Ubuntu 12.10 Review

So it’s finally here. Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal has been released and I’ve been running it since it’s release date on 18th October 2012. In this article I’ll be talking about some of the new features, the performance of Ubuntu 12.10 and also some of the things I do and don’t like about the new release. So why don’t we get started…

Default Ubuntu 12.10 Desktop

Performance

I have to be honest, when I first upgraded to Ubuntu 12.10 I found the performance to be poor at best. At first Ubuntu 12.10 really did feel more like a beta release than a ‘stable’ release. I was getting many crashes and problems whilst running Ubuntu 12.10. Since then though there have been numerous  updates that seem to have brought more stability to Ubuntu 12.10.

I have quite a powerful machine (6GB RAM, AMD quad core, 128GB SSD) so Ubuntu 12.10 runs really quickly on my device. However it does feel generally more sluggish than Ubuntu 12.04 unfortunately. I was quite surprised to see that Ubuntu 12.10 running Chromium with 7 tabs and Nautilus uses over 1.4GB RAM. If I was on a lesser powered machine then I think it would really struggle.

I have Ubuntu running on a VM on my work computer which has 2GB RAM assigned to it. It was running Ubuntu 12.04 just fine but I recently upgraded it and I have to say that the performance is now awful on the VM. So much so that I think I will be reverting it back to 12.04.

New Features

As with all new releases of Ubuntu, 12.10 has numerous new features. I recently wrote an article that goes explains some of the new features in more detail; but here are some of the flagship features of Ubuntu 12.10.

Online accounts

The online accounts feature lets you add your social and online account (like Facebook, Google & Twitter) into Ubuntu 12.10 so they can integrate with the OS.

I’ve added my Facebook, Twitter and Google account to the online accounts feature within Ubuntu 12.10 but the only ‘integration’ I can see from doing this is that the social accounts have automatically been added to Gwibber. I really hope this improves with future releases of Ubuntu as I really don’t see the benefit of using the online accounts feature at the moment.

Web Apps

Like the online accounts, I was really looking forward to working with the new Ubuntu web apps but they simply don’t work for me. I don’t know if I’m missing something or if it’s the fact that they just don’t work with Google Apps accounts but whenever I navigate to my Google sites (mail, calendar, plus etc) I don’t get a prompt in Chromium to use the applicable Ubuntu web app.

So for now, I’m still using mail, calendar and plus (amongst other things) as pinned tabs in Chromium rather than an Ubuntu web app. I have too say that I was really disappointed with this outcome.

Online dash results

This has been a particular bone of contention for many users of Ubuntu 12.10. Mainly because Ubuntu are sending your computer search results off to Amazon so that you can get online results from Amazon inside your dash.

There has been nothing less than uproar in the community about this decision with a lot of users feeling let down by Canonical, the makers of Ubuntu. In answer to users rants about this decision, the Ubuntu developers decided to add a toggle to allow you to turn off all online search results in the dash. This can be found in Privacy from within the settings menu.

Ubuntu 12.10 dash showing both local and Amazon results

The online results really are a double edged sword in my opinion. I’m sure many will find them useful and Ubuntu getting affiliation bonuses from sales is a really good way to support the project. However, I can’t help but feel like ‘adverts’ have been forced upon me from within my own operating system. So personally, I’ve turned this feature off.

Conclusion

Overall I have to say that I’m not really all that impressed with Ubuntu 12.10.  The update from Ubuntu 12.04 LTS seems to have been minimal and not really an improvement overall. With performance, reliability and privacy issues all being present I’m torn between rolling back to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and waiting for the upcoming beta of Elementary’s Luna OS.

What do you guys think about Ubuntu 12.10? Why not add your thoughts in the comments below, or come and discuss the new release in our forums!

Ubuntu 12.10 Review
User Rating: 0 (0 votes)
  • http://profiles.google.com/pmazz04 Pete Mazzaccaro

    Kev,

    You’ve summed up my general experience with 12.10 pretty well, too. I, too, couldn’t really get much out of the web apps or online accounts. I would really expect something like Android notifications, where your online accounts are plugged in and polled for timely notifications.

    I really couldn’t recommend upgrading from 12.04.

  • Lars Ivarsson

    If youre using Empathy, the Facebook and G+ Chat will be added there with the online accounts.

  • nuttzo33

    Canononical really need to work on polishing compiz so it’s not so slow and buggy.I have an asus p8p67pro with a i5-2500k, 8gb ram and an geforce 210 512mb (which is a little on the low end) but the minimizing and maximizing animations as well as closing windows in the spread mode is very laggy. They also made a dumb mistake by not including the linux-generic headers package which they should of picked up before spinning the iso. In 13.04 they need to improve the speed like gnome has with their gnome shell which is infinitely faster.

  • nuttzo33

    The latest nvidia driver from the xswat ppa and updates to compiz seem to significantly improve the animation speeds. If you need to install the nvidia driver from xswat ppa then make sure you install the linux-generic package beforehand to avoid problems. Seems like a great release now disregard my earlier comments.

  • LR

    Stick with 12.04

  • Hexi

    web apps are being suggested when I use Firefox. I find this very nice with gmail and google calendar that are in extensive use, but disturbing with the things I don’t care to take into use.
    This is actually the only thing that I really notice as an update, while I am using both 12.04 and 12.10 in different pc’s. Did not bother update all pc’s of the family and othe family members do not even know we have different ubuntu’s in use …

  • Christopher Adams

    My only question is does ubuntu still show all system files if they still do is there anyway to hide them all with a click of a button.

    • http://www.refugeeks.com/ Kev Quirk

      What do you mean by “system files”? Application configuration files are hidden in your home folder by default and you have to press ctrl+h too see them. You can access the root partition easily but even a system administrator can’t change anything without root/sudo permissions. So even if you can see the system, you can’t change anything by accident.

      If you want more help then feel free to head over to the support section of our forum. There is a forum link at the top of the site. :)

  • Rushabh

    I installed Ubuntu along with linux mint 14.

    Ubuntu 12.10 is a very buggy release, applications keep crashes and the PC seems to lag.