Practical Technology

for practical people.

Say hello to Canonical’s new Linux desktop: Ubuntu 12.04 beta review

Canonical’s next long-term support release of its flagship Linux distribution, Ubuntu 12.04 is in late beta. This next release, due out on April 26th, is in beta now. I’ve been using it for several weeks now and so far, so good.

Indeed, the new Ubuntu is good enough already that I’ve it on my default Ubuntu system: a 2009-era Gateway DX4710. This PC is powered by a 2.5-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor and has 6GBs of RAM and an Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 3100 for graphics. No, it’s not fast, but unlike Windows 8’s beta, you don’t need a fast computer for Ubuntu.


To do all this I first, of course, had to download a copy of the early release from the Ubuntu beta site. Once I had it hand, I burned the image of the operating system to a CD. With it, I then booted my computer off the CD.

After I booted it from the live image I tinkered around with it long enough to make sure that the basics worked-primarily making sure that live version could connect to the Internet-and then I installed it on my hard disk.

I’ve also been running this pre-release Ubuntu on a VirtualBox virtual machine. The one trick you need to know before running it on VirtualBox is that you’ll need to enable Physical Address Extension (PAE) under Settings/System/Processor to run it successfully.

In both cases, there was really nothing else to do except hit a few keys and give myself a user name and password. If you can put a CD in a computer and type you can install Linux these days.

Say hello to Canonical’s new Linux desktop: Ubuntu 12.04 beta review

One Comment

  1. I was looking to break my wife in to the new types of interface (we were running Lucid, but I’d installed Fedora16 on my laptop in December) and have had no trouble with this Ubuntu 12.04 beta since I threw it on our main box a few weeks ago. Unity is still weird (as is GNOME3 on my laptop) but we’re getting used to it.

    We were not able to function without a taskbar, and I had to install Tint… 🙁 I’m still unhappy with how windows are grouped; it drove me nuts in XP too.