Open Ballot: Has Ubuntu 11.10 fixed the problems with Unity?


Flamewars and controversies are ten-a-penny in the ever-changing world of computing, but Ubuntu 11.04's switch away from Gnome to Unity caused a particularly large dollop of anger to be spooned onto the internet. While some users cheered the new desktop design, many others felt frustrated by its limitations and glitches. So as we gear up to record our next podcast, we want to hear from Ubuntu users: how do you feel about 11.10's Unity? Has it changed sufficiently to fix any problems you had previously? Is it worse in any respects? Or has it made you simply switch to Xfce?

Let us know in the comments below, and we'll read out the best in our next podcast. Ta!

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Your comments

Ubuntu Unity - PLEASE REMOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

I need an application upgrade (openshot) that is available only in Ubuntu 11.10.
I am happy using Ubuntu 10.04 LTS with Gnome desktop.

I am given an unexpected surprise. Unity!!!

And it sucks BIG TIME!!!!

1. How could you expect someone to scroll up down just to click an app???? It sucks!
2. How could you expect someone to keep typing an app ALL THE TIME just to launch it???? WHERE IS THE MENU? GIVE IT BACK!!!! Someone who think that menu is not essential must be an IDIOT. It's a torture!
And, I can guess what you are going to say: add it the launcher. yeah right, after some time, the launcher will have to many app and we go back to no 1!!! It sucks!!!
3. I get it you are trying to be like an Apple. My advice: be yourself! It sucks big time to access app menu on the top most bar when the window is not maximized. You know what you don't think that many LCD screen can go up to 1980 width, do you? You'd think that most users have tiny screen with the app is maximized all the time and only one or two apps are open. Moving mouse all the way to top left app menu is a TORTURE! It sucks!!

ENOUGH! Now you just waste my time. I am very disappointed user because I have high expectation to Ubuntu. Now, I can put Ubuntu into the same league as those app/OS that sucks big time.

Seriously, you should dump Unity and put back Gnome desktop. If you have agenda just create another distro UnityUbuntu or if you really love your Unity baby so much, create GnomeUbuntu. I bet GnomeUbuntu will be mainstream and let those bunch of people who love unity stick to their baby.

Bad, really bad

It's terrible and now my family are not bothering to use it, and are heading back to the Windows laptop (which is slow and unstable but they think it's still a better option than unity)

couldn't even change the desktop font

apparently you have to first install an advanced desktop settings application. what a joke. when i can no longer get by on 10.04 i will abandon ubuntu for something not aimed at children.

Change only for the sake of change

I was happy with Gnome 2 all the way through 10.10. Over the course of at least one full week, I gave Unity my very best effort to learn and use in 11.04. Hated it. Fortunately we had the option to use "Classic Desktop", albeit buggy at first. It worked.

At that time I also did a fresh install of Xubuntu on my Asus 1018P netbook for side by side comparison. LOVED IT!

When 11.10 came out I upgraded my Ubuntu box and using CD upgraded my netbook to Xubuntu 11.10.

Verdict: I had forgotten just how much I hated Unity but was quickly reminded. I still hate it. It's still a POS. The gnome-session-fallback hack is completely useless. The only way out is to install the full Gnome 3 desktop.

By contrast, the Xubuntu upgrade on my netbook completed with only a couple very minor gotchas. After that I wiped my Ubuntu box and did a clean install of Xubuntu on that machine too. Xubuntu just WORKS. And it allows me to work the way that *I* want to work, not the way Canonical wants me to work.

Canonical appears to be standing their ground and refusing to back down from their obvious blunder. It is nothing more than Canonical trying to differentiate their product from the pack, making changes simply for the sake of making changes with little or no consideration of its user base. There are many other choices out there that users are now educating themselves about. Mint is rapidly gaining market share. By contrast, Ubuntu is LOSING market share. Canonical seems hellbent on burying Ubuntu. My message to Canonical is "You're on the right track!"

Ubuntu rots.
Xubuntu rocks.


almost beyond belief ...

that Canonical have deployed such a defective DE - and one so unsuitable for 'real' computers, as opposed to touchscreens and mobiles -- on their main edition.

For the good of desktop Linux's reputation, it is down to us to keep steering new users towards Xubuntu, Linux Mint and other fuller-featured alternatives.

I have used Linux all day, every day, on my computers for over seven years now and I feel that desktop Linux is at a particularly worrying crossroads at the present. Immature, unproven technology is being thrust at users by default, not as an option for the curious. Experienced users can mourn the demise of proven DEs, curse to themselves, and then set about finding alternative ways of getting work done. But what are newcomers to Linux going to think?

All of this is given added point by the upcoming UEFI/secure boot 'threat' (or possible threat) to Linux installation on next generation PCs. Linux needs to grow -- it needs a USERBASE -- if it is going to be taken seriously by hardware makers who are also being threatened/bribed by Microsoft. I think the dumbing-down of the Linux desktop will hardly help here.

Mourned the Loss of Ubuntu

Today we gather to lay Ubuntu to rest. It was a decent OS for a short period of time (7.04 - 10.04) until it was recently stricken with a festering pox known to all as Unity. Ubuntu would not have wanted to be mourned so please find another distro, like Mint, or stay with Ubuntu 10.04 and refuse updates.

R.I.P. Ubuntu... you will be missed. Unity, ironically, disbanded your users.

Gnome3 and Unity suck big time

I've switched to Xfce.
If I want a smart phone experience, I'd get a smart phone.

Unity did it wrong.

Gnome 2.30 works very well and application screens can be tailored to something you can use efficiently.

Unity gave us a launch pad that is more like windows after you click on Start. It can not be tailored, you are stuck with what you see. That is just dumb.

Docky is a much better launch pad and it is easy to use and modify to suit the way you want to use it.

Unity has introduced new ways to invoke an application that is very cumbersome compared to the way it is done with Gnome 2.30.

Unity introduced a screen switcher that limits the user to four screens, I routinely use 8 and can switch faster with Gnome 2.30 than I can invoke the Unity screen switcher. I also lose the ability to have multiple applications running on the same screen and be able to select the one I want with a single click.

You have introduced things that your user didn't want and taken away things that they do want. Bad release strategy.

My solution is to stay with ubuntu 10.04 until I find something better than ubuntu that still uses Gnome 2.30 like user interface.

Ubuntu 11.10 did not improved anything, but it may be more stable than 11.04

I have had a good three year run with ubuntu, but they are insisting on Unity and I will not use it. Bye.

Hate Unity Will Not Use

Although the powers that be did their best to stip Gnome of any usability, it's still better than Unity.

If Unity stays, I'm off

I agree with the Unity nay sayers here. It's for NETBOOKS or KIDS! I'm currently on 10.10 and was expecting Ubuntu to go from strength to strength but corporate bollox has got in it's way. I use it for WORK and have done very day for the last 3 years after ditching Windoze. I'm not some kid playing games or just playing about with a laptop in my spare time. If corporations can't take Ubuntu seriously, it's dead!

I'm currently looking for a new distro. Xubuntu is downloading as I type. We'll see how it goes.

It's Unity or me, Canonical!

No way

I upgraded from 11.04 to 11.10. I followed the instructions to recover the Classic Desktop, but they simply do not work (perhaps they might on a clean install instead of an upgrade). And in any case, it is not the Classic Desktop, but a crippled copy that will not run the title bar applets.

I am flatly not interested in any way in the Unity Desktop (which appears to me to be an awkward attempt to mimic the Mac interface).

I am going to re-install 11.04... and stay there. I will not be forced into the Unity desktop - I will move to another distribution first.


Thrice is enemy action

Can I just suggest that the only rational explanation for how horrible Unity and Gnome 3 are is that Microsoft or other terrified proprietary competitors have planted moles on the dev team to destroy this once awesome interface and cause the slow death and abandonment of Ubuntu. Nothing less could explain this unspeakably horrible trainwreck of an "upgrade" to such a previously awesome system. I am being completely serious here- nothing this unbelievably horrible has a benign origin- this is enemy action.

WOO HOO I got my classic gnome on oneric

I agree with most of above, Unity is no good for a desktop/workstation, great for my g/f on her notebook, but the easiest solution is install gnome 3 aka gnome shell, and select classic/fall-back mode in the login menu, just hold alt and click the right button on your task-bar and ad your shortcuts that way. It looks the same, acts mostly the same and has all the lovely updated software.


Started using Ubuntu in the 7.x releases and LOVED it right through the 10.x distros. 11.x has been nothing but aggravation and headaches - Unity is unstable; issues with boot hanging at PSoD; shaky Compiz support. UbuntuOne is a piece of junk also (no consistency in updating folders, client for external OS's are way buggy, etc). Since it seems Ubuntu has already jumped the shark, I've already started looking into alternatives. It was fun while it lasted.

So Long Ubuntu

I started with 7.04, ADORED Ubuntu and stuck by it despite many small niggles along the way. However 11.04 was a sticking point, I hate Unity it's pretty but pointless and just slows me down. I tried to get used to it but it was designed for six year old touch screen users. I fell back to classic mode and was reasonably happy. I put 11.10 on my NC10 netbook and it runs like a three toed sloth on mogadon. If this is intended for low powered notepads and smart phones then the users will have time to grow a considerable length of hair before any action returns a result. I switched to Crunchbang Statler, it boots like lightning, it's Debian based and can be with a little effort be customised to my taste. Ubuntu have got their collective heads firmly up their backsides. Unity will not work even for the intended juvenile market and most Desktop Users after they have finished vomiting will switch to another Distro. Ubuntu should sell Unity to Fisher Price and start again.

I can't figure out my password!


11.10 Unusable for people who need a stable OS

I am of the opinion that new bugs have arrived in 11.10 in addition to 11.04. My desktop crashes 2-5 times on average at 16 hours running time. I use my laptop professionally, therfore this is an intolerable constitution.

Ubuntu 11.10 is now ready for teenagers who could not afford a Mac, but not for solid work, as one could expect from a Linux operating system.

I urge the developers: stop the imitation of mac os!!! and re-implement proven features from Gnome2 such as custom application launchers (most important).

I have used Ubuntu within the last 5 years and I loved it, but now I have an operating system that makes me mad!

Looks like the end of Ubuntu

Looks like the end of Ubuntu

Unity - No Bueno

after upgrade 11.04 to 11.10 and reboot, alls I get is a startup sound and then a mouse. I had to install gnome-shell to make my laptop usable.

Come on, Ubuntu, Unity

Come on, Ubuntu, Unity blows! You guys got where you are because you didn't act like Micro$oft and now you try to force us to use a dumbed down GUI.

Unity is slow, gobbles RAM like Vista and is very non-intuitive to your base users.

No one other than than 3rd graders would like this GUI.

hate the look

Hate the look! Looks like my grandpa's big dial phone or my kid's toy.

Bunch of buttons on my desk top for the legally blind I don't want and will never use!!!

The things that I do want, I now have to go through several menus to get to!!!

No sophistication, childish look, inconvenient and non-customizable. UGLY!

Wish I never upgraded!!!

I´m not a poweruser

and I think its qute good, after you have put your favorite programs in the applaunsher you just have to to press the Windowsbutton the programtiles gets a number and then press that number and the program starts. you dont´t have to use the mouse or TouchPad so often, but i´m not a poweruser its god enugh for me :)

Dumbed-down Linux for dumbed-down users.

I've been a total Ubuntu fanboy since Dapper Drake, persuading some of my friends to switch to Ubuntu from Windows, and continually trying to persuade the others.

Now Out-of-the-box Ubuntu looks like a Fisher-Price toy, and is about as useful.

I hate it that they drove me to switch distro, but now that I've switched, I'm very happy.

Think I'll buy a MAC

I used to like Ubuntu but 11.04 was a disaster that took me nearly a day to sort out and 11.10 is worse. Choice has been removed - for whose benefit?

I won't be upgrading again, I will be choose=ing something better.

Disaster. No sliders when

Disaster. No sliders when displaying apps, so cannot get to many programs which I want to run. How do I get a terminal session so that I can load Gnome and delete Unity completely?

First dual boot, then goodbye Ubuntu

Ubuntu peaked with Jaunty, I think. By the time 10.10 hit the market I implemented dual boot (with XP) on the desktops of the senior citizens I support. From the word 'go', they realised that their apps are more important than the OS. Firefox, OpenOffice, Thunderbird etc, etc, is what these folks are busy with, not the desktop environment.

Even so, if the desktop gets in your way, it is a royal pain. When 11.04, Natty, came around, my users stopped booting Ubuntu. Alright. Now we have 11.10 and it is time to get rid of the unnecessary complexity of dual booting. By the time 12.04 arrives Ubuntu will not be there anymore.

Didn't need to try it thanks to LXF, Tuxradar and others...

I've used Linux since Caldera (ver.???) and changed distros more often than my underwear. After a period of blindly enjoying the ease of use and simple fact that most things worked I looked up to realise I had been using Ubuntu for several years. Until that is, they offered us Unity.
On reading LXF reviews, Tuxradar forums and various other places of interest I concluded that Unity was not for me, before even trying it. In addition, I decided that Gnome 3 was also not what I wanted.
In less than 4 hours I had downloaded and installed Linux Mint. I loved it from the get go and I am still using it.
The differences are huge between Ubuntu and Mint when I consider what I want from my Linux distro, but the most important thing to me is to not be ignored when I say "No, I don't want that".

unity Stupidty

one word:

Uckinfay Apcray!

Most unamused by Unity

I foolishly upgraded my Ubuntu installations to 11.04.
What a mistake. Errors, bugs, hangs, and plain barfulous performance.
I had to strip off Ubuntu from all my systems.
And Unity was so bad, that I decided that even M$ Windoze hex pee was more tolerable.
Good bye, Ubuntu.

Unity Crashes

As soon as I try to make buttons smaller using Compiz Unity Crashes

I can deal with Unity, but....

11.10 completely destroyed usability for me. I can no longer make launchers to my desktop or right-click to image a CD/DVD. seems to me that all the customizable niceties that attracted me to Ubuntu since Feisty,have been taken from me. I will have to go to something else if this is going to be the "new" way of things. Grrr!

No. It has not!

It has fixed some problems, but introduced new ones. I find that the biggest and most annoying problem (one that some people will dismiss as nothing significant, but one that completely destroys the user-experience for others, like me) is the intermittent laggy window dragging problem. Although window drag lag is one of the symptoms, I'm sure the problem lies somewhere else (perhaps with Compiz, maybe the nVidia driver, or somewhere in Unity - who knows).

I'm moving to another distro, will wait and see if this problem is fixed with 12.04.

Far From Ready

I had another go with Ubuntu 11.10 today now that it's got a load of updates but that was a waste of time. After spending a couple of hours setting it up it completely locked. All I had when I restarted my box was the global menu. I'm back to Kubuntu 11.10 in spite of all it's bugs. I'm looking forward now to what the LinuxMint community comes up with LinuxMint 12.

Not Quite...

Unity is much much better, but still not quite good enough - even on small screens. Too fiddly switching between open apps and/desktops.
Gnome Shell on the other hand is far more slick and intuitive (IMHO).
I'm liking 11.10 in general though, and it prompted me to finally switch from Windows entirely.

Almost enough to drive me back to Windows

Gnome is flexible, powerful and user-friendly. Unity seems like change for the sake of change, with reduced power and flexibility.

Ridiculous Unity/Gnome3

This idea of putting a stupid tablet interface (unity/ gnome 3) on a desktop OS is Ridiculous.They didn’t even have the common sense to build in the support for the normal Gnome desktop.

I find Ubuntu 11.10 with

I find Ubuntu 11.10 with Unity just dandy. The user interface design is clearly targeted to individuals who use a smaller number of applications (10 or so) on a very regular basis and infrequently use a number of others. I agree that it's constraining, but to a purpose, not just to be change for change's sake as some people seem to be suggesting. I also use Fedora 15 with the Gnome 3.x desktop and the design parameters appear to be the same as Unity, only with a bit more flexibility as to the number of apps that can be in the Task Bar. For those that find Unity and Gnome 3 very constraining, obviously these desktops are not for you, but that doesn't mean that they're useless or ridiculous. It just means that your particular use profile was not in the design specifications. Mine were, and I'm reasonably happy with it. 'User-friendly' cannot be the same amount of 'friendly' to all 'users'.

The good, the bad and the ugly

Overall I'd say that Ubuntu is by far the most user-friendly of the Linux distros. I installed 11.04 using wubi and it shows up as an "installed application" in Windows XP Media Center 2005 on my dual boot Gateway 7422GX laptop. That's right, an old circa 2005 laptop that I have to admit, Ubuntu runs like a champ on. The upgrade to 11.10 was seamless after downloading and installing over my crappy AT&T dsl connection. Everything worked. Then there were a hoard of other updates ready to install every day for the next several days. Somewhere in that process the Ubuntu drum start up sound stopped working. And I'm now getting some intermittent screen flickering with 11.10. And I just recovered from a wireless issue that I never had with 11.04. The Unity desktop changes are generally good. It's cleaner, more logical in my opinion. The changes to GRUB are good, (I think), until I have a problem I suppose. I want the drum sound back again! It makes people at Starbucks ask me what I'm running on my machine and creates a good segway to tell them how free Linux is compared to their expensive Mac Books! Come on Cannonical, quit fixing things while breaking others! Quality Control!


It is not because it is broken, it is simply because it is crap.

-For power users it is horrible to use.
-For windows converts it is completely unfamilliar (at least gnome2x was somewhat intuitive to win users)
-For OSX/IOS converts it simply looks like a bad mimic of what they came from.
-For total noobs(if there is such a thing these days)... well, i cannot see how it is any different than being thrown in to windows 7 osx or gnome with the accessibility options for the hard of sight being switched on..

In short, everyone i have spoken to and they all hate it, even those with little IT skills whatsoever.
(That is in real life, not the religious zealots on the ubuntu forums who would root and toot ubuntu regardless of how bad it gets) .

Ubuntu 11.10 , Simply Put, Just Sucks!

Miserable experience...back to 10.4.I know this is Open Source, but do they test these new releases at all?

I installed XFce today in disgust

After working with Unity, Gnome and Gnome Classic in 11.10, I installed XFce to simplify my life.
Unity adds extra steps to everything I have to do and Gnome 3 is a scrambled mess.
All I see is change for the sake of change. I have been using Linux for 19 years. It seems to me that it should be getting easier to use; not more complicated... I have been using Ubuntu for almost everything I do with a computer since Breezy; but I think this is the end of my romance with Ubuntu.

cant stand Unity

as soon as i upgrade i dump Unity and go strait to gnome , i also get rid of the annoying overlay scroll bar,Unity is just not quick and easy to work with and i have been using Ubuntu since 7.04 i switch from windows xp and i love Linux but i think Ubuntu is going in the wrong direction with Unity as the desktop.

Forget unity

I loved 10.04 ,I am now making the switch to Mint 12

User Interface Fascism

A few points.

1) User interface fascism, like all other kinds of fascism, is bad. Any decent system should let individual users choose the kind of interface they wish to use. Highly configurable user interfaces are good.

2) One size does not fit all! Many people have invested significant effort in honing their skills using user interfaces chosen to suit their specific needs. Why should they throw that away just for something "new".

3) The work "New", as in "embrace new technology" is not automatically synonymous with words like "good", "effective", or "appropriate".

4) Keep fashion out of operating systems. Fashion is always much more about following than about leading. Don't follow anyone. Have your own ideas. Which brings us back to point number 1.

We will come rejoicing going over to Mint

just keeps freezing up....not even that bloody cold here.

Been onto forums plain old surfing ---still no answer

I mean fellas how many times do you have to hit your head with a hammer to realize it f....hurts!

Cya when 11.04 etc gets out of Hospital

Many Thanks


Too buggy

I'm using Ubuntu 11.10 and it has the same fatal flaw as my earlier version of Ubuntu: it randomly loses control of the mouse and/or keyboard.

As soon as I have time I'll move to another distro. I hate to say it but Win7-64 is a lot more stable than Ubuntu.

- James


Better than the last version but still doesn't cut it. I think Ubuntu would be better off with a more traditional, less buggy interface. After all they are (so far) just a traditional desktop OS.

Linux Mint will soon be #1, replacing Ubuntu.

It is now (on distrowatch that is)

No, lots of issues

I am having lot of stability issues with Unity. Dual monitors switching is a major problem and unreliable. Also waking up from the sleep mode is problem.

Using Gnome Classic and so far is the reliable alternative.

11.10 Freezes every few minutes

I could live with Unity even, but can't put up with the constant freezes every few minutes. There seems to be no
soft reset and have to reboot. Aaagghhh!

This isn't production quality software at all - not even close!

Not satisfied at all - back to 10.04

I don't mind about Unity. I got used to it, it takes only
a few minutes. After all, why not ?

But 11.10 had too many bugs. I could not link the libraries I was using any more, it was extremely slow (a process using a whole cpu to write data). I gave up. I'm expecting releases to be reliable. I don't want them to look as a regression.

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