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Ask HN: What would you like to see in Ubuntu 11.10, Oneiric Ocelot?
118 points by jasoncwarner on Mar 14, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 170 comments
I am the Ubuntu desktop manager at Canonical. The Ubuntu community is getting ready to start planning for the next UDS in May.

I know there are quite a few Ubuntu users here and I wanted to reach out and see what people would like to have fixed, changed, improved, removed, added or anything else in the upcoming release. I'm also quite interested in those who DON'T use Ubuntu and what their thoughts are on why they don't use it (might be related).

Things to consider:

* Applications and default app selection

* Configuration & Settings

* Usability and ease of use

* Accessibility

It would be helpful for me if you could give a brief rundown of what you use Ubuntu for as well.



PS. If you have used Unity in the 11.04 beta, now would be a good time to give feedback on that as it could shape the 11.10 release as well.

At the risk of being horribly down-voted, I'm going to say that I'd like it to "not look like crap". Unfair with no information, so here's some (of opinion form).

If I look at the screenshots for 10.10 (let's take a tiny example, I could pick on many - http://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/sshot23....), the general quality of finish on UI chrome and layout is shocking. The inconsistencies, poor spacing, bad grid, etc. make this jarring and painful. I'm sure people will say this is irrelevant. It isn't. If you're staring at something for many hours a day, this stuff is your subconscious indicator as to quality. It doesn't feel "right". Most Linux user interfaces (and this isn't Ubuntu specific, but you guys are probably most likely to have a go at fixing it) feel "uncanny". They're just a bit wrong. Things don't line up, they're odd sizes, they draw the eye in the wrong way.

In short, they're inelegant and clunky. They feel like non-native Java app interfaces (used) to do (and still do, to greater or lesser degrees). This isn't about visual style or theme, it's a quality case not a taste one.

If I had a little more time (or if anyone thinks this is unfair and actually wants it) I could annotate a screenshot and point these things out directly.

(Please note - if you feel that this is all fixed in 11.x then I apologise, but I will be very surprised)

// Edit: If anyone from Ubuntu would like to chat ever, I'd be more than happy. Contact info is in my profile.

I completely agree. I regularly use Ubuntu for programming. I used to use it as my sole OS. There was a time when I actually thought it looked kind of pretty--compared to Windows XP. Even today, the general theme is not too bad and there actually are some pretty nice applications out there. But the vast majority of applications, widgets etc. is unbearably ugly. List views not fitting in windows. Controls crammed together way to tightly. Controls spaced differently in every application. No consistency in spacing or layout across applications.

Hence, my use of Ubuntu is pretty much limited to Vim and a terminal window. And I love Ubuntu for that. But I would use it for more than that if it wasn't for its ugliness.

How about reading the UI guidelines of Windows and OSX and coming up with one of your own? I know this exists for Gnome somewhere, but I can't see many developers adhering to them…

Please, not the windows guidelines..pleaseeeee :X

What is wrong with the Windows guidelines?

I guess some people last Windows exposure was Windows ME. That would explain a lot of comments in these parts.

I run Ubuntu 10.10 and I think that this isn't just an issue with the UI, but tiny little things are just... wrong. For example, shuffle in Rhythmbox ends up playing 2 or 3 music files again and again and things like changing the song's metadata keeps on cropping up weird issues (names get truncated; changes get rolled back after I quit rhythmbox)

There are also other tiny bugs that annoy me everyday. Things like giving decent video output through the VGA port on a supported Acer netbook just don't work. For example, I was giving a presentation and ubuntu would randomly decide between slides to switch over displays, blank it, show output errors etc.

I think that these problems aren't allocated resources, because they appear to be just trivial, but as a user this is what I'm going to notice after a month or a year of usage. These are the tiny things that drive people up the wall. For example, the infamous windows file copying dialogue. Not a biggie, but it evokes a collective sigh no matter where you mention it.

At the same time this release is much, much better than the 8.04 and it just shows how much effort canonical puts into iterative improvement. If the same attention is thrown to these strawmen. Then ubuntu might become a force to reckon with.

I'm very pleased with the overall looks of Ubuntu :). I guess spacing etc. is actually a very hard problem, because it has to work in so many languages.

Moreover, most of the software is not developed by Canonical. It's just packaged by them. I doubt they can influence the looks of individual programs that much (there are just so many and everyone uses different ones).

That's a fair point, I will concede that it's difficult. But a lot of the core things like the file manager (and certainly Unity) is within their control, and could be a lot better. I think that much more could also be done from a technical and cultural leadership perspective in this area. I would dearly love to chat with anyone from Ubuntu about this if they wanted to listen. I'm not a designer (not anymore) I'm a software developer (generally), but I still think that there's an opportunity for huge improvement even with the challenges you (correctly) point out.

Same here. Perhaps I'm not as sensitive to most regarding spacing, etc, or perhaps I'm just not sophisticated enough to recognize the shortcomings, but my Ubuntu desktop experience is just fine, and seems to improve with every release.

I have moved to Mint after 10.10 debacle.

I agree... there's a jarring effect everytime I run Gnome. Especially due to the fonts and the excessive spacing(on things like buttons) around text.. feeling like a lot of screen space wasted without gaining anything in return.

Maybe I am too used to the other OSes but font rendering always seem weird. Eg. See the screenshot here http://lh5.ggpht.com/mihaiolimpiu/SQh2WqXOQaI/AAAAAAAAASQ/mH...

The fonts seem stretched horizontally. I always get the feeling, even in the new versions. Maybe it's just me. As a sidenote see how the column headings are cut off in the Deluge windows.

I was told a few years ago that this was because of patents on TrueType fonts etc and copyrighted fonts. Is this still the case?

That entire thing just looks woeful to me. The fonts, the soulless icons, the striking horizontal lines everywhere, the way the File Browser is swimming in empty space yet the icons and search field at the top of the screen are jammed in and scraping the edges.

"What on earth are you talking about? That looks fine" is a valid reply to my finickiness, and I'm a bit jealous of that, because being like this pretty much limits me to OS X and Apple's whims.

Fix the 'Preferences'/'Administration' split in the gnome menu options. Most of the apps I find in there could be described as "Administrative Preferences", so I have no idea where to look for anything.

Examples: Samba is in Administration, but Network Connections is in Preferences.

Login screen is under Administration, and Startup Applications are under Preferences.

The split between Administration and Preferences is really artificial, and not helpful for dividing settings.

I actually like the Preferences/Administration split.

For the most part, "preferences" describes stuff that is specific to my user (i.e. my personal preferences), whereas "administration" encompasses system-wide administrative tasks.

Obviously the split isn't perfect, as there are some things that fall into both categories, but in general I find that I look in the right place the first time, most of the time.

I'm not saying it makes loads of sense, as Mac OS X and Windows tend to clump "systems settings" in one place, but Preferences are those things that don't require sudo, Administration are those things that do.

At least that's my experience.

Yeah, that would be a really nice improvement. I never know where to look first to find what I want to do. I'm glad that I'm not the only person that is too stupid to understand the difference.

Yes, configuration in general is an area we want to tackle in much greater depth. For the 11.04 release we are looking to integrate Gnome Control Panel into the power menu...we are testing during the alpha/beta period right now!

See this link from the OMG!Ubuntu! folks (who are generally very good at covering latest and greatest features of Ubuntu...even during the devel period).



Ditto on this. I feel you usually have to know where a setting is so you can know where a setting is. There might indeed be a criteria for the separation (ie, sudo vs non-sudo), but the fact that it is not readily apparent makes it (imo) a bad implementation.

I run Ubuntu 10.10 on a MacBook Air (back on Ubuntu after 3-4 years on OS X) and it runs great. I haven't tried Unity yet, but I will, I think I'll like it. I basically only run a terminal, mostly with vim, and Chromium. I have all terminals and Chromium windows in fullscreen, each on their own workplace. It works pretty well. In general I think a good way forward is fullscreen and a simplified UI, so Unity looks great.

There is one thing I wish you would work in and it's speed: Waking from sleep and turning on the wifi takes ages in Ubuntu. If there is something you can do here, that would make me happy!

EDIT: One more thing: I know installation with USB on a Mac is difficult to impossible, but if there is any way to make it easier on the Airs, I think it's a good thing. It's a very nice machine for Ubuntu, but it's really hard to install.

"There is one thing I wish you would work in and it's speed: Waking from sleep and turning on the wifi takes ages in Ubuntu. If there is something you can do here, that would make me happy!"

Here here!

I don't hear many people gripe about these issues, but I have two complaints:

1.) There is no way to mute / lower the volume from the login screen. This means that if I'm in a setting where I don't want to make noise (e.g. in a library, in a meeting, in a class) and boot up, there's absolutely no way for me to prevent my laptop from playing the wonderful startup .wav file. I have to log in before I get any sort of volume control. (My laptop doesn't have a hardware volume dial.) Granted, at this point I have it disabled, but it'd still be nice to have.

2.) When I've booted up, the first thing I do is open all the programs I'm planning to use on different desktops. (I love multiple desktops.) The trouble for me is, the windows all open on whatever desktop I happen to be looking at at the moment. I would greatly prefer that they open on the desktop I was looking at when I started them. That would let me start at desktop 1, open Firefox/Chromium, switch to 2, open an IDE, switch to 3, open Gimp, switch back to 1 and start web surfing. Instead I have to wait for the program to finish initializing before moving to the next step to ensure that it's on the right desktop. Or I have to right-click-move-to-desktop each window after the fact.

I'm a big Ubuntu fan, I've been using it regularly since Dapper Drake. It's really come a long way! Keep up the great work.

#1 Is obnoxious. There should absolutely be a way to turn off the drum-sound without rolling out gconf.

...and the login music...

1) can't you switch to a term (Alt+F1) login and use something like alsamixer to mute and then log in. Obviously not great usability but may be a workaround?

2) KDE lets you choose to have apps always open on the same virtual desktop, or as you say you can switch to a desktop and set an app opening and switch back and it opens in the other desktop.

On point #2, if you're feeling adventurous, you could try xmonad. Its support for programmatically moving windows to different workspaces is pretty nice. Every app in full screen on its own workspace automatically on login. It's great.

One is actually a pretty big issue for me. Worse is that my laptop does have a hardware volume dial, but that dial only works after I've logged in.

Overall I think you guys have been doing a great job. I'm a happy Ubuntu user.

As for your question: I would be happy if you guys just took the "most popular ever" ideas from brainstorm.ubuntu.com seriously and just worked yourselves through the list. It's good to reach out to us users from time to time like you're doing here, but lots of users have already put in their votes on your own platform.

Other than that I can't wait for the 11.10 release!

Please show more love to us laptop users. I have had problems due to poor hardware support. I'm not able to use a lot of accessories that come in standard on my laptop like -

* Bluetooth support - It sometimes works, sometimes won't. * Soundcards - A pain to make it work properly * WebCam - Again, works on and off * Graphics Card - Works perfect on my present laptop, but had to go through a lot of trouble setting one up for my friend.

Though I love the O/S and would continue to use it despite these issues, I think this is one major drawback that prevents a lot of people from switching to Ubuntu. It should work, out of the box with little twitching of buttons.

Absolutely agree.

I love Linux, I'm using it for 10 years and tried many distributions and the only real problem I've experienced was a problem of drivers for my graphic card. Yes, there are some issues with usability, somebody says that UI of Ubuntu is not very clean and easy to understand... Don't get me wrong but I just can't be scared with this after compiling ALSA drivers in Mandrake 6.01 (don't remember the exact version) to get a working audio output, or compiling kernel to get a working audio input, or rebooting to windows to download drivers for my Intel dial-up modem, booting back to Linux and then understanding that I'm missing a dependency, then booting back to windows and so on...

However, there are few issues that prevent me installing Ubuntu (or any other linux as problem with drivers exists in all distributions) on the home PC of my parents like upgrading from 10.04 to 10.10 my GPU gets hot as hell; when my colleague maximizes flash video to full-screen his X-server freezes; when my friend plugs his second screen both his external and laptop screens turn black and etc, etc. I understand that these problems occur because of proprietary drivers but I really hope that there will be some day when everything will just work.

ok some quick thoughts, theres probably more but im not currently on ubuntu:

Please fix small annoyances in the GUI:

- make window movement and (more importantly) _resizing_ easier.

- add some sort of window-snapping-feature (like win7 or osx)

- fix colors in context menus (if i open the skype context menu in 10.10 i see black font on black bg, or brown whatever)

- make widgets generally better looking. they are looking ok now, but with small tweaks ubuntu could be gorgeous.

- remove the drum-sound when displaying the login-box after boot (completely unnecessary)

- give us a better default terminal-app (iTerm2 on mac is a good example)

i use ubuntu for coding, websurfing, skype and its just great for that. id like to use it for photo editing, video editing, gaming.

Awesome list.

My personal #1 pet peeve for 10.10 was the resize problem.

There are some updates for that including a new gripper as well as increasing to 3px invisible border for resizing. Not to mention that Unity also sports some snap functionality.

This OMG! article was from two months ago, but you can get an idea for some of the resizing behavior. http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/01/a-smattering-of-natty-upd...

The Skype menu is likely a bug w/ Skype detecting which system you are using. If you goto Skype->Options->General it might say 'Desktop settings' and that could get confused detecting what you are using. You can force it to use GTK+ and your issue should disappear.

I'll address the rest of the list in my general follow up to this thread around the EOD. Cheers!

Thanks for the Skype-Tip!

Regarding a better default terminal app, I use Terminator (http://www.tenshu.net/terminator/). It's by far the best terminal I've found and far superior (imho) to ITerm2 on the mac. apt-get install terminator and spend some time looking at the man page.

Regarding window snapping, if you're talking about win7's ability to drag a window over to one side and have it snap to half the screen, check out the Compiz Grid plugin. It provides similar but far more capable abilities.

> - make window movement and (more importantly) _resizing_ easier.

Alt+left (move)/middle (resize) mouse button. I'm not aware of any easier/more comfortable alternative in other distros/OSs.

Upvotes for first 2. The window resizing game is agitating, and window snapping should be a native feature, if there is keyboard shortcut space for it.

Not sure if this is appropriate for your question.. but I've been using Ubuntu for 5 years now as my sole OS, as a programmer. I'm thinking of switching to Mac OS soon because I'm sick of hacking my computer to have it "just work":

- Every time there's a new release, and I update, it leaves me with a crashed unusable system. Its happened so much that I've scripted out my entire install and configuration process

- I have to kill Firefox in order to make sound work in VLC... wtf?

- My bluetooth mouse works 50% of the time

- Wifi doesn't usually work with the built in managers.. I often have to install wicd

That's the gripe side.. will report back later for more UI related improvement ideas

I used Linux for six years as my primary OS, on OS X for a while now.

On OS X, the biggest annoyance for me, coming from Linux, is the lack of a consistent packaging system.

I don't like the MacPorts style of compiling everything on my own system, but being a Ruby programmer, I'm kind of stuck with it as well due to that being the way any Gem native extensions like to work too.

But really, that's about it.

It's a UNIX. It works. I never have to muck around with my config files, and pray that the next drop of the OS doesn't break my wireless / sleep / wake / sound card.

You could try homebrew, which could be described as macports done right - http://mxcl.github.com/homebrew/

Better hardware support sure is important, but it looks like you have harware that was carefully selected as to bring the greatest frustration possible.

Ii dunno.. Nvida GTx 280, Asus Gene II, i7 920, Corsair Ram Desktop. Before that, a standard IBM x41 tablet. I'm not going that extreme here in the hardware side

> - I have to kill Firefox in order to make sound work in VLC... wtf?

Sadly, that's not a Ubuntu-specific problem. Recently, I had to borrow an openSuSE box for a few days and this was basically the first time I used client-side Linux in ten years and I was appalled. One of the many many annoyances was that only one program could use audio at a time. Like you described, I had to close Firefox after playing a Youtube vid, just to open VLC in a functional state (and this was on KDE I believe).

After all these years of not looking at the state of GUI on Linux I was extremely surprised by how little advancement happened in this time. I don't say this to flame, but I'd be really interested how things ended up in this sad state. The overall "experience" is just a nightmare.

I haven't had these kind of upgrade problems since updgrading from 7 to 8. Did you really have trouble upgrading to, e.g. 10.04?

It seems to me that there's some problem with your HW configuration (WiFi etc. - never had problems). Did you consider staying on some LTS. I've found 10.04 to be extremely smooth. If you don't want to have the trouble, just stay on LTS :).

I did. (9.10 to 10.04) I lost my graphics driver during the update and when I fixed it my sound card went for a toss. But a clean install of 10.04 solved the problems, so I don't understand why the upgrade can't work without problems.

I'm a long time Ubuntu user, currently using Ubuntu 10.10.

10.04 by the time I installed it was rock-solid. On the other hand 10.10 is not working properly - web camera is displaying up-side-down and my laptop many times freezes on shutdown. And it's like a cycle, one in every 3-4 releases doesn't cause issues for me.

Unfortunately I don't have the time to deal with these problems, find the cause, give feedback on mailing lists, etc...

If you could invest in a more stable / well-tested Ubuntu release (although I do know the next one is not a LTS) that would be great.

You guys also did a good job regarding usability lately, thumbs up.

I wanted to start using Ubuntu when 10.04 was released, however it was close to impossible for a complete Linux beginner to set up my wireless. (i can't remember the network card I had then). The problem remained with 10.10 (RT3090 card). Network worked for a few minutes and then suddenly stopped and later sometimes worked again... Comparing this to the Jolicloud installation that 'just worked' is disappointing. I wish you try to improve wireless support a bit further (I know you have done a lot of great work since now, but its still not perfect).

The other problem I've had is Compiz (ATI mobility radeon HD 4250). When I enabled the proprietary drivers either it worked nice with No visual effect, or if I chose Some visual effects then chrome of the windows didn't show up until I disabled the effects. I have then installed 10.04a3 just to try if things were better but now there was nothing visual at all. No bar, no unity, basically all what required Compiz didn't work. When I boot I see only the background and the cursor. If I knew some shortcuts I guess i could still open the windows (but chromeless), but its very annoying.

What I wish for Ubuntu 11 is to polish things up with the hardware. Try to increase hardware support as much as you can, so that users don't have to deal with it.

I may be an isolated case with little luck, but its just frustrating. I think increasing hardware compatibility should be a higher priority than UI polish.

I meant 11.04a3, not 10.04a3.

I have always favored Pidgin over Empathy. I think Pidgin is more feature-rich client than Empathy. Still didn't get a good reason Ubuntu replacing Pidgin for Empathy as default IM client.

I assumed the change was that Empathy was developed specifically by the Gnome group, and included as part of the official Gnome releases. Previously to that, Pidgin was considered by Gnome to be the preferred client, and Canonical was just following Gnome in switching to Empathy.

I was the gaim/pidgin lead dev. for many years. That's pretty much the gist of it, from what I can recall. While we aimed to be more cross platform, empathy was more focused on straight up gnome integration.

For my job I use Ubuntu for Python and web development, and I have no serious complaints. For the rest of the time, I would like nice integration between jackd and pulseaudio, and a good realtime kernel for audio recording etc.

In general I don't understand why people want to put so much energy into arguing about what it looks like, how the menus are arranged etc. I've seem a number of people try, and subsequently abandon, Ubuntu. Each time it's been because of things being missing or broken, not the superficial bikesheddy colourscheme stuff people like to argue about.

On the subject of Accessibility, my ex had carpal tunnel syndrome and went back to Windows (largely) because there was no usable speech recognition software available. As I understand it the main barrier is a lack of sufficient corpus data, which seems like the sort of thing Ubuntu might be in a position to push for. http://www.voxforge.org/

Something like workrave(.org) might be useful. Works on windows too.

Thanks for reaching out! I've been using Ubuntu (currently 10.10 64-bit) as the sole OS on my laptops for the past four years, mostly for email, web, office, and a little front-end coding.

I wish it was easier to replace Evolution. It always felt way too sluggish for me, so I'm using Thunderbird and would love to get the same desktop integration that Evolution has (never bothered to set it up manually).

Empathy seems like a decent IM client, yet I'm still using Pidgin to connect to Skype via dbus (Skype for Linux is not very pretty). Apparently the plugin would work on Empathy as well now, but I was too lazy to set it up.

I'm generally too lazy to switch applications after a dist upgrade. When I don't immediately see a clear migration path for my profile data, I just stick to the old app. I guess that's why I never used F-Spot or Shotwell.

Rhythmbox doesn't minimize to tray anymore. Closing the window leaves it running in the background, but there's no icon in the tray. Not sure if this is intended or just a glitch on my install after two auto-upgrades.

Better support for Tablet PCs would be awesome. I eventually got everything set up on a X200 Tablet, but it's not much fun going through dozens of mostly outdated forum posts to make screen rotation and pen input work.

With all the back-and-forth regarding GNOME/Unity and app selection, I'm debating going for Xfce on the next install. That being said, the Ubuntu desktop is awesome! Mac makes me feel stupid and I never ever want to go back to Windows...

"... I'm also quite interested in those who DON'T use Ubuntu and what their thoughts are on why they don't use it ..."

Using Ubuntu 8.04 64AMD desktop, downgraded from 10.x. User since Ubuntu 4.x.

I use the 8.04 install because a) got breach using default apache (maybe my fault/maybe not) b) because the changes in the sound system to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PulseAudio means audio trouble big time. As the distro has progressed I now get c) dependencies. Why do I need to install whole slabs of applications I don't want need, then get updates for apps I never use or want?

    "... When first adopted by the distributions, 
    PulseAudio developer Lennart Poettering described 
    it as "the software that currently breaks your  
    audio".[6] Poettering later claimed that "Ubuntu 
    didn't exactly do a stellar job. They didn't do their 
    homework" in adopting PulseAudio[7] for Ubuntu "Hardy 
    Heron" (8.04), a problem which was then improved with  
    subsequent Ubuntu releases.[8] However, on October 
    2009, Poettering reported that he was still not happy  
    with Ubuntu's integration of PulseAudio.[9] ..."
I shouldn't have these problems (sans maybe (a)). Have used linux since '96 I'd say I've got less stability in the late 9/10 releases at sub-system level. Especially sound. When I get worse results than when I configured Ubuntu 4 or Slackware or RedHat or OpenSuse or Mandriva I ask why am I using this distro? (yes I've used/installed them all and some)

Moving to obsd. The 6m dev cycle is a pain but it's got gnome, is safe, secure & free of cruft of useless apps. I'll miss apt-get :(

Ubuntu 4?

I'm also somewhat tired of upgrading every 6 months just so that I can have up-to-date applications; I may switch back to Debian proper.

"... Ubuntu 4? ..."

Early adopter for a lot of things, so yeah 4 which is easily verifiable.

I've been using Ubuntu since at least 2005DEC31 ~ http://www.flickr.com/photos/bootload/79685287/ and "... the first release was Ubuntu 4.10 as it was released on 20 October 2004 ..." ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_%28operating_system%29#R...

Gotcha, hadn't seen anyone trim the MM part before.

Pulseaudio is so horribly broken for me (Toshiba nb305 and HP dv6000 laptops)

Win7-style window management shortcuts would be cool. The grid plugin for compiz is close, but Win7 has a few details that make it a bit better (for example, wrapping a window around to the right when you hit win-left on a window that's already left-snapped).

Installer options for remapping caps lock, like Google did with its ChromeOS laptops. I use it as an easy-to-reach control key; other people I know turn it into another super for easy window management or an escape key for vim. Useful functions for the average grandma might include "search the web", "open gnome do", or "open Unity's 'everything on the computer' page".

Include KeePassX in Ubuntu, provide solid integration for it (possibly even with Ubuntu One), and present it to the user on installation. Encourage users to use it to create strong passwords and to maintain separate passwords for every service and website.


I use Ubuntu 10.10 for most of my real work. I'm a computer science student, so I do a lot of programming, answer some email, surf the web, and spend a ton of time reading and writing papers.

I disagree about installer options for caps lock. It's very simple to find the option once you've installed it, and there's no need to slow down all the other people during the installation stage who will never remap anything.

It's really important to have short installation times - if you want people to convert to your operating system, make it easy for them.

I have been using Ubuntu for 3-4 years now and have been using it for everything from day-to-day stuffs to development. I am quite happy to see how Ubuntu has matured during this time frame.

But, I wish some improvement is done on improving hibernate. It takes ages to hibernate and system sometimes freezes. Moreover, my experience with battery life on Ubuntu vs Windows suggests Ubuntu manages power poorly.

I haven't used Unity yet but look forward to trying soon.

I hear you on hibernation issues. Windows 7 boots in no time from hibernation, but Ubuntu (10.10) takes ages. I don't hibernate at all (preferring to switch my box off) because of this.

I've read that Ubuntu 11.04 uses an updated version of the Linux kernel that solves this issues, I'll try it out when it's released.

Regarding battery life, I get three hours out of mine which is similar to what I got with Windows 7. (However, Ubuntu's power options are nowhere near as fine-grained as Windows 7, at least in GUI form.)

I use Ubuntu on all of my machines (netbook, desktops, servers, EC2). One thing that drives me nuts every time I have to deal with it is the print to file dialog. Why can't it just act like a normal save file dialog? I hate having to (usually) choose "other" as the path and use the normal dialog to choose a directory, then go back and type in the file name in a different text box on the main printing window.

Generally I think Ubuntu has been a great distro that has made a ton of progress.

I would genuinely like the option to use GNOME 3. I'm considering moving to Fedora to try it.

It would also be great to see Systemd used. Rather than Upstart.

A global menu and a launcher (like Gnome Do) are some of the first things I install after upgrading. Along with Docky.

I realise some of these are fundamental changes to the Ubuntu way, but it's what is drawing towards alternatives, and further from Ubuntu (which I've used since Warty).

Gnome 3 and Gnome Do will be easily installable through package manger.

The inclusion of unity is not disabling the usage of Gnome 3, although I agree that Gnome-do should be integrated as default, it is so useful.

I keep switching between Ubuntu and Archlinux (on my development laptop) every few months. I'm currently on 11.04 and tried Unity for a few days. It kept crashing on me (I do realise that I'm using something that's still beta) but could not bring myself to like it as it's too much effort for me to deal with disappearing window borders, menus when you are busy working.

One thing that's struck me as odd is that though the boot up to login screen has improved drastically over the past few releases, login to desktop takes a really long time. I am talking about stock installs (nothing extra in startup applications). (There are some forum posts that indicate that compiz might be the root cause for this and I still havent' had enough time to track these down)

I haven't had too much trouble with drivers and configuration (Lenovo T61p..) but the lack of current versions of packages that I rely on for daily work (e.g. eclipse, etc) in the repositories or the ppa drive me to switch to archlinux temporarily.

I would go with UI improvement. I feel like linux has always been "ugly" visually.. even from its first years with red/blue dialog in console. Linux hackers just seem not to care about UI as much as designer would.

Without being harsh, when someone used with Windows or Mac look at Ubuntu, it always look a little "goofy" or "quickly done". Of course, they don't know the beauty of unix, how files are the main part and so important or how configurable everything is. The only thing they see is "A weird kind of Windows that isn't as pretty".

But then, who is your main target audience? Are you trying to make windows/mac newbies switch to Ubuntu? I say that because, if it was only for me, I'd say the best thing you could "add" to ubuntu is to remove all the extra stuff and keep in minimalist. (Warning: I use archlinux with fluxbox). I guess it all depends of your audience. But if I get it right and I'm not really your target audience, working on the UI would be the next big thing.

1. add search to the panel by default.

2. IMPROVE the search functionality and make it as effective and useful as provided by MAC OS.

how about just turn on 'Gnome Do' by default?

Give some love and attention to the average "developer" using Ubuntu.

What comes to my mind: Pre-bundled "meta-" packages for developers. One .deb that sets up LAMP, logviewer, mysql-gui and so on. Or one deb that sets up source-crontrol, like git, including one of the many GUI frontends.

Ubuntu, or Canonical, should be biased towards certain development tools: Just like KDE has one default set of development tools. That way, development and improvement gest more focus: instead of four mediocre, unfinished git frontends, Canonical can pick one and hope the community will make it The Very Best Ever. Same for editors, IDEs and so on.

I see many developers moving to Mac, because the development tools (editors, frontends, IDEs) there are simply better, prettier, easier and more polished. We should keep these people on board.

The biggest annoyance for me has to be the fact that the gnome panel constantly seems to get confused on the order in which icons and gadgets should appear. I'll spend 30 minutes getting the notification area, icons, menus, etc arranged just as I like them, and then notice the next time I login that they're rearranged. And God help you if you ever resize the panel, even temporarily, because they get completely screwed if that happens. It's very frustrating, and is a problem that's existed since the gnome panel was invented (yes, I've been using it that long). Even more frustrating is that once they're screwed up, they seem to tend to lock in place to the extent that fixing them back the way you like becomes a real exercise.

Currently, resizing windows in Ubuntu 10.10 is a royal pain. Depending on the application, there can be a little triangular 'thing' on the bottom right on which I can clearly point my cursor to and click to drag. However, many applications like firefox, chrome and some other installed apps don't have this 'triangle'. It makes for several wasted seconds of trying to get my cursor on the less-than-10px border in order to resize the way I want. I'd be very happy if you looked at this issue. Thanks and I'm actually looking forward to Unity. Just for the difference. :)


I have recently installed 10.10 on a dual-boot Win7 and Mint 10.10 laptop. The main problem I faced was that whereas in previous versions I could delete partitions and then install into the free space, 10.10 does not have this option.

In order to get it to install, I had to quit the installer, resize the windows partition using gparted and then select 'Install next to other OS' (I can't remember the exact wording).

It was a bit frustrating to see the really helpful option 'Install into free space' get removed.

Otherwise, a brilliant OS. I use it on the desktop at home and on my work laptop.

I use Ubuntu (10.10) almost full time on my personal machines, and am part of a movement toward Ubuntu at my day job (from RHEL5.1), where I use Linux between 25 & 100 percent of the time, depending upon the projects I'm working on in a given period.

10.10 is most of the way there, and, if all the panels and launchers properly auto-hide in 11.4, I have hope that it will only add polish. Great job so far!

That said, I have a gripes and wishes (which I may post about later, if I have time), but my single greatest annoyance is quite simple really: the window manager has no option to keep focus from being stolen.

I know that both Gnome and Canonical are allergic to options, which is indeed the best default stance from a UX standpoint. However, this is right up there with mouse activated window focus behavior, which you do have an option for.

Especially on my netbook, where I'm running many apps full screen and process startup is relatively slow, I rage every time I start a couple programs, start working in the first that comes up, then get pulled away to some f'ing trivial dialog in the next, losing keystrokes. Worse, occasionally dismissing a dialog I didn't intend to.

I know that apps can be written to be less rude, but part of the beauty of *nix windowing is that the window manager gets the final say, so even rude apps can, at best, whine a bit (i.e. blink their window header and/or their button in the window list panel widget.

Window Snapping: with options to snap inside or outside of monitors in a multiple monitor setup, ie, snap to the side of a screen of 1 monitor, or snap to the side of an entire desktop.

I use ubuntu as my main OS, for development and 2D/3D graphics design.

Really like what I have seen of unity.

A small detail: I don't like the drums and the jungle default sound effects, when starting ubuntu. Windows & apple are far better in this regard.

In applications, I don't like plain text menus. I think it would be a great idea, to add a some by default way, in wich all the applications plain text menus could be collapsed inside an icon, like in firefox4 or google chrome.

As always, make the default theme to look brilliant.

Ubuntu is great, just keep the awesome work.

As an Ubuntu user since day one I don't like the way the distro is going. As some other users said before, the UI is not that great and lately I've seen ridiculous 'fixes' for bad decisions. For example: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/notify-osd/+bug/46...

This is seen as a feature, it's basically a top right growl style notification bubble, but they added an 100px top offset so it wouldn't interfere with other applications. Why? Because the user can not click the notifications away, they have a delay and waiting is the only way to remove those bubbles. This has to be one of the worst decisions ever. Look at growl/OSX, it works. In this case it's fine to copy a feature and not try to be different.

Another thing I absolutely don't understand is all the media/audio frameworks there have been since 4.10 (not really an Ubuntu only problem), why not stick with one that just works? IMHO, Ubuntu should experiment all they want with unity, notify-osd, placing window buttons to the left, ... but please, just provide a basic install option that just works without all the fancy new stuff (that is probably thrown out soon anyway because something else comes up).

Just make it work. Steve Jobs seems to be able to impose decisions on a large group of people, but he also seems to have thought about most things really really well. Lately Ubuntu seems to adopt everything as long as it doesn't look like something everybody else has.

Sorry if I'm ranting, but as an Ubuntu lover the last few years have been a serious disappointment.

Concerning applications: I absolutely miss Grip and would be very happy if you could add it to the packages again. I really liked it because it is very unobstrusive but configurable to the max.

So far I have not found a nice replacement for Grip. At the moment I'm using XCFA, but I'm not very happy, because I have to do a lot of things manually, like replacing _ with spaces in directory names (in filenames there are spaces, very strange). What tool do you use for cd ripping (mp3)?

Even though it's easy to fix, moving the min/max/close buttons to the left is a major annoyance.

Having the buttons on the left also screws up my favourite window border theme (Crux) because the window title gets shifted right to make room for the buttons, with the result that the end of the title does not line up with the colour transition in the title bar.

I'm looking forward to trying out Unity and seeing how that handles, so it's hard to make any constructive comments based on the current UI knowing what's coming in 11.04. That said...

As a laptop user, it has always felt like suspend and resume could be a bit quicker. You've spent a lot of effort getting boot time down - how about spending some optimisation effort on resume.

While I think about suspend/resume, it really bugs me that I have to authenticate to the screensaver before I can suspend my laptop. I'd like a configuration option to allow Fn-F4 to suspend even if the system has the screen lock running.

I understand that much of the tool chain is in place to just 'do the right thing' when installing on an SSD (partition alignment, trim support in kernel). To make users aware, though, the installer should really call out that it is optimising the installation for SSD so the user knows it has been identified correctly. It would be useful if the installer could also recognise SSDs during upgrades and give some advice on what's not configured optimally too.

When I plug a USB memory stick in a short time after I removed it, reopen the nautilus windows that I had open last time. This would help in the situation where you're moving things back and forward between two machines.

Take what I say with a large grain of salt as it's just been my experience but... I've tried Ubuntu off an on for several years but never really been satisfied.

Mostly the problems I've had have been summed up by the only partly tongue-in-cheek tag line "Ubuntu: It's like Debian Sid but without the bug fixes" When it works, it works great. When it doesn't, it's hell to try to fix.

Stability is the number one issue. Stability of the apps (due to, I think, overzealous adoption of software that just isn't ready yet) and drivers (which of course you have little control over, but maybe try recommending an older, more tested, less featurful version of the driver as an alternative for when the new hotness dies a horrible death?). The kernel has generally been fine. I fully understand the desire for the latest and greatest software, but I'd rather run a version or two behind the bleeding edge in exchange for my apps not crashing all the time.

I also don't use GNOME or KDE or XFCE so I'm not really the target of any Ubuntu releases. So I basically would just chuck away most of the UI stuff that differentiates Ubuntu from say, Debian, and run StumpWM.

I did install Ubuntu on my dad's netbook and it seems to be working great though so... Maybe I just get the bad draw of hardware?

First of all, great job. I've been using Ubuntu as my sole OS for years now. It's a pleasure. I primarily use it for browsing the web and programming (I like the *nix environment). That's basically it.

I run GNOME with the Courier font in terminal and the black-white system color theme. It looks sleek and has improved since I did my first install.

When Update Manager runs, I see a ton of things to update some times without a clue of what depends on them. The UI could have some sort of small text under the dependency that says something like "used by app1, app2, and N others."

Also, it seems like when I authenticate for an update to occur the prompt to authenticate just sits there. I have to close it manually after clicking the "Authenticate" button to actually watch my updates stream in. That didn't use to happen.

Perhaps the update process could suggest removals. For example, I never have and probably will never use the Gwibber social client. Similarly, I have installed for some unknown reason two photo managers, two desktop mail clients, a video editing program, etc. Over time, my OS should maintain or decrease bloat unlike Winblows.

For people who are looking to switch to Mac OS X for it's looks and usability and are planning to buy Mac hardware just for the OS or stick with Windows, Ubuntu GNU/Linux would be an option on their current hardware.

I use an AWN dock in Ubuntu and would love to have the time to research/hack my way to the Universal menu bar. It would be great if Ubuntu would have a standard (optional) Dock and Universal Menu Bar.

The universal menu bar approach was taken in Netbook Remix, whether it remains in desktop Unity will be interesting to see.

Desktop sharing with Compiz enabled. Currently you can share an Ubuntu desktop (System->Preferences->Remote Desktop) easily, but viewing these shared desktops doesn't work with any of the regular VNC clients (vinagre, xtightvncviewer, etc) if Compiz is enabled...which on most Ubuntu desktops is true by default. This leads to a confusing experience for the non-technical user.

I've recently switched over from using the built in VNC server to just exporting the display through ssh (using the -X option), since I'm usually tunneling VNC over ssh anyway. This obviously doesn't help when you actually need to control the desktop, but I found that I usually just wanted to use specific programs remotely, so it works for me.

I recently made the move from Ubuntu to OSX, next time I buy a laptop I want to move back to Ubuntu, these things would help.

1. Make the install extremely smooth on mac hardware, including trackpad and hibernate support.

2. The recent UI touches are nice but still a long way to go, http://polishlinux.org/reviews/ipod_i_linux/ipod_in_nautilus... for example looks terrible, the osx finder is pretty bad but at least it looks nice.

3. This is out of your control, but when I move to linux it is akin to giving up designing, there is very little to no choice when it comes to 3rd party design apps.

I do still use Ubuntu via virtualbox regularly, you guys impressed me massively in the last few years and its amazing that ubuntu can even compete, let alone often outperform osx and windows in a lot of areas (even some ui issues, spaces on osx are terrible) So thanks for all the great work, hopefully I can get back to being a full time ubuntu user soon

I use Ubuntu every day, both at home on my laptop, netbook, and at work for an IT consulting company.

I have family using Ubuntu (it makes support a hell of a lot easier), and yes, I'm one of those, "My grandma uses Ubuntu," guys.

I have a small, spattered list of some things:

At the office, I am familiar with our Microsoft Exchange 2007 settings. I am still unable to get Exchange support using Evolution outside of our work network. I forget what the exact (incorrect) version error was, haven't played with that since Maverick's release, but is holding me back from true Exchange support. I think Evolution needs a little love. I saw that some bugs were reported upstream, but it didn't seem like they were being taken care of.

Consistent Quit/Close/Applications-that-minimize-to-tray is something, from my understanding, that has to be taken care of per-application, but it would be nice to have it consistent with what minimized to where. Currently, on Unity, closing Skype sends it to the tray, which isn't visible in the indicators. I have to either remember to minimize it and not close it, or throw it on a different workspace.

Of course, Windicators are something I'm looking forward to.

Also, I don't know that a Terminal Server Client (currently TSClient, but I read somewhere Remmina was going to take over, wooo!) is completely necessary on a default install. For an everyday user, they might not need to connect to a Windows RDP or anything else via VNC. No, it's not a large package to have on a default install, but I'm not certain that it's required for mainstream, everyday use (You know, similar to reasoning behind Gimp).

Perhaps there's something of substance here that may help.

Thanks for the hard work, and I'm excited to see the next release, and I'll (as always) be sure to run the bleeding-edge and report bugs as necessary.

I would like to see a bit more resources directed at the Kubuntu project.

Coming from the Windows world, I've had nothing but frustration trying to manage the one Ubuntu box that I have running on EC2. The OS and desktop seems workable, but the tools available to interact with it are simply not there.

An example: I VNC into the box, pull up a file in the editor, head back to my Windows machine, copy some text, head back to the Ubuntu box, hit "paste". Nothing happens. [skip forward past 4 hours of frustration, trying to get copy/paste working]. Still no luck. All I can find is random posts on the internet saying essentially either "you can't do that". Or, "that's easy, just..." followed by 24 steps of command line interaction to get it working on one specific configuration (that I don't have).

Another example: Trying to transfer files back & forth between my windows machine and a remote box running Ubuntu. Same 4 hours of frustration. Same complete lack of progress.

I realize that you guys probably don't consider this to be a Ubuntu problem. That it's just an issue with 3rd party tools. And that it's simply a case of one of your users who doesn't know what he's doing. Those last two things are undoubtedly true, but the first one definitely is not.

This is your problem. If you want people like me using your OS for their servers, you need to give us tools to do it. Connecting to a remote Windows server lets me step seamlessly into it via Remote Desktop. Copy/Paste works correctly without me ever having to think about it. I can even see my local file system on the remote box and vice versa. That's the standard we're accustomed to in the Windows world, so that's what you're going to need to match if you want us using your OS.

If you can get that working, I'm there. I realize it will probably involve you guys releasing your own VNC client and your own SSH Tunneling thing, and otherwise reinventing the wheel half a dozen times. But it will reduce friction for people who want to use your stuff. And as far as I can tell, that's what you want.

I don't mean this with any Linux-nerd snark at all: You shouldn't be administering a Linux server with remote desktop. You shouldn't even have X installed on your servers. Even if you can administer some things, you'll find the tools just aren't there, and you'll spend all your time in a terminal windows.

Honestly, your life will be dramatically improved if you spend 30 minutes getting comfortable with the commandline, the bare-bones-basics of vim and SSH/SCP. Copy/paste and file transfers are solved problems with PuTTY and Filezilla.

(In my personal life I am a total Linux/BSD user, but professionally I am a .Net dev who deploys to Linux on EC2 from Windows, so I have a little bit of standing to speak!)

This isn't very helpful in your specific problem, but typically servers don't have graphical capabilities. So much so, that I was a little baffled when I read that you VNC'ed into one. Instead your local toolchain interacts with the remote.

If I wanted to paste something in a file remotely, I'd open it in my local editor (which can ssh into remote machines). If I needed to transfer files back and forth, I'd use an FTP client (Filezilla works cross-platform).

Are you saying you've found a way to remotely browse the filesystem of your Ubuntu box from within windows (without resorting to FTP?). As in, something that ties into windows explorer and lets you deal with remote files as though they were local?

If so, please point me to it.

But that's sort of the point I'm trying to make. If the Ubuntu team wants to get Windows devs to try out their thing, they need to make stuff like this completely painless. To the point of building a "Windows Kit" that you simply install at your end and it hooks you up with a complete set of tools you need to interact with your remote server.

Yes, it's called WinSCP: http://winscp.net/eng/index.php. It makes the remote filesystem appear as if it's just a local filesystem (if you choose the explorer interface type).

Look into filesystems over SSH. There are things like that for windows and they work okay (though what's wrong with using an FTP/SFTP client?)

I think you're missing the point that admining a Linux server is different. The complete set of tools you need to interact with a remote Linux server is: an SSH client.

I've used ubuntu on servers before and it is quite painless. You've inflicted a fair ammount of pain on yourself by running a graphical interface on a server.

As others have stated, spending 15 minutes learning about the linux commandline will save you a ton of time, effort, and pain.

The GUI was an attempt to alleviate the pain caused by years of having to poke at Linux boxes through a terminal. As far as I'm concerned, it's still orders of magnitude better than having to type out keyboard commands to navigate around the filesystem.

It's just a shame that the tools to do it remotely aren't up to scratch.

I assume this is a joke...

using WinSCP to access your Ubuntu box via ssh from Windows should be an easier option.

My laptop runs hot on Ubuntu, and I don't know how to fix it. I have an HP Envy 15, and just idling at the desktop leaves the thing at 50 deg C with the fans on medium. It's pretty frustrating. On Windows, I'm 10 degrees cooler with little fan activity.

Everything that I would expect to be broken appears OK; the CPU scaling works right and scales down my processors, dmesg claims recognition of ACPI and thermal zones, and in general power management seems to be working fine. But it's hot nevertheless. I upgraded my BIOS to the latest from HP. My ATI card works best with the radeon drivers from xorg-edgers, but I've tried both fglrx and the stable radeon driver with no improvement with regards to temperature.

So that's what irritates me the most. Oh, and it takes forever to wake up from sleep and hibernate -- longer than it takes to cold boot.

Hi Jason -

I've been using Ubuntu for about 1 year as my main development machine at work. Here are a few quick suggestions:

* use Clementine as default audio player (rythmbox rescanning each time was killing me, plus some other annoyances that I can't remember). I tried all of the other players and found Clementine to be just perfect.

* use pidgin as default IM client. I must have SIPE to integrate with Office Communicator and at the time of install this was not working in Empathy.

* Look at what Linux Mint is doing with UI. As soon as I can, I'm switching.

Big pros for mint:

* nice color scheme

* single taskbar (at bottom) = more screen real estate and single point of action for my mouse.

* ability to search programs and anything else that lives under the Mint Menu (this is huge).

* conservative and transparent (with regards to risk) update system. I've had some ups and downs with updating packages and I wonder if the mint ranking system would have prevented that...

I suspect this is a complicated issue, but my biggest gripe with installation has always been related to third-party drivers. It would be cool if there was some way to bundle wireless card drivers with the install CD/USB stick, for example. (Was recently setting up a machine where wired internet was not readily available - I know that's sort of an edge case.) I know that problems related to the drivers themselves are out of your hands, but making it even easier to track down and install the right drivers would be a step in the right direction.

As was mentioned over at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2321584 power management needs a lot of work.

Nevertheless, I'm eternally grateful for the excellent work you guys are doing over there. Please keep it up!

Something to bear in mind, when neither wired nor wifi internet is available, plugging an Android phone in via USB does the job. Can be handy, and is still gee-whizz impressive to me, though I'm sure the novelty will wear off soon.

Keyboard shortcuts are inconsistent in Ubuntu.

On Mac, Cmd-C always means Copy (even in Google Docs), and Ctrl-C does what it should in Terminal. Compare that to Gnome's use of Ctrl-C in all apps except for terminal, where you have to press 3 keys (Ctrl-Shift-C) at once.

Go to line is Ctrl-G, Ctrl-L, and Ctrl-I in different editors.

I am currently a full time Ubuntu user and have been for the past 6 months. All my previous attempts to switch from Windows to Ubuntu have lasted only a month or two (and I have been trying every year since 1998 or so), so I am extrememly happy with the progress that was made which has allowed me to continue using Ubuntu for the last 6 months without feeling the need to go back to Windows. But I have some gripes.

One of my biggest gripes if the way fonts are handled. This is a huge issue for the web. For some reason, some package I installed, added a bunch of god-awful bitmap fonts, the most noticeable one is some sort of 8x8 bitmapped Helvetica font, which led to every single page using "Helvetica" in the font stack being rendered with a tiny non-aliased font. This was not limited to Helvetica, but also applied to a large number of other fonts. As an example, here is what I am forced to use as I type in this very comment.

╰─$ fc-match Courier courR12-ISO8859-1.pcf.gz: "Courier" "Regular"

I initially fixed it by overriding all my Firefox fonts to the Ubuntu font, but then I lose all the typography people are so careful to use nowadays.

I was eventually able to fix most of it by figuring out I could could override individual fonts in the /etc/fonts/local.conf file, but thats a really bad solution, and I cant tell you right now, the disgusting fonts have DEFINITELY been a reason I have moved back to Windows in the past.

Also, please get someone to fix the ridiculous resize handles, I work at relatively high resolutions, even so, those handles actually feel like they are less than a pixel thick!

The "Open With" dialog fills up with hundreds of duplicates I have to manually remove, especially when using wine.

Please fix everything in this list http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2322064

Apart from these problems, and a few others I will probably remember once I click Add Comment, 10.10 is in my opinion, the best Linux distro by far.

Fix the Internet connection problems for the systems behind proxies / firewalls which requires authentication.

It's a big pain to mess with the config files to set up all shipped programs to work ok in such an environment. The System | Preferences | Network Proxy... Manual Proxy Configuration, [Details] button (...enter here your username, pwd) has a very 'fuzzy' effect (even if we press [Apply System Wide...] button) - some programs work, some don't (including apt-get) etc.

For more details you can have a look at http://askubuntu.com/questions/6340/cannot-connect-to-intern...

Can we have a centralized, streamlined, intuitive approach for this which really works?

1) Ability to dock windows on left half or right half like Windows 7. Make it even better with quarter screen size docking 2) Make terminator default terminal or install it be default 3) Install nautilus-open-terminal by default 4) Transparency controls for windows

Trim the fat, like firefox did to mozilla, just the essentials. No openoffice, gimp, etc. Personally I just use it for coding and surfing. I know it is good for avg joe to have office and graphics tools, but then give us two versions, 'basic' and 'full' editions.

>Trim the fat, like firefox did to mozilla, just the essentials. No openoffice, gimp, etc

You can easily trim away apps you don't want though can't you. I've found that popcon-largest-unused was helpful when doing that.

If it's a slim initial install I gather you can install the basics, command line only, and then use apt (I prefer aptitude) to add in all the parts you actually want.

I also use Ubuntu almost exclusively. My biggest complaint is with the panel. It doesn't make sense to me to have both the 'notification area' and 'indicator applet.' Why is my wifi status indicator in a separate grouping from the battery and sound indicators? I prefer to have any sort of important indicators grouped together. When I place the groups side by side, there's a visible divider between them. I feel this is a waste of space and is detrimental to the overall look and feel. Another issue with this is that when I switch screen resolution or use an external monitor, the positions of the groups shift. I'd prefer if they were always just docked against the edge of my screen.

I have not seen notifications in 11.4, but the system in 10.10 seems silly to me, probably because I'm used to growl. I keep trying to reach to the notification to interact with the application calling for my attention and it just makes it disappear :/

I'm not sure if this is fixed yet, it seemed to get better then worse over the last few years, but I haven't tried it under the next release:

Getting Ubuntu working behind a proxy seems overcomplicated. At least in the near past you needed to set the proxy in the browser, for the command line, for updates and probably other things individually.

Getting it working for updates is particularly annoying for people not sure what is happening as the errors you receive are, at best, generic "internet not working" errors. Is it possible for a desktop to know if it's behind a proxy? If so then better error messages can be provided. But you should only need to set it once regardless.

Vertical panels need more design and testing.

I haven't tried 11.04/Unity yet, but my experience with previous releases has not been encouraging w.r.t. setups without any horizontal panels.

For example, with 10.10 I need to set the background to translucent (the default tiling is broken when vertical), edit the Ambiance theme to then have panel applets actually have a translucent background, replace the default window list with DockbarX, and replace the panel menu bar with just a main menu. And the clock applet calendar view is still broken, showing up above the applet.

For comparison, on Windows 7 none of that is necessary -- the panel works just as well vertically as it does horizontally.

I use Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS at work and I keep experiencing a serious desktop bug. Namely, gnome-settings-daemon leaks memory at something like 1G/day, so every week or so my machine slows down until I kill and restart g-s-d.

That's the one thing that has been making Ubuntu look bad to be for a couple of years now. Memory leak bugs have been reported and allegedly fixed in g-s-d prior to 10.04, but mine persists.

The only thing that's unusual about my setup that it occurs to me to note, other than that I changed my window theme and a couple fonts from the default, is that my homedir is NFS mounted.

I truly believe Ubuntu is missing a huge opportunity regarding apt repository statistics. They should be able to track (at least on the mirrors they control) each time a user installs a particular package. Collecting these sorts of statistics and making them public via the Ubuntu website or through Synaptic would add a lot of value to the user community, IMHO. When I'm looking for a particular type of software in the repository, I for one would love to know how many downloads a package has had and how those stats compare to other alternative packages.

Debian has "popularity-contest", which is an optional package that submits those statistics. The results can be viewed at http://popcon.debian.org/

Also installable in Ubuntu.

In portable systems (laptops and netbooks) the system should be able to work out its location from things like visible WiFi SSIDs and other onboard hardware. This would enable a few cool things:

* Tell the user that their normal WiFi router is probably turned off if it's SSID is not visible while others previously observed in the same location are present.

* Adjust settings based on location: When my laptop is in the office at work, I typically want the sound muted and the lockscreen active. When it's at home I want the sound turned up and the lockscreen disabled.

- Make it possible to use it without touching/seeing/knowing of existence of terminal at all. That means, for example, that it would be possible to install all the essential programs and tools (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Flash, audio/video codecks, Java,...), run and configure most popular servers/deamons (Apache, RDBMSes, etc.) using GUI only. Make the GUI a main way of operating the system, not a fancy wrapper over a console. - Make it _less_ customizable, strip off gazillions of options and make default ones good enough.

It is entirely possible to install Firefox (which is the default browser anyway, Chrome, etc.) without touching a terminal using the Ubuntu Software Center.

Why would one want to configure Apache or MySQL using a GUI? This seems misguided to me.

The number one feature that keeps driving me back to OSX is the four finger swipe to activate expose. If Ubuntu had a similar feature I would probably be running it right now.

That's seriously the only thing stopping you from using Ubuntu? All the other differences doesn't matter, the four finger swipe is the make or break?

There are other things here and there that I don't like about Ubuntu but the four finger swipe is one of those polished aspects of OSX that you don't realize how integral it is to trackpad usage until you don't have it. I would guess with a high degree of confidence that you have never used a Mac with four finger swipe for more then a token amount of time based on your response.

I don't use Exposé that much, just some widgets. It has it's own button.

A dark theme is for "hackers", not for the general public.

I disagree: many of my non-hacker friends really liked the dark taskbar of Windows Vista and thought it looked cool.

Indeed, I forgot that one. Then I can't explain why Ubuntu feels wrong. Its like I pressed Ctrl + Option + Cmd + 8 on OSX.

In Ubuntu 10.10 Meta-P keybinding used to turn off screen, but, GOD DAMN, I use it in Emacs. I don't know how turn make this binding free.

I actually have no complaints whatsoever about Ubuntu (except for the 'you must use google+gconf to turn off the login screen sound'). In fact, I've found it so appealingly easy to use over the past few years that I've switched to FreeBSD just so I'm a little bit over my head again :) I may be a perversely unique case and you probably shouldn't cater to me!

  * Fix multihead (>2 displays)
  * consistent ui
  * make the window resize area bigger. 1px is NOT enough

I'm not sure what part of Ubuntu does this (compiz? gnome defaults?) but if you hold Alt and middle click near the edge of a window (within 50px maybe) you can resize in a very nice, clean way. It's much better than trying to hit the 1px edge.

I would kill for an OpenSolaris-like time slider for BtrFS volumes. And having ZFS-like block deduplication too wouldn't hurt.


Fix nm/nm-applet and I'll be beyond happy. I'm sick of it randomly dying whenever it wants to, having to do

  sudo pkill -9 nm-applet && sudo nm-applet
...a billion times a day. Including always when switching user accounts. It's really bizarre. I'm tempted to use wicd, but the icon for it and UI sucks balls compared to nm-applet. I used to have an alias set to to do most of the dirty work, but in the end it's only a few keystrokes saved; I still have to type in my pass to become sudo, and exit twice to close the terminal.

Really gets aggravating when my dad or someone borrows my computer and I have to su -l into my user, go through the whole process above and logout (from shell) all over again. Seems like a ridiculous process just to connect to my wifi.

A related issue to this is saner default key management. I've been using Ubuntu since Intrepid, and I've never figured out how to get the default key management to stop bothering me when unnecessary. It's sort of alright that it asks me for the default key on bootup since I change my password around regularly and it's different from the first one I set, yet it for some reason is unable to remember any wifi profiles at all after the first password change.

Default apps like Gwibber and Evolution have never worked for me on multiple computers (am using 10.04+ 32 and 64 builds), while their alternatives like Pidgin and Thunderbird or Claws Mail work great and consistently. On the branding side of things, LibreOffice rolls off the tongue better than OpenOffice.org, but still has the pesky, stereotypical problem of open source projects with tacky and alienating names.

Applaud you all on your choice with Banshee, better player than Rhythmbox for sure. As long as libmobiledevice is rolled in, I'm happy.

Unity is a bold move that you all have already invested quite a bit of development time and energy into, but I unfortunately will not upgrade from 10.04 because of it. It's really alien to me and others whom I introduce Ubuntu to, and I don't really see what problem it aims to fix other than maybe trying to shake up the old UI/UX scene on the desktop from the WIMP to something less...WIMP.

Really, the only things I miss the most from Windows and Mac is iTunes Store, which I can view from my iPhone anyways (although it'd be nice on the desktop, but I understand that this completely not your fault but Apple's decision) and high-quality FPS games like Halo that aren't all just a rehashing of the Doom engine.

Great work and keep on building a great operating system. Ubuntu's visionary development and support ecosystem is really a marvel that I've enjoyed using and supporting over the years. I really appreciate what you all do at Canonical.

Good Luck.

EDIT: Also see[1] my comment on the large default icons, fonts, and spacing for everything in Ubuntu. It's been getting worse since 9.04 and all the many thick panels, icons and such really add up to a bad experience and amateurish feel. If you all could explain the need for such large solid-colored bars on both the bottom and top of the page as well as the the thick, solid-colored toolbars in every application (Firefox is a big transgressor here), that'd be great to hear.

[1]: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2317321

You can use "system connections" so your wifi doesn't go down when switching between users, it works for me (I have a mix of kubuntu and ubuntu machines). I find it strange that nm-applet crashes, did you submit a bug report?

My experience isn't that nm-applet crashes when you switch users, but the icon is no longer available. What that means is that, if user A is the first to sign in, nm-applet runs in their taskbar. If you then switch to user B without logging out, user B cannot switch networks or other settings without doing the kill/restart from the command line because the applet is not visible. For something like network settings on a desktop OS, this is nearly unacceptable and a royal pain in the ass.

As a dev, it'd be great if vim, git, and ruby were included with an install, like how OS X does.

I really appreciate keeping the default install limited to the essentials. Some might want git, others mercurial. Some prefer vim, others emacs. If you want to cater for all of these people, you end up with bloatware. Installing vim, git and ruby is a matter of a few seconds, isn't it?

    sudo apt-get install vim git ruby

It's called "Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot"?

Yet presumably you want to increase the install base?

Do you not see a problem here?

There is a tradition in Ubuntu community that Mark Shuttleworth will nickname the upcoming release. Remember that Ubuntu releases come out every 6 months and the numbers are YEAR.MONTH of the release.

Ubuntu 10.04 was Lucid Lynx , released in April 2010 Ubuntu 10.10 was Maverick Meerkat , released in October 2010 Ubuntu 11.04 is Natty Narwhal, will be released April, 2011 Ubuntu 11.10 will be Oneiric Ocelot, will be released October, 2011

We tend to refer to the releases by number (the 10.10 release) or nickname (the Lucid release, the Natty release). Helps distinguish between various versions.

See Mark's blog post: http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/646

No, it's called Ubuntu 10.10 - "Oneiric" is just a code name for developers.

And people here downvote when you complain about it...

I'm colorblind, so maybe it's that, but the latest color scheme & widgets are awful. Maybe it's an American thing.

Don't try to be clever with design, most everyone sucks at it. "borrow" concepts, colors, & looks from iOS if you have to.

VPN support must be drastically updated. I have to have my machine dual boot windows so I can log into my company's VPN using Cisco AnyConnect. I would love for Ubuntu to solve this so I no longer need Windows. Ever.

To help new users making the switch to Ubuntu you could work with OEM vendors to provide a Ubuntu + VirtualBox + Windows install. That way users can occasionally switch back to Windows, if they have to.

A tool that lets me easily change the key mappings would be great. Swapping ctrl and capslock is really handy (and Esc with ` or ~), however I've found it difficult to change in the past.

System > Preferences > Keyboard > Layouts > Options... for swapping ctrl and capslock and other things

System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts for shortcuts that hook in to application functionality

I'd like a sync thing so that my system settings (e.g. vimrc) and other things are easily replicated from machine to machine.

I tried Ubuntu One but for whatever reason I couldn't get it to work.

OTR support in Empathy

Work with OEM vendors to provide a kick ass Ubuntu tablet!

I never use the GUI.

Removal of ruby from apt-get and replacement with a working system wide rvm installation that can be overridden with individual user rvm installations.

1. Mouse button configuration GUI. This is a huge ease of use issue for people who dont know how to edit config files. 2. Fix the sound issues.

I've been using Ubuntu for the past 4 years. It just works.

Thank you

As a user I shy away because of the option magnitude, too much. As a designer I shy away because no app can beat Photoshop, sadly.

I've been using Ubuntu practically exclusively for about 1.5 years (on 10.10 now). I mostly do web development/design and general productivity stuff. Obviously, most things work great or at least well enough, otherwise, I'd have switched to something else.

Here's what I really want:

# Top 3 Desktop

- Place tracker (or whatever it is these days) search bar into the panel by default. Allow easy mapping to a key combination (e.g. win-space though that clashes with gnome-do). Not having an intuitive desktop search is really sinful.

- Allow me to define apps to (auto-)open in specific workspaces. This would make getting back into things after a reboot much faster.

- Sound - midi is just broken (on my machine) - alsa, jack, etc. I don't get it - this should just work. Midi matters for music production and learning (e.g. even for just playing guitar tabs).

# Other desktop

- Desktop zoom - it's overall done right, but please give me option (like in OS X) to move the zoomed area only when I touch the edge of the screen rather than keeping the mouse pointer centered in the zoomed area.

- Tomboy notes are quick and easy, esp. in conjunction with gnome-do and ubuntu one. However, they lack features (export, tagging), and they occasionally freeze on sync/crash, so not the most stable (no data loss yet though). They don't handle copy & paste well (bad html for lists if I remember correctly).

- No good evernote client. The current version runs ok in Wine though, so not super major.

- If you remap ctrl-alt-backspace, please tell me what the remapping is. Also, I've gotten into swap hell occasionally, and there was no way to force an efficient shutdown of a memory-hogging app, thus forcing hard resets, which have actually led to data loss on an ntfs partition that I keep for win7 interoperability.

- Don't mute the microphone after reboot. It makes for weird skype phone calls.

- Nautilus: add default "open terminal here" context menu

- For less geeky users: Make Ubuntu Software Center more prominent, also expand the choices in "Synaptic > Edit > Mark packages by task" and put them in Software Center as well. (e.g. graphics design, music, etc.)

- On my machine HDMI connections to an external monitor don't work. VGA gives me a headache because of artifacts (can't screw connector into notebook port).

# My biggest wish by 1000x

- Improve power management for notebooks. I bought a notebook with a long battery life, but I get roughly half the battery life on Ubuntu vs Win 7. I know this is hard, but this is seriously where Linux lags by far the most behind Win and OS X. This issue has the biggest potential to drive me away from Ubuntu/Linux again. If Win 7 had multiple workspaces, a visible desktop search, and an OS X like zoom function, I'd be tempted to put a small CLI linux in a virtual machine for coding and run Windows, just for the extended battery life.

- Also power-related: flash plugin CPU usage and stability are abysmal. It crashes all the time, across Chrome tabs (b/c flash is a shared process). So having a video open in a tab and opening another site with flash on it can kill the (paused) video in the other tab. This happens multiple times per day. Also flash ads/widgets in several tabs == hot laptop. My most frequent terminal command is "killall npviewer.bin". Java (plugins at least) has similar issues (very high CPU usage for apps that hardly do anything).

Wow! Thanks for writing this up.

I'll cherry pick for now and talk about more in a general follow-up later in the day.

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by 'place tracker', but if you check out some of the things coming in Unity, I think you'll like them. In Unity, Dash and Places are going to allow people to search, find and launch applications much easier.

An article from the OMG! folks w/ to give you an idea.... http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/03/quick-tip-enable-full-scr...

When I boot up, I always get a message saying

Disk Drive UUID=blablablablablablablabla-blabl-blabla-bla could not be found.

Wait for mounting, or continue?

This message is scary and gives me no actionable information (what's the uuid of my cards? I don't know!)

You can set the "nobootwait" option on that device in /etc/fstab to indicate that it shouldn't ask you on boot when it's not there.

Make the Compiz "Grid" plugin enabled by default.

I <3 Ubuntu (server and desktop)

A better name.

How about increasing the width at the edge of a window where it allows you to resize it to something other than a single pixel? That's one of my biggest usability gripes, at least for something that seems so obvious and easy to fix.

It's possible it's already been fixed (I use Lucid), in which case disregard. But I would upgrade for that alone.

I frequently have the single-pixel resize handle problem. What's even more frustrating is that there seem to be at least two pixels that cause the cursor to change, so more often than not my first click doesn't actually start the resize. Sometimes I get to three or four unsuccessful attempts to resize my window and can't help but feel like I'm on Candid Camera.

That's one of my biggest gripes too. I sometimes use a tablet as an input device, and it's really hard to grab the edge of a window with the pen.

I feel your pain. While they fix it I found that doing 'ALT+SPACE' and then pressing 'R' helped me a bit. But yeah, three keys for something that should be intuitive..

I've always had to resort to right-clicking the title bar and hitting "Resize"; this shortcut to do the same thing is very helpful.

But I agree with everyone else in that it shouldn't be necessary to go through this just to resize windows, but I've always blamed myself for not learning awesome.

If you have a middle button, holding down alt while middle dragging gives a nice and easy resize that only requires you be within what seems to be 1/3 of the window's dimensions away from the border you want to resize.

I commented above on this...


having one pixel in which to get a resize going is the biggest pain in the ass on my netbook.

If you can do it, try to add android-environment which allow to run android app on ubuntu.

Drop the ugly GTK, build a beautiful UI toolkit. Pwn the OS X UI.

Here's your indicator:

OS X is beautiful, (I heard it is used internally in the heavens and rumors say God built a hackintosh for himself)

The more OS X switchers to Ubuntu you get, the more you can be sure you are in the right path. The less you get, the farthest from beauty you are.

Now you can argue with that, as you were expecting a more generic indicator, but sorry, this is one of nature's mysteries

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