Ubuntu gutsy is about to mess up

Ubuntu — my favorite distro of my favorite OS — is about to mess up. The next official release, Gutsy Gibbon, is scheduled for release in a month.

In an attempt to out-cool Vista and OSX, they’re switching over to compiz as the default window manager on systems with 3D hardware support, to enable all kinds of 3D effects for windows and dialogs. Unfortunately, that leads to two big problems:

  1. Even on a fast machine (I’m running on a 2.2 GHz dual-core), there are long pauses/freezes while doing things like typing into OpenOffice or entering info into dialog boxes (including lost info typed into dialogs) — I actually uninstalled the 3D driver to make my machine usable, before I realized that compiz was the problem.

  2. For machines with Nvidia cards, X windows will crash (using the current Nvidia binary drivers) if you run any other 3D app under compiz.

Ubuntu has a well-deserved reputation as the Linux distro that just works out of the box — on desktop machines, at least, it’s generally easier to install than Windows — and giving all that away in gutsy for a bit of dubious eye candy looks like a bad move. People who want compiz can enable it with a single click in gutsy’s GUIs.

About David Megginson

Scholar, tech guy, Canuck, open-source/data/information zealot, urban pedestrian, language geek, tea drinker, pater familias, red tory, amateur musician, private pilot.
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7 Responses to Ubuntu gutsy is about to mess up

  1. John Cowan says:

    Playing the let’s-chase-Microsoft game, I suspect.

  2. Parand says:

    Pausing / freezing while doing something as simple as typing, sounds a lot like my experiences with the MacBook Pro…

  3. bjb_nyj101 says:

    First of all, they arent switching over to compiz, this is the second release with compiz. They are just enabling it by default this time.

    As far as your problems with open office and xorg……ITS STILL IN PRE-BETA!

    They are still a month away from releasing this version, so they still have many more bugs to fix. Mellow out yo. Let the debuggers do what they’re paid for. Sit tight and wait for FINAL
    to come out.

  4. Dave Holden says:

    I also hope they fix the java display problem, whenever I start oxygen XML editor under their desktop effects I get a blank window.

  5. david says:

    Dave: I didn’t try Java, but I was occasionally getting black windows under compiz as well (I had forgotten about that). Are you using the closed-source Nvidia driver as well, or is this a more general problem?

  6. Dave Holden says:

    Hi David,

    I think its a general problem (I’m using an intel 82945G/GZ integrated graphics card).

    I googled the problem a few months back, one suggested solution was to set and environment variable,

    AWT_TOOLKIT=”MToolkit”

    in /etc/environment

    it did not work for me at the time however I’ve just retried it with success.

    see http://www.ossgeeks.co.uk/?p=135

  7. I run compiz on openSUSE 10.2 without too much trouble, although I only have few window open (a VMware console and Banshee, perhaps a terminal window). From time to time the colours fade to monochrome when a window isn’t responding, but on my system that usually corresponds to a heavy disk load, it isn’t obvious held up at other times. I’m running the NVIDIA binary driver.

    Cheers, Tony.

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