Ads 468x60px

Showing posts with label ubuntu 12.04. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ubuntu 12.04. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Ubuntu 15.10 Review - Linux Distro Reviews

It's time to review the late 2015 release from Canonical.==
Here's my full video review of Ubuntu 15.10 the Wiley Werewolf.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin Review

I am officially kicking off the start of the spring hunting season with a long review of Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. 'Tis a silly name, but it's a five-year Long Term Support (LTS) release. Previously, Ubuntu would only offer three years, and anyone using RedHat or CentOS would laugh at this. Not anymore, five years is a respectable figure, by all means.
Other than that, what can Ubuntu offer? Will the next five years be useful to potential Pangolin users, or a curse that must be avoided? Will this new trend signal a change in the way software is developed for Linux, so that you can actually use the same software in 2012 as you would in 2017. So let's have a splendid review.


Before we boot from live CD, or rather, live USB, let's talk a bit philosophy. It has to do with what Ubuntu is. Graced with the Unity desktop, it is not the darling of the Linux world anymore, surpassed by Mint. Still, last year, I crowned Ocelot the best release of 2011, as it worked beautifully. I was able to see beyond my close-minded geekiness and understand the potential of Unity as a viable desktop interface, in addition to whatever else it might be. Not perfect, but better than Gnome 3 by far, better than Windows 8 Metro thingie, probably near as good as contemporary KDE or Cinnamon. So that's one thing.
Second, the test setup. I am planning to refresh my huge arsenal of Linux distros, so I will probably follow up with an extra two or three reviews, showing how Pangolin behaves on myLG and HP machines with Nvidia cards, as well as how it revs on a low-end T60p 32-bit box. Today, I will be using my new old T61 rig, armed with a pair of SSD, which offer a fresh breath of air to this laptop. And we'll do all the usual checks, network connectivity, multimedia, installation in a complex quadruple-boot setup, user account import, apps, stability, usability, and more. Now we can begin in earnest.
P.S. Let's not forget Kubuntu, Xubuntu and all the rest - coming soon!

Live session

Ubuntu boots quickly into a familiar interface, which has more or less remained unchanged in the past two releases, with only small polishes here and there. Dominant colors are purple and gray with a touch of orange. The Launcher is set to default width of 48px, which is a bit too much if you ask me.
Live desktop

Some new things - and old things

Notifications still pop one bar width below the top panel, which is annoying. The battery meter, when plugged in appears empty, which can confuse. Wireless connectivity worked just fine without any issues, and so did Samba sharing with Windows machines.

The Head-Up Display

This is a new addition to Unity. The Head-Up Display (HUD), supposedly a solution designed to keep your eyes up on the screen, is a heuristic frontend for a terminal-like behavior in the system menu, with a touch of Ubiquity added for flavor. That's not the formal definition, but that's what I think.
The HUD is invoked by quickly pressing Alt. If you long-press Alt, the menu will come up, so it's easy to see that only people who will ever use this feature are super hardcore geeks. Functionality wise, it's nothing remarkable yet. For example, a simple search for proxy rendered nothing. The same nothing happens in the menu, and this has been around for a while now. All in all, something you should just ignore.
HUD, not working properly

Menu changes

Speaking of the menu, it has been revamped, and now comes with video suggestions and online search, also known as the Video Lens. You can browse for watchable content on Youtube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, RTVE, and others. Not a bad idea.
Video suggestions
However, not all is perfect. For example, the Recent Apps tab shows Thunderbird, although I've not used it yet, so it cannot be recent, can it? Then, under Videos, I was offered a handful of Indian movies and a few TED Talks clip. Why? How come the system decided this was what I might be interested in? And how come it came up with such a miserable record, as virtually nothing at all there was of any interest to me.
Next, I tried searching for some clips. For example, Miami Vice gives you only one relevant entry. Even if you explicitly search for Crockett's Theme, you still get Phil Collins. All of those are shown on Youtube Education and none in the regular channels.
Video search
App suggestions aren't much better. Instead of randomly listing apps available for download, why not offer the same collection shown in recommendations in the Ubuntu Software Center and retain uniformity of design across the board?

Other things

If you ignore the bulk of issue revolving around search, search suggestions and search algorithms, Pangolin was behaving well. There were no bugs, errors or weird glitches, it was stable, fast and elegant.
Installation - fast
This step remains virtually identical to what it was five or six releases ago, with some visual changes and a fresh deck of slides. The installer is reasonable but not the smartest or safest, or precise [sic], compared to say openSUSE. You have to pay attention when configuring partitions and the bootloader. Moreover, the wizard tried to set my keyboard to the regional favorite, which annoyed me. If I select English at the start, this probably means I want to use that language, no? Other than that, I decided to imported my Roger Bodger account from the previous Ocelot installation.
User import
Installation slide
On the good side, I installed Ubuntu only one day after the official release - and yet the repositories were lightning fast. And finally, the language setup step, which would always take a long time, wasn't there. So the entire procedure took maybe five minutes, plus some fast updates. Very nice.
The end result - Pangolin was now installed, replacing Ocelot, with its own beta and Kubuntu and Mint cousins keeping it company in a quadruple-boot configuration. Time to see how the system behaves after the installation.

Pangolin roadtrip - Smooth

The system came up with a blank desktop, which wasn't imported for some reason. But all other settings, documents and files were, including the Wireless configuration, browser profile, Launcher size, and the rest.
No wallpaper
But then I quickly changed the wallpaper to this:
Final desktop

Package management

Once again, I must commend a fairly solid preparation for the massive surge of traffic in the first few days after the release. I was able to download updates in seconds and get on with the testing.
The Ubuntu Software Center looks quite polished. It's a very decent app store frontend, and unlike the system menu, it offers the top rated software first, which is, as it should be. Click on any one, and you're taken to a very rich app intro page, with a long description, screenshots, addons, suggested programs, and more. Spot on.
Software Center
Software Center revamped

Additional customization

There's new emphasis in Pangolin in that it tries to distance itself from Compiz. In other words, in the past, you needed the Settings Manager to control the Launcher dodge, hide and other behavior, as well as its size. You can now control these elements from within the Appearance settings menu. This means fewer people will be tempted to fiddle with Compiz plugins and break things.
Yet another small detail that most people would fail to notice is the loading of available wallpapers. For a change, you are not watching the for loop vomit the little thumbnails one by one, it's finally fixed and works fine.
Customize appearance


Ubuntu 12.04 comes with a relatively humble collection of programs. It has all the essential stuff, the deadly combo from Mozilla - Firefox and Thunderbird, the complete office suite in the form of LibreOffice, Rhythmbox for music, and a few more. But don't expect to be dazzled, which seems to be exactly the strategy that Canonical aims at. They want to provide a simple, yet robust baseline that users can quickly build upon. And they want you to want to visit the Software Center so that you learn about it and grow to appreciate it and perhaps even develop a slight dependence on its presence. For future use, so to speak. Cheese also works fine, which used to be an issue on some of my 64-bit systems.
LibreOffice still suffers from the lack of menu bar integration, but only when not fully maximized, and you have the chunky overlay scrollbars that annoy the hair on my back. On the bright side, iBus is now tucked away and does not shout. And the Jockey uses the words like additional and proprietary drivers instead of restricted.


If you've ticked the relevant checkbox during the installation, you will have both Flash and MP3 playback available. Rhythmbox works just fine, it integrates with the top panel and has a mini-mode that only shows the track playback without all the rest.
MP3 playback

More fighter jet fun

The HUD again - so it was stupid in the live session. Maybe it's better now? Nope. It remains tremendously oligophrenic. Either I am a moron for trying to use it for something that it's not meant to do, or there's something wrong with the Top Gun school of computing. I choose the latter.
HUD is not smart

More visual styling fun

It's obvious that Mark wants his distro to succeed on smartphones and tablets, so he's introduced all kinds of buttony things designed to satisfy apes with large digits as they smear their will across plastic surfaces. But overall, it's well toned down. The tricky double feeling of desktop and tablet is maintained with a precarious balance. You're not feeling like you're being fed too much idiocracy. And the bits that do cater to the non-desktop audience are rather humble and soft, so it just works somehow.
For instance, I liked the new power meter, although it conflicts with the little icon in the system area in the top panel, and the workspace switcher cursors are also cute.
Battery level
Workspace switcher

Ubuntu One

The cloud sync software is probably the worst part of the desktop. It's buggy. All of the system bugs focus inside its stack of code. It would spin the wait icon forever and would only advance when I clicked the Next button, and eventually failed to do what it had to. Moreover, it's design stands out against the rest of the desktop with a rather tricky gray theme.
Cloud sharing

Privacy settings

Another novel addition to Precise Pangolin is the Privacy settings menu. There are several more, like color management and Landscape Management Service, which always reminds me of landscaping, so to speak, ahem, but the big one is the privacy.
People who want to keep their por ... their activities unknown can set their system to delete the usage history, much like browsers. There's a fair level of granularity, including the ability to choose the time frame, specific file types, media types, applications, and more. Quite lovely for those who care about this kind of thing.
Privacy settings

System stability, resources

I am not yet 100% sure how much memory should a typical Linux distro use on this machine, as I've not tested that much. Typically, a 32-bit distro would eat some 350MB while a 64-bit one would go for 450MB. With high-end Nvidia cards, the toll climbs to twice or even thrice as much. Pangolin on top of a T61 with a 64-bit processor, an Intel card and two SSD would swallow around 500MB of RAM without any apps running. That's not much, but then it's not a low figure either. CPU was quite most of the time, and the system was extremely responsive, even in relation to Ubuntu 11.10 previously tested on this same hardware. The change is noticeable.
System monitor
Suspend & resume worked fine, taking about 2 seconds. However, you would sometimes see the system messages flicker behind the purple splash. In this regard, the Canonical teams needs to work a little more to improve their presentation layer.
I have not yet measured the boot time - that will come in another article, but I can definitely claim the shutdown sequence is much faster in Ubuntu 12.04 than it was in previous versions. The moment you click the shutdown or restart buttons, the system will cycle or power down in no more than 3 seconds. That's quite nice.
Stability wise, apart from the one stupid error from Ubuntu One, there were no other issues. I am surprised, in fact. Normally, the first few days are always a bit rough, with slow repos, last bugs forgotten and unresolved, occasional mysterious glitches and such. None of that this time. The LTS release is super-rock-solid.


Let's begin with the bad things first - The menu + HUD are disappointingly stupid. Ubuntu One is a weird beast. Then, there were a few tiny problems like the menu bar integration for LibreOffice, the language and keyboard selection during the installation, and some others. But that's it.
On the bright side, Precise Pangolin is beautiful, fast and robust. It offers a very decent desktop experience, despite its tablety deviations. The software management is smooth and elegant, the application choice balanced and solid. And you get five years of emotional peace, knowing it will be supported until 2017. Not bad for a chunk of free software that fits onto a CD.
Taking everything in perspective, I feel quite pleased. There were no showstoppers. Unity is usable to a very high degree, although nothing beats a classic menu. The stability and speed were amazing. Throw in some additional perks, like the privacy changes, built-in backup and sync, when it works, and you're in for a treat.
Ubuntu 12.4 Precise Pangolin gets 9.5/10. Very beautifully done.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Things to do after installing ubuntu 12.04

Things to do after installing ubuntu 12.04
Now lets start.

Must have configuration Tools

1- Ubuntu Tweak

Ubuntu Tweak is a must have application for Ubuntu and LinuxMint, it is an application to config Ubuntu easier for everyone. It provides many useful desktop and system options that the default desktop environment doesn’t provide.
Using Ubuntu Tweak you can install all needed applications with a simple click, you can change the window buttons from Left to right…etc.

Install Ubuntu Tweak via PPA:
Open terminal and enter the following command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa  
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak
Most of the applications listed in this post, can be installed from Ubuntu Tweak Center with one click.
If you want to learn how to use Ubuntu Tweak read our previous post

2- MyUnity

MyUnity is a must have configuration tool for Unity ( change themes, icons, transparency…). More about what Unity can do, can be found on our previous post.
To install MyUnity on Precise Pangolin click this install link

Must have repositories -Medibuntu

3- Add Medibuntu repositories and activate Canonical partner repositories

Medibuntu is a packaging project dedicated to distributing software that cannot be included in Ubuntu for various reasons, related to geographical variations in      legislationMedibuntu regarding intellectual property, security and other issues. by adding Medibuntu repositories you will be able to install many softwares like Google-Earth , opera ,Win32codecs , Msfonts.
Click here and Follow the steps to add Medibuntu repositories to  Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin

Don`t like Unity? Install Cinnamon, Gnome3 or switch back to classic Gnome

4- Install Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a Gnome 3 fork that allow you to have a panel at the bottom with a classic Menu, this is useful for people that want to use Ubuntu with a classic Bottom Menu.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon

5- Back to Gnome classic:

Install the classic GNOME desktop by installing the gnome-panel package
sudo apt-get install gnome-panel

6- Install Gnome3:

You can install Gnome3 in Ubuntu 12.04 from repository by using this simple command:
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

7- Move Unity to the bottom

This option is not available  yet for Precise Pangolin, i will inform you when the PPA is updated to ubuntu12.04 LTS. For Ubuntu11.10 check our previous post

Sys Monitoring & EyeCandy

8- Install Conky for Precise pangolin

Conky is a free, light-weight system monitor for X, that displays any information on your desktop. There are many nice themes available for conky that can display clock, CPU usage, ram usage, swap, disk, net and more. Check our previous post for installation and configuration of Conky in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise pangolin.

9- Change icons? Try these ones :

Wanna change the default icons to something that match your taste? Check this nice collection of icons for Ubuntu (PPA included)

Multimedia ( Don`t install everything, install just what you need)

10- VLC  Media player:

Unless you can use mplayer perfectly yourself, I recommend installing the vlc media player.
VLC is the best media player for Linux it play almost everything , he has many features that you can not find in any other media player , read this post if you want to know  what vlc media player can do:  25 things you can do with VLC Media player!
You can install VLC from Ubuntu software center or via terminal by using the following command:
sudo apt-get install vlc
Or click to install vlc

11- Media centers:  XMBC

XBMC is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub for digital media. XBMC is available for Linux, OSX, Windows, and the original Xbox. While XBMC functions very well as a standard media player application for your computer, it has been designed to be the perfect companion for your HTPC. Supporting an almost endless range of remote controls, and combined with its beautiful interface and powerful skinning engine, XBMC feels very natural to use from the couch and is the ideal solution for your home theater.
Open terminal and copy the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install xbmc

12- Install common codecs

Perhaps installing a few common codecs might give you better sensibility of your system.
sudo apt-get install non-free-codecs libxine1-ffmpeg gxine mencoder totem-mozilla icedax tagtool easytag id3tool lame nautilus-script-audio-convert libmad0 mpg321 mpg123libjpeg-progs

13- To play encrypted DVDs, the libdvdcss2

To play encrypted DVDs, the libdvdcss2 package is essential. libdvdcss is a simple library designed for accessing DVDs like a block device without having to bother about the decryption.
If you already added Medibuntu repositories above, you can Install from software center or using the terminal by entering the following command:
sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 && sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/./

14-Enabling Flash support on your browsers:

- For Ubuntu 32 bit & 64 bit : To be able to watch some videos and see flash website in your browser (firefox/ Chrome..), you need to install flash plugin, go to  ubuntu software center and search  word “flash” and install it.

Video Editors

15- Openshot video editor

My  favorite Video editor is Openshot,  the best existing actually for Linux.  You can install Openshot from Ubuntu software center, but if you want to install the latest release, you can do that by adding the following repositories:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonoomph/openshot-edge sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install openshot openshot-doc

Torrents client

16- Deluge- The best torrent client

The Deluge application was designed to be a full-featured BitTorrent client. Deluge uses libtorrent in it’s backend and PyGTK for it’s user interface,  and is  currently usable on POSIX-compliant operating systems. It is intended to bring a native, full-featured client to GTK desktop environments such as GNOME and Xfce. An official Windows port is also available.
Open terminal and type the follwing commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:deluge-team/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install deluge


17- Pidgin : The best messenger client and 30 plugins, you can enjoy chat with freinds using voice and cam.
18-  aMSN is a free windows Live Messenger clone. aMSN attempts to emulate the look and feel of Windows Live Messenger, and supports many of its features.
aMSN has features not present in Windows Live Messenger. Users can set alarms, are able to see others who have removed them from their contact list, and are able to open many profiles at once. It is also very customizable, with extensions and themes available at the main site.


If you’re want to install Skype, check our previous post: Howto- Install Skype in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

Gaming & Emulators

20- Gaming made easy with playdeb (PPA)

If you are a fun of gaming so is important to add Playdeb repositories to your Lucid Lynx. Playdeb is a gaming repository for Ubuntu – aimed to provide titles already available on in an easier to install and update format. You can install many games by a simple click.

21- Wine

Wine enables Linux, Mac, FreeBSD, and Solaris users to run Windows applications without a copy of Microsoft Windows. Wine is free software under constant development. Other platforms may benefit as well.”

 Sharing folders in  Precise Pangolin

22- Smba share

In order to share folders in Precise Pangolin with other Linux and windows machines in your network, you will need to install and configure samba share, for instructions how to configure samba in Ubuntu check our previous post : Install and Configure Samba share in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin | Howto

Extra application

23- Installing Archive Management Apps:

 If you’re a frequent media downloader from the internet, you know how various forms archives can have. Installing the following will allow you to deal with most of these.
sudo apt-get install unace unrar zip unzip p7zip-full p7zip-rar sharutils rar uudeview mpack lha arj cabextract file-roller

24-Y PPA Manager:

Y PPA Manager is a GUI tool to easily add PPAs, search a package in all Launchpad PPAs, remove duplicate PPAs (only works with separate .list files), backup PPAs and other PPA-related tasks. Check out the Launchpad page for a complete features list.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/y-ppa-manager sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install y-ppa-manager

25- Install Java7

First you need to remove openjdk for this run the following command from your terminal
sudo apt-get purge openjdk*
Now you can install Java7 by adding the following repository:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:eugenesan/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer

26- Filezilla the best ftp client for linux

Filezilla is the best ftp client for Linux
Install via command line :
sudo apt-get install filezilla

27- DropBox:

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website. Dropbox also makes it super easy to share with others, whether you’re a student or professional, parent or grandparent.

28 – VirtualBox:

If you want to run another OS in a virtual Machine, the best is to install Virtualbox.

29- Cheese for your cam?

Cheese uses your webcam to take photos and videos, applies fancy special effects and lets you share the fun with others.

30- Gimp:

Regardless of whether you need to edit images daily on a professional level or just a hobbyist, GIMP is an essential tool for all.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:matthaeus123/mrw-gimp-svn 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install gimp gimp-data gimp-plugin-registry gimp-data-extras

Other useful Internet applications:
  • Opera : The fastest browser on Earth is even faster. But that is not all. Use Opera Turbo to double your page-download speed on slow connections.
  • Google Earth- Travel to cities across the globe, dive into the depths of the ocean, explore remote islands, and even fly to faraway galaxies

Recent Posts

Blogger Templates