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Ubuntu 11.10 Review: Benchmarked Against Windows 7

Unity 4.0 Overview

Oneiric Ocelot heralds the second incarnation of the Unity GUI in the desktop edition of Ubuntu, but it's actually version 4.0. Version 3.0 shipped with last April's Natty Narwhal, version 2.0 was included in the Netbook Edition of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat, and version 1.0 appeared in Ubuntu Light, the OEM-only instant-on companion OS.

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The 'Natty Narwhal' Desktop

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The 'Oneiric Ocelot' Desktop

While no functionality was lost between Natty's version of Unity and now, several features shifted to other areas of the UI. The three main elements of Unity are the Panel, Launcher, and Dash. This trinity make up the bones of Ubuntu's Unity GUI. The image below is a desktop map of Ubuntu 11.10.

Ubuntu 11.10 Desktop Map

Panel

The Unity Panel takes up two dozen pixels at the top of the screen. This Panel is akin to the upper panel from the GNOME 2 desktop, which was the default GUI in versions of Ubuntu before Natty Narwhal, along with countless other Linux distributions. This is where the System Tray is housed and Notifications appear.

Launcher

The Unity Launcher is the taskbar/dock that takes up the left side of the screen. To make the Windows analogy, the Launcher houses Start menu, the window list, and Quick Launch functionality.

Dash

Dash is essentially the Ubuntu Start menu. It houses shortcuts to everything from applications to operating system utilities to files and folders.

Each of these three elements and the features that comprise them are detailed on the next three pages.

  • compton
    The best part of 11.10 is the renewed appreciation it gave me for Windows 7.
    Reply
  • Gamer Dude
    comptonThe best part of 11.10 is the renewed appreciation it gave me for Windows 7.LOL that bad uh well at leased there is an alternative if the Sopa takes awake my ripped Window 8 copy LOL.
    Reply
  • jasonpwns
    That's the problem, I've always considered Windows king for gaming, but after looking at Doom 3, and the performance boost over Windows 7. Are we sure we're developing for the right platform? I mean games on Linux theoretically would run a lot better.
    Reply
  • indian-art
    Happy with the benchmarks. I feel Ubuntu 12.04 will be even better.

    Just around a couple of months for its launch!
    Reply
  • malimbar
    One major irrelevancy in beginning of the article: while Mint overtook Ubuntu in Distrowatch, it's nowhere near the actual userbase: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/02/stats-show-ubuntu-not-losing-ground-to-linux-mint/

    Interesting article otherwise, and very well done. I particularly like how it highlights major areas that ubuntu developers need to work on, but still gives ubuntu as a OS credit where it deserves it. It's more worthwhile IMO to review LTS releases (and one is coming up soon), but in the meantime it's great to see where Ubuntu is right now.
    Reply
  • Lol. I knew I was gonna see old games on the benchmarks, but all of them id Tech 4? Hahahah.
    Reply
  • rmpumper
    jasonpwnsThat's the problem, I've always considered Windows king for gaming, but after looking at Doom 3, and the performance boost over Windows 7. Are we sure we're developing for the right platform? I mean games on Linux theoretically would run a lot better.
    If you did not notice, all of the 3 tested games are OpenGL which is barely supported in Win7. How about we see some DirectX9 10 and 11 games before making silly conclusions? And in any case, who gives a rat's ass about Doom3 - 7 year old awful game?
    Reply
  • Gamer Dude
    jasonpwnsThat's the problem, I've always considered Windows king for gaming, but after looking at Doom 3, and the performance boost over Windows 7. Are we sure we're developing for the right platform? I mean games on Linux theoretically would run a lot better.To bad Microsoft has a Monopoly on DX architecture.
    Reply
  • nekromobo
    Linux is only free if your time has no value.
    Reply
  • 4870, gtx260, doom 3, did i time travel to 2008?
    Reply