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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin Preview and Review

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin LTS Beta 1 has been released and it have many improvements since Aplha 2 version. It uses the 3.2.0-17.27 Ubuntu kernel which is based on the v3.2.6 upstream stable kernel. From beta 1 Linux Kernal have RC6 for Sandy Bridge systems which enables GPUs to switch to very low consumption mode when not in use. Unity user experience is improved by HUD, Unity Greeter, home lens and video lens. Other changes in UI includes changes in NotifyOSD and tool tips and quicklists in Unity.

Unity and UI Changes

Ubuntu Unity experience is improving day by day and in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin special attempts has been made to make Unity more useful for end users. Unity and LightDM now have multi monitor support, Unity launcher is present on every display which avoids the frustration of switching between displays to reach Unity launcher. Unity launcher now uses “push to reveal” method which avoids frustration of accidentally revealing the Unity launcher.

Unity Lens

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin have two new Unity Lens, first is Unity home lens which you will see when you press super key or access dash from launcher, it includes recent applications and files instead of default applications like in Ubuntu 11.10. Second lens is Video lens which enables you which let you search videos on your system and online videos on Vimeo, Youtube, BBC iPlayer etc.


A new feature introduced in beta 1 is the Head-Up Display or HUD which is used to search the menus of a focused window or whole application. HUD can be accessed by tapping ALT button. HUD doesn’t replace global menu, it is extra addon and can only be accessed through tapping ALT key.

Shortcuts Help Overlay

Another useful addition is Ubuntu shortcuts help overlay which gives lists and give details about all new shortcuts, it can be invoked by pressing and holding super key.

Unity Greeter

The Unity greeter now have revamped login box with improved session chooser with session logos.

Privacy Options

Zeitgeist is used in Ubuntu 12.04 to log user data which is mainly used in dash, it can be totally controlled through Zeitgeist Activity Log Manager which enables to clear history, blacklist applications or folders from showing up in Dash.

Default Applications

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin uses Linux Kernal 3.2.0-17.27 which is based upon 3.2.6 upstream stable kernal and XOrg server 1.11.4

  • Nautilus 3.3.90
  • Ubuntu Software Center 5.1.10
  • Firefox 11 beta 4
  • Thunderbird 11 beta 3
  • LibreOffice 3.5.0
  • Rhythmbox 2.95
  • Deja Dup Backup Tool 21.90
  • Gwibber 3.3.90
  • Empathy 3.3.5
  • Shotwell 0.11.92
  • Transmission 2.50
  • Remmina (remote desktop client) 1.0
  • GNOME Control Center (System Settings) 3.3.90
  • Gedit 3.3.4
  • Brasero 3.2.0
  • Totem 3.0.1

Banshee was scheduled to be reviewed for beta 1 but it is skipped because Banshee is not yet ported to GTK3 and now most probably Rhythmbox will be the default music player in the final version on Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin LTS. NotifyOSD is now adjusted with the color of your wallpaper.


Ubutnu 12.04 Precise Pangolin Beta 1 is very stable but usage on production machines is not recommended.

Download ISO from here

To upgrade from Ubuntu 11.10 press ALT+F2 and type “update-manager -d” (without the quotes). Update Manager should open up and tell you: New distribution release ’12.04′ is available. Click Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you are using Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin Alpha versions than you can update to beta 1 by just installing latest updates through update manager.

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin Preview and Review

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  1. I've tried Gnome 3 on Mint 12 few weeks back but I don't think it's ready yet for me to leave my Mint 10 with Gnome 2.3 behind. I'll give Unity a go now. Even though I like my Mint 10... it really needs a visual upgrade now.