Ubuntu has done great things for the Linux community. Indeed, many of us many not be here if it wasn’t for Ubuntu and it’s newbie-friendly ways. However things have gradually changed over recent years. First the brown colour scheme changed to purple, as it seemed that Ubuntu was adopting a ‘Mac look’ (are the window maximise and minimise controls still in the top left hand corner?). Then last year, the Gnome 2 desktop evironment was dropped and replaced with Unity. Many users struggled with 11.04 as Unity was unstable, and as a result that release was for some (me included) unusable. Hwever it has been reported amongst Hull LUG members that Unity has been improved since its introduction last April, and the stability issues for the most part resolved in the last release in October 2011.
Let’s hope that the improvements have continued, as this week sees the release of Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin). This is a important release for Ubuntu, as it is their Long Term Support (LTS) edition. This means that Ubuntu will be providing support for this release (for both desktop and server editions) until 2017. This is especially poignant as previous LTS releases provided only 3 year support for the desktop editions.
Providing a platform over such a long period of time means that Ubuntu has to get this release right, and ensure that previous problems with the stability of this most recent desktop environment, Unity, have to be ironed out.
Early reviews indicate that for the most part this might have been achieved. Bryan Lunduke of the Linux Action Show has reviewed 12.04 on his blog, and reports that Unity appears stable and the GUI quick (although not necessarilly quick to use, due it’s layout).
If you are planning to update Ubuntu, many would advise that you wait a few days, as the servers and mirrors will be very busy. Being a LTS release, there will be LTS users as well as users who update at every release downloading their updated distro.
Will you be updating to 12.04? if so let us know how you get on at our next meeting, which is from 8pm on Tuesday 1st May, at Mustard Cafe Bar, 63 Princes Avenue, Hull HU5 3QX.