Ubuntu: More Than The Default Install

In the Ubuntu world (and I am sure in other distributions as well), the choice of what apps we ship in the default install has always garnered much debate and discussion. With each UDS there is a default apps discussion, and the following few weeks usually involves some debate over whether the decisions reached made sense. In the past this has involved the addition of TomBoy and other Mono apps, the removal of GIMP from the default install, the addition of PiTiVi, the removal of PiTiVi, the Rhythmbox to Banshee move, and now the move from Banshee back to Rhythmbox.

Before I go on, in terms of the most recent debate: no definitive decision has been made to remove Banshee from the default install. You should read this ubuntu-desktop thread for the full details and to offer your (constructive) feedback. This blog entry is not about the specific Rhythmbox and Banshee topic discussion at UDS but a wider discussion about why I think the default app selection is less important than it used to be.

Ubuntu has always sought to present the best of breed software for our users, and this is often a moving target. Open Source is a fluid and organic environment, and what we consider best of breed often changes from release to release. Changes in quality, the vibrancy of the upstream, how well the app integrates into Ubuntu, and how it meets the evolving needs and values of Ubuntu users all play into how these apps are chosen for the default install.

Importantly though, just because an app is not selected for the default install, it does not mean it goes away. Quite the opposite: Ubuntu is a commons, and the Ubuntu commons spans much further than the default install image.

I am not surprised that some consternation occurs when applications or components are proposed to be added or removed from a default Ubuntu installation. Being on the disc provides a sense of validation and acceptance to our upstreams, and provides an incredible amount of visibility to these applications.

These discussions were particularly important within the context of Ubuntu a few years back where you primarily installed new applications via apt-get or Synaptic. While this was simple for many (particularly those of us who remember the dim, dark days of compiling our apps), these tools did not offer a simple experience for our wider user-base who were increasing getting used to browsing and pointing and clicking to get what they needed.

In today’s Ubuntu however, I don’t think this is as much of an issue.

Why? Well, because of this:

While a few years ago apt-get and Synaptic provided a means to install software for us, they lacked the discoverability and ease of use required for many novice users. In addition to this, those tools did not provide a means for a novice to identify what were the best choices for them in the sea of software available for Ubuntu. As such, for software not included in the default install, end users were somewhat in the dark about the best software they could install to meet their needs.

The Ubuntu Software Center changed all of that. Now we have a simple, easy to use facility for browsing software, seeing ratings and reviews to get a feeling for what is best of breed, and installing it with just a click. The Ubuntu Software Center has helped to make the cream float to the top. Even as a veteran Linux enthusiast, I am constantly finding new and exciting finds in there based upon the experiences of our wider community articulated in the ratings and reviews.

As such, while Ubuntu has always shipped a huge archive of available software, today the visibility on that software and the gems inside is better than ever. I think it would be a disservice for us to obsess too much on what is included on the default installation when there is a wealth of content available in the Ubuntu Software Center. Default apps are important (particularly for those in non-networked environments), but let’s not forget about the wider commons that in only a click away and all the value it offers.

Speaking personally, I think both Rhythmbox and Banshee are awesome. I personally prefer Banshee (other than some small stability issues), but if we switch to Rhythmbox I am delighted that Banshee is available in a heartbeat and that the incredible contributors in the Banshee community and the Ubuntu Banshee team are helping to ensure the Banshee experience in Ubuntu is fantastic.

This is the benefit of the Ubuntu commons; experiences not delivered in the default installation can still bring huge value to millions of Free Software users around the world. The same can be said for the many other applications I use every day that we don’t ship by default; such as the GIMP, Inkscape, gtk-RecordMyDesktop, OpenShot, Chromium, XChat-GNOME, Bluefish, Getting Things GNOME!, Lernid, and more.

I am not trying to downplay the importance of the default apps discussion — it is important, and we should handle these discussions with professionalism and accuracy in making those decisions — but let’s not forget that there is a wealth of incredible content available in the rest of the commons too.

  • Fernando

    I agree with you that if an application is not in the default set of apps, we can always install it using USC, but there has to be noted that the default apps always gets better integration with the system, they are improved to better fit, in this case, with Unity and with other components of the OS, so despite we can install them after, it is not always the same. For example, I am using 11.10 and I installed Rhythmbox, it does not have the Ubuntu One Music Store integrated, or at least I could not find like the plugin or how to install it; it does not feel  the same as if it were the default app, with all the features there by default. That is why I consider that the selection of apps is important, they have to be chosen very carefully, but most important, they should not be changed with every release.

  • Anonymous

    Great post, Jono. I think this was exactly what was needed to be said. I’ve sat back and watched David Nielsen’s reaction to the UDS conversation/decision to move back to Rhythmbox, and I’m of two minds: I think that it’s probably the right move for Ubuntu, but at the same time I feel kind of bad for David for jumping through so many hoops to have this as a result. I think it’s important for everyone- developers and end users- to understand that, although something might not be default, that does not mean it isn’t an important cornerstone in the open software world. We have a great advantage by working together, and it’s crucial as a community that we don’t take these kinds of decisions personally. I think the USC opens up normal, everyday people to being able to choose what software works for them, and that will ultimately be what separates the worthwhile projects from the ones that aren’t so highly favored.

  • http://www.macinations.net moldor

    As long as the old apt-get method still works for us traditionalists, I see no issue with this at all.

  • Rodney Dawes

    The lack of U1MS integration in Rhythmbox in 11.10 was pretty much entirely a technical decision that had to be made. Because Banshee is still GTK+ 2.x based, while Rhythmbox is 3.x based, it would have been a much greater burden for the Ubuntu One team to support; and continue to support for the next 18 months (or 5 years if the same circumstances continue to exist in 12.04). Until both use GTK+ 3.x, we will only be able to reasonably support whichever one is the default player, from the Ubuntu One side.

  • Bilal Akhtar

    The Rhythmbox case of not supporting U1MS is different, because there can only be one version of the music store, either in GTK2 or GTK3. RhythmBox uses GTK3 while Banshee uses GTK2. So we had to postpone the U1MS GTK3 transition because of Banshee.

    Otherwise, even non-default apps have had good integration so far. If they don’t, I’m kinda to blame for it, since I take care of all of that.

  • http://twitter.com/Mattviator Matt viator

    jono  you’d be right if the apps we install would be integrated into the os/unity without developers having to jump through hoops. So its up to ubuntu  devs to make the framework to allow this to happen. 

  • http://twitter.com/cr4321 Ramachandran C

    Good post. Rhythmbox or Banshee or even Songbird are all quite good, no doubt. I do feel they are a bit bulky and bloated – esp for the function they do, and I wonder how many of the users really use all those hi-end features? I am sure Linux community must look to develop something like the very old STP (Player) in windows. Small, simple, fast, very user friendly, low on resources and easily accessible. It has every features that you can wish for in a good music plater.

  • Anonymous

    Well, remember that Ubuntu is a commons and everyone is welcome to participate. I agree that some apps are better than supported by others (e.g. default install apps get the benefit from many Canonical engineers being paid to work on their integration), but nothing stands in the way of community contributors improving the integration of any other app.

  • Anonymous

    a) People are not smart. Despite being shown the USC, they do not use it. b) People may not have admin privileges. They are therefore forced to use the default applications. c) People get settled in with certain applications. Changing the application would therefore be jarring, and their data may not be transferred across (will Gnote be shipped with Precise? Will a user be able to shift his notes from Tomboy to Gnote both those stored locally and those stored on U1? Nobody seems to be answering these questions).

  • Anonymous

    There is also one more think you missed. Ubuntu has a big influence and making some application default it brings it to masses. This means it gets a lot of more attention in a lot of places. Because more users use the software they get more reviews in articles, Ubuntu manuals, they get more bug reports (wider user base), they get more help on forums etc.

  • mono’er

    I got a feeling that people with Windows background aren’t welcome, I was so excited when 11.10 ship with mono 2.10.x which mean I can move to linux at last and keep my skills relevant but I have no call on this mater for I am just a noob

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZKTU6NNEMGR6NRSFTCYJSHY7EQ James

    Hi all,

    firstly I have been an Ubuntu user for almost 7 years now I would like to post a few points I have been musing over for a little while now. 

    Over the last 3 release cycles I have witnessed real innovation come to the desktop. A great many negative comments have been made about Unity and the direction Canonical are taking. Are they showing vision? Are they rough-riding over the opinions of the wider ‘community’ wants? Two interesting but distinct views

    .In my opinion Canonical are showing vision and a degree of courage by to make their vision of the desktop manifest. Transition is not easy and takes time. I have been and will continue to be here for the long run.

    But now I see a trend I find a little disturbing and possibly damaging to Ubuntu as the number one desktop distribution. With the additions to Unity mentioned above I have also found a reduction in ‘out of the box’ functionality offered with Ubuntu. I am not over concerned with one media player replacing another. I think in all honesty they are both good enough and can be adapted to meet the needs of the ‘average’ user. 

    In the 11.04 release cycle I was a big user of the calendar and task functionality offered by Evolution. As a mail client it was only so so… But I used it for the whole package, Evolution was a competent Outlook clone. Thunderbird is certainly not. When Thunderbird was announced it was touted that it would have the lightning extension integrated by default to make up for the reduction in functionality. This never happened. Now that the next LTS release will be supported on the desktop for 5 years and target the ‘enterprise’ desktop I would have thought Canonical would require there to be something as basic as a calendar to be in the default image. You know default application selection shows intent. This is important. One less feature gone.

    Okay I can install Evolution, another task to add to the list of programs I install on my colleagues shiny new Ubuntu systems that I evangelise and inevitably end up installing.

    Okay 12.04 great, 5 years support. Awesome. I now find that  Tomboy will be removed from the default CD image. This is another example of cutting your nose off to spite your face. I am a big fan of Tomboy and I use it without exception everyday. I find it invaluable and now because the media player is being swapped around and Mono purged another great default application will be ‘lost’ to millions of new users. If it was to be replaced by gnote or similar  I could see the argument… currently I do not. 

    As the most popular, by number of users, Linux distribution Canonical is in a unique position to push Ubuntu to showcase the best of what the FLOSS world has to offer. I would even go as far to say that this gives Canonical an obligation. If you are a new Linux user now you will likely end up being sheparded to Ubuntu. By being a default application choice you enjoy a degree of uniformity. Every Ubuntu user will have that same application. No ambiguity here. Yes it is in the software center. No everyone will not install it. But does that matter? I think it does. Choices have to be made by the developers, I under this but continuing along this path one could argue that Libre Office is not essential, after all who regularly uses presentation software such as Impress? Hmm… probably about a quarter of the people that would use a calendar or Tomboy.  

    I liked Pitivi, it was limited and a little buggy but it showed potential, this was another example of functionality being removed from the default installation and not being replaced with anything else. I yesterday read this article linked from omgubuntu, I found it interesting reading. I agreed with most of it.

    https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-desktop/2011-May/003061.html.

    Thank goodness this crazy 700MB imposed limit to the distribution size has been eased and with it the excuses that an application can’t be included due to ‘size constraints.’ I know this post sounds like a rant, and yes it is to an extent. But you know, it is because I care and I feel invested in Ubuntu and I don’t want that to change. I just don’t want to see the Operating System I love and spend eight hours a day using dumbed down any further. Please Canonical think a little more about the default experience you want to portray to your users. The Internet is still not ubiquitous everywhere. Some people still struggle to download additional applications and so the Software Center is not always the best solution.  

    Cheers,

    James

    P.S. Make Unity rock hard in 12.04 and give us a method to tweak a few more things! ;-)

     

       

  • Jesse van den Kieboom

    “because there can only be one version of the music store, either in GTK2 or GTK3″

    Why is that? I have been part in transitioning several applications from gtk+2 to gtk+3 (gedit, gitg) and we have always managed to co-maintain both gtk+2 and gtk+3 versions for some time (you can even have one codebase compiling against both 2 and 3 with reasonable ease)… This should be even more easy for a music store component that is part of an app…

  • http://twitter.com/ryanmacnish Ryan Macnish

    I always use apt-get, i love the terminal and i respect that there needs to be a novice friendly GUI, but its extremely annoying that its not configurable enough, not to mention the absolutely awful copy of aero snap that someone somehow managed to slip in, which activates even when im not dragging an app around the screen and which apparently is immortal to being disabled in ccsm. Unity is good, but adding crap like that and the rather awful “improvements” to alt-tab among many other things make Unity a lot less appealing.

  • ablaze

    It is a bit offtopic, but switching back to rythmbox as the default media player sound unprofessional to me. Most arguments in the discussion are about the current state of both programs. Shouldn’t you be more worried about the future? Which of both has a better potential for Ubuntu in the long run. Rythmbox doesn’t see to be the one (admittedly extrapolated from e.g. this thread from their mailing list archive: http://mail.gnome.org/archives/rhythmbox-devel/2011-November/msg00003.html )

    Make decisions based on transparent criteria … and make your decision work out right, even if that includes working more upstream! Just my point of view.

  • Jackie McGhee

    Part of the issue, though, isn’t about discoverability or availability. Who is considering the reaction of the user who has to learn yet another application, just to play music? The Rhythmbox keybindings aren’t the same as the Banshee, they don’t use the same library, they look and behave differently. Who is advocating for the user?

  • fogman

    Sorry,

    but Ubuntu has made so many mistakes and wrong decisions in the last years, that these are only some additions. If People from Canonical/Ubuntu would listen to people outside of their cloud (i.e. the typical user, like my wife, my dad/mom), then they would specially drop Unity. The question is: Why have many skilled people spent so many time and effort into a DE that nobody likes to use? Please, don’t tell me i can install gnome-shell afterwards. It just is to much effort around, to make it work properly. Thanks to many good programmers and others, there exist LinuxMint. This is what i am now installing onto all the computers i have to care of.

    Sorry, but Ubuntu is not the OS it used to be!

  • https://launchpad.net/~davidnielsen David Nielsen

    I am a little sad to see that Jono didn’t address the systemic lack of communication. E.g. Tomboy was temporarily removed from the CD earlier in the cycle and nobody at Ubuntu thought to contact upstream about the one specific issue that made them consider that action[1]. We see the same now with Pitivi and Banshee, Ubuntu completely fails to talk to their upstreams about the issues that keeps them from being deployable for Ubuntu[2] in a timely and respectful manner.

    The strange thing is that this is a new thing, at least in my experience. When Ubuntu approached Banshee for possible inclusion we had a really great interaction but then Ubuntu largely disappeared from the picture. Gone were the nice prioritized bug lists and they largely relied on one or two volunteers to upstream bugs from their own Launchpad tracker, a less than optimal situation. Never mentioned was offers of help, which would have been really useful for that one, to Ubuntu, apparently critical OMAP4 ARM bug (we just don’t have every ARM board under the sun, remote access at least would be useful – in fact I had to buy an ARM setup for one of our developers just to ensure we had one).

    Ubuntu really needs to be better at working with upstream and expressing it’s problems in a better forum than the largely closed off watercooler that is a UDS session from whence changes are decreed without interaction with the upstream stakeholders.

    Ubuntu, you have done it in the past, I know you are capable of doing it still. But for my part in this I have frankly had enough, I have invested my passion, my sparetime and my money in keeping Ubuntu users happy, if getting dropped is to be the pay off for that, at least I wish my effort had been valued highly enough or at least have gained sufficient goodwill to send a mail. Just one mail with Ubuntu’s concerns, before storming out the door leaving a list of complaints spray painted on the metaphorical livingroom wall.

    Yes, Jono, Banshee can still be installed, but my desire to continue working for free to make Ubuntu and its users happy cannot, you wasted that by not engaging with the project I love before dumping it in public. [1] http://www.robpvn.net/2011/11/08/ubuntu-either-doesnt-know-how-important-theyve-become-or-they-dont-care/2 http://apebox.org/wordpress/rants/398/

  • https://launchpad.net/~davidnielsen David Nielsen

    I am a little sad to see that Jono didn’t address the systemic lack of communication. E.g. Tomboy was temporarily removed from the CD earlier in the cycle and nobody at Ubuntu thought to contact upstream about the one specific issue that made them consider that action[1]. We see the same now with Pitivi and Banshee, Ubuntu completely fails to talk to their upstreams about the issues that keeps them from being deployable for Ubuntu[2] in a timely and respectful manner.

    The strange thing is that this is a new thing, at least in my experience. When Ubuntu approached Banshee for possible inclusion we had a really great interaction but then Ubuntu largely disappeared from the picture. Gone were the nice prioritized bug lists and they largely relied on one or two volunteers to upstream bugs from their own Launchpad tracker, a less than optimal situation. Never mentioned was offers of help, which would have been really useful for that one, to Ubuntu, apparently critical OMAP4 ARM bug (we just don’t have every ARM board under the sun, remote access at least would be useful – in fact I had to buy an ARM setup for one of our developers just to ensure we had one).

    Ubuntu really needs to be better at working with upstream and expressing it’s problems in a better forum than the largely closed off watercooler that is a UDS session from whence changes are decreed without interaction with the upstream stakeholders.

    Ubuntu, you have done it in the past, I know you are capable of doing it still. But for my part in this I have frankly had enough, I have invested my passion, my sparetime and my money in keeping Ubuntu users happy, if getting dropped is to be the pay off for that, at least I wish my effort had been valued highly enough or at least have gained sufficient goodwill to send a mail. Just one mail with Ubuntu’s concerns, before storming out the door leaving a list of complaints spray painted on the metaphorical livingroom wall.

    Yes, Jono, Banshee can still be installed, but my desire to continue working for free to make Ubuntu and its users happy cannot, you wasted that by not engaging with the project I love before dumping it in public. [1] http://www.robpvn.net/2011/11/08/ubuntu-either-doesnt-know-how-important-theyve-become-or-they-dont-care/2 http://apebox.org/wordpress/rants/398/

  • Anonymous

    Hi David,

    Apologies – I didn’t mean to infer that I was ducking around the communication issue. My post was just some general musings of how the Ubuntu Software Center has opened up the Ubuntu commons to more people.

    I would like to learn more about these communication issues. It sounds like you are talking about communication in general when the decision was made to ship Banshee in 11.10 – who, or which team, do you feel you expected more communication from?

    Also, it sounds like you did not have a lot of communication around discussion to remove Banshee from the default install and ship Rhythmbox instead. What do you feel would have been a better way to handle this?

    I suspect that the reason for these issues is probable mostly “people got busy with things”, but I want to learn more and see if we can improve things for our upstreams in the future. Thanks in advance for your comments and feedback.

  • https://launchpad.net/~mpt mpt

    I’d love to see a graph of the proportion of users, of each Ubuntu version, who have installed one, two, three etc non-default applications X months after the release of that Ubuntu version.

    I don’t doubt that Ubuntu Software Center has made it easier to install stuff. (Well I would say that, wouldn’t I.) But at the same time, as Ubuntu’s user base gets a bit less technical and a bit more corporate, the proportion of users who have the knowledge, the confidence, and the permissions to install stuff will be declining. So defaults still matter.

    In any case, as other commenters have pointed out, this is not just about (1) how important the defaults are. It’s also about (2) how the decision is made, (3) how it is communicated to the relevant developers, and (4) the impression given by introducing then dropping things.

  • Anonymous

    Well said Jono. 

  • Andrew Tierney

    Drop mono… And Bye Bye Ubuntu for me…

    Sorry.. All the Anti-Microsoft crap just $#@#$ me off.

    .NET is amazing tech, and xamarin have done an amazing job to implement the ECMA spec.

    I’ll switch to OpenSuse or Mint if Ubuntu drop Mono.

    Banshee is an excellent app that runs on linux/mac/Windows…

    No Mono…. No Ubuntu…

  • https://launchpad.net/~davidnielsen David Nielsen

    Originally when Ubuntu approached Banshee for default inclusion I believe the people contacting us were jcastro and vish who both did a good job keeping us updated on what issues were keeping you from using Banshee by default. It was ensured that bugs in our bugtracker were marked so we had a clear todo list and you were good at remarking what future developments who would like to see (I recall mainly wanting upnp, which we got done as GSoC this year and should be merging for 2.4).

    As for now. The way we learned that it was even on the table was an article on OMG! Ubuntu! saying that we might be replaced. There was no contact before or after that. We had to scramble around to see the reasons why and look for confirmation that it was indeed true. There was no communication aside the cheering of anti-mono activists, no explanation.

    I feel it would have been endlessly more productive if you had, during the O cycle contacted us regarding the bugs your users were experiencing in the same fashion you did when we were pegged for default status. If you have such a default app session at UDS, invite your stakeholders to at least participate remotely (and in this case Laney was even at UDS paid by Canonical). We are part of your ecosystem, so enter into fruitful communication with us. When you have cases of importance for you regarding ARM, realize that ARM is a cornercase to most desktop developers and that we do not have access to boards. It is a 200 buck investment for you to get one in the hands of an upstream developer or offer remote access. In this case one specific bug clearly turned out to be a deal breaker for you which Banshee had no means of testing or working, nor any knowledge of the exact importance it held to Ubuntu.

    It would also help if you didn’t poison the conversation before it starts by making up baseless claims such as that upstream are rejecting your patches or that upstream is inactive. It is not a healthy way to engage with your friends.

    Engage with your upstreams, it is okay to tell them that you are experiencing problems but for the love of puppies, engage them before you serve the divorce papers.

  • Timothy Boyden

    If you believe in the Software Center that much, then why can’t the default install be shrunk to fit on a standard CD? I think that is a more important issue than what music player ships with Ubuntu. Rather than pre-installing a bunch of apps, use a suggestion system to recommend options that a user can then install and keep the base O/S install small. With the growing size of the smart phone market, people are used to exploring and installing apps from an app store.

  • YesAm

    It’s nice to be honest for a change doesn’t it, but the damage has been done, some projects did deflect to Mono, like F-spot and many others. 

  • JonJUani

    I say fork this Mono and make something from it, not possible?

  • Anonymous

    “Seem” being the key word here. Most non-developers have very little to go on when evaluating the quality and/or likely future of a software project. There is absolutely no future in a Mono project like Banshee, mark my words.

  • Anonymous

    David, just face it, Banshee is a piece of junk and you are a hopeless developer. Banshee has finally been consigned to the trash, along with Mono — where they both belong.

  • Anonymous

    Add this bug to your todo list:  ”depends on awful, bloated, slow, moronic software library”.

    I won’t say which — the description gives it away.

  • Anonymous

    It’s an absolute patchwork of mess. Mark Shuttlecock is a blabbering fool and is just in the OS game for the lulz.

  • Anonymous

    Learn Vala. It’s similar to C#, but unlike Mono, it’s well integrated with the GNOME platform, not slow and bloated and best of all there’s no extra runtime requirement.

  • Anonymous

    Get back to flipping burgers you choad.

  • Anonymous

    Given that you don’t know Mark, his intentions or his work, I find it amazing that you think your opinion has any kind of credibility.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck off then mate. No one will miss you.

  • Anonymous

    Except the fact that they have no motivation to work when the monkeys at Canonical will just fuck it up again.

  • Anonymous

    Except the fact that they have no motivation to work when the monkeys at Canonical will just fuck it up again.

  • Anonymous

    I think you need to be more respectful in your discussion. Your comments throughout this blog entry are childish and just de-value your argument. Keep the debate rolling…just please keep it polite.

    If you are unhappy with Ubuntu there are plenty of other options – maybe use Debian, Fedora, or one of the many other distributions.

  • fogman

    I think, most people are not unhappy with Ubuntu, but with the decisions made by the people who think they are “Ubuntu advocates/Community leaders”. As i posted earlier, Ubuntu is heading the wrong direction due to these few (sometimes self loving) people.

  • http://twitter.com/takluyver Thomas Kluyver

    I suspect Mr T. Roll doesn’t think his opinion has any credibility.

  • http://twitter.com/takluyver Thomas Kluyver

    I think this is the key point: Ubuntu has a responsibility to give upstreams some notice that they might be dropped as a default, and a chance to work on any issues that affect that.

    The possible flipside (without jumping to conclusions) is that upstreams of default apps should probably watch bugs on launchpad as well as their own tracker. Casual Ubuntu users are more likely to report or vote on bugs if they don’t have to create a new bugzilla/trac/etc. account. Of course, if Ubuntu devs consider a bug critical, they need to make sure it’s marked as such, or upstream has no way of knowing.

  • Sam the Layman

    Listen, Banshee and Rhythmbox are similar enough to be interchangeable for anyone used to the iTunes layout.  So I really don’t care which you choose.

    But for the love God, PLEASE make sure it has an equalizer!  iTunes has one.  Banshee has one.  Rhythmbox never did.

    I cannot impress upon you how important this is!  Without an equalizer, music that sounds good through external speakers will sound crackly and weak through headphones, and visa-versa.  Hi-fi audiophilia might be a thing of the past, but people can still tell when their music doesn’t have the color and texture it ought to. 

    It would be such a shame if you failed to implement an equalizer should you revert to Rhythmbox.  With an equalizer in its default player, Ubuntu would have an absolute advantage in terms of music experience over Apple or Microsoft because of the broad codec support.  Simply being able to say that could do wonders for Ubuntu and desktop Linux at large.

  • happy bunny

    being new to ubuntu i discovered soon that linux is not like the one dish you’re served and that you have to eat, no matter if you like it or not, such as windows or osx. it’s more like a big fat buffet, where you can choose from. if there’s anything you don’t like, change it! i installed a couple of desktops first (gnome/unity default / kde / xfce), which already gave me quite a few programmes to choose between. i’m still testing though …… but for first timers, who have not yet discovered the possibilities of linux, the set of default applications is crucial. i.e. i started with ubuntu, but compared to win xp that was running on the same pc before, a lot of the default apps seemed a bit “sluggish”, especially when first starting an app. i.e.: nautilus or the default text editor…… so as a new user, one might think, that this behaviour is due to the OS!

    PS i’ve replaced nautilus by dolphin and the text editor by leafpad (apart from emacs for programming). they’re pretty fast! but i’m still looking for a speedy image viewer……

  • happy bunny

    oh yeah, i’d also like some media player such as terrific as winamp. any ideas? (i’ve tried winamp in wine, but that didn’t work, i’ve given up)

  • Peter Thor

    I welcome the Ubuntu Software Center. For my personal taste I find it very sluggish to start and work with on netbooks. For me, resource efficiency is a key feature of an operating system which was one of the reasons I switched fully to linux five years ago. I use Unity on one of my powerhorse machines but find that more often I use Lubuntu on the netbooks. My mind is split by this since I like the shortcuts, the gui and hmi that Unity provides. It is nice looking but I find that the graphics is not up to the job. However, apt-get is my saviour in any situation :)

  • http://www.insitedesignlab.com/blog insitedesignlab

    Brilliant article. I do think there is merit being concerned with which apps are included in the default installation, but you are correct that the Ubuntu Software Center provides excellent visibility even for apps that don’t make the cut.

  • http://www.seorus.com.au/ SEO_Melbourne_Services

    ubuntu OS is awesome i like this software 

  • http://www.facebook.com/roelpaulo Roel Telmo

    Nice one! Try this for rhythmbox equalizer! http://www.roelpaulo.com/equalizer-for-rhytmbox-ubuntu-12-04.html