Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Ohayo my peepels!

Let’s not kid ourselves. Ubuntu is great. For various reasons. Without Ubuntu we wouldn’t have nearly as many users on Linux as we have now. Ubuntu brought the freak circus Linux to desktops around the world, by making it usable. Usable by humans, normal humans like  your granny and you. That’s all sorts of great and we all should be grateful for it.

But is Ubuntu still the great and easy Linux distribution it once was? Does it still earn its position as the most widespread Linux in the world? So widespread for many uninformed users Ubuntu and Linux are synonym. Can we really forget that Ubuntu itself is standing on the shoulders of giants that came and existed before it? And is it not right to assume that many many newer forks and other Linux distributions have surpassed Ubuntu on all fronts?

Yes, it’s right. And as you might know your editrix ain’t a fan of Ubuntu, has never really used it, and is very sceptical not only about the system itself but its parent company Canonical’s business ethics.

But hey, 99.9999% of first contacts with the wonderful world of Linux happen via Ubuntu. Ubuntu! Not Lubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu or Ubuntu Mate. And not bespoke n00bie Xubuntu distros like Linux Lite or the fancy posh Linux Mint but stock standard Ubuntu, the mother of all the *buntus. And since Canonical just yesterday released the finished version of Ubuntu 18.04, and since it’s even a Long Term Support version, your editrix thought this is the perfect time to check it for herself and for you and see if it’s any good or if Ubuntu’s grand kidz have eaten and devoured their granny and there is no need to even look for her anymore.

So today I downloaded Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (codenamed Bionic Beaver, the desktop version of course) and installed it on little Gaga to abuse it on a litte test ride. Let’s see how it went down:

The installation was reasonably fast and easy. Very nice not to drive any aspiring new user away with a cryptic and hardly manageable installation process. And the desktop directly after install looks nice and doesn’t give us too much stuff. But all we need to start working is there. Ubuntu comes with the super stupif Gnome 3.xx desktop environment, which I and many older Xers don’t like. But Ubuntu was probably not aimed at us grumpy old folks, so let’s say the first impression is quite a positive one for a new user.
The file manager is similar to all the other Gnome-ish file managers and holds no surprises , neither bad nor good. Shit just werkz. Buuut … uiuiuiii, why is it so fukn sloooow? Operation feels like a bad day in SL with some lag. Now is Gaga not the fastest computer ever, but a reasonably up to date piece of technology and it runs quite spunky with other distros.
The number of preinstalled software – we only have Libre Office’s Writer module, Shotwell and a few others – is rather small. We don’t even get the almighty Gimp. 😮 But as you all know it’s no problem getting thousands of apps from …
… Canonical’s very own software store, which is very nicely made and laid out. In fact I prefer this way of populating my own system. That way we don’t have any useless clutter on our machines but just the stuff we need and actively added to our software pool.
The good old Firefox is preinstalled as well as its companion piece Thunderbird. So in the internet department we’re good and ready to roll.

Pheeew … you know what? This is all shit!

No, it’s all perfectly serviceable and the formerly unmentionable Gnome has gotten better, much better, as I’ve found out already in my Antergos Gnome review a couple days ago. And I guess it’ll serve all you n00bs just fine. Fine in a way like Windows serves you fine, not fine as in fine wine or something even remotely fun and inspiring and for connoisseurs of fine Linuxes. Like Windows it’ll just do its duty. Slowly and cumbersome. Meh. :/

Why don’t they call it Gnubuntu or Gnobuntu right away?

And then there is the speed question. Fukn Gnome is a resources hog! 😮 And what was bearable in Antergos (Arch Linux), which I tested on this very same computer, in Ubuntu’s implementation it strangled all the fun and spunkyness out of the experience. Add to that the fact that Canonical have stopped development of 32-bit versions and you can forget about ever running this standard – or any other – Linux version on your older 32-bit lappy that you just freed from your granny’s attic. And, hey, if you don’t believe me, please have a look at this YT video. That guy noticed Ubuntu’s chewing gum behaviour too.

So my verdict can’t be a positive one. I knew it all along, still I downed and installed Ubuntu on one of my desktop PCs (that I even totally cleaned out and formatted before I started the test) and tried to be as objective as possible. And yes, I noticed how much better Gnome 3 has become and that it’s indeed very much possible to work on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. But that is in fact all I can say in Ubuntu Gnome’s favour. There isn’t a single thing other distros don’t make better, faster and more convincing.

No seal for Ubuntu. 😦

And that’s not enough to give Ubuntu 18.4 the Orca Seal of Approval.

PS: This devastating verdict is about Ubuntu standard, which is the specific version with Gnome desktop. Canonical has stopped development of their own, homegrown Unity desktop and ships with Gnome now. My review was about Ubuntu Gnome. Only and Exclusively! Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu and Ubuntu Mate must be reviewed on their own.




      • Indeed, Jackie, indeed. Gnome devs took a completely wrong turn somewhere pretty early in the development phase and are now too stubborn to admit it. Also they are on a not-so-secret mission to kill Linux on the desktop. They are tasked with streamlining the GUI, give the users only the bare minimum of individual customization tools and make everything a bit harder than necessary. Since years and years, actually ever since development of Gnome 3 started, they were killing desktop themes and modules and functionalities.

        Know the desktop theme Adwaita? Yeah, it’s a term out of Sanskrit language and roughly translates to The Only One. And here the name perfectly mirrors the intentions of the developers and the Linux Foundation/Red Hat/Fedora/Microsoft conglomerate of big players. Hijacking the idea of GNU/Linux and FOSS and streamlining product and users into one general GUI for everything.

        That’s why projects such as the twins-seperated-at-birth Mate and Cinnamon came into existence. Mate based on the old but modernized Gnome2 code and Cinnamon as a reverse engineered Gnome 3 fork. You can call it “The Resistance”. =^.^=

        Liked by 1 person

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