the most common shortcut keys. Only when you have mastered these shortcut keys can you truly appreciate the ease of use of Unity. These Shortcut Keys include various common operations in the Unity desktop environment, such as opening Dash, opening Application Places, and opening Launcher.


In general, from the perspective of a Linux User, Ubuntu 11.04 has the largest change in history and carries the version of Linux that changes the desktop system dream. It should be a pretty good release version, the premise is that you can endure and survive the initial adaptation period, maybe a day or two, maybe a week or two.

As you can imagine, a considerable number of Gnome 2 users may choose to leave because they cannot adapt to Ubuntu's change, and may switch to Gnome 3 Shell or other desktop environments such as KDE.

Of course, this part of users may not be really concerned about Ubuntu, because Windows accounts for most of the desktop systems, and Mac and Android accounts for most of the emerging fields such as tablets.

For these users, Ubuntu seems to be full of confidence, even in the face of a considerable number of questions. Of course, any king is not smooth on the way to win the title, but he does not know whether Ubuntu can stick to the last moment.

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