How to install Precise without getting screwed?

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Wed Apr 11 13:36:19 UTC 2012

On Wednesday, April 11, 2012 12:39:51 AM Dane Mutters wrote:
> 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?

They are on a path.  The chances of them getting off the path in the near term 
are, IMO, nil.  Your criticisms aren't unique, so I don't think they will get 
anywhere.  Their view seems to be something like, "We understand it's different 
and uncomfortable to change, but in the long run, you'll love it - trust us."

I don't know more than anyone else about what their future plans are (probably 
less since I'm not a Unity user).  

That said, if you can find specific things you are having problems with and make 
specific suggestions about how to solve the problems that are generally their 
direction, you've got a chance of being heard.  "Go back to what it was" has 
no chance at all.

Scott K

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