Ubuntu 13.04 Review

Ubuntu BannerThe latest version of Ubuntu has now been released, but with 13.04 being a none LTS (Long Term Support) release will it mean that it isn’t as stable as 12.04? Let’s take a look at our Ubuntu 13.04 review to see how it gets on.

New Features

Obviously Ubuntu 13.04 brings a number of new features. What’s the point in having a new release if nothing there are no new features right? Here are some of the new features that are bundled with Ubuntu 13.04:

Better Quick Lists

Quick ListThe Quick Lists in the Unity Launcher have been vastly improved to give users many more options when you right click on any of the icons within the launcher. For example, you can see a list of the windows you have open in Chrome, and you can also do things like start incognito browsing straight from the launcher.

Not all apps have this integration though, it depends on the application developers. But it’s a great start, and many of the more common apps like Nautilus, Chrome, Firefox, Shutter and Inkscape already have Quick List integration.
 
 

Online Accounts_006Better Social Network Integration

The online accounts app has been improved to now include toggles for the apps that would use any of the social networks that you add. For example, if you add a Google account, then you can turn services like Empathy, Shotwell, and the new Social Photo Lens on or off.
 
 
 

Social Picture LensSocial Photo Lens

The new Social Photo Lens allows you to integrate the photo’s you have on your social accounts like Facebook, Google+ and Picasa. This allows complete integration for all of your online photo’s with your desktop. This is something that no other operating system can boast out of the box.

Unfortunately though, I couldn’t work out how to get my Facebook photo’s to work. But that may be something to do with the privacy settings on my Facebook account.
 

Ubuntu One MenuNew Ubuntu One Menu

Ubuntu One, Ubuntu’s cloud syncing and backup service now has a new system tray menu that allows users to quickly and easily manage their Ubuntu One account.

You can turn the service on and off, share folders, and also see the status of files that are currently syncing. The Ubuntu One menu really should have been available from the beginning in my opinion, but better late than never.
 
 

Shutdown MenuGeneral UI Updates

There has also been a number of general UI changes throughout Ubuntu 13.04 that have improved the look and feel of Unity. Some of the changes include a new Dash icon, new shutdown menu and new icons for things like the Ubuntu Software Centre and Nautilus.
 
 
 
 

The Good

There are a couple of things that I really like about Ubuntu 13.04. The new UI changes such as the shut down menu and new icons are really working well and are starting to tie the Unity interface together. We’re currently on Unity version 7, so if you consider this compared to Unity as it looked on the original Ubuntu Netbook remix (see below) it has certainly come a long way.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix

I also really like the new Social Photo Lens, the fact that I can integrate my social pictures with the Ubuntu 13.04 desktop right out of the box is a really useful feature. This means that I quickly and easily have access to all of my photo’s from my many social media sites.

The final positive feature is the ability to manage the apps that utilise the online accounts feature. Having the ability to turn off certain features from the online accounts menu is a real must for many users.

The Bad

Unfortunately it’s not all roses in this Ubuntu 13.04 review. There are a number of problems and nuances that I’m personally having with Ubuntu 13.04, and to be honest, they’re bordering on a deal breaker for me

By far the worst part of Ubuntu 13.04 for me is Nautilus. I’m getting an error from Nautilus every time I boot Ubuntu 13.04 and Nautilus is also regularly crashing and causing problems for me. If this was one of the other applications then I could live with it, but with Nautilus being the file manager, the apps that’s probably used more than any other application within Ubuntu, it’s a huge problem. I’ve submitted bug reports so hopefully this issue will be patched.

Over the last few months, I’ve heard a lot of people going on about how good the stability and performance is on Ubuntu 13.04. So I was expecting big things when it came to installing the new OS. Unfortunately though I was to be disappointed. I would say that my laptop is middle of the road in terms of specs. With it’s AMD A6 dual-core CPU, 6GB RAM and a 128GD SSD it’s certainly no slouch. But I found the performance of 13.04 to be no better than my previous Ubuntu version; 12.04 LTS.

The performance is ok, it boots up in around 10-12 seconds and there is only a small amount of lag when launching the Dash (something which a lot of users complain about). I’ve been using Windows 8 Pro on my laptop up until a few days ago when I unstalled Ubuntu 13.04, and I have to say that the performance and stability of Windows 8 (albeit with a “normal” start menu instead of Metro) does beat Ubuntu 13.04 in my opinion. Hopefully this will improve as updates are released.

I would love to go back over to Ubuntu full time, but at the moment with the problems I’m having with nautilus, and the fact that Ubuntu is marginally slower than Windows 8. I have to admit that the allure of Windows 8 is drawing me back. That’s something I never thought I’d say!

Top Tip

A lot of people don’t like the Amazon search results in the Dash, so the Ubuntu developers have enabled a toggle to turn off all online search results within the Dash. Unfortunately though, this will also disable useful lenses like the Social Photo Lens. So, the best way to get around this is to simply un-install the Amazon search lens. To do this, simply run the command below in terminal and hay presto! No more Amazon search results.

sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping

Conclusion

When I installed Ubuntu with the intention of making this Ubuntu 13.04 review, I had it in the back of my mind that I would instantly fall back in love with Ubuntu and want to keep it. But I have to admit that so far I’m not really all that impressed. Windows 8 is calling me back, and I have to be honest, I’m a little bit in love with it. However, I will be keeping Ubuntu 13.04 for another week or so to see if things improve, and if they do I will obviously post an update for you guys.

Are you using Ubuntu 13.04? Why not tell us what you think in the comments section below; and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter or RSS feed if you liked this Ubuntu 13.04 review.

Ubuntu 13.04 Review
User Rating: 0 (0 votes)
  • jdkchem

    non not none. My sympathies if you wrote this up on an android tablet and android “helped” you with the spelling.

  • maknesiumblog

    Hi,

    I wrote a little step-by-step guide with screenshots to illustrate the upgrade process from Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal to 13.04 Raring Ringtail very precisely.

    I hope this screenshot-guide is of use for those looking to upgrade to the latest (and IMHO greatest) version of Ubuntu :)

    http://www.maknesium.de/upgrade-to-ubuntu-13-04-raring-ringtail-in-less-than-20-minutes-without-problems

    I am looking forward to your feedback!

    Maknesium

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

      D
      elete

    • Pottsy

      Good, clean guide. You even got the bit about older config files I was going to bring up. And wow –> Compiz crashing?! I never heard of such a thing ;) Nicely done for those that may need a little nudge towards perfection!

  • Pottsy

    I too am a bit disappointed. It does seem slower that 12.10, and I’m running the server edition with a thin wm (icewm). Whether or not its Raring Ringtail at fault I’m not entirely sure, but I’ve yet to be able to ftp in using my old standard, VSFTPD Who knows, I probably inadvertently hit a config bit I shouldn’t have, but usually I’m fairly meticulous. Overall, I give Raring Ringtail a “c+” only because I love Linux so much!

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