Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Review After Using it for 31 Days

Many previous Ubuntu releases by Canonical were criticized for being boring and without any major new features, especially Ubuntu 14.04 LTS which was released without the much hyped Mir Display Server. Ubuntu 14.04 is an LTS release and any software with stability doubts should not be the part of an LTS release and Canonical did the right thing by not shipping the Mir server.
On the other side Canonical actually put a lot of work in making last few Ubuntu releases faster and more stable. Even the infamous Unity desktop has improved a lot in the last few releases, consuming much less memory, quicker to use and more stable. I have been using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS as my lone OS for a month now, at home and at office. I have tested Ubuntu 14.04 LTS rigorously for over a month and based on that I have written a review on the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release.
This is actually not a review as I don’t believe in reviewing stuff, but kind of a detailed monthly report on Ubuntu. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was released with some minor under the hood changes and a promise for improved performance and stability. So I wanted to start with the elephant in the room i.e Unity Desktop.
Unity in Ubuntu 14.04 feels more snappier than previous releases and that even on an AMD system, Unity ran flawlessly on Intel systems but had some stability and performance issues on AMD systems in the past. I am happy to report that Unity now runs flawlessly on both Intel and AMD systems. Intel has always been very supportive of Linux and especially Ubuntu on Intel chips, Intel recently released a Driver update utility for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Fedora 20 is the only other distro to officially get Intel’s Driver Update utility.
Ubuntu was shipped with kernel 3.13 for the LTS release but many patches were back ported from kernel 3.14 including a special Intel Broadwell driver. Canonical tried its best to add as much new tech as possible in the Kernel 3.13 even though 3.14 was available at the release time.
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is blazingly fast and for an OS which has to time travel a long distance of 5 years, this is a good start. I checked Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on a 8 core AMD Processor with 8 GB RAM as well as on an ancient Intel Dual Core processor with 1 GB RAM, Ubuntu had no problems on the bleeding edge as well as old hardware.
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS also features improved support for Nvidia Optimus as you can now seamlessly switch between Nvidia’s Discrete Graphic Card and Intel’s on board chips. This feature almost never worked for me in previous Ubuntu releases but In Ubuntu 14.04, this works magically out of the box.
Nvidia’s Linux driver has improved a lot in the past and the performance is now on par with the Window’s driver. Steam is doing a great job on Linux and with improvements made in every release, Linux is on track to dominate Gaming Industry as it has dominated others.
Ubuntu enjoys a special relationship with Valve and is the only Linux distribution officially supported. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS adds support for HiDPI, first Linux Distribution to support High Resolutions displays. This might not look like a major feature but Linux users with a 4K display will be in for a treat.
With latest Graphic drivers, 4k Gaming is now possible on Linux and with HiDPi support, Ubuntu takes it a step further. Steam is a joy to use on Linux except the issues with 64 bit libraries which is now gone as Steam now handles those on its own.
As far as stability goes, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release is one of the most stable release in Ubuntu’s history. I didn’t noticed any issues on the launch but in a month I have seen a lot of updates, a new update almost every third day.
Canonical has pushed a lot of improvements updates in the first month only and for that reason Ubuntu 14.04 is super fast and stabler than what you are used to. Despite the criticism Canonical gets for Unity, I actually enjoy using Unity. I don’t want to compare Unity with either Kde, Gnome or XFCE, you can use what works for you.
I have used Ubuntu flawlessly for a month, not a single issue that can be deal breaker. It is rock solid and I am even thinking of replacing Debian on my other system soon. With all due respect to Debian and its die hard fans, if stability is the sole reason someone is using Debian for, I don’t see why Ubuntu won’t be a better option as it is more user friendly and comes with newer applications.
Canonical had a rough time with the community but they seems to learn their lesson and would avoid any of the issues in the future. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is a solid release and I see no reason why Ubuntu cannot be my Prime OS at home and work. if you are not using Ubuntu for any reason, I ask you to give it a try and decide for yourself.

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