Computer Communication & Consulting


letzte Änderung 23.09.2011

Hello World - Goodbye Ubuntu

Bevor I say goodby to Ubuntu, I would like to explain a bit more about my computers and what they are used for.

My computers are work horses. They (currently) run on Ubuntu 10.04 except my servers. The servers @ home run on whatever they are installed first. The file server is Debian, the LAMP server is SLES 8.

At work I use 2 desktops. One for administer a larger SAN (with app. 80 servers running on SLES 10) and the tape backup system. This network for security reasons is an island without any connection to the outside. The other computer is my office PC. Connected to the world. Used for chasing information in the net, writing mails and also for documentation and reporting.

At home I have an Ubuntu desktop box and during commuting I use a Sony P11. The P11 is a very handy box with an extremely high resolution screen for such a small system. It has 1600x768 pixel and I need all of them.

All 4 computers are running Gnome 2 with 4 desktops defined each. I implemented a fast desktop switching by combination of [Meta][F1]...[F4]. The Desktops are used by me in a fixed order. One for monitoring, one for mail, one for programming, one for virtual machines ...
The reason why I satisfied with Ubuntu 10.04: it was easy to install and is very near to Debian but providing more actual drivers like the Poulsbo driver for the "unlucky" GMA500 chip in the P11.

So what is wrong with Ubuntu?

I tested (on an separate PC) the Ubuntu 11.04 and now the 11.10 Beta version of Ubuntu. Just to see whats coming up. And there are now some problems I don't want to be faced with.

Unity and Gnome 3

Okay, thats some kind of personal taste and we cannot avoid things changing. I tried Unity and the new Gnome 3 desktop now for several weeks. And I got lost!

Positive on both I see that they are taking care about the changing screen formats. Newer screens do not stick to the 4:3 ratio. Wide screens are state of the art. Therefore panels at top and bottom of screen are using to much space.
But we are free to move the panels to left and right ... even with the "old" Gnome.

Unity and Gnome 3 are not (okay I tested with a beta version) stable enough to be used on a production machine. I had to use [Alt][Cntl][F1] quit often to get a working shell calling "/etc/init.d/lightdm restart" for getting out of sticked applications. And both desktops are as intuitive for operations as a simple shell. Only for the shell I can use "apropos" and "man". So I like the shell more.

Where is the date and clock on the new desktops? Sometimes is there, sometimes not. I could not find a rule for it.
Okay I use Gkrellm anyhow, but I never used it before to display date and time.

Okay, the desktop depends on personal taste. But there are more reasons to say Goodbye.

Applications I am using

First of all to name "Quanta Plus". I love this app. I never found a more useful app to edit and manage web-projects. Just pushing the [F8] button and the changes are stored and uploaded. I use Quanta Plus since 10 years for different complex websites writing much more than 100.000 lines of HTML, PHP and Java code. But Quanta is taken completely out of Ubuntu 11.10.
That's a very big minus!

Next is Evolution. This is not longer the default e-mail client. Okay, it is still in the repository ... but how long will it be there? Also this app I use for about 10 years. Not all time happy with it. But it is a strong, reliable workhorse. I only miss a real archive function in it. I would like to archive between 30.000 to 50.000 emails (email orders) per year. Keeping all this mails within the standard folders is possible but make starting the program quite slow.

The default e-mail app now is Thunderbird ... no way for me to use that! Thats like Firefox. To colored - to slow. Eating to much power for effects I don't like and I don't need. I like to have fast apps which do not load CPU to much. I don't want to waste energy just for fancy effects. Especially if I am working on Battery.

Firefox is a very special case, too. I loved its version 3.x (still on 10.04). It was clean and (mostly) fast. I could invoke in bash "firefox -SQLiteManager dbname" from a script. This does not longer work on newer Firefox versions.

I love "apt-get" and its GUI equivalent "Synaptic" for managing applications. I do not need Ubuntu store. Okay I am able to install Synaptic by apt-get, but why?

I prefer Pidgin and don't like Empathy. But Ubuntu forces me to use Empathy. Pidgin is not really smart in Unity and a "just so" solution in Gnome 3.

Also "gnome-open filename.ext" does not longer open the the appropriate application with this file. It just stucks in the directory opening Nautilus.
This makes some of my programs unhandy.

BTW: Poulsbo driver is not working yet with Ubuntu 11.10 ... but the release is still Beta.


If I compare the Ubuntu 10.04 with the 11.10. Personally I cannot see a step forward. My feeling tells me is more a step back.
So what can I do now? I can stay with the 10.04 or try and move completely to plain Debian - maybe with some restrictions on this unlucky GMA500 chipset or even more upcomming problems with other new hardware. Ubuntu 11.10 could be the right way for people using iPhones focused on colored apps but is not the right way for a all day workhorse.
If I would like to play games I would decide for a Windows PC ... it definitely would be the better choice.

Bye bye Ubuntu.

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