Ubuntu 12.04 Beta: Canonical’s New Linux Desktop

By: Chad Sweely - March 23, 2012

At first, when Unity (Gnome’s replacement in Ubuntu 11x) came to fruition, I could not stand it. I had been used to Gnome being standard in all of the latest Ubuntu releases up until that time (even though in some releases, you could toggle between the two). Now, as I am sure along with most Ubuntu users, I am pretty comfortable with the Unity desktop and its functionality. This is a good feeling to have, especially since the new Ubuntu 12.04 will be released with Unity as well.

To get a feel of what Ubuntu 12.04 will be like (released in late April), users can download a beta version of the upcoming version of the Linux operating system. A downloadable image of Ubuntu 12.04 beta can be acquired from Ubuntu’s Wiki website. Users that are currently running Ubuntu 11.10 can execute the command below in their Terminal window to execute the Update Manager in a mode that will prompt the user to automatically update to this new beta.

update-manager -d

Some interesting features and modifications that you will find in Ubuntu 12.04 are:

  • The default music player has been switched to Rhythmbox, which includes the UbuntuOne Music Store.
  • The System Settings’ “Appearance” panel now allows users to easily configure some properties of Unity.
  • All new Control Panel provides an installer, ability to add/remove folders to sync. Those upgrading from an earlier version of Ubuntu will likely need to manually install the package ubuntuone-control-panel-qt.
  • When installing new software through software-center, corresponding language support packages (translations, spell check modules particulat to that software, help files, etc.) are now installed along automatically. This removes the need to open “Language Support” after installing new software.
  • (Source: Ubuntu Wiki)

To see a list of screen shots of what Ubuntu 12.04’s Unity will look like, ZDNet has uploaded some that can be viewed here.

The Twitter community has been active in discussing this upcoming beta, and I have provided some of their mixed reactions below.

Tried out #Ubuntu 12.04 Beta today, still no integrated calendar??? Kinda needed for us students and business people! 3 days ago via Ubuntu ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Taking the Ubuntu 12.04 beta for a drive. Neither love nor hate Unity, but do want to settle back into an LTS release. 3 days ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

The Ubuntu 12.04 beta experience continues to smooth out even on legacy hardware. Have largely migrated to 11.10 for all Web development. 1 day ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@RelUnrelated Not sure if I like any desktop manager anymore. I miss GNOME 2.x, but it also seems old. Just testing Ubuntu 12.04 beta. 1 day ago via Twitter for Android ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Well, All it takes is some time to know something. Ubuntu, 12.04, I love it. Its beta, It has bugs. Hell, I love it. 1 hour ago via Ubuntu ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Have you tried the Ubuntu 12.04 beta? If so, let us know your feedback and reaction(s) below in this post’s comments section.

Chad Sweely

About the Author

Chad SweelyChad Sweely is a contract writer for WebProNews, and previously was the Support Analyst for iEntry. Chad is also interested in classic Doctor Who, social dancing, and web design.

View all posts by Chad Sweely
  • Ratattack

    At last … Its the one i could give to My mom….

  • Jeremy

    Unity doesn’t bother me any more – except when I see screenshots of it.
    There it is – intruding into the equisite artwork.
    I’m fed up with the Ubuntu search mentality – how can I run a program if I’ve temporarily forgotten it’s name?
    I used to be able to look in a menu under a reasonable category and see a few short descriptions.

    For example, who would think that to compare two files, they could search for either diff or meld?

    The main question people will ask is “which is better” – 10.04 or 12.04?
    I would find it hard to make a case that over 2 years that there has been any progress, unless you count retrograde quantities!

    Should 12.04 be renamed “Ubuntu Vista”?

  • Philip Colfox

    Hurrah. I can now move to Unity on my old hardware which could not handle all the memory leaks. At last it appears to work as well as Gnome. I’ve installed 12.04 on all my enterprise machines already.

  • http://krita.org Bugsbane

    Works well enough. I love the top bar with all of the status indicators and options. The fugly icons and gaudy colored squares behind each of the launchers makes my eyes bleed. Is there really no way to turn these off? (Not monochrome, or semi transparent, but OFF)

  • Brad

    I’m running 12.04 beta 2 with Cinnamon desktop and love it. The 3.2 kernel has some serious performance improvements.