Ubuntu 17.10, when you get back to your roots you feel good
Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark was released last week. With the beginning of this new stage in which Unity is left behind and Canonical’s ideas of convergence that never came, there are many changes in the operating system.
This version of the distro is not one of extended support, but it is the first sign of the new course of Ubuntu, which goes back to its roots with GNOME for the delight of some, the sadness of others, and the indifference of many. Personally, this servant liked it a lot, and we will analyze why.
This Ubuntu has already been a source of much controversy and discussion for the choice of GNOME as a desktop environment. There are those who would have liked it to be KDE, others who would prefer Mate, and others still cry tears of blood for Unity.
Be that as it may, the reality is that no one has been removed. Ubuntu Mate, Kubuntu and other flavors continue to exist. Unity will be saved by the community, perhaps, and the Ubuntu GNOME project has now merged with the main Ubuntu maintained by Canonical.
GNOME flavored with Ubuntu or Ubuntu with GNOME flavor
Now, it is important to understand that opinions about this distro will vary a lot, especially depending on where the user comes from and their personal preferences. Those who did not love Unity (among which I include myself to record) are probably in the clouds, while those who had become accustomed to that environment and found it ideal are going to feel somewhat frustrated.
GNOME lovers may have vanilla complaints because Ubuntu has eliminated some things and put others unique to this distribution. Others with a more open mind and that we were extremely bored of Ubuntu and we had little appreciation for Unity, we have a much more positive opinion.
The issue here is that it is a GNOME to which Canonical has given a very personal touch but trying to make the transition from Unity as painless as possible. They have done everything possible to look and behave as similar as possible to the environment that the distro had been using since 2011.
For example, unlike the GNOME vanilla here we have a fixed dock like in Unity. It is something that many prefer to use GNOME Shell, and for that there are extensions like dash to dock extremely popular.
Some Unity is retained, relatively, taking advantage of the flexibility of GNOME, but at the same time have been subtracted some customization options , perhaps to simplify things.
You can do little besides change the size of those icons, add or remove favorites or move the dock sideways. But the reality is that few people need more.
Whoever wants to can always make changes by playing with more advanced settings, installing GNOME extensions, or installing the vanilla environment from scratch if you prefer. Ubuntu, seems to focus on the type of user that most commonly choose the system, one that wants its Linux distro work well with basic applications and now .
An Ubuntu that works
And if that works well. GNOME has improved a lot over the years, and while it is not a “ligerito” environment, it is very functional and you get used to it quickly. What has surprised me in this Ubuntu 17.10 is how well and fluid it is in a computer with very few resources.
I have not tried it in a virtual machine as I usually do with other distros, but in an extremely modest laptop with barely 2 GB of RAM and an Intel Celeron processor that gives pity. Without being full of resources, Ubuntu passes the tests with excellent marks .
The performance is higher than what the machine offers when using Windows 10. Everything starts faster, I can open more applications without the computer dragging, and the battery lasts me forever.
It does not feel as light as using something like elementary OS, but the facilities offered by Ubuntu to install packages, because everything good for Linux is usually compatible with Ubuntu first or only, make choosing this distro is peace of mind .
The beginning of the system is immediate, the animations when pressing the button to launch applications feel very pleasant. The installation of apps from the Ubuntu Software Store has worked in the most efficient way you can remember, the snap packages are installed as a rocket .
The notification center is 10, you can control which apps use it on the desktop and on the lock screen . The entire configuration panel has everything so well organized that it’s hard not to find something you want to adjust in a few seconds.
Perhaps the most difficult thing to find is the new function of night light, the same style as in Windows 10, lets you set hours for the screen to dim the brightness and put warmer colors to rest your eyes when there is little light.
Ubuntu 17.10 has not complained even once when connecting any peripheral, keyboard, mouse, or external monitor. Resolution perfectly detected and drivers working without any failure. With the change to Wayland in theory we have a better graphical server and maybe you do not notice the difference, but there it is. Especially in performance.
Not everything is perfect, and why is not it a bad idea to wait for the 18.04
The classic messages of “Ubuntu has experienced a problem” after having to restart have not disappeared. When I tried to connect my accounts online, something that really does not have much use, the system was completely hung several times, it ‘s a known bug.
The selection of applications is the same as always, nothing exciting there, no absence, no news. Rhythmbox looks better now if you’re one of those who still listen to downloaded music.
Although Ubuntu 17.10 with GNOME looks pretty good and that intelligent behavior of the top panel and its transparencies is excellent, the Ambiance theme continues to collide, I am part of the group that no longer supports that stale brown and would like to see something cleaner and more modern. You can always change, but it is because it is ugly.
Interestingly, despite using the latest version of Firefox, which is supposed to have some of the improvements of Quantum, Chrome works better on Ubuntu, and Firefox better on Windows, but this probably has to do with Firefox has received improvements specific to Windows. 64 bits that no one else enjoys anymore.
If you want to upgrade to Ubuntu 17.10 and come from previous versions, honestly the best thing you can do is a new installation, and if you are going to do a new installation and start from scratch, maybe it is better to wait until 18.04, which will be extended support .
Ubuntu 17.10 is a very good distro and has many positive changes, but there are so many changes that you will hardly find any problems. By the time Ubuntu 18.04 arrives we will have a more mature distro, with perhaps some changes in the default apps for the first time in centuries, and with more support.
If it’s your first time using Ubuntu in a long time, you may be pleasantly surprised. In that case, I highly recommend giving it a try. If you are still one of those who change distro as underwear, I will not even try to convince you, but if you are looking for a Linux that works for everything and almost everyone , this Ubuntu comes more than good.