Tag Archives: Ubuntu

Ubuntu changes its desktop from GNOME to Unity – Computerworld Blogs

Ubuntu changes its desktop from GNOME to Unity – Computerworld Blogs:

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and the company behind it, Canonical, surprised the hundreds of Ubuntu programmers at the Ubuntu Developers Summit when he announced that in the next release of the popular Linux operating system, Ubuntu 11.04, Unity would become the default desktop interface.

Unity is Ubuntu’s new netbook interface. While based on GNOME, it is own take on what an interface should look and act like. Shuttleworth explained that Canonical was doing this because “users want Unity as their primary desktop.”

What’s interesting is that this parallels what Apple is attempting to do with Mac OS 10.8 (“Lion”) – move the the default desktop metaphor away from the windowed environment that we’ve had for years in favour of something else.

I’m not surprised that this is coming from Canonical, though. If any company has pushed Linux away from being something that’s only suitable to hobbyists to a genuinely user-friendly OS, it’s Shuttleworth and his team.

If your Add/Remove applications has no applications in it, here’s what to do

It looks like there’s an interesting bug in the current version of Adobe Air for Linux which, if you install it, can affect the Ubuntu Add/Remove Applications programme.

So, if you find that after installing Air, you have no applications at all listed in Add/Remove Apps, do this:

In terminal, type sudo update-app-install

If that doesn’t work, reinstall the Add/Remove Apps application:

sudo apt-get –reinstall install gnome-app-install

This should do the trick. According to Rohit Kewlani of the Adobe Air team (posting in the above thread), this should be fixed in an upcoming Air release.

How my computing needs affected switching to Linux

In response to my post about switching to Ubuntu Linux, Charles Arthur tweeted a question asking about my computing needs. It’s a good question, because – obviously – how you use your computer will often determine your platform of choice.
My needs are pretty diverse, but largely I’m a media monkey. Text is the most important medium I generat, which means that OpenOffice is probably my most-used application. But, like most journalists, bloggers and writers I also need to mess around with images, edit the occasional video and play with sound.
On the Mac, the applications I used for these tasks were:

  • Graphics: an ancient copy of Photoshop.
  • Video: iMovie, although I hated the “upgrade” to 08 with a passion.
  • Sound: Fission, and GarageBand for multitracking stuff.

With Ubuntu, these have been replaced with:

Could I switch to Linux if, say, I was a professional video or audio editor? Probably not. For both of those tasks, specialist applications like Final Cut Pro mean that Linux isn’t really an option (no doubt someone will pop up now to contradict me!) But for what I do, all the tools I need are there. Some of them (like Kino) are actually better than what i had before. And, importantly, they’re free – in all the sense of the word.


You might have gathered from some of my more recent posts that I've switched platform. My main machine is now a Dell laptop, running Ubuntu 8.10.

I've been using Macs since 1986, and have owned one more or less continuously since 1989. Machines that have been through the mill of my day-to-day keyboard bashing include the Mac Plus, LC 475, PowerBook Duo, iBook and MacBook Pro. I've earned a living writing about Macs and attended more Macworld Expos than I can count.

But unless Apple has a change of direction and creates some very different machines, I think that I've probably bought my last one.

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