Linux Format issue 146 is on sale now!

LXF


A new Ubuntu release always generates a certain amount of chatter in Linuxland, but nothing compares to the impact of Ubuntu 11.04. This signals a new direction for Canonical, with the familiar Gnome 2.x desktop being replaced by Unity, which significantly alters how we interact with our computers. In our cover feature we show you how to master Unity, we talk to the developers behind the desktop, and also probe Mark Shuttleworth for his thoughts too.

Meanwhile, we examine the state of accessibility software on Linux, take the Google Cr-48 laptop for a spin, and show you 19 ways how you can contribute to the open source/free software movement. In our reviews section we look at Epiphany 3.0, Slackware 13.37 and Zorin OS4, while in tutorials you can learn about Xfce, Firefox 4, Frugalware and Asterisk.

And don't miss the 4GB DVD: it's an LXF exclusive triple-booting disc with Ubuntu (including loads of extra packages), Kubuntu and Xubuntu all rolled into one. We also have lightweight window managers from our roundup, games, podcasts and much more to explore.

View the full contents list here. LXF146 is on sale at all good UK newsagents (overseas in the next few weeks), or you can buy a copy online. Even better, get every issue straight to your door at a great price by subscribing!

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Your comments

Unity is not for me

Got to say, after using Ubuntu 11.04 since it was released, unity has gotten on my nerves. Been using Fedora 15 for the past few hours, seems to be much more stable and pretty.

Unusable...

Is the only word that leaps to mind when Unity (or Gnome 3) is mentioned. The positive impact it has had on me is that it has driven me to Xubuntu, which has all the flavour of Ubuntu, yet fewer calories...

XFCE is going to save me from upgrading my desktop hardware for at LEAST another 18 months...I was looking seriously at Lubuntu, but it may be TOO lightweight. XFCE seems to bring a perfect balance to the desktop, now that 4.8 supports remote disc mounting. I will miss a few gnomey things, but most I have been able to replicate in XFCE. If I could single-click icons on the desktop, I wouldn't even notice the difference...

Unity works for me

Despite having reservations at first, I've found Unity to be smart and unobtrusive. And that's not a slight on Gnome or KDE.

Disunity

For those who like me find unity a significant annoyance, it should be noted that you can revert 11.04 to the Gnome desktop by selecting this "classic" option on the boot screen.

I know designers like to hype up new things, but new is not automatically better and one size does not fit all. Things like Unity should never be forced on people, but should just be one of a range of options which can be selected to suit individual requirements and tastes. We are all different.

If you install Compiz Config

If you install Compiz Config and set the launcher to never hide you'll get at much better experience of Unity.

Unity works well for me

Moved to Natty a few weeks back, having joined the club at 7.04 and gone through every release since over the last few years.

Natty is the first release where I thought that the UI experience is actually better than a Mac. Sure there's a few bugs and design flaws but I have every confidence they will be sorted.

The rest of the family just picked it up without any issues or explanations.

I suspect 12.04 will be a landmark release... particularly if Wayland comes good and we get a graphics architecture/API that is as fast as DirectX.

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