A Quick History of Ubuntu: from 4.10 to 19.04, from GNOME to Unity to GNOME 3
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Ubuntu, while still one of the major Linux distros, is pretty much always at the center of a love / hate relationship these days. In today’s video, I’d like to take a look a Ubuntu’s history. Let’s go ! Consider supporting the channel on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thelinuxexperiment Follow me on Twitter : http://twitter.com/thelinuxEXP Ubuntu’s inception The first version, Ubuntu 4.10, Warty Warthog was released in Octobre 2004. It sported a GNOME 2.8 default interface, with a clear departure from the mainly blue themes of the time, using a brown GTK theme and wallpaper, with the default GNOME icons. 4.10 was followed by Ubuntu 5.04 Hoary Hedgehog and 5.10 Breezy Badger, which added an update manager, support for hibernation and suspend, as well as a tool to add and remove installed programs, a menu editor called Alacarte. Ubuntu’s maturity Following Breezy Badger was Dapper Drake. It was the first long term support release of Ubuntu, meaning it would be supported by Canonical for three years. It is also the first and only Ubuntu release to be delayed, releasing in June, hence the version number 6.06. Dapper Drake introduced a whole new theme called Human, complete with new icons and switching to a more vivid orange instead of the previous dull brown. It focused on ease of installation, merging the Live CD and install CD in one image, and providing a graphical installer for the first time. Branding was also more present, with a custom splash screen at startup displaying the ubuntu logo. This was the start of a four years cycle of refinements and maturity for Ubuntu. Seven more releases would follow, further refining the Human GNOME theme, and adding new applications on the default install. Redesign Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx was released in April of 2010. It was an LTS version, and it sported a whole new theme, mixing more subtle orange with purple (or aubergine) colors. This theme was supposed to be lighter on the eyes, with more contrast, and more pleasing colors, and the window controls were moved to the left of the windows. This change divided users, some applauding the departure from pure orange and the more modern look and feel, and some thinking these changes were made to copy Mac OS X, thinking that Ubuntu was diluting its identity. The Unity era A desktop environment has never been so ironically named as Ubuntu’s Unity. With the release of GNOME 3.0 and GNOME Shell, Ubuntu’s theme decided to implement their own desktop environment, called Unity. GNOME Shell 3.0 was a radical departure from the usual desktop metaphor, which rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, including the Ubuntu desktop team. It featured a top bar with a global and a dock, and was reminiscent of Mac OS X,and implemented the “Dash”, a way to search for about anything on your computer in just one place. Unity, ironically, divided the community like never before. Whether that move was justified, Unity just wasn’t polished enough on 11.04, and the release was buggy and didn’t work that well on older machines, with a lot of resource overhead. The next releases, ranging from 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot to Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus, marched on with Unity, and refined the experience. Some apps were switched out for others. Of course, this is also around the same period, with the release of Ubuntu 12.10 QUantal Quetzal, that controversy started rearing up its head, with the addition of an Amazon web app and lens to the Dash, through which Canonical hoped to bring in some revenue. Ubuntu 17.04 would be the last version to ship with Unity. Canonical announced in APril 2017 that Unity 8 and MIR, as well as the Ubuntu touch project would be cancelled. Back to GNOME Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark, shipped with GNOME 3, with little customization: a dock was added on the left side of the screen to mimick Unity’s default behaviour, but this stopped at that. Wayland was the default for this version, replacing X.Org. Finally, the next version, 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish, shipped with the brand new Yaru theme, and the Suru icons. This refreshed the whole desktop, and made it look more modern, with more vibrant colors and well designed icons. The current version, 19.04, introduced little change to the default desktop, apart from adding some desktop icon functionality using a GNOME extension Ubuntu is still a solid package today, but its ease of use and configuration that put it ahead of other distributions when it first started are mostly replicated by other desktop distributions, and the rise of rolling releases, and flatpaks is putting the older debian packages to the test.

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