Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ubuntu 11.10 impressions

Quick impressions on Ubuntu 11.10, updates as it goes:
  • no more Gnome2, so if you are using Gnome2 right and have uninstalled Unity the upgrade will render your system kind of unusable
  • even manually installing ubuntu-desktop doesn't fix Unity not starting properly
  • manually installing Gnome3 works, but Gnome3 is junk
  • there is still a gnome-panel that can be manually installed and sort of looks like the old Gnome2 one, but it is rather crippled and under featured compared to what was in Gnome2 (no way to position icons, no applet support as far as I can tell, ...)
  • that fallback gnome-panel is not quite as crippled as it first looks, Alt-rightclick instead of regular rightclick is needed to get to the Add-to-Panel menu, still no way to move icons around properly
  • under the fallback gnome-panel, there hides a Nautilus menu, what a mess
  • XFCE4 looks quite nice, it looks more like Gnome2 then current Gnome
  • old panel icons can be found in $HOME/.gnome2/panel2.d/default/launchers
  • something wrong with Gtk+ themes, some apps like Rhythmbox and gnome-terminal don't take them, gnome-tweak-tool doesn't seem to help
  • Gnome3 doesn't even start on my other computer
  • the new lightdm login manager can no longer be configured for autologin via the GUI
  • gphoto gvfs stuff is preventing Sansa Clip+ from being properly recognized again, deleting all gphoto related stuff in gvfs-backends should fix this
  • Rhythmbox is completley broken, for some reason it kills the Sansa Clip+ mount point and makes dmesg reports filesystem problems, even so the player mounts fine, fscks fine and can be access with command line tools without any issues, weird -> fixed by disabling the MTP player plugin
  • Rhythmbox has forgotten where to store music files, it's now trashing my $HOME -> location can be changed in the preferences, podcast has a separate location from the music library
  • Sansa Clip+ write speed is down to 300 kB/S, used to be around 7MB/s or something like that
  • in gnome-fallback the notify stuff currently goes crazy, using 100% CPU
  • halt no longer shuts the computer down?!
  • Firefox now crashes a lot
  • GDM doesn't start any more
  • notifications show up on the wrong screen
  • display of volume control doesn't work, wrong screen, wrong size, doesn't update as volume change
  • the Windows list applet crashes a lot on startup
  • Gimp now crashes, creates garbled lines with graphic tablet
  • file is broken, can't detect mp3 files
  • Rhythmbox converts MP3s to OGG when drag&dropping onto the player, even so it doesn't need to
  • ...
So first impression so far: Stay the hell away from Ubuntu 11.10, if you have a usable Gnome2 desktop right now, Ubuntu 11.10 will trash it and won't give you any easy way to restore it. gnome-session-fallback allows to retain most of the Gnome2-look in Ubuntu 11.10 aside from a minor issue, but it requires a complete reconfiguration, at it won't take over any of the Gnome2 settings.

I am now on my way to install the Debian edition of Mint and see how that goes, at least the liveCD so far looked pretty good, containing good old Gnome2.

I might be able to warm up to Gnome3 if there is a way to get additional panels and a quickstart icons, but so far I haven't found one. No minimize button in Gnome3, seriously?

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