Arts and Entertainment

Ubuntu 15.10: Changing the Linux game

  • Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf, released by Canonical Ltd in October 2015, is a really well thought out operating system where everything just falls into place
- Prajesh SJB Rana, Kathmandu
The UI looks much like Ubuntu’s earlier versions but with the plethora of themes found of the internet, you can turn Ubuntu into anything that appeals to you

Apr 5, 2016-I’m not new to Linux operating systems. I have tried and reviewed earlier versions of Ubuntu as well as experimented with other Linux distributions but I have to admit that none of my earlier reviews have been positive. There were always inherent problems, graphical or systematic, that I have had to spend time trying to fix, something that I did not have time for. I expected Ubuntu to work right out of the box, much like how I deal with a fresh install of Windows where I set it up and install the applications that I want. But this was never the case with Ubuntu; the operating system always pushed me to give it more time and manually fix operating system problems.

Linux is often used by power-users who love the operating system for its stability and ease of use, but here I will be talking about how user-friendly the system is for normal users who don’t code or use terminal commands.   

With Ubuntu 14.10, I had a lot of problems. Initially, I could not get the computer to enter sleep mode when I closed the lid of my

computer. The graphical elements of the operating system was too big making me feel like I was working on a touch-based tablet device; I couldn’t reduce the size of these elements as well. The apps were all rudimentary and looked like they belonged on a Windows XP computer. But after I installed Ubuntu 15.10 a few days ago, all my earlier disappointments with the operating system were wiped away.

Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf, released by Canonical Ltd back in October 2015, is a really well thought out operating system and I was surprised by how everything just fell into place after my installation of the operating system. I just needed to tinker around with the settings panel a bit and I had everything up and running without having to manually try and fix problems that I have had to in the past. The UI elements were still quite big and bulky but I was able to easily scale them down via the display option, something that would have been a nagging issue on earlier versions of Ubuntu.

The latest version on Ubuntu does not offer anything new in terms of graphical user interface, and feels much like the 14.10 with the Unity desktop interface. After you install the OS, you will be greeted with a clean desktop environment with a dock on the left hand side, a placement that still bothers me but I stopped using the dock altogether and am using Docky alternatively. The UI looks much like Ubuntu’s earlier versions but with the plethora of themes found of the internet, you can turn Ubuntu into anything that appeals to you. I made Ubuntu look great with a custom theme and icon pack.

In recent years, Linux has grown as an operating system with really well designed applications. It even has some really nice games that you can install from the Linux version of Steam. The built-in apps that came with Ubuntu were not very impressive, LibreOffice still looks like a very old version of Microsoft Office and Rhythmbox Music Player is just too basic for a good media management application. There are great alternatives on the Ubuntu Software Center however, and I instantly found some really great alternatives of the baked-in applications. WPS Office is a beautiful looking office suite that supports all Microsoft Office standards and even offers some advanced features that would be found on Microsoft’s Office. WPS also follows Microsoft’s design standards and has a ribbon interface that will make you feel right at home. Similarly, there are great application that you can find on the Ubuntu Software Center to augment your Ubuntu system.  

On the usability side of things, Ubuntu is really fast. After using Ubuntu for a couple of days, I instantly realised that I loved working on Ubuntu more than Windows because my mouse movements were faster and since the operating system come with built-in support for multi-finger gestures, the two-finger scrolling was smooth and fast. Ubuntu Software Center is also fully packed with apps now and will make installing almost all applications really simple. If you have a .deb package, the software centre will detect it and install it easily with a click of a button (you would have to install it through the terminal on earlier versions). Although the software centre makes installation easier, you will have to turn to the terminal from time to time. Some application packages won’t be available on the software centre and to install these applications, you will have to type in codes on the Terminal.

After a few days of initial testing, I have settled with Ubuntu. In my dual-boot configuration with Windows 10, I find myself booting into Windows rarely these days. An experience that I had never had with any other version of Ubuntu, Ubuntu 15.10 is so smooth and fast that Windows just feels sluggish. Earlier versions of Ubuntu I would have installed but would never come back to because of all the hassle it presented, but with the new version of Ubuntu, my experience has changed. Ubuntu is growing, Linux is growing and with it my opinions of the OS are changing. If you want to break free from the monotony of Windows, try Ubuntu 15.10. It’s not as complex as it was before and with a little tweaks here and there, it looks amazing.

Published: 05-04-2016 08:20

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