Friday, April 01, 2011

Natty -- I'm still trying.

Well, you have to say I don't give up easily but I'm still trying to get Ubuntu Natty (11.04 Beta1) working on one of my computers.
On the Dell E520 with a nVidia Geforce 7300 LE card, I've concluded that, for the moment, Natty just won't work if the 3D driver is invoked.
By doing a clean install from the i386 iso (including formatting the /home), I managed to get a workable rendition of Natty. However, no compiz 3D effects are available, nor any Unity effects, nor AWN.
Fairly plain and uninteresting but at least it's usable.
Although none of the fancy Unity icons are shown at the left of the screen, there is what I assume is a Unity, rather than a gnome, menu favicon available in the gnome-panel.
On my EeePC 901 which has an Intel 945 GM video card, things went a little more according to expectations but still there's a lot of ground to be made up.
Here, where I had an updated Ubuntu 10.10 working well with 3D effects, I used the command

sudo do-release-upgrade -d

and this proceeded for more than 3 hours. Towards the end, however, when a choice regarding the Grub configuration had to be made, I was out of the room. When I returned, the computer had frozen.
On reboot, I chose the recovery mode for 11.04 (no black and white screens here). In recovery I renewed the above command which proceeded smoothly to completion.
On a further reboot, the much longed for Unity desktop finally appeared in a addition to the AWN dock.
To be truthful, the Unity desktop is NOT to my taste. It's basically what was formerly known as the Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR).
It seems to be an effort to make Ubuntu acceptable to non-geeks which, of course, is where the big market is.
For me, however, it's just too pretty and simple. I want challenge and CLI.
Maybe, though, I'm just being a "luddite" and reluctant to accept anything new. But honestly I don't think so.
In any event, as I didn't have the wobbly windows and rotating cube that I like very much, I opened ccsm from a terminal and invoked them.
However, when I rebooted, even though my windows now wobbled, the Unity icons had gone. Even reversing the changes I made in ccsm, I couldn't get the Unity icons back -- not of course that I wanted them. Nevertheless, I'd like to know how I can launch them or not.
Other than that I haven't found anything in Natty that has enchanted me so far. On balance, therefore, I have to say that Natty is disappointing as well as seeming to be much more buggy than I've come to expect from Ubuntu in the Beta phase.
Nevertheless, let's wait and see what transpires.

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