End of life for Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)

Today I turned on my computers at home and at work to be presented with an alert telling me that the operating system on them, Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”, has reached its end of life. This event has reminded me just how frustrated I am with some of the decisions Canonical has made in the transition to their Unity interface…

I’ve been a Ubuntu user since its first release, choosing to live life on the bleeding edge of the regular six-monthly releases, rather than relax with the LTS releases. Generally this approach worked well for me, until the problem trilogy of 10.04, 10.10 and 11.04.

  • 10.04, “Lucid Lynx”, was an LTS (long term support) release which used the old Gnome 2 interface. It’s still supported for another year, until April 2013.
  • 10.10, “Maverick Meerkat” was a normal six-monthly release which used the Gnome 2 interface. Support has just expired for this version.
  • 11.04, “Natty Narwhal” was a normal six-monthly release which used the Unity interface and is supported until October 2012.

Back in 2010 I went through my usual two upgrades, the first putting me on an LTS release, and the second taking me back off that track to the six-monthly cycle. I had expected to upgrade to 11.04, but then Unity happened.

I’ll admit that I’m one of the people who doesn’t like Unity. In its current form I find it far less efficient than the workflow I’d established with Gnome 2. It doesn’t work with my preferred choice of focus-follows-mouse. Most of all, it’s fundamentally broken with my multi-monitor setup (something that the developers are actively addressing, though, so I might be in luck with 12.04). That last point meant that upgrading to Unity just wasn’t an option, regardless of my opinions of it as a user interface.

That’s my real gripe. If Unity had first appeared in 10.10 then I would have found that it didn’t work, stuck with 10.04, and still have until 2013 for Unity to get fixed, or for me to find an alternative. So please, Canonical, if you decide to make any more significant changes that may stop people upgrading by failing to work with their not-very-exotic hardware, at least do it in the version immediately following an LTS release.

3 Comments

  1. Jeremy Bicha says:

    To some degree they did. Unity was announced within weeks of 10.04′s release (at UDS Brussels) and was the UI for Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.10. Right after 10.10 was released (at the first Orlando UDS), it was announced that Unity was going to be on the desktop too.

    The name “Unity” was a hint that it was going to unify the normal & netbook editions of Ubuntu though.

  2. Mark says:

    It may have been announced at that time, but it wasn’t clear (certainly not to me, at least) that when it landed on the desktop it would be a wholesale replacement for the existing Gnome 2 UI, rather than something that would spend a few cycles existing in parallel.

    I actually quite like it as a netbook UI where I’m generally only using one or two apps at a time, but find it seriously slows me down on a full desktop machine where I’m more likely to be flitting between various applications.

  3. Vikbz says:

    I agree with Mark. Maverick got me started with Ubuntu (Linux as a whole)and have now gotten used to the layout. Unity for some reason I have difficulty maneuvering around. Now the questions are, do I have to upgrade to the 11.04 version or can I still use my 10.10? Also, would it become less stable since I will be getting no updates from Canonical?

    Thanks,

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