Ubuntu 9.10 Preview: New Login Manager
Screenshots don't do justice to the new gdm experience, so I've created a quick screencast using a live session:
The beta version of Ubuntu 9.10, which appeared last week, brought a number of much-anticipated aesthetic improvements to the desktop. Here’s a look at the slick new login manager that users can expect when Karmic is officially released at the end of this month.
Screenshots don’t do justice to the new gdm experience, so I’ve created a quick screencast using a live session:
For my tastes, this is a great improvement over the traditional Gnome login screen, and adds the kind of graceful elegance that users have come to expect from modern operating systems.
To Ubuntu’s credit, this works without video acceleration, meaning that even older computers can take advantage of the graceful login experience.
As the screencast shows, the animation is a bit choppy and hangs for a few seconds at one point, but that may have more to do with being run in a VirtualBox virtual machine than the code itself. I haven’t yet played with the Karmic beta release on enough different machines to know.
I also like that the Gnome desktop doesn’t appear until everything is completely loaded and ready to go. There’s no frustration equal to thinking the computer has booted completely, only to click something and discover that the system is not yet actually functional.
I’ve spent long enough being teased by operating systems, both proprietary and open-source, that display the desktop long before it’s ready to use. The time from login to functional desktop may not have actually improved appreciably in Karmic–I didn’t measure it, but it doesn’t feel much faster–but at least now it’s clear when the system is truly ready to perform.
Other aesthetic improvements in Ubuntu 9.10 include new default wallpaper and icon themes. Stay tuned to WorksWithU for coverage of these and other new features in Karmic.