Trying Out Ubuntu 17.10 On A Laptop One Month Ahead Of Release

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 7 September 2017 at 06:30 PM EDT. Page 1 of 5. 29 Comments.

Curious around the GNOME Shell desktop and improvements made during the Ubuntu 17.10 cycle in transitioning away from Unity 7 and X.Org to GNOME and Wayland, I took the recently-reviewed Razer Blade Stealth laptop and tried out the very latest Ubuntu desktop daily ISO on this Intel laptop. Here are my initial impressions of the current Ubuntu 17.10 desktop experience as well as some power/boot/performance benchmarks of 17.10 in its daily state compared to Ubuntu 17.04 on this Kabylake system.

As a reminder, the Razer Blade Stealth being tested has an Intel Core i5 7500U processor with HD Graphics 620, 16GB RAM, 256GB Samsung NVMe SSD, and 2560 x 1440 display. Here's what the default Ubuntu 17.04 experience looks like on that laptop:

And then what it looked like in the live ISO and then booting the freshly-installed daily image from 7 September:

My first impression was along the lines of "wow, damn! That's a big side bar / dock!" In reality though, it's about the same 48px width but having fewer icons there and greater space makes it seem to take up more real screen real estate.... When I dropped the width to about 20px, it felt much more comfortable on this Razer laptop.

Shortly after the system booted, it auto-added my network printers. I don't recall seeing that by default -- or at least the notifications -- on other recent distributions. Nice.

The window toolbar buttons have returned to the right side, for those that haven't heard yet. For the past number of years under Unity they had been on the left side.

The GNOME Shell browsing and searching experience is much like what you find on other Linux distributions.

Including the GNOME Software application center/store being used by Ubuntu.

And there's no more global menu with Ubuntu 17.10. Among the components making up Ubuntu 17.10 right now are GNOME Shell 3.25.91, Linux 4.12 (they are still aiming for Linux 4.13 by release), EXT4 file-system by default, Mesa 17.2.0-rc4 (obviously the latest Mesa 17.2 point release should be here for final), and GCC 7.2 is the stock compiler now in place of GCC6.

Related Articles