Unity 6.x (included by default in Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal) features performance improvements and new features on the Unity 3D user-interface as several bug fixes which enhances user experience while using Ubuntu desktop. Besides that, the backport also improve the performance of low-end 3d cards when rendering unity animations.
Use these command to install Unity 6.x backports into Ubuntu 12.04 LTS:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:benkai/precise-unity-backport
sudo apt-get update
sudo aptitude remove unity-lens-applications
sudo aptitude install unity
wget http://ppa.launchpad.net/benkai/precise-unity-backport/ubuntu/pool/main/u/unity-lens-applications/unity-lens-applications_6.4.0-0ubuntu2_amd64.deb or
sudo dpkg -i unity-lens-applications_6.4.0-0ubuntu2_*.deb
The latest Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is going to be released in (28 April 2012), that is less than a week! The latest features of Precise Pangolin are:
1. Linux Kernel
Ubuntu 12.04 will use a kernel based on the 3.2.12 upstream Linux kernel, which include a patch that makes Linux powered laptop consumes more efficiently
2. HUD – Intelligent search feature in Ubuntu 12.04
Stands for Heads-up Display, HUD can be used to search for items in the menu bar in most applications. For example, if you are looking for a particular menu (or functionality) in GIMP, but can’t quite recall its position, you can use HUD to search it. Pictured here here is an attempt to search for ‘Blur’ filter for GIMP.
Currently HUD only works with application that supported Global menu, which means you can’t use it in LibreOffice.
3. Rhythmbox replaced Bansee as the default multimedia player
A decision came during the last Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS). This move is connected to the new community decision to remove Mono and any application that depends on it from the default installation.
Another casualty is Tomboy note-taking application and gbrainy (game) which also depends on Monoi
**personally, I find depending on Mono application could be problematic, moreover those applications aren’t taking advantage of the ‘portability’ of the .NET platforms (It can’t be used on Microsoft Windows either, not without extensive hacking). So what’s the use of including Mono application on Ubuntu, except for bloating distros?
4. Global Privacy Settings
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS features “Privacy” option in the System Settings screen. The new Privacy Menu gives users the option of turning off History recording for users activities with a click of a menu.
Users may also disable activity recording for a specific group of applications (Instant Messaging, Web browsing, Office Documents, Emails and Multimedia), note that this option *MAY* only work on application that comes with Ubuntu default-installation.
5. Ubuntu *.ISO installer will exceed CD-ROM size
CD-ROM was used as installers on computer platform since 1994, back then the 650MB storage was larger than the average hdd capacity of around 320MB-500MB. The practice of releasing CD-sized ISO have since followed Linux distro for years, well after DVD drive and DVD-writers have become common.
Starting with Ubuntu Precise Pangolin (12.04 LTS), Ubuntu *.iso sizes will not fit CD-ROM anymore. it’s ISO size is estimated to be around 750MB to 800MB. Users may burn the ISO on DVD or use utilities such as UNetBootin to create bootable USB Drive.
I think Ubuntu is going strong on this release with vast improvements on the usability, especially on the aspect of the UI user-friendliness to those who are new to GNU/Linux. However, I still thinks that Unity UI (and to the extend, the Ubuntu Software Center) is VERY SLOW even when running on a modern system as it took about 10 seconds to load Ubuntu Software Center.
Frankly, I think Ubuntu and the general GNU/Linux desktop community should improve the perceived latency of its UI first in order to persuade people to use open source operating system.
This has been foreseen since Canonical has spend their effort in developing and improving Ubuntu Software Center as a convenience one-stop center to install free and paid software alike.
Personally, I still prefer to use Synaptic Package Manager over Ubuntu Software Center as it is still doesn’t offer the same number of options that I used to get from Synaptic (ability to search by name, description, ability to test the fastest mirror).
But I believe the changes that Canonical and Ubuntu community made might make it easier to streamline the looks and functionality of package manager into desktop environment (Unity) regardless of the computing platform.