Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Been a while...

It has been far too long since my last post so I thought I would get back into the swing of things with an update on my Linux trials & tribulations.

Moved to 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) a couple of months back, not because I had to as 10.10 was working just fine but I am a geek and I just had to see what Unity was all about.

Huge mistake.

I should know by now to leave well enough alone and should have probably just fired up a VM to give it a go but instead upgraded my day-to-day netbook (Asus 1201n) on a whim.

Ubuntu has been my go-to distro for a while now, I use a few other distros in VMs for software testing etc. but since 9.04 Ubuntu has been stable and the software repos for Debian/Ubuntu are just chock-full of goodies not to mention just add a PPA when needed for bleeding edge software but since 10.10 I think Cononical has gone in a very strange direction.

This is not an "I Hate Unity!" rant I promise, to be honest Unity is fine with a few tweaks, this is a "WTF are you doing to this distro!" rant.

So what exactly is my problem with Ubuntu? I can't quite put my finger on it except to say that I have no interest in a beta quality OS! Unity is fine but why do I have to create custom launchers for some applications and not others? Why leave the Gnome menu editor around when it has no effect except in Gnome fall-back mode? Why is the activation of the launcher by moving the mouse to the left of the screen so inconsistent and for that matter why can't I move the bloody thing to the top, right or bottom of the screen? And the problems extend to driver support in the current kernel, wireless drivers that worked fine no longer function and dmesg gets spammed like crazy with odd driver messages which to this day I can't identify as anything other than annoying.

With this said I took the dive and decided to give my old friend Red Hat a try. Well since I last used it as a full -time distro it is now called Fedora and is in it's 15th iteration (Really? Sounds like number hopping to me), comes OOTB with Gnome 3 and Gnome Shell and guess what? It's really no better. I hate yum, the GUI update application never works (and I mean NEVER) and Gnome is as flaky as Unity (although slightly better polished).

Mint? Noooooooooo!