On the many flavors of Linux

I’m a Linux user, and have been for years. I’ve used many different distros since the late ’90s, and for the last three or four years I’ve been pretty stable with Ubuntu. Sometimes I’d switch between the Gnome & KDE versions, but it was always Ubuntu. I’m using the latest version right now, the one that tied up my computer most of the day.

And I hate it. The “Unity” interface is no longer optional, and they’ve taken away my applets. For a couple years now it felt like each new release of Ubuntu was less what I wanted, almost as if they were deliberately trying to push me away. I’m thinking it’s time to start shopping around distros again.

This might make things a pain in the ass for a while. But I’ve been keeping up with the Post a Day thing pretty well so far. Granted that’s mostly by posting crap that nobody would actually want to read, but maybe if I can get used to writing in quantity then I can improve the quality gradually. Anyways, if I miss a day during the next week or two, trying out new Linux distros is going to be my excuse.

About Leo Tarvi

Mostly fictional.

Posted on October 14, 2011, in Daily Post and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I’m sorry to read you hate the latest Ubuntu version – I’m at work and my laptop at home is upgrading itself right now.

    I used Fedora for years, but switched when an upgrade failed. Fedora is more bleeding-edge than Ubuntu, and I found that it was getting more and more unreliable and difficult as they pushed the boundaries of what a distribution could do.

    I actually like Unity. It took a little getting used to, but it works pretty well for me. At work (where I have to use Windows) I find myself moving the mouse to the left edge and wondering why the bar doesn’t pop out.

    • I’ve decided to give it a week or so, maybe it’ll grow on me. But I really hate Unity. It feels like a child’s OS, big buttons and few options and the guts of the system are locked away from me. Maybe if it were a little more customizable it wouldn’t grate me so much, if I could at least put sub-menus on the bar. Maybe something like those little slider drawers Gnome had like ten years ago, remember those?

      I want more control over my environment than it provides. And I really, really miss my applets.

  2. Actually its real easy to disable the unity thing. You have to select ‘classic login’ at the prompt. I get that msg a lot on my older zombies and some of my virtual boxes. So I haven’t actually even seen the new unity interface.

    I honestly with I knew more about developing so I could help get enlightenment going again.

    • That’s what I’m whining about, as of 11.10, “Classic” is no longer an option! You get “Recovery”, “Unity”, “Unity 2D”, and “User Defined Session” which I’m hoping is something more customizable but haven’t really figured out yet.

      Man, I barely remember Enlightenment.

  3. Xubuntu is ready when you are, Leo — sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

  4. Also, Linux Mint decided to stick with Gnome 2.x — just switched to them, myself, although they dropped their XFCE and KDE variants, they still offer Gnome and LXDE images based off Ubuntu, and a Gnome-defaulting variant based directly on Debian.

    • Mint was high up on the list of distros to try. But I think when I’m ready to change it again I’m probably going to go for Xubuntu, and if I don’t like that then back to Kubuntu. The Ubuntu group has too many hooks in me to easily get away from them.

      Of course, what I really want is an amalgamation of all the things I’ve liked about every OS I’ve ever used, but I suspect that would be hard to find in the open source community.

      • I think I still with Ubuntu-variants because I’ve been using Ubuntu’s repositories for almost 6 years. I know the sort of stuff that’s in there, I don’t have to worry about whether Debian or some other distro has decided that the firmware I need for something or other isn’t “free” enough.

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