View Full Version : [ubuntu] Help for office machine

December 24th, 2011, 03:30 AM
My office is using 10.04 LTS. I brought in a practice machine with 11.10 on it. Secretaries are in revolt. Nothing works the way they think office machines should. We installed Gnome Classic over Unity, but strange things keep happening. Windows arbitrarily minimize, Nautilus seems limited, and some features are simply gone. Constant changes waste our time and cut productivity.

I was told there are no plans for future desktop editions of Ubuntu, and Windows 8 may be headed in the same direction. Is there an Ubuntu-related distribution with drop-down menu system and simple displays? We can keep 10.04 for several years, of course, but do we have options?

December 24th, 2011, 04:35 AM
you can keep a lookout for Linux Mint working on a gnome shell fork.

or also look out for the gnome 2 fork called MATE

December 24th, 2011, 04:57 AM
My experience with customers (mine being teachers, secretaries, and staff in an education environment) is that there is a revolt or disgruntled users with any changes. Even moving desktop icons causes issues. On the other hand it doesn't matter much what you do with student machines as they quickly adapt. I don't imagine Ubuntu or Windows will abandon the desktop as it is too lucrative a market still. There may however be changes with the way things work. Straight dropdown menus seem to be going away in favor of other alternatives. Yes this takes some changes in the way folks work, but can be more productive if the users will just make an effort to embrace the differences without contempt prior to investigation. That being said I would imagine there will be more options of dropdown menus and configuration in upcoming versions, but then again it is purely speculation on my part.

December 24th, 2011, 06:36 AM
I brought in a practice machine with 11.10 on it.[...] Is there an Ubuntu-related distribution with drop-down menu system and simple displays? We can keep 10.04 for several years, of course, but do we have options?

I find Xubuntu http://www.xubuntu.org/ 11.10 to work almost perfectly for me - it simply lets me get my work done. It has good usability because it's configurable: it gives me control over what I can see at a glance, let's me easily set up keyboard shortcuts, and requires the minimum amount of clicks. I also moved everything (scrollbars; launchers; close, max, hide buttons) to the top left corner to reduce mouse movement. Unlike other Xfce distros, Xubuntu isn't so much about speed and the ability to use it on old PCs - it's more about simplicity and productivity (and happens to work great for people who liked GNOME 2).

I haven't worked with Lubuntu yet.

I didn't like Mint 12 beta (can't remember if I used MGSE and/or MATÉ).

Lars Noodén
December 24th, 2011, 12:33 PM
+1 for Xubuntu

They might like it a lot better because it has kept a more traditional desktop interface.

Myrddin Emrys
December 24th, 2011, 08:23 PM
No need even to switch to Xubuntu if you don't want to - simply install the xfce4 package on your standard 11.10, logout, and select 'Xfce Session' in the login options. This is arguably an even better starting point for an office machine than Xubuntu - the familiar Gnome applications will still be available, LibreOffice etc. will already be installed, and you get a vanilla Xfce desktop.

Alternatively MATE, mentioned above, is already looking pretty good (as it should - it's just Gnome 2 with some fixes and renaming of components so they can co-exist with Gnome 3):


Simple installation instructions for 11.10:


Three commands and you're done - MATE will be added to your login options and the default settings give you a desktop that's almost identical to Gnome 2 in 10.x.

December 25th, 2011, 03:39 AM
+1 to Xubuntu.

Kubuntu is worth a try. It might take a little adjusting to, though.

If you're out of options, you can always use Debian.