Tag Archives: Ubuntu

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS first impressions

The Trusty Tahr is out with support for 5 years. Here are the first thoughts about it…

Stupid Browser comes up when searching “Appearance”
  • Unity feels more responsive than ever, especially the Alt+Tab.
  • New Desktop environments these days (also read as Cinnamon, GNOME Shell) take up a lot of RAM, I wanted to test 14.04’s unity, after few hours usage it too scooped up 320 MB worth of RAM… I expected better 🙁
  • One thing that definitely annoyed me a lot – Everytime I pressed “Alt + D” (Firefox’s shortcut for address bar focus), the HUD used to come up after the address bar focus. Hence after each Alt+D, I had an “Escape key” following up. I hope Canonical listens to this, They might say “F6” is an alternate shortcut that users might use to avoid this problem. The problem doesn’t occur if I’m slow to use the key combination
  • I would’ve loved if Ubuntu packaged the Ubuntu Tweak Tool as default installation.
  • The Web Apps for firefox seem to have gone! Feel bad for its lovers. If lucky u’ll get a notification to add the app, however when opened it opens up the built in Ubuntu Web Browser. No more integration with firefox tabs.
  • When I try to reach the “Appearance” app using the dash, a stupid Browser comes up as the first result
  • This Browser loads up “Ubuntu Home page” There are no UI elements to navigate anywhere else. The only way you could access is thru HUD ! – I have no idea why its included.

The Acid test is still pending, I’ve still got to use it during office hours. With apache, mysql, IntelliJ, Netbeans, Sublime Text all running at once.  Only then will Ubuntu as a desktop will truly be gauged. The test machine is fairly strong.

  • Intel® Core™ i5 CPU M 540 @ 2.53GHz × 4 Intel® Core™ i5 CPU M 540 @ 2.53GHz × 4
  • 3.7 GiB of RAM

All in all, Ubuntu continues to roll out another strong release.

Final Rating: 4/5

Update (30 Apr ’14): The update of Firefox 29 seems to have knocked off the HUD Bug when using Alt + D combination to focus the address bar.

Ubuntu 12.10 Verdict

A Saturday, new Ubuntu in the Downloads folder. What is it that you expect a linux user to do?

I installed Ubuntu 12.10 on Lenovo X201. I had 10.10 installed previously. I decided not to upgrade, but to clean install. It didn’t give me upgrade options anyways.

Post installation, here are some of the things I faced / enjoyed

Bootup time almost 25 seconds, it was around 15-20s for 10.10. A BIG downside for this release!

The Dash feels much quicker. However the gnome-shell still feels snappy as opposed to dash

I fuckin love the WebApps concept in Unity – That has actually made me stick to Unity.

Search in Unity still makes you click – as opposed to gnome-shell – Search the right string and hit Enter. That doesn’t work in Unity

I hated the original Alt+Tab utility in Unity, so installed Compiz Configuration Settings Manager (originally ccsm – so don’t search for that in apt). I replaced it with Static Window Switcher. It worked but then strangely started showing bugs of ghost windows moving in and out of the gray bar – little distracting, but didn’t break anything. (I was too careless to resolve conflicts 😛 – Was that the reason ?)

I adore the complete integration of Social World into the top-right corner of Ubuntu. You name it, Gmail (the Web App of that one is “क्या बात !क्या बात !” It shows the unread mails in Inbox, TagX, TagY, all in that top-right corner dropdown). O… continuing with integration – Facebook, Twitter, Chat, etc. However I’m an old time user of Pidgin, and have tonnes of logs in Pidgin which I don’t want to lose. I have no idea how to make Pidgin as the default integrated chat client into GNOME3 and Unity alike. – Help would do. Thunderbird too integrated nicely since the last release.

Ubuntu – Amazon Nexus – Naaah ! Disabled the “Online Search Results” from the “Privacy” application

I’m not a big fan of the Dark Ambiance theme, but with the other themes support in terms of UI elements, logos, etc.. I’ve got to stick with Ambiance atleast for now. I would’ve preferred the old GTK2 based Clearlooks theme.

Score: 7/10 – All the marks getting lost for the tacky compiz and inability to change defaults easily without installing other apps.

Tweaking Gnome3 / Fedora fonts like Ubuntu

Recently I installed Fedora 17. Font rendering in Fedora is somewhat unoptimized, thanks to many patent clad algorithms for rendering fonts. But you if you want the best, follow the steps below

  1. Enable RPM Fusion Repos
    rpm -ivh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm

  2. Install freetype-freeworld package
    yum install freetype-freeworld

  3. Install gnome tweak tool
    yum install gnome-tweak-tool

  4. Tweak font rendering
    Open gnome-tweak-tool by typing “advanced settings”. Then set
    Hinting = Slight
    Antialiasing = Rgba

  5. Configure ~/.fonts.conf
    Please save the attached file as .fonts.conf in your home folder ( ie. /home/michael/.fonts.conf ). Note the file name is .fonts.conf with a period in the begining.

Above will render fonts in the best possible way (Font Rendering is matter of preference – tweak around for yourself). Now any application, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc will render fonts in the same manner.