Achtung: this is one of those bad-mood posts i prefer to avoid writing, but the Ubuntu project needs a bit of a verbal thrashing…
i’ve been a happy, dedicated Ubuntu user since i left Kubuntu when they switched from KDE 3 to KDE 4 (which was, and still is, utterly useless as a work environment). i had been a happy, dedicated Kubuntu user since switching from Suse. i had been a happy, dedicated Suse user since the summer of 1998, shortly after i moved to Germany, and only left them because their package management tools simply got atrociously bad (i’m sure they have since gotten better, but once you’ve used apt-get and friends you can’t ever go back to an RPM-based system). Before Suse i would use various distros and had no real favourite (i started using Linux in 1994). i think i was using Slackware most of the time back then.
When Ubuntu 11.04 came out i diligently upgraded. “Upgrade,” he says! Upgrade!!! Right! It was supposed to be an upgrade! But the Ubuntu project went with some eye-candy desktop environment with the same core properties as KDE4: it looks beautiful but is absolutely useless as a work environment. i need a WORKstation, not a PLAYstation (that’s what my GameBoy is for). So i back-revved (upgraded!) 11.04 to 10.10 and was once a happy, dedicated Ubuntu user.
And then came 11.10, and i felt compelled to try it out. BAD IDEA! Not only does it have that same goddamned Mac-like user interface, they’ve moved the app menu to the top of the screen. Steve Jobs isn’t dead - he went to work for Ubuntu.
I HATE HAVING THE MENU ON THE TOP OF MY SCREEN. After reading several blog posts about how to remove it, nothing worked. So i installed the LXDE desktop on it, which is actually quite nice but has the fatal flaw that it cannot properly do multi-head (or it has no tool for setting it up like Ubuntu and friends have). My netbook (my only PC) gets continually moved between two different external monitors and i need a work environment which can do that. Ubuntu handled that beautifully, without any restarting or other Windows/Firefox-like behaviour. So LXDE is ruled out.
At this very moment i’m running the LiveCD version of Mint Linux, and it’s installing as i’m writing this (try doing that in Windows or Mac!).
GOODBYE, UBUNTU! i once loved you, but this betrayal is too much. i cannot live with a menu stuck at the top of my screen and a desktop with which i cannot work. Even in “Gnome Classic” mode that goddamned menu sits at the top of my screen, continually taunting me. i can’t have my PC taunting me, so off you go, back to the toybox where your Unity desktop belongs.
The installer is finished now, so it’s now time to go get all my packages installed and whatnot. What a waste of time. This type of thing was fun 10 or 12 years ago, but i’m too old for that - i want a system which just works and keeps working. Kinda like Ubuntu did up until version 11.04.