Your Comments and Feedback on the Desktop Experience AND the Community/Contributor Experience

UPDATE: We would like to thank everyone, especially those of you who left thoughtful and constructive feedback. We will be closing this post at noon Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday November 2, but we’d like to invite you to our Community Office Hours this week to help us sort the feedback. And of course, we always invite newcomers to stay and contribute!

[EDIT] This post was part of the Community Office Hours on Thursday, October 21 - and this topic and replies - were all about getting your thoughts on what desktop features matter for you in future releases (especially after 22.04, since this is an LTS and those releases are more conservative), and how we can improve the community and contributor experience starting now. While we want to advocate for the features that are important to you, there will be features we can’t implement. At the very least, we want to explain those decisions in a better way. :mega:

So what kind of feedback are we looking for? This quote from the blog post sums it up best:

For the Desktop Team, it’s about how you use Ubuntu, and how you wish you could use it. What are the common activities we should be polishing, or the new opportunities we should be exploring? We want to hear what frustrates you when you use Ubuntu and what you’re most excited about going forward. For the Community Team, we want to know about the contributor experience. What would make it easier to become a new contributor, and to grow and thrive in the community? We want to know what makes contributing difficult, and also what makes it wonderful.

We may also use a Miro board to help us categorize and prioritize your feedback and suggestions, and if we do, we’ll update this topic with the link. The Community Team plans to publish the community team road map the first week of November, once the sprint is done. :newspaper:

If you can join us live, office hours will be Thursday, October 21 at 17:30 UTC. You can join us on Twitch or on our YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQitRFf6-Mk

We hope many of you can come to office hours or leave us your comments in this topic! :blush:

Miro Boards

Desktop Features
Community Roadmap

9 Likes

It’s been discussed quite a bit here: Pipewire on Ubuntu, but does 22.04 still have the possibility of enabling PipeWire for audio by default? I would love to see Ubuntu users able to use JACK apps without hassle :slight_smile:

16 Likes

Any chance that we have a global menu back in the future? I know there is a lot of Gnome apps no more exporting their menus by default, but maybe we can patch them to do that like it was on Unity days.

3 Likes

Most distros are moving to btrfs, which provides features like snapshotting, providing a robust way to roll back changes to the system, such as problematic updates. I’m suggesting that Ubuntu switches to btrfs, as it’s been in use by other distros such as openSUSE for quite a while, and it’s stable enough for everyday use. Features like snapshotting would be amazing.

9 Likes

I think an accent color picker would be a good addition for the Ubuntu desktop. So we can change accent colors without changing the entire theme.

5 Likes

For me it’s quite simple: Ubuntu/Canonical has to have ambition in the desktop again. With visibility on the official website, aimed not only at developers, but artists, gamers, average users.

It has to have either the ambition of being the best debian-based GNOME desktop, or it should adopt another DE (which I would personally feel sad about, unless it means reverting back to Unity).

Being the best GNOME desktop means: adopting the latest version of Shell and the core apps, using Gnome Software and the core apps for updates and to communicate with the notification center, and finally: offering a vanilla GNOME workflow. Theming is OK (better than Pop_OS in this regard, because Ubuntu at least respects third party apps’ official icons, save GNOME’s), but I agree with some that the default backgrounds have grown a bit stale.

Other than that, long live Ubuntu!

18 Likes

Some integration with the Unite GNOME extension, perhaps?

It really does bring the Unity feel back.

The following two items are a couple that I frequently hear, while discussing Ubuntu within various linux/FOSS communities.

  1. SNAP packages. Personally, I think that snap packages are a great step forward, especially when compared to PPAs. Advanced users have no problem vetting, checking, and updating their PPAs as needed. But for new or non technical users, PPAs can be quite a problem. Snap packages are great to avoid that. Snap packages for server are great but for desktop applications, they need more love. They are often slower than debian packages to open, and also often times come with integration issues for example desktop themes, or access to file system. Now with more desktop packages pushed to snaps, it would be great if community team could keep updating us on progress, so that we could keep the morale up and avoid situations where people get hostile toward snaps.

  2. Hardware Enablement. This is a big deal nowadays, since hardware is being released at faster pace, I often see people getting their new computer, some times a couple of weeks after feature freeze of Ubuntu. Some times that means they cannot even boot up or their screens are just black, especially with AMD systems. While I understand, AMD and other vendors should do better with partnerships, the issue stays the same for now. Which is, users that need things to work move to other distributions. I love the stability of Ubuntu so I don’t want to suggest to change the world and move Ubuntu to rolling. However an approach like Fedora, which has fixed releases, but Kernel and Mesa keeps rolling, could be nice. Another approach. maybe more in line with Ubuntu, would be a second type of HWE, updated on a weekly basis. Optional to install, but supported by Canonical. This would, in my opinion, solve quite a bit of issues, and make Ubuntu really exciting for most users. If we can have Ubuntu stability and great ecosystem, but with always up to date hardware compatibility, why would someone like Valve bother going to Arch for their new Steam Deck?

Cheers
Mauro

2 Likes

For Ubuntu Desktop?
I would like to see a rationalisation of the “muddle” that I feel between there is between Ubuntu with a specific desktop installed and the flavour which majors on that desktop.
I’ve been on Lubuntu since 14.04? From Lubuntu 18.04 (with LXDE) there is no upgrade path - not good for an ordinary desktop user. But I don’t like LXQt so I am “stuck” at 18.04 and facing a complete reinstall to either go to Lubuntu 20.04 with LXQt or to goto another “flavour”.
In Virtualbox, Ubuntu with LXDE installed looks viable, but why do I have to reinstall to get there? Why technically can’t I (in Lubuntu) uninstall LXDE to get back to vanilla Ubuntu, upgrade that now “vanilla ubuntu” to 20.04 and then install my choice of desktop - LXDE (or Cinnamon if LXDE is on its deathbed)?
Flavours are “obviously” more than just core vanilla ubuntu with a choice of desktop - but the subtleties escape me.
I’m not a developer just a user who decided years ago to just dive into the muddle that is Linux distros. For a user who is sick of Windows the “roadmap” to Linux is not a map; it’s a horrible tangle of options - which almost certainly puts off a lot of potential new users. Can Ubuntu become an island of sanity?

2 Likes

8 posts were split to a new topic: User-level Snaps and Classic Mode

Ubuntu really lack a lot of important things for modern gaming on linux in it’s repos, would be interesting to have those packages in the ubuntu official repos:

  • Lutris (install game launchers and games that are not available on steam)
  • vkbasalt (it has an awesome must-have sharpening filter and supports others shaders for vulkan games)
  • mangohud (overlay for vulkan games, useful for debugging and benchmarking)
  • gooverlay (to manage vkbasalt settings, mangohud settings, etc)
  • Corectrl (AMDGPU overclocking)

also would be interesting for the next LTS to get up to date mesa drivers more often, since now with the steam deck getting attention for developers across the globe we need a solid base for gaming but with a bit more bleeding edge user space drivers…

and maybe a option in the software properties to get a newer kernel (even if it has a warning about it being unsupported and could cause damage, options are never a bad thing).

9 Likes

Thanks for joining the discussion, and for sharing some really useful insights! @local-optimum - tagging you in the reply here because I think this definitely speaks to your curiosity about gaming on Ubuntu and on Linux in general!

1 Like

My major pain points in Ubuntu Desktop are:

  • Please support working with an actual desktop. That is: Having files on the desktop, using shortcuts to applications (.desktop files) and a better file manager integration (e.g. Drag&Drop). Essentially make my desktop a Nautilus window. I know this is how GNOME handles it, but I’m not running a mobile OS for a reason…
  • Snap. I’ve had plenty of hickups, huge downloads, slow startup times, missing icons, broken functionality with snap, so I completely uninstalled snap support in 20.04. Switching to Flatpak fixed most of my problems. It would be great to have an option there (if not in the installer, then at least don’t make my Flatpak life harder by requiring Snap).
  • Killing of all .deb packages. Both Snap and Flatpak packages still have unsolved problems as-in things that used to work fine, but don’t work anymore (e.g. this). When you don’t have an alternative .deb this makes using Ubuntu very uncomfortable for a lot of people.
  • Please open source the whole of the snap infrastructure similarly to Flatpack.
  • If Pipewire solves the mess that PulseAudio is, I would welcome its integration.
  • I second @ilvipero s stance towards Hardware Enablement.
  • I don’t care much about the fancy-schmancy optics, themes, background images. I’m fine which what there currently is.

And last but not least: Thanks for making Ubuntu!

9 Likes

Core applications (such as gnome apps) should not be snaps. This defies the point in my opinion, they are already secure and built with the system. Unless you make the whole environment a snap stop doing this.

The biggest problem I have with snaps are the constant audit denied messages. There should be a mode to easy allow a trusted app do whatever it wants rather than deal with endless sandbox tweaking . This is not the job for the end user. I know this is bad security but the packagers don’t seem to do a proper job.

On the favorite apps bar. On 21.10 the icon wiggle occasionally when they want attention can we have permanent indicator as well.

Please ensure the software store doesn’t blow up in memory when it isn’t being used.

8 Likes

I actually support the idea of gnome apps and other system apps being Snap because since Ubuntu LTS need’s to be stable it should not touch system-wide libraries for such apps, so with it Canonical can provide more up to date versions of these apps, for example: GNOME 42 is released but Ubuntu uses GNOME 41 libs system-wide: canonical can update “gnome system monitor” to the 42 version without having to upgrade all the packages to the newer version and becoming a “full rolling release” distro and with that you avoid breakage or any other small bugs.

1 Like

Thank you for joining the discussion! The Ubuntu MATE flavour (which is what I run on my desktop) has an accent color picker and it’s fantastic. I mean, I love that Chelsea Cucumber, but I also do love teal and purple and other colors too!

3 Likes

Tbh, this behaviour is driving me away from Ubuntu. I can live with slower start up speeds. I get the desirability of sandboxing… But I cannot abide being told how I’m allowed to use my computer. You’re not my real dad. This is all a pretty fundamental part of why I moved to Ubuntu in the first place: empowering users.

Taking this control away from us and restricting it to some set-list is infuriating and not at all in the spirit. The setting of for where a snap can operate has to be user-defined.

(And it’s okay most of the time, confined-by-default is okay! But not being able to turn it off is the worst.)

5 Likes

Stop asking for meaningless questions and feedback. Get your brains together and finally decide if you want to be a proper Desktop Operating System or not.

If not:

  • you don’t need any feedback, just keep doing what you are already doing.

If yes:

  • ask yourselves if you want to keep poorly copying things over from both Windows and MacOS, while also letting the gnome stuff mix the whole situation into an even poorer experience.
  • if you want to keep copying, at least do it properly, copy over the most useful and positive stuff.
  • again, you don’t need any feedback. It is just a matter of whether you have the vision to design a proper desktop, or if you don’t have it, just do a proper copy of Windows.
  • Lastly and most importantly, try using your own operating system for everyday tasks. Then you’ll know exactly what corrections are needed.

Things are very simple.

2 Likes

I don’t see your point about not touching system wide libraries. If the core apps were built for the system it should be fine.

The previous experience when ubuntu tried this was calculator taking 15 seconds to open and system monitor slowing the system down as it hit constant sandbox violations as it was just trying to do its job.

2 Likes

Prime example of what I was trying to say…