Ubuntu 12.04 Preview

Ubuntu 12.04 alpha

I haven’t been giving computers or linux much attention on my blog for awhile. I hope to remedy that situation soon. I am eagerly awaiting the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release in a few months. It feels like I’ve been waiting forever, but once it is officially released i hope to give it a thorough review.

A few weeks ago i decided i couldn’t wait and i did an early upgrade from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to the 12.04 alpha release by using the command “update-manager -d”. I’ve been using Ubuntu 10.04 since Canonical replaced gnome with unity (which at the time sucked). Sticking with an LTS release turned out to be an excellent choice and provided a stable production machine. I think it’s something i will do again in the future.

The upgrade appeared to go really smoothly. Actually i think it’s the  smoothest upgrade I’ve ever done. Everything transitioned well into the new environment. A few nice things stuck out when i first started using it. The first was the new and polished unity interface. I must say that this experimental interface has come a very long way since it was first introduced to ubuntu. In fact it has matured so well and works great that i actually now prefer it to the old Gnome desktop. And i was pretty pissed-off when i heard they were ditching trusty ol’ Gnome for a relatively untested and early interface. I actually used the first Unity implementation on Ubuntu Netbook Edition. I thought it was crap, and i haven’t used any form of it until now. I actually think the new and updated Unity interface makes it easier for me to get productivity work done. It just feels right. But I expect to see some changes to it by the time 12.04 is officially released, so we will see.

The second thing i noticed was Firefox. Okay, so Firefox hasn’t changed much, but i finally have an updated version. For some strange reason Firefox in the 10.04 repos hasn’t seen any updates in a while. Although i may start to be liking Google Chrome better. But i still like firefox for some things (like the ability to block flash ads), and the range of add-ons.

The transition from OpenOffice to LibreOffice seems a bit silly, since they are pretty much the same product. I do like the green and white logo though. But, i dont blame the forking of LibreOffice from OpenOffice since there was quite a bit of doubt that Oracle would be playing nice with opensource. I don’t know that much about what eventually happened, but i think Oracle turned OpenOffice over to the Apache foundation, so i would think that the two could merge back together someday. I don’t really care what anyone calls it though, all i care about is if it works well. And it does work fantastically well.

UbuntuOne has also matured, and I’m finally getting the hang of synchronizing folders between computers, which i like A LOT. I’ve never used DropBox before, but i understand the two services are very similar. I choose to use UbuntuOne because of the integration with ubuntu though. And I’m glad to hear that a new windows client has been released. Synchronizing folders across all kinds of different devices just makes sense, and reminds me that we really are living in the future. Just like that phrase in The Time Machine, “The Future is Now”. I look forward to hearing about other ubuntuone clients for macs and android phones, etc.

The only con i have to report is that my sound was broken upon upgrading. I reported it as a bug, so hopefully they will fix it. Other than that i don’t have anything else to report.

Unfortunately I’m not using my 12.04 alpha system anymore, because shortly after upgrading i accidentally hosed my whole system. I was trying to remove some program in the terminal with asterisks (*) and –purge, and somehow apt started removing EVERY program from my whole system. It must have been some sort of dependency hell thing. I was able to stop it before it finished, and i was also able to use an alternate-install disc to use “fix broken system” to reinstall unity and apt-transport-https (which is a critical file for apt to be able to download packages), and ubuntu-desktop, and some others. But i was not able to restore the system to fully functioning order. The shutdown and restart buttons stopped working correctly, and the login menu didn’t work right either. I was forced to back-up my data and reinstall (i think 11.04) from a cd. I look forward to a fully stable and official 12.04 release soon.

6 thoughts on “Ubuntu 12.04 Preview

  1. I am looking forward to upgrading to 12.04. After upgrading to 11.04 on my Lenovo 3000 C200 I found that for such an old computer (7+ years) it ran very efficiently and the cooling fan came on about twice an hour for no more than five minutes. So I am sure that 12.04 will not dissapoint, unless of course it is still using the Unity interface. If it does then I will install the KDE4 desktop environment. Informative post mate. Well Done!

    1. Yeah, that is the great thing about ubuntu. If you don’t like something, then you have the ability to change it. There are lots of people who do like the KDE interface, so if you do go that route I’m sure you’ll like it. You might also look into trying Linux Mint. Lots of people who don’t like Unity seem to be jumping to Mint instead. I haven’t tried Linux Mint for a while, but i do know that they do add some very interesting and often useful things to the Gnome desktop that don’t come standard. Lots of people like it.

  2. I am happy to read that the upgrade went smoothly. Other than the issue with the sound were there any other bugs? I intend to upgrade to Precise probably when Alpha 2 is released in February but am a bit reluctant. The problem with the apt that you faced, was it your mistake or a serious bug in Precise?

    1. No, the sound issue was the only bug i noticed. The problem with apt was my own mistake. Everything else looked pretty good to me. The computer i was testing it on is called a “nettop”, so i’m pretty sure it has some unusual sound hardware, so the the fact that my sound didn’t work wasn’t entirely surprising. I’m sure it will be fixed by the time 12.04 is officially released. Good luck on your upgrade!

      1. I wasn’t able to upgrade since it came up with the message that it couldn’t calculate the packages required. I have reported the bug to Launchpad. Hopefully the developers will solve it soon. My system is still fine with 10.04. But I will upgrade when my bug gets solved.

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