Standard Ubuntu on the Netbook

I’ve reinstalled standard Ubuntu on my netbook.


Because I’m not sure about the new UNE layout, and I don’t necessarily want or need desktop effects.  Also, I like having more than one desktop, and I found that to be a huge disadvantage to UNE.

So, how do I manage my windows, you ask?  Well, alt-tab works well, but there’s a window menu switcher for your panel; I use that to switch between windows with the mouse.  Simple.

Ubuntu Netbook Screenshot, Sept 2010

As you can see, I have the standard menu, the window manager menu, deskbar, a quick-access terminal, workspace switcher, tray, applets, etc.

This takes up less room than the setup of the Maverick UNE. Not that I mind that, but I’d rather have more screen space.

I also seem to get more battery power out of standard Ubuntu than I do UNE.  Strange, but I guess that’s fine.  I have a large enough screen (10.1″) so it’s not a big deal to lose a few pixels up top.  I’d rather have the pixels to the left; I hate horizontal scrolling.

I might give UNE another shot in the next LTS version.  The new setup is kind of beta, in my opinion.  We’ll see how it matures.

Edit for punctuation fixes.

15 thoughts on “Standard Ubuntu on the Netbook”

  1. Yes I won’t be updating the wife’s netbook for the same reasons, as I know that she won’t like the GNOME shell (resistance to change!) and nor do I for that matter, I realise that at some point I’ll either have to do like wise (desktop on the Eee) as I already have on mine as I’ve got Debian installed on my Eee.

    1. Well, I tried it when it was Alpha (and I know that’s not a fair assessment) but I found there were a lot of niggling issues for me. The sidebar that can’t be hid is one of them, and the fact that it was so slow was another.

      I’ll wait til the Natty Narwhal release to see if it’s improved. I think Maverick is going to be a rough ride for many people.


  2. I have done the same. The Unity menu panel on the left takes more space than two GNOME panels at the top and the bottom of the screen. With DockbarX and Namebar, everything neatly fits into the top GNOME panel. Plus, the huge application icons in UNE always left me puzzled. why have the favorites folder, when adding more than 6 apps to it makes you scroll down every time?

    1. Agreed.

      The application icons are huge because I think they’re trying to prep it for tablets that have capacitive screens. That is where UNE (in it’s current state, not Maverick) would shine. Too bad tablets are moving toward Android and iOS.


  3. I gave up on netbook remix over six months ago and I have not seen a reason to return to it with Maverick and UNE.

    What I ended up doing is standard Ubuntu with one very small panel on the left that autohides and is only needed occasionally. Cairo dock panel at the bottom with intelligent autohide. This setup works great and delivers the most real estate.

    I just recently installed KDE Plasma Netbook and I have been trying that. It is the best “netbook” interface I have seen so far. Time will tel if I keep it or revert to Ubuntu with Cairo Dock.

      1. I tried it in Virtualbox when it first became available last winter, but it was still too buggy. KDE has been trying to squash bugs for the past six months or so and it is starting to pay off. I played with kubuntu 10.04 in Virtualbox for a while to get the feel of it, first. It worked pretty well and I installed it on my netbook. The release of 4.5 seemed to work even better (backports ppa, August) in Virtualbox. However, I ran into trouble using 4.5 on my netbook “Eeepc 1000HE” and I used Clonezilla to revert to 4.4.

        When 4.5.1 was released I tried upgrading again and everything seemed to work except desktop effects (kwin composite). After much searching I found that many folks have this problem and it is usually solved by turning off blur in desktop effects. This is a problem for intel and nvidia graphic drivers. After this change it seems to work pretty well.

        I have tried to use KDE4 in the past few years, because I was a big KDE 3.5 fan. After becoming used to Gnome (out of necessity) I now find it great for my desktop. After playing with recent KDE releases, I am starting to get my mind wrapped around the concept of Plasma. I am not yet ready to give up Gnome on my desktop system, but Plasma Netbook is a really useful way of applying the unique qualities of Plasma for a netbook system. I just installed KDE on top of Ubuntu and I can still boot Ubuntu with Gnome if I need it.

        1. Thanks for the info. Has Kubuntu become more stable? I tried the KDE4 version of it awhile ago and found loads of bugs and frustration. :(

          Sounds like they’ve been squashing a lot of bugs, and that’s a good thing. I’ll have to give it another shot.



      2. It is easier to try the Plasma Netbook interface than it is to describe it. Plasma allows wide latitude in the design of the desktop interface and they used this feature in the design of the Plasma Netbook. The desktop consists of two actvities called “Search and launch” and “Page One”. “Page One” can have any assortment of widgets that you want. Search and launch is were the main action is located. You get a single autohide panel at the top, favorites below that, a search box below that and a complete menu below that. See here:

  4. The next time you get around to installing UNE, take note that at the login screen, following input of your name and advancing to the password field, the bottom status line changes to reveal an option for you to ‘switch’ from UNE’s ui to GNOME.

    Try it and you’ll discover that for all intents and purposes you have Ubuntu’s GNOME ui.

    P.S. UNE doesn’t come standard with Compiz, but if your netbook supports graphics 3D acceleration, you are just one click away from having compiz effects as I have on my Acer Aspire One D260.

    Good Luck!

    1. I did not know that I could pick which desktop I wanted. I didn’t look into the options. Oops. Heh.

      I think UNE will be using Metacity and some effects. My netbook can handle it, but I don’t think I need it, especially since Compiz takes a lot of battery. :)


  5. I used UNE or UNR for awhile, but switched with Jaunty to full Ubuntu for the same reasons that you mention.

    I use virtual desktops all of the time and am frustrated with not having them. I also dislike the large clunky icons and interface with all its levels. I have all of my icons small in GNOME and one panel and it works well for me.

    I have tried Unity, but dislike it too.

    1. Unity is interesting, but I don’t think it’ll work for me. I think it’s going to be kind of buggy as heck for the first month or so.

      I’m firmly in the “wait and see” camp for this.


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