Ubuntu 11.10 review

A management application that is accessible from System Settings, is User Accounts. In Ubuntu 11.10, the types of user accounts that can be created has been reduced to two – Standard and Administrator. On previous version, you could create Desktop, Custom and Administrator accounts. The problem with user accounts is it does not have a facility that could be used to modify the privileges assigned to a Standard account. Also, it lacks password-aging and password-expiration features.
Ubuntu 11.10 Create Account

How Secure Is The System?: Out of the box, only one port (631 – Internet Protocol Printing) is open, but listening locally. Ufw, the Uncomplicated FireWall, is active, but a graphical interface is not installed. Aside from the firewall, AppArmor (Application Armor) is active, with 12 profiles and three processes in enforce mode. So, as far as network security goes, the system has a good default security profile. But security is more than about network security. Physical security has to be considered too. That is why it is better to use an Alternate Installer ISO image. With its support for disk encryption, you can install a system with a comprehensive (physical and network) security posture.

Final Thoughts: For the first time, I am actually beginning to like the Unity Desktop, which now has a better look and feel than the GNOME 3 desktop I tested on Sabayon 7 GNOME. It no longer gets in the way, like it did when it was initially released. Kudos to Canonical. They have got me convinced, not about the distribution, which I do not care much for, but about the Unity Desktop. Now, if only other distributions (Debian, Mint) could start offering a Unity Desktop version of their distribution.

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What security-conscious users are still waiting for, is an updated Ubiquity installer, one with support for disk encryption and LVM, especially disk encryption.

Resources: All download options for Ubuntu 11.10 are available here. You may read the Release Notes, post support questions here or to Questions and Answers.

Screenshots: View more screenshots from test installations of Ubuntu 11.10.

The login screen after the guest session has been disabled.
Ubuntu 11.10 Guest Disabled

The desktop showing the entry for Guest Session in the session indicator.
Ubuntu 11.10 Guest Session

This shows the desktop minus the profile indicator, after the guest session had been disabled.
Ubuntu 11.10 Profile Indicator

The Dash showing the few games installed by default. Many more games are available in the repository.
Ubuntu 11.10 Games

The desktop when ALT+Tab keyboard keys are pressed.
Unity ALT Tab Shortcut

Another screenshot showing what happens when ALT+Tab keyboard keys are pressed.
Ubuntu Unity ALT Tab

A screenshot of the Software Center showing the regular scrollbar after the over scrollbar had been disabled.
Ubuntu 11.10 No Overlay Scrollbar

Default updates settings.
Ubuntu 11.10 Updates Settings

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  1. wolverine tech says:


    What do you think of the disappearing global menu and the Mac OS-like left positioning of the window buttons.

    (Would have used Ubuntu 11.10 to introduce folks to Linux. Looks like it’s going to be Mint 12 – the RC runs great on my ThinkPad T61 so far.)

    I’m surprised you prefer Unity to GNOME Shell :) Great review BTW.


    • I’ve been using Ubuntu almost exclusively for the past 3 weeks. Overall, it’s not much better than GNOME 3. These new desktops look good at first glance, but with time, you get to see how much they get in the way.

      Mint 12, with MGSE looks a little bit better, but also not by much. That’s my opinion after 1 day of use. Might change my opinion after a week or two, but certain aspects of it are just as annoying as the others.

      Eventually, I’m moving back to KDE 4. With this pair, desktop computing will be a lot less annoying.

      • wolverine tech says:

        Unity, GNOME, KDE:
        KDE has weathered the storm of transitioning from 3.x to 4.x & has now been polished beyond imagination. (Waiting for Chakra/Pardus/Mageia to mature.) Hopefully, Unity & GNOME will evolve into awesome interfaces too. GNOME-Do + Cairo-Dock helps get around some of the aggravations of Shell. Been using Mint 12 RC since release… I like it so far.

        You might have already seen this, but Unity is a lot more usable using keyboard shortcuts. I even had this as my wallpaper for a while http://www.webupd8.org/2011/04/ubuntu-unity-keyboard-shortcuts.html

        Yeah, with MGSE, GNOME shell should be easier for my parents (fervently hope so :)). Otherwise, I’ll just have them use LM 9. I’m choosing Mint for my folks ‘coz Clem & team really seem to make sane decisions and using feedback well. Hope Mint supports LVM, btrfs & disk encryption in future.

        Thanks for your reply.

  2. I have literally experience non of the problems you guys are having with the ram usage and hardware. I’ve tweaked up ubuntu 11.10 enough so that i will be able to get some things on. If you guys read at all, they made ubuntu less configurable because they wanted to get the defaults down before they could have people start tweaking it. This makes SO MUCH sense because its a WHOLE new UI. They are going the right way with this, obviously there needed to be a change if Linux still wasnt going forward as much as it could. I can guarantee you that gnome 3 wasnt going to change that so ubuntu decided to try their own thing.

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