Ubuntu 18.04, the most exciting version in many years
Ubuntu 18.04 is here, and although it sounds too optimistic, or maybe it is part of the good taste of Bionic Beaver when you use it, I would say that the future of Ubuntu looks brilliant . Or, at least it looks more interesting than what they had been presenting in recent years.
Already with Ubuntu 17.10 we had been able to take a look at the new direction of the distribution . This is an Ubuntu that has left behind Unity, a Canonical that has left behind its ideas of convergence and Ubuntu Touch. A company that will now concentrate on its main and profitable product: the desktop operating system.
With new flavors like Ubuntu Budgie , the classic ones like Kubuntu with a KDE, an environment that sometimes seems to advance much more than GNOME; or with distros like Ubuntu MATE that had already been planted very well as alternatives to the Ubuntu base with Unity, it is the original flavor of the distro that has generated less passion and praise for some time. But, something seems to be changing .
Doing simple things
GNOME Shell has its detractors, depending on the type of user, the environment may end up being more complicated than necessary, but Ubuntu has given it its personal touch and the decision to anchor the dock to the left of the screen instead of staying hidden , makes it more accessible to all types of users .
A lot of GNOME users already use the Gnome Tweak Tool to add extensions and be able to do things as simple as that. In comparison with Unity, the main difference of use is in the activity button and the management of virtual desktops . For the rest who are used to opening the menu in Ubuntu to see the list of apps, it is difficult to have problems with GNOME now.
The notification panel is a genius that I’ve always loved about GNOME, and Ubuntu handles it very well. Being able to control Spotify from there, and having a list of the latest emails received from your mail app, is quite useful. And all next to the calendar, that although it does not have the most beautiful app in the world, it can be synchronized with Google, Netcloud and Microsoft Exchange.
But the best thing about this Ubuntu is without a doubt the library of snap applications . Just when you start using the system you will find a new welcome screen that will guide you through some of the news. Near the end you will be presented with some software options that you can install in one click.
In the last months more and more important and very used apps like Spotify, Slack, Skype, Telegram, Steam , and even the community theme that changes the appearance for a more modern one, can be installed as easily as possible.
Gone are the days of a slow and insufferable app store with endless dependency problems and incompatible packages. We may not have the most phenomenal ecosystem of applications (it is not the macOS that is really enviable), but it is something that just a couple of years ago was much more painful.
They are apps that you can easily get in the same Ubuntu store, they are installed in a click, they are updated just as easily, and they also make life easier for developers to keep their packages up to date and not leave their apps for Linux forgotten. .
The more snap packages are appearing easier and more convenient, the life of Ubuntu users will be , and Canonical seems to be working to convince developers and companies to bring more and more of their applications. Using Ubuntu today is easier than ever.
The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly
Ubuntu 18.04 feels excellent, the distro is very fluid and at least on our computer we have not had any hardware incompatibility problems. All peripherals have worked with just connect them, headphones, external monitor, and even bluetooth mouse, a walk on the beach.
The consumption of resources has been quite moderate, Firefox in Ubuntu behaves much better in that aspect than in our experience with Windows 10 and macOS , barely reaching 400 MB with multiple tabs open. Luckily we have saved the well-known memory leak bug of GNOME, and although it is not exactly an environment for computers with few resources (for that you have things like XFCE), in a modern one with 4 GB of RAM or more, it should be wonders
This Ubuntu also invites you actively on your welcome screen to use Livepatch , its system of updates that allows you to do things like patching the kernel to solve security problems without having to restart the computer.
The configuration menu is in its best state , it is extremely direct to the point, everything is well organized and allows you to change a large number of adjustments in a simple and above all, understandable way.
The only option that is maybe more hidden than it should be is the Nightlight . You have to go to Settings then Devices , and then choose Monitors to turn on what is one of the best features of the system when working in a low light environment.
While all the default apps that are included with Ubuntu are still the same and there have not yet been changes despite being talking about them some time ago, it is good to have updated versions of Firefox, Libre Office, and so on. You can also install the latest GIMP snap package from the app store instead of the old one that does not even support single window mode.
Ubuntu 18.04 also has a new task application (“To-Do” in English), it’s barely in the bones, but it also has the potential to synchronize with your Google notes. It is a welcome addition that may be useful to more than one.
Besides this now we also have a simple way to add emojis to the text within Ubuntu. If you right click on the drawer to write within the applications you can choose from the pop-up menu the option to ” insert emoticon ” and a floating window will appear for you to select.
But, not everything is perfect, the file browser tends to show a bug that does not let you drag files to new folders. It is solved by restarting the application window, but it is annoying. The offer of applications in the software center is quite poor, and if you wanted to install Chrome from there, do not dream.
The Ambiance theme when compared to the Communitheme is quite outdated and calls for a change, but the team did not want to make the change until it is perfectly compatible and meanwhile we continue with the same icons and colors as always. This is not a usability problem, much less, but it irritates some of us.
Another “problem” is that the customization options are few or nonexistent. The dock can only be changed to the right or down, and change the size of the icons a little. This shortcoming is solved by installing Gnome Tweak Tool, or the GNOME Retouching tool .
The truth is that there is not much to complain about, it is one of the best versions of Ubuntu that we have been able to enjoy for several years, and that allows us to imagine again a brilliant future of the distro for those of us who had become disenchanted with Ubuntu for some time. weather.