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Canonical Ubuntu 11.10 review

Our Rating :

A minor update, maybe, but Ubuntu remains the easiest-to-use Linux distribution. However, we'd like to see a bit more flexibility in the user interface


Multi-platform support sounds great, but the PC client isn’t as good as the Ubuntu version. From the PC there’s no right-click integration, so to synchronise a folder you need to use the Ubuntu One control panel. It’s also not particularly flexible. For starters, all folders that you want to synchronise have to be in the c:Users folder. This isn’t much use if, for example, you’re using an SSD to boot from and have your documents stored on a different drive. It’s a shame, as it potentially reduces the software’s use.

Ubuntu One Windows
Ubuntu One now has a Windows client, but it’s not very flexible.

There’s still no Mac OS X support, either. If you’ve got files stored on a different hard disk or you want to use Windows, Mac and Linux, DropBox remains the best and most flexible choice.

Performance was one of the big improvements with Ubuntu 11.04, which we noticed with our benchmark tests. These showed that the OS had been radically improved, particularly in our multi-tasking test. This kind of performance increase can’t be expected every release, but we’re pleased to say that on our 3GHz quad-core Intel QX6850 PC, Ubuntu 11.10 was marginally faster.

Canonical Ubuntu 11.10 graphs
Our benchmarks show that Ubuntu 11.10 is marginally faster than 11.04 on the same hardware. Scores are normalised to a Core i5-2500K PC running Windows 7.

Ubuntu 11.10 neatly updates some of the shortcomings of Ubuntu 11.04 and remains our favourite flavour of Linux. It’s an easy-to-use and fast operating system, but for the next version we’d like to see more flexibility in the Launcher’s placement and a better Ubuntu One client for Windows.

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