Steer away from 12.10

I am myself surprised to say ‘ Steer away from 12.10 – Quantal Quetzal’. Many of us who use Precise version of Ubuntu (12.04), would get a notification for an upgrade. Surprisingly, when I fell for the temptation to install Quantal, I did not know what it would lead me into. I was totally disappointed. There are no changes in the default apps – thank you for that – but otherwise, there have been minor changes in the overall look and feel, icons, color changes and overall the new version is a bit more polished than Precise. Hey……but @ what cost – SPEED

It carries forward all the goodies of 12.04, but also adds on a few features / functionalities that makes Quantal slow and laggy and hence a version which you can easily skip and not be worried about. I generally like every version of Ubuntu that gets released because of the new features and functionalities, however, the performance degradation because of the new additions are unacceptable. Unity was anyways a little slow to start with, however with Quantal, it has now become even slower. I have a decent hardware configuration, running an 8 core AMD, 64GB of dedicated SSD for the OS, and 16 Gigs of ram, however, I still find the overall desktop performance below par. It is just ‘DAMN SLOW’.

Some of the new system highlights include

  1. Web Apps – We all use web applications such as Google Docs, Facebook, and Twitter on a daily basis. The new webapp feature in Ubuntu lets you use these as tools on your desktop as if they were installed applications on your desktop. Not only that, it integrates well across all apps in the operating system. For example, after you visit Gmail for the first time in Firefox or Chromium, you’ll get a prompt asking you if you want to integrate it with your system. If you say yes, you’ll see Gmail show up in Ubuntu’s launcher, and you can click on it to bring it up in its own window. You can also right-click on it to perform actions such as composing a new message.All webapps integrate well with the menu bar. Gmail will notify you when you have new mail via Ubuntu’s indicator icon. You can add any webapp to the launcher, but only some will have the ability to integrate with the OS natively
  2. On line & search Previews in Dash – Till Quantal was released, the Dash was a single window for Ubuntu for anything in your system . It was kind of a search for anything and everything lying on your PC. However, in Quantal, on line searches are included when you search for an item through the dash. That means if you use on-line Docs such as Google docs or Zoho, the Dash will search your local documents and on-line storage when you start searching. You can sign into these accounts once from the new On line Accounts Menu, and you’ll see them everywhere in the system.What I don’t like and many would second my opinion, is the Amazon search. Whenever, one searches for anything in the Dash, one also gets to see what Amazon has to offer REAL-TIME,  that matches your search criteria. You can turn this off in Settings > Privacy > section, but unfortunately, that will turn off the on-line search capability altogether.
  3. Unity 2D has been switched off for low power machines – Those of you on low power machines such as those using P3s or Atom Processors, you will notice that Unity 2D no longer exists. If you have a low-powered system, Ubuntu will use the CPU for all your graphics handling.

Apart from the above – there are other changes such as – A new set of fresh wall papers, a new lens has been added – The Photo Lens – lets you search for photos through the Dash, the messaging menu has been cleaned up, there are new status icons for chat / email, the system settings pane has been improved. Many of these changes are noticeable when one is configuring their machines for the first time. I always recommend a fresh installation of the OS and not an upgrade. I don’t know anyone to have any problem while upgrading from 12.04 to 12.10, however, best is to go afresh.

Overall – I would suggest ‘Steer away from 12.10’ Skip this release. Wait for 13.04


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