Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat — First Impressions

Wow.

That’s what I can say about Maverick so far.

Upgrading from Lucid was easy. I just pressed Alt-F2, then typed

update manager -d

and the update manager started up, after I entered my password. It started updating right away.

Something I noticed right off the bat when I rebooted is that Maverick has taken care of some of my niggling issues, namely my laptop running at rest at 1.0-ish system load. Now, as I type this, my computer is running at 0.66, and it was 0.38 earlier. (System load measured by my system monitor applet.)

I had to re-enable my PPAs and run an update, but once I did that, everything was ship-shape. I like the polished theme. I like having my music player in the sound/volume menu. I like the way the new messaging menu looks.

Now for some pictures!! (Under a cut to save space…)

clean workspace
Clean desktop showing Docky and some programs running.

desk 1 chromium
Chromium.

desk 2
Gwibber and Empathy. Note that there are metacontacts now in Empathy.

desk 3 rhythmbox
Rhythmbox. I’m using Rhythmbox because Banshee isn’t working right now.

desk 4
BOINC. I run this to donate my computer cycles to science. It’s SCIENCE!

software center
Ubuntu Software Center. Looks very slick, though I still usually use Synaptic.

sound menu
The new Sound Menu. It’s easy to change songs in Rhythmbox. Banshee is, sadly, not working well for me right now.

Tomboy menu
The Tomboy Menu. Very nice looking and has more options than the applet or the old menu.

Messeging menu
The new Messaging menu. Wow, this is an awesome revamp.

name menu
The “Me Menu”, or what you get when you click on your name on the panel. Lots of global options here.

shutdown menu
And finally, the shutdown menu. Again, lots of options consolidated into one place.

Ok. Let’s get to the likes and the dislikes, shall we?

Likes:

  • Polish. Ubuntu is progressing on this front. I love the way it looks. I know I should say something other than, “Ooooh, pretty!” but it is a very pretty OS.
  • Speed. I logged in and was to a desktop faster than I was in Lucid. Anyway, it seemed that way.
  • Indicator Applets. This is an awesome way to deal with all the little things you have running. Email, microblogging calendar, music… I love having things consolidated down; it actually makes things easier to find.
  • Network Manager. It seemed to connect to my wireless connection faster than in Lucid.

Dislikes:

  • Banshee doesn’t work.  The 1.7.x branch hasn’t worked at all for me.
  • Gimp is not standard, but because I had it installed in Lucid, it carried over.  I know why they removed it (to save room on the CD) but Gimp is a very powerful program.
  • Deskbar applet isn’t included in the default install.  Strange because it’s very useful.
  • Somehow my Chromium theme (based on my GTK theme) has an orange bar.  Ok.  It was gray before.

Now, if that’s all I have to complain about, I think the release is doing well.  I like the login screen too; looks very clean and polished.  This release is a nice step in-between LTSs, and the Ubuntu community and Canonical has been working VERY hard to create a modern, sleek, stable operating system that’s easy for anyone to use and install.  Kudos to them.

Overall?  I love it.  I’m going to wait on UNE for my netbook til the next LTS comes out, only because I want to see how the new interface shakes out.  I’ll upgrade to Maverick, don’t get me wrong, but I just won’t use UNE.

10 thoughts on “Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat — First Impressions”

  1. We are getting close… to M$
    Every print screen give me the nausea.
    It feels like the package of a Big Mac from Mc Donald – cheap, flashy and oily.

    The (un-eclectic) mass can rejoice: Welcome Marvedick Ubuntu.

    1. I allowed your comment…

      But, Win7 is a halfway decent OS. Bashing other operating systems doesn’t help Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, or Linux in general.

      Amy

  2. Nice write up Amy. I’m definitely excited for Maverick to hit later this month. The levels of polish they’ve added to Ubuntu (with the new font, new theme and other changes) are what’s going to make it a great option for an OS to most regular computer users out there in my opinion.

    Can I ask what Gmail notifier you’re using in the message indicator?

    1. Thank you. The polish is awesome; Ubuntu is making strides in the way it looks. People can complain all they want about how shiny isn’t important, but it is for the basic user. See why OSX is so popular? It’s got a killer interface that’s relatively easy for people to use. Apple has thought this out.

      I’m using CloudSN as my gmail notifier. It doesn’t have packages for Maverick yet, but I’m still running the Lucid version. That messaging menu has been cleaned up quite a bit and looks awesome.

      Amy

  3. I never stop and leave comments on peoples sites but I just felt the need to say that I absolutly love your. I think you are doing a wonderful job on it. Keep up the good work I can’t wait to read more from you. Great post! :)

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