Review: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin – Part 1
I started testing Ubuntu 12.04 LTS at the Beta2 version. I was immediately impressed by the Unity Desktop, the Unity Side Panel, and the HUD. It “almost” perfectly fullfilled my needs as far as a desktop is concerned, and with the minor addition of a few extra software packages and tweakers, it can quickly be turned in to the perfect Custom Unity Desktop. Even the default Unity Desktop is impressive and functional, don’t get me wrong. I really do love it. It just needed a woman’s touch to make it perfect! 🙂
Here’s my “slightly modified” customised Unity3D Desktop….
The default Unity3D Desktop looks like this…
By using Launchpad PPAs you can easily add “Scopes” and “Lenses” to your Unity HUD. This is a brilliant feature that gives fast easy access to a multitude of services, the system, photos, files, music, documents, websites, portals, etc. I’m really impressed by this feature and it’s ability to speed up my daily tasks considerably.
The Unity 3D Desktop, Sidebar, and HUD are all clean, neat, pratical, and can be tweaked just enough to keep most people happy. On older hardware, you would definitely be looking at using the Unity 2D Desktop, Sidebar and HUD to speed things up and save on system resources. However, if like me you have a system with grunt to spare, then you’re truly set to have a very pleasing user experience.
There is enough software installed by default to keep basic users and newbies happy for a while. The diehards will want to install Synaptic straight away, or use Apt, rather than the big clunky but pretty Ubuntu Software Centre. Being the creative type, I immediately installed all of the UbuntuStudio packages, along with the Edubuntu packages, and a few other Desktop Managers that I like tweaking around in — if I can ever bring myself to log out of Unity again. 🙂
With the addition of Avant-Window-Navigator, Synapse, and the additional available Unity-Scopes and Unity-Lenses installed it is possible to navigate to pretty much anything on your system, Wikipedia, Video sites, Music, Software, etc within 2 to 3 keystrokes. I’m impressed with how intuitive it all feels. The addition of Byobu Terminal is wonderful. Byobu has a “strip” at the bottom of the screen giving stacks of useful system information at a glance.
The ISO files come in several different configurations as always. I have tested both the Desktop version and the DVD version, both of which I ran from an 8Gb USB Pendrive. By default, you can either run the Live version from either type, or you can choose to install immediately from either version. I tried both ways on both versions, and everything ran very smoothly all the way through the entire installation process from start to finish. The Live versions ran perfectly on both the Desktop and DVD versions of installation tests.
I have tested Precise on both of my workstation boxes, and also on my Asus 10″ EeePC Netbook. The configuration setup adapted itself faultlessly to each style of system in all 3 cases.
The LTS on this version stands for Long Term Service. As of this version, Ubuntu will be providing continuing support on both the Desktop and Server versions of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS for a full 5 years. April 2017 is when the release cycle support will end. This is fatastic for businesses and users with needs of long term system stability. Ubuntu 14 LTS is due for release in 2014, and will also provide a full 5 years of support, remaining fully supported until 2019.
Next I’ll start stepping you through the Installation Process, and then Customising Ubuntu 12.04, beginning with the addition of extra Scopes and Lenses for Unity.