REVIEW - Ubuntu 23.04 'Lunar Lobster' - Cinnamon - Wizards Corner

wizardfromoz

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Messages
10,473
Reaction score
9,349
Credits
48,891
Name of Distro, DE and Family

Ubuntu 23.04 ‘Lunar Lobster’ Cinnamon - Debian-based

Name of .iso and size, architecture, source for downloading and SHAsum

ubuntucinnamon-23.04-desktop-amd64.iso 4.6 GB DistroWatch via SourceForge

SHA 256: f2e6cf4f6a8aab30318e84c7b82d1b556e1a7943fefd7dcf4fe9ace3e3c63fc1

Rolling or Point release, LTS (long-term support) or not

Point Release, 9 months until January 2024

Burning methods from Windows and from Linux -
  • I recommend Balena Etcher for Windows​
  • I used Etcher for Linux​
System Requirements (recommended)

At time of writing, I am unable to find a definitive list of system requirements. There is reference to 1 GB of RAM, but that is clearly inadequate.

My test environment

Dell Inspiron 5770 laptop
i7 processor
16 GB RAM
Drives – 2, 1 x Seagate 2 TB SATA HDD 5400 rpm, 1 x Micron 256 GB SSD (internal)
- 1 x Western Digital My Book 4 TB powered USB 3 5400 rpm (external)

Ranking at DistroWatch.com - 29

Broad categories
  • FEATURES​
  • PERFORMANCE​
  • EASE OF USE​
  • DOCUMENTATION/SUPPORT​
FEATURES

I describe this as -
At least one thing that stands out above “the others”

In this case, “the others” constitutes the other Ubuntu Community flavours.

1. After years, an Ubuntu flavour is finally shipping with both GParted and Synaptic Package Manager installed. Only a few years ago, Ubuntu would have both available in the Live environment and then actively remove them near the end of the installation process.

More recently, a number have been shipping with GParted, but this release is the first I am aware of that also has Synaptic.To me, these are essential tools.

2. Lunar Cinnamon also ships with a GUI frontend to ImageMagick, visible in the Graphics category choice from the Menu.

Nearly all GNU/Linux distros ship with the CLI version, but this is the first time in years I have seen the friendly Wizard, featured below with the Options showing.

QDUb2iG.png



The GIMP is also installed by default, in contrast to Linux Mint, whose last release to have this be default was 19.2 ‘Tina’ in August 2019 (they now favour Libre Office Draw).

I use GIMP frequently, for transforming images for customised Grub menus.


MISSING FEATURES

NOT present was an icon for Bluetooth in the System Tray, to me this is essential. It can be found in the Menu under Preferences, but can only be added to the Panel, Desktop or Favorites.

Kernel version at install - 6.2.0

Gaming opportunities, Wine, Steam &c.

Lutris, Steam and Wine are not installed by default, but can be installed through the repositories, the first two through Multiverse, and the last through Universe. All categories are enabled by default so that provides no obstacle.

The default games installed are as follows:
  • 2048​
  • Chess​
  • Mahjongg​
  • Sudoku​
PERFORMANCE

The following outputs are from running the command

top

in a Terminal

RAM usage at static (no browser, just Terminal with top)

MiB Mem : 15873.9 total, 13746.7 free, 1377.3 used, 1145.2 buff/cache
MiB Swap: 0.0 total, 0.0 free, 0.0 used. 14496.6 avail Mem

Then, opening further apps

2 Terminal, one with top

MiB Mem : 15873.9 total, 13627.3 free, 1452.1 used, 1205.8 buff/cache
MiB Swap: 0.0 total, 0.0 free, 0.0 used. 14421.8 avail Mem

2 Terminal, one with top, and Firefox open with total 31 tabs open (19 pinned, 12 other)

First of the Terminals is running os-prober to update grub

MiB Mem : 15873.9 total, 11446.0 free, 2872.8 used, 2239.2 buff/cache
MiB Swap: 0.0 total, 0.0 free, 0.0 used. 13001.1 avail Mem

1 x Terminal with top running, 1 x Firefox (19 pinned tabs, 13 others total 32)

MiB Mem : 15874.1 total, 10784.9 free, 3356.3 used, 2647.2 buff/cache
MiB Swap: 0.0 total, 0.0 free, 0.0 used. 12517.8 avail Mem

1 x Terminal with top running, 1 x Firefox (19 pinned tabs, 13 others total 32), 1 x Writer document, 1 x Calc multi-sheet spreadsheet

MiB Mem : 15874.1 total, 10693.3 free, 3298.5 used, 2648.1 buff/cache
MiB Swap: 0.0 total, 0.0 free, 0.0 used. 12575.6 avail Mem

OS-PROBER

OS-prober is one of the processes that is called when you execute

sudo update-grub

which is a “stub” for

sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

in Debian and Ubuntu distros (also Mageia).

My times for this will not apply to you – if you run maybe one to three distros, os-prober will fly through in seconds. I run 90 distros, so mine takes considerably longer.

I used the time command, and the exercise took

real111m59.965s

That is abysmally slow, IMO

By comparison -

OpenMandriva - real 23m21.354s
GeckoLinux - real33m40.508s
Jammy Desktop (GNOME) - real42m50.346s
Kubuntu Jammy - real 44m18.683s

The only one that took longer than this was my Fedora 36 (yet to do 37/38)

real119m49.371s

EASE OF INSTALL/EASE OF USE

Name of installer, eg Ubiquity, Calamares, Anaconda

From the Release Notes, we are told that Ubiquity has been replaced with Subiquity, written in Flutter.

I cannot see a difference (perhaps an Ubuntu Team Member can enlighten us) but it certainly works as well and as easily as Ubiquity.

Installation time again, no relevance to you because my 90 distros need to be detected, but it took around two hours for me, so maybe 30 minutes for you. Fedora takes me over four hours by comparison.

Ease of obtaining download mirrors alternatives for updates/upgrades

Standard Ubuntu, my Software and Updates looks like this

SzudFXQ.png


With ‘buntus I usually find Main Server for Australia to be adequate, although if lagging, I may choose Other and run tests for a local server that is quickest.


OQJjJlY.png



Accessibility – Large Text, Numlock, Cursor Size and colour

The System Settings – Accessibility function from Menu button offers a stock standard (read limited) range of features. I enabled Large Text and it modifies the environment in real time, and appears to use 125%.

WtSoAZE.png


Numlock requires the installation of numlockx

sudo apt -y install numlockx

Users familiar with the LightDM Display Manager (used by Cinnamon, Xfce and MATE) may be aware that if you install numlockx, the Login Window option in your Start Menu will then gain an additional option under Miscellaneous showing a numlock switch. I found that switching that to On did not work properly.

I also found that editing the file /etc/default/numlockx to include numlock on did not work as expected.

My workaround for this was to install lightdm-gtk-greeter and lightdm-gtk-greeter-settings

sudo apt -y install lightdm-gtk-greeter lightdm-gtk-greeter-settings

I then modified the file /usr/share/lightdm/lightdm.conf.d/60-lightdm-gtk-greeter.conf

to add the following, under [Seat:*]

greeter-setup-script=/usr/bin/numlockx on

Following a reboot, numlock is now switched on at the start of your X session, which may be essential for visually challenged users.

Cursor size and colour/scheme

Default cursor size is 24, far too small for me. I was able to change this to 72 through Settings – Hardware – Mouse and Touchpad, however to get that to also apply at Login, I had to add

XCURSOR_THEME=Yaru
XCURSOR_SIZE=72

to /etc/environment

Note that Yaru is the only option for the cursor theme.

Use of

sudo update-alternatives --config x-cursor-theme

reveals that there should be an option for Adwaita. And in fact Adwaita is the only option revealed there, but the cursor is Yaru, and that cannot be easily changed through the onboard software, nor through dconf-editor.

DOCUMENTATION/SUPPORT
  • Desktop welcome screen​
  • Help​
  • Forums, blogs, wiki​
There is no desktop welcome screen, no help icon on the desktop. In the menu, by typing Help you can open the following, but it is very limited.

b5RWUHm.png


No sign of details for Forums, Blogs or Wiki.

By comparison, Manjaro offer this

6m2ycIp.png



and an Ubuntu, namely MATE, have this

tklDKvJ.png



BACKUP-RESTORE/SYSTEM RESTORE

In the Menu under Accessories is a reference to Backups, which launches the standard GNOME utility Déjà Dup, which is basically a graphical frontend for Duplicity.

The latest version of Timeshift 22.11.2 is available to be installed through the Repositories.

SCORES

I scored the subject distro graphically with some of Wizard’s crystal balls, hereafter referred to as globes.

DEMERIT POINTS

Lack of documentation – 1 mark off

Cursor limitations – 1 mark off

Performance os-prober – ½ mark off

Bluetooth icon not in Tray – ½ mark off

BONUS POINTS

ImageMagick GUI – ½ mark added

GIMP installed – ½ mark added

SCORE

5pVoOWX.png


8 out of 10

Wizard

BTW – since starting this review, I have learned that the developer of the Cinnamon flavour is one Joshua Peisach, aged 15 years. I think that is wonderful.
 


More recently, a number have been shipping with GParted, but this release is the first I am aware of that also has Synaptic.To me, these are essential tools.
Lubuntu back when we provided LXDE had these both, ie.

The 18.04.5 manifest (https://cdimage.ubuntu.com/lubuntu/releases/18.04/release/lubuntu-18.04.5-desktop-amd64.manifest) will show both on the ISO, and both were installed.

From 18.10 as we'd switched to LXQt, we'd replaced synaptic with muon, and gparted was replaced with KDE Partition Manager which I consider equal tools, but as they use the Qt5 the LXQt uses, that change made sense to me (and it wasn't me that decided the switch).

I'd expect both those too in Xubuntu too, I see them on the jammy manifest, but I'm not going to check to see if its installed; as I know Xubuntu have multiple install options which can vary on release.


From the Release Notes, we are told that Ubiquity has been replaced with Subiquity, written in Flutter.

I'm convinced Ubuntu Cinnamon uses ubiquity as evidenced here (http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntucin...e/ubuntucinnamon-23.04-desktop-amd64.manifest) and I jumped to the bottom where snap packages on the ISO show, and you'll note there is no ubuntu-desktop-installer listed.

Contrast with https://releases.ubuntu.com/23.04/ubuntu-23.04-desktop-amd64.manifest where a quick jump to the bottom & the new ubuntu-desktop-installer is evident; let alone the lack of ubiquity executable (its slideshow/artwork & start up though are present)

Thus why it looked like ubiquity to you - it was !

Ubuntu Cinnamon did state (last flavor sync meeting) they were going to use ubuntu-desktop-installer at 23.10 if I recall correctly (I should check, the voice & person in my memory has to be Joshua who must have been at the same meeting I was timezone wise; public minutes can be read here).

The Ubuntu Cinnamon team did report their intention of having 2 ISOs, the official one & an unofficial one that wasn't ready to go last time I checked (primarily checking for Ubuntu News purposes & wording on something from memory), thus it's very possible they have used different installer on their unofficial ISO compared to the official Ubuntu Cinnamon 23.04 ISO I'm only referencing. (the unofficial ISO can use packages not found on Ubuntu repositories that won't be included by launchpad build tools).

FYI: If/when you speak with Joshua, he doesn't come across as that young! Same as Rudra Saraswat (Ubuntu Unity & other stuff) doesn't. Sure Joshua sounds & looks young (to me, but I'm not that young), but I've been impressed by Joshua (& Rudra) many times.
 
Thanks for the review :) I tried ubuntu Cinnamon also, but found for me no compelling reason to not just use Mint Cinnamon
 
Linux Mint Cinnamon has been my Linux desktop for about 6 months. Prior to that, I ran Ubuntu or Ubuntu MATE for years. I am currently trying Fedora Cinnamon and Debian Cinnamon as well as Ubuntu Cinnamon. I downloaded and installed Ubuntu Cinnamon 22.04.2.

-> It is very slow compared with other distros I run on the same system with the same virtual machine configuration. Terminal apt upgrades had timeout issues. They worked better by changing the entries in /etc/apt/sources.list from the US sites to the Ubuntu main site.

I am ready to delete Ubuntu Cinnamon.
 
The GIMP is also installed by default, in contrast to Linux Mint, whose last release to have this be default was 19.2 ‘Tina’ in August 2019 (they now favour Libre Office Draw).
If this is true out of an official communication from the Linux Mint team then it's a blunder. The two programs are not alike: Libreoffice Draw is more like Inkscape but inferior. It does not do rastered documents. Also there's an attempt to save disk space by excluding this app or another. Since about release 25 of GIMP v2.10 on Arch Linux they started including "suitesparse" as dependency which is the largest, a few megabytes long, and that version required by GIMP collides with a certain "suitesparse64" required by Julia programming language installed also via "pacman". The user who wants Julia (v1.9 recently released!) must instead pick up the PPA directly from "julialang-dot-org".

EDIT: Just checked that "suitesparse" is needed only by "gegl", which is needed by GIMP on Manjaro Linux v22.1.2 freshly updated today. :)

Side note: AlmaLinux comes with Inkscape and Libreoffice but not GIMP which is odd. The version of Inkscape however is older than what could be had with AppImage.

About "Manjaro Hello": it's really a shame that is tied in dependencies with "gcc" and Pamac, in case the power user or other half-paranoid kind of user LOL decides to uninstall Pamac. The "welcome" app in Ubuntu MATE tells other people not all Ubuntu flavors are equal or come from the same developers. To say it another way: that's why we have people saying Linux is "many" operating systems.

Thank you for the review Wizard, very educational, and I should go as deep as you could with what I test. (two thumbs up)
 
Last edited:
I downloaded and installed Ubuntu Cinnamon 22.04.2.

That would be a remix. Officially, it became Ubuntu Cinnamon with 23.04 (the most recent version). You won't see an official Ubuntu LTS spin until 24.04.
 
Yes, from what I read he had 7 previous releases of the Remix variety, and this, his 8th, is the first to be awarded an official flavour.

I look forward to 24.04's release, and hope I can give it a 9 or more.
 
Another BTW on Joshua - he started the Cinnamon project at age eleven !

What a gifted young man.
 

Members online


Top