How to install Precise without getting screwed?

Dane Mutters dmutters at
Wed Apr 11 07:39:51 UTC 2012

On Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 9:26 PM, Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre <
mathieu-tl at> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 11:46 PM, Dane Mutters <dmutters at> wrote:
> [...]
> > So, now that we've gotten some matters of conduct out of the way (we
> have,
> > haven't we?), does anyone care to suggest what to do about making the
> GUI(s)
> > of Ubuntu more usable for those who aren't OK with the current offerings?
> Have you considered trying the other window manager that are available
> for installation? Between Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu which each install
> their own different window manager by default; and being able to
> install GNOME Shell (gnome-shell) to replace Unity (or
> gnome-session-fallback for a GNOME2-like look), there's a fair amount
> of choice.
> No matter which option you'll choose, there is bound to be some amount
> of change in the look and feel, since even GNOME is moving away from
> what you're used to seeing in 10.04 with the two panels. That will
> mean some amount of relearning, with a varying transition period
> depending on your choice.
> As far as I can tell, from an LTS to LTS upgrade perspective it's all
> a matter of choosing whether you want to spend increasing amounts of
> time figuring out how to get the same look you were used to, or
> spending a (relatively) finite amount of time relearning interface to
> familiarize yourself with <new window manager of choice>. That's true
> for all other distros at this point in time, the difference is that
> Ubuntu has chosen to go with Unity as the default window manager for
> Ubuntu Desktop installs (as opposed to Kubuntu or others).
There's somewhat more to it than that.  The major issue (among many other
issues) is that the new GUIs don't do the things that used to be available
on the old one (Gnome 2).  Example: I can't add a good system monitor to
Gnome 3 because the old gnome-system-monitor applet (being an applet at
all, apparently) is incompatible with Gnome 3.  There are Gnome Shell
implementations that are buggy and incomplete, of course, but I see no good
reason to use a buggy and incomplete <anything> if a fully-functional
version has been available for years.

Of course, that's just a minor example, and won't be relevant for everyone;
but the overall principle is important: what used to work no longer works.
This goes beyond simply learning to click the new places; it's a matter of
missing functionality and bugs.

Scott, you said that Canonical is railroading Ubuntu to use Unity.  Is this
100% certain?  Also, is it 100% certain that Unity *must* continue in the
direction it's currently moving in?  It seems to have been optimized for
netbooks, and as such, lacks much of what desktop (and large laptop) users
find essential and/or appropriate.  Do you know if there will be a
"desktop-centric" version in the foreseeable future?  Has there been any
discussion of it?  Finally, would a petition with, say, 100,000 signatures
(or whatever large number seems appropriate), delivered to Mark
Shuttleworth, be enough to get some say in this?

Thanks for your input, everybody.

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