This computer had LinuxMint 13 Cinnamon i.e. Nadia installed and had a smooth run for almost an year. Suddenly Cinnamon crashed and x-window fell back upon classic genome 2.0. Instead of wasting time I decided to upgrade it to Olivia or Mint 15. Unfortunately there is no easy way to upgrade. Very unlike Ubuntu, in which if option is selected, update manager offers to upgrade. Now the option is to do it manually. Barring few problems this is how it was possible. Continue reading
A letter to Ubuntu:
“Ubuntu, your latest and young wife may be more socialite, may have smooth make up and may look sleek, but she is not we had expected. She may have great touch but that is not everything. If it was must that you marry this Unity girl, you should not have divorced your other loyal and devoted wives. Polygamy and polyandry is normal in your culture. While your other wives would not disturb each other, this envious Unity hardly let one or the other work alongside her. She sulks, she breakdowns and show no compatibility with elders. Your wife may impress young and teenagers with her ‘touch’ of class but it lacks reliability and your ‘class’. With this marriage, Ubuntu you look more like your sworn enemy Windows.” Continue reading
We all know unity sucks. This part is already dealt with here. Now one option is to install Gnome 3. which is dealt with here. Another option is to install Cinnamon. It is a standard Desktop environment supported by LinuxMint. Cinnamon is based on Gnome 3.4 but it uses a task bar like interface instead of Gnome Head-On-Display. It is stable and it works fine. At least worth trying once. To install it open terminal and type following command to install PPA repository
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable
(Say yes at next question. Please note the 'stable'. There is an option to add Nightly version but those are unstable.)
Now update the system with following command:
sudo apt-get update
Finally install the Cinnamon by typing following command:
sudo apt-get install cinnamon
Choose Cinnamon at next startup. It will boot into Cinnamon. Happy computing Linux. Never give up.
Let me begin from the beginning. I am using the Ubuntu since the days of Jaunty but never before faced so much problems in one go. Read on the problems:
Precise Pangolin installer is not a live CD.
To begin with this distro is not a live CD. Yes you can boot from CD or USB but only to install or repair. The distributed ISO is only for installation and to repair a broken system. No live session. Hence no way of knowing if it will work or not on a machine.
The second problem is that if a computer has multiple hard disks mounted at different folders, it can not figure out the big picture. It will install bootloader at wrong drive and fail. I tried this on one computer with one IDE drive and two SATA drives. Only after I removed all but one drive, did it install the bootloader correctly, though booting failed.
On a rather newer computer with one 1TB hdd and 8GB USB pen drive, after first major upgrade of 300 MB it got confused and automatically offered to reinstall Grub but asked to choose the drive, which saved the day.
Upgrade process is smooth. It will offer to upgrade not only from Update Manager but also from the USB having installation media. On my system which was upgraded from Natty to Oneric it took several hours and completed successfully. Only problems were longer boot time, at shut down it would stuck at unattended upgrades and manual alt-ctrl-del would solve the problem. Totem would crash every day several times. Xmandu did not work. Gnome 3 was being used instead of Unity.
With every one praising it, it requires courage to stand up and state the facts. It still has too many issues:
1. Poor response time: Very often clicking on a icon on dash favourite yields no immediate response. It wakes up after several seconds.
Frequently the screen starts dimming while waiting completion of a task like refreshing a window.
The reason, my guess is, Unity is a ram guzzling, video memory dependent software. It is created to compete Windows (ambitious?) On newest computers and not to retro fit on old machines. Not even few years old. Overall it is too slow without justification. That is sad.
Any one who has used windows for years knows about crashing and improvements over it. Earlier if a program used to crash, windows would hang and sulk till rebooted. Window 7 made real improvement and it let’s program crash alone.
Unity has different problems. On a quad core 3 Ghz machine with 2 GB DDR-3 RAM and 3 GB swap, it simply drops one program for some time and re-picks it. For example the exaile or audacious would crackle for a few seconds and return back to normal.
Unity is created to handle touch screen input. Now we are struck with same old mouse and keyboard input. Better leave Unity as also Gnome 3 till we buy touch screen monitor.
Making bootable USB for Precise
It is a chicken and egg problem. Precise USB can be created on Precise only. Either install Precise Pangolin in virtual machine or use UNetBootin.
Ubuntu has already discontinued Kbuntu and thus washed its hands off KDE Desktop. It has also discarded Gnome. So where is it headed? To make Ubuntu a firmware package. No more distractions on better user experience. The focus is on sale and efficient installation on new machines.
BTW its installation media/CD/USB/ISO also has an option for OEM install.
Alternatives for Unity
© Sandeep Bhalla