In the world of Linux distro’s, Ubuntu is the fastest growing OS that is currently making its way to take over the computers around the world. With its’ large community and thousands of helpers , Ubuntu has managed to become one of the top operating systems in the world, which I would like to place alongside with Windows and MacOS. Best part about Ubuntu is how the company gives this away for free. The company behind Ubuntu, Canonical has been releasing 16 different versions of the Ubuntu over the past 7 years, offering new updates and fixes every 6 months period. Couple of weeks ago, they made the latest version, Ubuntu 12.04 available to the public. This version’s nick name is “Precise Pangolin.”
I’ve only been using Ubuntu for several months, but didn’t really like it because the previous versions had few issues and bugs, which led me back to using Windows. But after updating my OS to the Ubuntu Precise, I’ve decided to change my mind. Wanna know why? Keep reading, you will figure it out.
Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin comes through the Canonical’s LTS series (Long Term Support),which gives five years of support from Canonical. So why would you choose Ubuntu? For starters, unlike other expensive operating systems, Ubuntu is totally free and it’s super fast too. Especially the new Ubuntu Precise has been improved for better performance and packs cool new apps and features, which even over takes the famous Window 7 OS because the Ubuntu Precise has a stunning new user interface, which I just can’t stop talking about.
Head over to http://www.ubuntu.com/download and download the new Ubuntu for free. Installing part is really a piece of cake, it only takes few steps and you will be getting started with your new OS in a matter of few minutes, or you can also just try out the OS without installing using the live CD or through online. But for the best first impression, you should install it onto your hard drive.
Improved Launcher -: Ubuntu Precise features a fresh new look and comes with new improvements on the launcher, including the ability to change the background to match with the wallpaper. Selecting and launching apps have never been easier. When you minimize the opened programs it goes right into the launcher allowing you to easily store up several opened windows at the same time and open them whenever you like. After opening any app or program, you can make a shortcut in the launcher by right clicking on the icon and choosing lock the app to the launcher. It will leave a shortcut in there for fast access. It’s a little bit like the taskbar in Windows 7 but only with more of a unique style.
Heads Up Display (HUD) -: Heads up display (HUD) is the main new feature of the Ubuntu Precise, which replaces the old menu-based program and makes it easier to find programs and stuff by simply typing few letters. Just tapping the alt key will bring out the HUD and then you can type in the first few letters of whatever app or program or function you want to commence and it will pop right up.
Disappearing Window menu bar -: Another thing you need to know is that when you maximize a program window in the screen, top menu bar of that window will disappear and you will probably freak out at first just like I did, trying to find the close button. Only thing you have to do about that is just hover the mouse over the top menu bar and ‘viola’ the menu will magically appear.
Ubuntu One Cloud Service -: Ubuntu Precise offers users to sync data online and keep their data in the free Ubuntu One cloud storage, which gives you 5GB for free. You can find the Ubuntu One from the launcher. After setting up the account you can sync your data onto the online space to keep your data synchronized with your other devices. If you’re in need of more space than 5GB, you can upgrade by paying few bucks.
New Log In -: Old boring login screen has also been replaced with a cool new screen that offers you both log-in to your account or in a guest session. Login background shows the default wallpaper of the computer giving it a custom look.
New EA Games -: Most of the time gamers doesn’t like to go with Ubuntu because.., well, lets face it you can’t really play any cool games on Ubuntu. But it looks like things are about to be changed as the world-famous game publisher, Electronic Arts have made their move and released two new games through the Ubuntu Software center for free. This is only the beginning. It’s only a matter of time before other developers join up and start making games for Ubuntu.
In addition to all those new stuff you will also get the free office package, FireFox, JukeBox and all the usual apps for free. You can always get more and more apps from the Ubuntu software center for free or by paying few bucks. Don’t forget to download the latest version of the Photoshop alternative, Gimp 2.8 after installing Ubuntu. It will come in handy to edit all your images and stuff.
When it comes to performance, Ubuntu Precise seems to be very improved than its’ predecessors. Open GL and 3D performance have also been improved to work faster with all those apps. I’ve tested the OS on an old Celeron D PC along side with Windows. So according to my experience Ubuntu Precise performs faster compared to other versions and it’s way faster than Windows too.
There are so much more to talk about Ubuntu Precise but, I can’t really talk about all of them here, so I will cover them up in a series of articles in the future. To sum things up, Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin is the best Ubuntu version so far. I can even safely recommend this OS as a perfect Windows 7 alternative. Although, there are few rough edges in this OS which needs some polishing. As always nothing is perfect in this world, so it’s really nothing to worry about. Hopefully things will get much better when new updates roll out from Canonical. Keep in mind that if you ever encounter any problem with the new OS, you can always ask help from Ubuntu or from the community to get answers really fast.
Try out the Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin and let us know what you think about it.