Friday, April 12, 2013

Ubuntu 13.04 Beta Review ** April 12th, 2012

I am the average Joe Linux user. Ubuntu helped to ease me into the world of Linux gently before plunging into the world of commands and ttys. I have this nostalgic love for Ubuntu, and even if I don't agree with some of their latest goals (let me go on record by saying I do like their direction of mobile) I have always considered it a very friendly distribution. This was before I used 13.04 beta.
What's the ruckus?
Well, Ubuntu is that gateway Linux distribution that the newcomers will use to make the transition easy, right? Well, the latest Ubuntu is going to give them the idea that Linux is inheritly buggy, slow, and crash-prone which is not the case at all. Canonical has been working so hard on its mobile operating system, display server, startup manager, and all of its other pet projects that they forgot to make a good distribution. Whoops!

What is even worse is that this is a long term release. We will be stuck like this for a long time. Imagine if Windows Vista had become the de facto Windows computing environment  of the world. We'd all be on Linux if that were the case, and 13.04 makes me want to move to Windows.

The Problems
One of my biggest problems was the lack of improvement over 12.10, and even 12.04. 12.10 was a copy+paste of 12.04 with some features like shopping and web lenses with previews (which are very helpful, in my opinion) and some optimizations of both user experience and resource consumption. 13.04 is exactly that distribution with one or two minor features and some new icons. There was going to be a VERY desirable feature for lenses included, but they were dropped at the last minute like Wubi.

At one point I had the gnome-settings-manager crash, which also brought down compiz and gtk-window-decorator. This left my desktop in an unusable state where windows did not even reply to keyboard commands. I had to switch to a TTY and pkill lightdm to solve the trouble.

I have also had countless popups telling me there are "problems with the system", and a few of those notifications crash themselves and become unclosable, even after a pkill. I call them the kamikaze windows.

Another big problem is the lack of workspaces. Yes, they aren't included at all by default, folks. They can be enabled through compiz, but that's an unneccessary step, especially considering the option for workspace keyboard combinations are included in the settings manager. While we're talking about the settings manager, let me just warn you that every now and then keyboard shortcuts will decide not to work, so be ready for that.

The Verdict
Now that the venting is over, it is fair to say that this IS A BETA. It most certainly will get better with the final release, but for now it is in an almost unusable state. "Do not use on production machines" is a warning that Canonical gives that I would actually advise following.


  1. 13.04 is NOT a long term release. In fact it is a release which has a support cycle of 9 months. I don't know why it is so buggy for you but i haven't had a single crash since the day i installed it 2 months back(before it reached its only beta release). Its much faster than 12.04 and 12.10 and its got a lot of minor ui improvements and lots of improvements in respect to speed. Its fast and very snappy. The only gripe i have is the shutdown time.. 12.04 shutdown in 3 seconds.. 13.04 in 5 :P
    And workspaces enabled through compiz? What in god's name is that? Its not enabled by default but it can be turned on with the new show desktop feature in the behavior tab of the appearances window in system settings. I'm really sorry 13.04 turned out to be bad. But did u check the md5 sum of the ISO you downloaded? it happens sometimes that the image did not download properly. I have had a lot of botched installs because of md5sums not matching(12.04 and 12.10 mainly).
    Please stop ranting, get your facts right and share your problems or experiences or both with the forums. They can help you better.
    Have a nice day :)

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