Ubuntu GNU/Linux soon to ship on 5% of all new PCs

Discuss

61 Responses to “Ubuntu GNU/Linux soon to ship on 5% of all new PCs”

  1. Shay Guy says:

    The new user interface, Unity, is quickly transforming from a rather piecework and clunky thing into something reliable, fast and elegant.

    I dunno. The launcher’s being a lot more difficult for me now, and I’m not really seeing the improvements.

  2. EH says:

    Wake me when there’s a decent Macbook Air competitor.

  3. jnordb says:

    I didn’t like Unity the first couple of iterations, but I’m used to it now and with 12.04 it works for me like it should. In any case, it’s way ahead of the abomination known as Gnome 3.

  4. Guido says:

    I am not sure if it is just that I am getting old and inflexible, that I am beginning the path to telling kids to get off my lawn, but I am happy with Gnome 2 and even with the Windows UI. Gnome 3 and Unity are abominations to me. Maybe they are no better than Gnome 2, I hope it’s that, not that I am starting to get old sooner than I expected.

    I need to try Cinnamon, however. 

    • social_maladroit says:

      If you like GNOME 2, but you want to install Ubuntu 12.04, you might try installing what Ubuntu calls “GNOME Classic” mode. (It’s also known as “fallback mode,” but in Ubuntu’s version, if you’ve got a good enough video card, it has 3D effects via Compiz.) See this blog post for more information.

      Cinnamon’s not bad at all. You can also easily install it on Ubuntu 12.04.

      • Guido says:

        Yay!

        I am using 10.04, and I’d like to update

      • Francisco Vila says:

         On a fresh install of 12.04, you need to install the gnome-panel package. Then you can choose “Gnome classic” from the login menu. But this is gnome3, not gnome2.

        • Guido says:

          Ugh!

          • social_maladroit says:

            Yep, it is Gnome 3, not Gnome 2. Here are some things to take into consideration.

            It’s not gnome-shell, it’s a mode that’s made to look and feel like Gnome 2 did. The good thing about this is that you get something that looks and feels like gnome-panel did, but it’s built on the current version of Gnome, not the older, no-longer-maintained version of Gnome. The bad part about it is that everybody’s designing themes for gnome-shell, not gnome-fallback, so your theming choices are limited.

            Also, remember that Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (with Gnome 2) is supported for another year, so you don’t have to switch now if you don’t want to.

            And if you do want to switch to something else, you can try Mate (a fork of Gnome 2 included with Linux Mint). There are even distros still built on Gnome 2 that yet attempt to include up-t0-date apps, such as Fuduntu and SolusOS. (Google them for more information.)

          • Guido says:

            Thanks.

            I am fine without lots of themes. Mate seems like the best option for me at this point. I am just settled in my ways, with keyboard shortcuts and switching desktops, etc.

            I wonder if the CLI people felt like this when moving to the desktop

    • ssam says:

       you might also want to look at the MATE desktop. It is just GNOME2 recompiled with the names changed so that it does not clash with GNOME3 components on your system.

    •  I’m another Unity hater, but it’s also true I haven’t yet upgraded to Ubuntu v12.04, so I will give it another chance.

      I used to prefer KDE, but with v4 it seemed to become a fanboy version of Windows Vista so I switched to Gnome. Mate looks like it will be my desktop of choice in the future.

    • Ant says:

      Same here. KDE v3.5.10 for me as well. I know about Trinity as a fork, but it’s not official.

  5. B Timothy Creel says:

    I haven’t tried Unity since the last go-round. I found it to be worse than Gnome 3 then. I’ve been experimenting with LXDE but I keep coming back to KDE. Yeah it’s bloated and all, but it does what I expect it to in the way I expect it to. I’m sure they’ll screw it up when they make the next version though.

    Edit: Just installed the Unity desktop (desktop environments are like Pokemon – gotta catch ‘em all) and you are right it has improved quite a bit. I’ll give it a try.

    Edit#2: Nice looking, but I wanted to kick the monitor when I tried to go dual monitor with the new Blender. I did a duplicate window for editting and it wouldn’t go to my second monitor. The windows would only maximize on my main one. Unity fails for me. Back to KDE.

    • digi_owl says:

      There is also XKCD, that recently released a new version btw.

      • social_maladroit says:

        There is also XKCD, that recently released a new version btw.

        I’d buy that! But boy, will Randall Munroe be surprised.
        (OK, I knew what you meant.)

        • digi_owl says:

          Darn crosswired neurons…

          Still, a stickman themed UI would be interesting ;) (watch out for black hats tho)

          • Tynam says:

            If Randall Munroe designed a UI… the buttons would be clearly labelled, easy to click, and thought through.  The critical utilities would be in easy reach.  And whenever you bought anything from ebay, you’d have one chance in ten of receiving a cloned velociraptor instead.

          • digi_owl says:

            @boingboing-0328d081221f962475b35e217219e79e:disqus Just need to keep a shotgun handy i guess.

          • digi_owl says:

            @boingboing-0328d081221f962475b35e217219e79e:disqus Just need to keep a shotgun handy i guess.

    • Guido says:

      If it works, leave it alone used to be a great rule. Sigh

  6. digi_owl says:

    Ah yes, the wipes. Funny is that this is presented as a acceptable way when people complain about Linux preinstalls. We should just toss some money MS way, but not use their product (don’t start me on the refund runaround). Then again, Gates once said that he would rather see people pirate MS products for personal use than having them try out alternatives.

  7. chris dowden says:

    I can live with it. Using 10.04 in the long term and it’s good for many things. There are good packages for many things. However, if as I did, you saved your huge compact disc collection as Windows Media Lossless you are hosed. Access to recorded media has been the greatest failing for me. I still keep a dual-boot machine with XP that never goes near the internet for doing movies and music.

  8. Kimmo says:

    The new user interface, Unity, is quickly transforming from a rather piecework and clunky thing into something reliable, fast and elegant.

    It’d want to… I tried Ubuntu last year, and was pretty comprehensively unimpressed.

  9. Jon Bakos says:

    Any experiences I’ve had with Linux have involved Computer Science master’s students that could barely get their boxes to function.  They’d sit there hacking away and coding and coding, and the damn thing wouldn’t know where the modem was, or would just endlessly crash.  My impression of Linux was that it was a fun sandbox for programmers, but not something that anyone in their right mind would want as an operating system.  Is this still the case?

    • Kevin M says:

      Only if you go with one the variants built for it. :P And there certainly are some of those…

      But if you stick to Ubuntu (or, even better, Mint), definitely not.

    • Al Billings says:

       It isn’t 1999 anymore. You may want to try again.

      • Jon Bakos says:

        That was what I’d been wondering.  I couldn’t imagine that those kludged abominations from when I was in college had survived that long and still had a user base.  I’ve still seen enough that I plan to stay far away from them, but I’m glad they’ve gotten more stable and approachable.

        • Hanno Zulla says:

          Go ahead, download Ubuntu or any other Linux distro (though Ubuntu /is/ the one that targets average users in the best possible way these days) and install it on your PC. It’s easy, takes less than half an hour and your existing Windows installation will survive alongside it. If you don’t like it, you can remove it again later.

          • You make it sound real easy Hanno, but I’m looking for an easy way to have a dual boot (currently running win7) and the best I found  tells me to create extended partitions & logical partitions, wants me to shrink partitions and warns that all of that may result in irreparable errors: http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/dual-boot-windows-7-ubuntu.html

            I’m reading I can install ubuntu as an application within windows bu that kind of defeats the purpose.

            Is there any program that automates the process of creating partitions?

          •  Nadine, unless you’re installing Linux on a empty drive, there’s no truly easy way for an inexperienced person to add and/or resize partitions.

            You can get a taste of Linux by downloading a “live” distro such as Ubuntu and install it on a CD-ROM or USB flash drive which you can then boot from without affecting your current windows system.

            If you want to try Linux for an extended period of time without messing with your hard drive’s partitions, then I suggest you install Linux as a virtual machine with either Vmware or VirtualBox. This way, if you decide Linux is not for you, you can get rid of it just by deleting a few files.

            Either way, you’ll find helpful people at your local LUG (Linux Users Group), easily found with Google.

          • Jorpho says:

            Isn’t Wubi still an option for those who do not wish to repartition?
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wubi_%28Ubuntu_installer%29

          • regeya says:

            Nadine, it’s possible to use GParted to resize Windows 7 partitions.  Of course, it’s a good idea to back up before you do this, though hopefully you’re already keeping backups.

            It’s mostly point-and-click, but as LightningRose says, this isn’t something for an inexperienced person to be doing unless you’re really determined to expand your base of knowledge.

            If you’re using a live CD or DVD, it might be on there, and if it’s something like Ubuntu, if it’s not already there you can temporarily install it on the liveCD session.

        •  Jon, I remember those days. I started using Linux in 1996, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I considered using it for anything but a platform for software development.

          Today I use Ubuntu for all my computer needs, except for a very few MS-Win apps that I still need and run under Win-XP inside Oracle’s VirtualBox.

        • penguinchris says:

          Despite what people will tell you, oftentimes even today you’ll end up with the same sort of problems that the CS students would waste their time fixing instead of doing anything useful. 

          It’s not as bad as it was, but if you get into using it regularly you will encounter a frustrating problem at some point. It’s often enough to get people to give up on it.

          I used linux as my primary OS for years, and still use it for server-esque computers and the like. I bought a Mac in grad school (in late 2009), giving up on linux as my primary OS, because I was spending too much time fixing linux (on a perfectly compatible Thinkpad which actually came with linux preinstalled and no Windows), and I had difficulty working and collaborating in a non-CS university department (a very large percentage of university scientists use OS X).

          • regeya says:

            “It’s not as bad as it was, but if you get into using it regularly you will encounter a frustrating problem at some point. It’s often enough to get people to give up on it.”

            You just described…um…anything more complicated than a wristwatch.  Seriously.

            In a previous life I administered Macs.  They have their own set of unique problems.

            As far as the compatibility goes: you don’t specify what the problem was, so I’ll just assume it was MS Office.  Heh, your colleagues get to enjoy an almost-but-not-quite-compatible version of MS Office, and will occasionally be frustrated when a Windows user sends them an Office doc created on Windows.

  10. Jon Bakos says:

    Any experiences I’ve had with Linux have involved Computer Science master’s students that could barely get their boxes to function.  They’d sit there hacking away and coding and coding, and the damn thing wouldn’t know where the modem was, or would just endlessly crash.  My impression of Linux was that it was a fun sandbox for programmers, but not something that anyone in their right mind would want as an operating system.  Is this still the case?

  11. Daemonworks says:

    Sadly, still won’t run the software that i really need.

  12. Daemonworks says:

    Sadly, still won’t run the software that i really need.

  13. Raum187 says:

    Hi everyone,

    Not trolling here, not trying to be antagonistic – a serious question: why would I want to use Linux?

    I’m a technically savvy person (I’d like to think); I build my own PCs. My first computer was a ZX81.

    Things I do with my computer:Create graphics (bitmap and vector (vector without Illustrator? forget it)), video editing, code, game, email, web, Internet, consume media.

    I can do all those things on Linux, I know this. But why would I? It just seems “harder”. A lot of effort to get the tools functioning.
     
    I’ve NEVER had a “virus”. And I’ve never transmitted personal information or been locked out of something that I’ve purchased.

    I’m a Windows users. I enjoy the speed that Windows gives me (system APIs). I enjoy the range of software. I’m very happy with what Windows 7 returned on my purchase (cheap OEM). If you want to get me fired up, talk to me about OSX and Apple.
     
    I don’t find the Interface to be any more elegant than Windows/OSX. I find it an interpretation (albeit very well done) of the conventions established by the bigger players.
     
    Again, I’m not trying to be a prick. I’m genuinely interested. I love the idea of Linux. I’ve laid out my basic views in order to provide a point of rebuttal. The execution just strikes me as wanting (and I know this is largely due to support from third parties).Er, actually, I’ve probably just answered my own question.

    I also think that 5% of all new PCs is an absolute pipe dream!!

    So, have at me :-)

    • Guido says:

      Because getting software is often free. Because you can modify the code to your needs (If you need a spreadsheet with more than 65.000 rows, for instance). Because you do not need to waste processor and RAM on an antivirus tool that gets your PC as slow as  if it had a virus, and since you build your computers, why pay more to Microsoft?

      My next laptop is going to be a System 76 machine. Linux by default. Say bye bye yo this nightmarish HP.

    •  “…why would I want to use Linux?”

      To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women. 
      Oh, wait… Sorry, I was thinking of another question. :)

      I finally dumped MS-Win 2-1/2 years ago after the general annoyance got to be too much. Yes, Linux annoys me too, but not like windows does.

      You mention the interface, so I assume you’re referring to the desktop. One feature that KDE, XFCE, and Gnome 2 have is multiple desktops. I can have as many as memory allows, but 4 suits my purposes. The desktop I’m using to type this is my email and browser desktop. With the mouse, or with [Ctrl][Alt][Arrow] I can move to my development desktop or my media desktop. I don’t know about Win-7, but XP and Vista did not have this feature.

      You also mention Windows speed. Linux is much better in both system/application speed and memory utilization. About 2-1/2 years ago I acquired a new notebook with a 1.2 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, a 250 GB hard drive, and Windows Vista. Oh my, was it ever a slug! Ubuntu turned it into a wonderful little machine.

      It’s unclear to me, but the often maligned Unity desktop now shipping with the latest version of Ubuntu (v12.04) may be similar to what Windows-8 will look like.

      If you really do like the idea of Linux and want to give it a good try without a ton of work, I suggest running it as a virtual machine under Vmware or VirtualBox (both free as in beer).

  14. Thorzdad says:

    shipped ≠ sold

  15. Thorzdad says:

    shipped ≠ sold

  16. Sylvia says:

    I am a Windows and Mac user who is decent at troubleshooting basic tech problems. I got an eeePC with Linux already installed on it, thinking that any problems could be solved with a bit of forum searching, and absolutely hated the thing.    
       
    There was no way to just click a window and update Firefox and Flash. There was no way to install ANYTHING via a simple user interface – I had never heard of the Linux terms before, and the process of installing software was ENDLESSLY frustrating. 

    I then tried to transfer all of my files from it onto an external hard drive with universal formatting and it KEPT ON FAILING. It wouldn’t just fail one file or two files, if one file could’t go, the entire CHUNK stopped. 

    Everyone who I know who uses Linux happily is also a programmer, completely unfazed by using a command line to do absolutely everything. The average user needs a GUI that makes intuitive sense (yes I know there’s a ‘package installer’ or some such but it NEVER worked for me – there was always something important unavailable.) 

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that (pretty much) all Linux users are either programmers or old enough to remember a world before Windows. It makes no sense for most computer users. 

    I really gave it a chance, I did, but it felt like I was learning a whole new syntax just to do something that would take 5 minutes on a PC or Mac.

    •  Sylvia, when was this? As someone noted above, it’s not 1999 anymore.

      And the Linux distribution can make a big difference. I don’t know what was installed on your eeePC, but Ubuntu is arguably the easiest version to use. A couple of weeks ago, the automatic updater took care of Firefox with just the click of a button, and this morning it wanted to upgrade Flash (I said, no, do  it some other time).

      It’s true I’m one of those old programmer fogies you alluded to, but most of the time I use the shell (aka command line) it’s to do something esoteric that simply is not available on MS-Win or Apple Mac.

      • regeya says:

        iirc those things shipped with Xandros, which was the continuation of the Corel Linux distribution.  I’m guessing this had to be one of the earlier ones that had next to no storage space, because Xandros was a Debian derivative.

  17. LikesTurtles says:

    Back during the Windows 3.1 days, I had a Slackware installation that I used for crunching large datasets. Though you could jump through a bunch of hoops to get XWindows working, for my tasks I didn’t see any use.

    During college I messed with it some for classwork (mouse drivers, scheduling algorithms, etc) but since then have only installed it once.  About five years ago I installed whatever was the Ubuntu distribution at the time. It looked nice but I couldn’t get cut and paste to work between applications. Asking around a bit all I got was “we’re working on it but it’ll probably be awhile if ever”.  Is this still the case? GUI eye candy is nice and all but if I can’t do something as simple as cut and paste consistently, then it really is of little use to me.

  18. LikesTurtles says:

    Back during the Windows 3.1 days, I had a Slackware installation that I used for crunching large datasets. Though you could jump through a bunch of hoops to get XWindows working, for my tasks I didn’t see any use.

    During college I messed with it some for classwork (mouse drivers, scheduling algorithms, etc) but since then have only installed it once.  About five years ago I installed whatever was the Ubuntu distribution at the time. It looked nice but I couldn’t get cut and paste to work between applications. Asking around a bit all I got was “we’re working on it but it’ll probably be awhile if ever”.  Is this still the case? GUI eye candy is nice and all but if I can’t do something as simple as cut and paste consistently, then it really is of little use to me.

Leave a Reply