Open Ballot: Has Ubuntu 11.10 fixed the problems with Unity?


Flamewars and controversies are ten-a-penny in the ever-changing world of computing, but Ubuntu 11.04's switch away from Gnome to Unity caused a particularly large dollop of anger to be spooned onto the internet. While some users cheered the new desktop design, many others felt frustrated by its limitations and glitches. So as we gear up to record our next podcast, we want to hear from Ubuntu users: how do you feel about 11.10's Unity? Has it changed sufficiently to fix any problems you had previously? Is it worse in any respects? Or has it made you simply switch to Xfce?

Let us know in the comments below, and we'll read out the best in our next podcast. Ta!

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Your comments

ubuntu 10.04 LTS gnome 2.30.2

I have kept my ubuntu 10.04 LTS on my production system and reinstalled 10.04 on my test system. It took two days to get all of my applications re-installed, but it was worth it. Then I upgraded my test system to 10.10. They broke things starting here.

I have a document that details the advantages of ubuntu 10.04, but I don't want to expose my self to all of the junk mail I will get if I reveal my email address.

I have included examples of how to have a very clean desktop that is versatile and controllable.

If anyone knows of a way to make this document available to the general ubuntu users I would appreciate hearing.

Gnome Rocks, shred Unity!

Unity blows worse than a flag in a hurricane!!

Gnome is the way ahead, it rocks!

Lat one out better shut the door

No, I stuck with Unity through 11.04 hoping that my instant dislike would be tempered by time. But it just hampers my way of working makes multitasking a nightmare and generally slows me down, so off to mint I went and now i wonder why i stuck it out as long as I did, oh and the mint crew have fixed banshee as well.

Come on over the grass really is greener over here.


All graphical user interfaces suffer the same problem and that is the user is left wondering what to do next. I've never been trained to use a GUI and I'm pretty sure I don't use it to the best effect. I'm still waiting for a GUI that is a "Wizard", ie, it holds my hand and helps me do things. I have tried Unity over and over again and I often get the feeling I am lost. I've opened a web-page, minimised it, and it's disappeared .... somewhere. What the hell!!??

So I've gone back to Gnome with feeling a little inadequate and defeated. Unity looks attractive but it just doesn't help me be more productive. Maybe, I need to undergo instruction which is situation-based. For example, you want to write a letter, administer emails, and browse. As you process the emails, you want to file them in a fashion such that you can easily find them. You want your contacts and calendar to be linked to your phone without having to put things up in the cloud where anyone could possibly see them. You want something like Hamster (a time accounting application) to link with your calendar so that you can see what the heck you have spent your day on. At the end of a week I ask.. "Where the heck did my week go??!!" "What have I achieved??!!" I'm looking for a desktop that helps me get organised and do my work... not one with so many options and variations I get lost in the maze. So I'm back to Gnome and that's most probably why I like Mozilla over Chrome.. because Mozilla at least gives you a menu to choose from, you don't have to know about all the hidden secrets sneakily hidden in this place or that by some (too) clever programmer.


Unity is Micky mouse and counterproductive. After 4 years I'm moving to a new distro. RIP Ubuntu

11.10 unity Sucks! bring back gnome-classic!

I've helped many people convert to Linux with Ubuntu..Right now I don't even like to use it myself.
after Unity was implemented i've had nothing but issues, Graphics lag when I know drivers are installed correctly, Laggy scrolling, Overheating cores doing simple tasks, broken Freq-scaling(or none at all!) hardware monitors don't work...Flickering HDMI output with artifacts..

Time to move on to Fedora or Mint.

Had a good run Ubuntu but all good things must come to an end!

No - Ubuntu was great up until 11.04

I need to get work done without having to worry about new experimental desktops.

The predictability and stability of Ubuntu was key to its success over the past 5 years.
It was near perfect until Ubuntu decided to change the desktop. Unity simply does not work for me, so I am looking for alternatives.

What a shame.

Canonical Elitism

I am now looking at Mint and other distros and EVEN painfully re-considering Windows 7 (if there is anything in this world that I hate more than MS/Windows (let me know waht that is) and yet you have forced me to reconsider that POS as your POS is equally causing more pain)

Uaing Ubuntu for 3 year now I am beginning to liek it and RECOMMENDED IT TO OTHER COMPANIES, AND NOW I AM NOT SURE I CAN DO SO.

We users appreciate "revolutionry ideas" but we still have business to do in the "evolutionary world"! We are not punks out of schRool who "oh" and "awe" at UI eye-candy, Canonical is not in the real world on this point!

We will not use software created by those who do not understad real business needs and the multi-year effort that it takes to support a business. Canonical is supposedely - suppose to kno this - and yet seems not to have a clue.

Tell Mark *S* what-ever his name is - you and your developers are *** ELITISTS *** and have fu k ed up BIGTIME! You have become "schalveals". If you want to do business with folks who are simply tring to do business with others, you better come to your senses. You are now hurting business that are not part of the elites. Business that make the world go around do not want MS BS and now you are heading in that direction.

Have a nice moment!

Unity needs work, but the approach OK (for laptop users)

Been trying many distros within the last days. Me too, I'm not (yet) satisfied with the buggy Unity. But then I noticed that Ubuntu still has the best approach.


Because Gnome 3 is a mess. And Linux Mint 12 made an even greater mess out of this, mixing a vintage shell into it. The new KDE also isn't a good alternative, even though it's still better than the absurd Gnome 3 desktop. However, KDE still sticks with the old UI approach from the 90s. I really think it's time to move on and leave the old 'Windows 95 Start Menu' style behind.

I hope that Unity will improve and learn from what users demand. So far, there is still a lot of work to do for Canonical. For instance, the global menu. A nice idea borrowed from Mac OS, but miserably put into practice. Fitt's Law is good, but useless when the menu is only visible when hovering over -- which renders its convenience into an inconvenience, because a user can't aim directly with their mouse to the desired menu. Tiny details like this example is what makes Unity still suck balls. But I really do hope that it will improve, as I see great potential for it.


A perhaps soon to be ex-Windows7 user (if Unity finds the right path)

Not happy, the change has

Not happy, the change has not helped me.
11.10 was a balls up on my system. Going back to 10.10

I'm only really new to linux

I'm only really new to linux and am not very knowlegable but I downloaded an app called crossover so I could use some windows compatible software and I just couldn't get it to run in Unity. It was really hard to find, in the end I had to search for it, the icon was there but no amount of clicking or right clicking would start the thing. After a huge amount of angst and mucking around during which I managed to lose everything from my dock I found how to install the gnome option on the terminal and then selected gnome at login and I found crossover immediately under applications and the thing worked without any problems. I am pretty ignorant of linux, but I just found Unity to be completely impenetrable. At least I have a fighting chance of navigating myself around on Gnome.

No, Unity is a disaster and

No, Unity is a disaster and I have recently switched over to Debian Stable. Best thing I have ever done. It seems like all the other disto's putting out crud just to have the newest features. Debian stable is just that... stable. Hopefully by the time gnome3 get's added to it, all the kinks will be worked out. For Ubuntu users as frustrated as I was, I highly recommend debian stable.

Unity Is Terrible... switched to Debian Stable

The title says it all.

Hopeless & Pathetic

Keeps freezing & locking up. Unable to install some apps as apt get will not stop.
Plug in a usb stick & it reads it fine but I can't eject it without shutting down the machine as it tells me that it cannot be stopped. Reads Cd/DVD OK but cannot use another one as it tells me the drive is still in use.
Why is Cannonical persiting with this rubbish?

R.I.P. Ubuntu, Buy a Mac!

After running 8.04 for four years without to many issues my laptop was in need of a reload after I loaned it out to someone who messed up all the video settings and put in in a no-boot situation. I did a fresh install of 11.10 and instantly hated it. I ran all the updates and still have tons of issues, here are some.

1) Touchpad freezes randomly and have to fix it via CLI
2) Windows loose the close, min, max, buttons.
3) Chrome freezes
4) Windows randomly turn solid white
5) Unity interface is difficult to find the installed apps you want.

It seems that Ubuntu is trying to kill off this product. I usually wait and only install the LTS versions and this is why. Everything other than the Ubuntu LTS release is basically a beta release. Clearly there is a lot of work to be done by 12.4 if it is not going to be the first LTS that sucks.

Crashes all the time

Many serious issues with it, getting rid of it soon.

Some examples:
1) Does not detect secondary screen after reboots
2) Have to reboot all the time since unity crashes all the time, everything freezes.
3) Ugly and unusable, sidebar cannot properly handle more than one instance of applications
4) Ugly, no uniform approach anywhere, every piece of it looks and behaves differently.
5) Login screen is messed up
6) Dash home is useless
7) etc etc etc

Why oh why unity!!

I have been using ubuntu for many years but since unity I have become so disappointed with ubuntu that, I have had to switch to Kubuntu - I am actually contemplating switching back to debian. What happened to the ubuntu I used to love?? In my oppinion ubuntu have gone too far in the wrong direction at the cost of it's faithful userbase...

Ubuntu 11.10 makes me sad

Most ire about 11.X Ubuntu has been about Unity. Yes it is different, but once you understand the paradigm, it isn't bad.

My complaints about 11.10 is overall Linux kernel/Unity stability. Things that just flat out don't work well on my HP Pavilion 9040n workstation:

1) Copying to removable USB media "deadlocks" the UI, making it impossible to web surf during the copy. It eventually recovers, but you would swear you need to reboot to recover, it is that bad.
2) SD media support is abysmal. I've clocked copying pictures from my camera SD card at 40kB/s. Pathetic!
3) GRUB update-grub is slow (2-4 minutes to complete!), and I'm not convinced it is actually "doing the right thing".
4) Rebooting after automatic update, which included a new kernel "broke" my system. I spent > 1 hour debugging what the update did to my system leaving it in an unbootable state.
5) Booting with network drives configured in fstab doesn't work. I configured my network to "manual" with a static IP, as this system is also a file server. I would expect the network would come up first, then NFS/CIFS shares would be mountable, but this isn't true.

I was running an ancient Fedora 8 install on this system since FC 8 was released. It was stable, a solid performer. However, it was showing its age. It was impossible to run the newest versions of some applications (even building from source) because the build dependency requirements just could not be met. I've been running Ubuntu 11.04 on my laptop, and it works. This is why I'm so surprised 11.10 is so totally broken on my workstation. I'm going to try Mint 12, and then the latest Fedora if that doesn't work out.

My frustration, wasted time and accumulated "rage" towards 11.10 probably took a year off my life. (I love this blog posting title: "Why Ubuntu 11.10 fills me with rage"). I'm just left wondering how the maintainers so totally "screwed the pooch" with this release. "Ubuntu" is now a 4-letter swear word in my vocabulary. They have one more release to redeem the brand name, otherwise they successfully killed Ubuntu.

Nice but broke

every time I login into Unity, takes about or less than an hour for my screen to go black eventhough the system is still on, I have installed Caffeine but not a chance.

11.10 crashing/ screen flickering intermittendly

11.10 crashes now & then, had to force shutdown using power button.
planning to shift back to ubuntu 10.10 :-/

I liked Unity, but have serious bug problems that I can't fix

I don't like unity anymore. The dash will only search files and not applications (tried all the fixes currently out there and nothing worked). Also the software center won't load at all. I'm sick of it... going back to gnome under ubuntu for now, but probably just going to switch to another variant of linux all together. I've been w/ Ubuntu since 2006, but I just can't deal with this crap anymore. I've lost functionality and productivity because of this.


I'm sorry - but as a 10 year Ubuntu boy, all I can say is - SHAME ON YOU!

Not only is Unity just NOT READY.. It's RUBBISH!

My Netbook runs like a dog now.. the one thing I could ALWAYS count on was it running fast with the old Ubuntu..

Hate HATE the HIDDEN main menu! WHERE THE !##!?? IS IT!!?

Waste of space at the top of screen is completely unacceptable.

The HOLE THING is a nasty JOKE that has destroyed UBUNTU's once untouchable reputation..

Again - SHAME ON YOU!!

Pure Debian for me now.. Goodbye and Good luck - Old friend :-(

Open Ballot: Has Ubuntu 11.10 fixed the problems with Unity?

I started with Knoppix which worked great and then went on to Ubuntu 10.10 of which I had only self-induced problems from not following directions. After that it worked great and went on to 11.04 with no problems once I got the launch panel located where I liked it, i.e., at the bottom of the screen. Let's not lose sight of the fact that, to me anyway, that it is a Linux OS and not Microsoft and it works much better in most all cases. I had worked with UNIX systems in the past.

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