First impressions on Ubuntu 11.10

Two days ago, I decided I would give Ubuntu 11.10 a try as my full-time desktop. As I was already running 11.04, I started the update process hoping it would go without a problem. Of course, I was wrong…

Luckily, I made a backup of my files and proceeded to a clean install of Ubuntu 11.10. However, to my big surprise, WIFI wasn’t working at all suddenly… It took some figuring-out, but I now have a working instance of the new OS and am pretty happy with it. Here are some of the features I like most :

  1. Thunderbird over Evolution. This is a major step in the right direction. Evolution was starting to become very slow and searching wasn’t very effective. This is the kind of change that makes my day a lot easier 🙂
  2. Gnome 3. I have been a major fan of the new Gnome 3 and have tried to install it multiple times under Ubuntu 11.04, without real success (there was always something wrong). Now it comes out-of-the-box, it works and all I have to do is install the “gnome-shell” for my lovely new interface to appear !
  3. Login-screen. I know this is not necessary, but it’s simply nice. For once, the Ubuntu design team have done a really good job here.
  4. The Ubuntu Software Center. It has had a major overhaul and is a lot clearer to navigate, rate, install, remove and everything else you would want to do with it.
  5. New PhpMyAdmin in official repositories. I konw this is not a direct feature of the Ubuntu team, but as a web developer, this surprised me in a good way. A new and clean user-interface to deal with, finally making the old one obsolete.

The things I don’t like :

  1. The Ubuntu Software center. I know, I also put this in “the things I like”, but that is because it does come with one MAJOR drawback : speed. For some reason the Ubuntu Software Center is starting to become very slow for me and they should pay real good attention to that (I mean, I am running on a fairly new computer that should have no problem running this at all, and it still takes a couple of seconds to load -> more then ANY other application on my computer).

I will continue to add to this list over time and hope it helps you decide if Ubuntu 11.10 might be your cup of tea 🙂

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