back to article Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04

The arrival of Ubuntu 17.04 this month was completely overshadowed by Mark Shuttleworth's decision to abandon the Unity desktop for a stock GNOME Shell interface. Before you panic, Unity 7 will continue to be available via the Ubuntu universe repos. From the chatter on forums and blogs around the Ubuntu ecosystem it sounds …

  1. badger31

    My thoughts on this ...

    1. Is Files really that bad? I've used Mac's Finder, so I know how bad things can be

    2. Yes! I get to go to the sysadmins at Uni and say 'I told you so!' :-)

    3. I'll be sticking with Mint and Cinnamon

    Something else occurs to me (that'll probally get me a tonne of down-votes), Unity and W8 Metro were both designed to put the same interface on desktop machines and phones, right? What a stupid idea. I've also heard people say the same things about both UIs; that is, it's not so bad when you get used to it. That's not a good argument.

    Perhaps it's just that I'm rapidly approaching middle-age and I don't like radical ideas anymore.

    1. stephanh

      Re: My thoughts on this ...

      Xubuntu (XFCE) is also pretty good. I wonder why they don't make that the standard desktop.

      1. PNGuinn

        Re: My thoughts on this ...

        "Xubuntu (XFCE) is also pretty good. I wonder why they don't make that the standard desktop."

        Common bloody sense that's why.

        > Thanks - its the one hanging over the zimmer frame.

      2. Mage Silver badge

        Re: My thoughts on this ...

        Yes, I sometimes install that (XFCE) too as a fall back solution. Easier to fix a desktop from a desktop than a console, though I *HAVE* re-installed Mate desktop via console. Entirely my fault it got broken.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: My thoughts on this ...

          "Yes, I sometimes install that (XFCE) too as a fall back solution. Easier to fix a desktop from a desktop"

          Isn't that what TWM is for?

      3. Julian Bradfield

        Re: My thoughts on this ...

        apart from the fact that xfwm or whatever it's called has less flexible key/button binding than twm had 30 years ago...I compile my own version just to get basic features, sigh.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: My thoughts on this ... @Julian

          Before the turn of the century, I liked the version of twm that added a virtual desktop. The version I used was called vtwm.

          I actually found the source for it a bit back, and compiled it up. It still does the main part of the job I need a window manager to do quite well (and in an absolutely tiny footprint), but the lack of integration with things like the network manager for wireless keys, no applets and a number of other niggles prevented me from going back to it full time.

          I suppose I could have spent more time investigating getting it working better, but I just lost interest. We get too used to the extra luxuries of modern desktops, unfortunately.

      4. fidodogbreath

        Re: My thoughts on this ...

        Ditto for Mint; I like Mint XFCE a lot better than Cinnamon. It's not flashy, but it's super stable and it runs great on any hardware.

      5. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: My thoughts on this ...

        "Xubuntu (XFCE) is also pretty good. I wonder why they don't make that the standard desktop."

        I would've picked 'Mate'.

        Also _NOT_ a fan of the 2D Flatso theme they picked for the examples. Yuck.

        fortunately, 3D skeuomorphic themes still exist, even for gnome 3, and there should be packages for all of the other wonderful desktops we can all argue about the virtues of! Or, I expect it to be as much.

        1. itzman

          Re: My thoughts on this ...

          Yep, mate for me wins over XFCE but not by much.

      6. Jakester

        Re: My thoughts on this ...

        One good reason to not make XFCE the default is on the computers - I have used with rel 16.04 with XFCE and if the monitor is disconnected (or switched using KVM switches), video is lost and apparently can only be restored after the computer is rebooted. I tried this on 3 computer and had the same result on each. That one reason is why XFCE should not be a standard desktop. Now if that problem has been addressed and solved, XFCE would be a viable desktop.

        Personally, I freferred the Unity desktop ever since it was introduced. It is easily configured and the easiest to navigate. I will miss it, but adjust. On some older equipment, I have gone to LXDE to solve compatibility issues with Ubuntu 14.04 and above.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My thoughts on this ...

      Not age dependent. I like radical ideas when they're an improvement, and hate regressions in usability.

      I called out the mobilification of the desktop from the beginning, and was called a Luddite / old geezer, resistant to change.

      Now the idea is falling out of favour, guess I should feel vindicated?

      1. sambaynham

        Re: My thoughts on this ...

        I'm going in the opposite direction. I started out as a Windows-only teenager. Then moved to linux, and loved the simple UI of the Ubuntus (Unity was a jump, but I learned at least to tolerate it).

        But the older I get, the more I like the CLI. I think it's because I have more demands on my time. So when I want to do something on my computer, I want to do PRECISELY that thing, right-the-heck-now. I don't want to be suggested at or wizarded.

        I'm 32 and I don't have a house, still less a lawn, but if I did I'd be telling you damn kids to get off it. Fortunately, I live in the North, so there are always clouds to shout at.

        1. itzman

          Re: My thoughts on this ...

          Once upon a time, a friend of mine who built minicomputers met someone...

          "I would like to Computerise My Company Stock Control'


          He went along, spent a day studying what they did and then said 'OK'

          'OK what?' '

          'For what you do, the cost of implementation and staff training to use a database to replace the cardfiles is not worth the benefit, which would be precisely zero'.

          (Stock control was a card for every item, with a number at the top - the part number and another number, which was how many items were left in stock, which you crossed out and reduced when items went out of stick to the shop floor or to customers.. When new stock came in, you made out a fresh card, added the number in the bin to the number in the shipment, and that was how you did stock control. I think it cost about £100 to set up, and staff training consisted in working with the storeman a day till you got the hang of sharpening the pencils, and subtracting one from any number.).


    3. GregC

      Re: My thoughts on this ...

      I'm way past the 'rapidly approaching' bit of middle age, and I alse hate Metro.

      I quite like Unity though <shrug/>

    4. Kubla Cant

      Re: My thoughts on this ...

      I recently worked a contract where all the developer machines ran Ubuntu. I really, really tried to get on with Unity, but after a couple of months I called it a day and installed the latest Cinnamon. You had to select the desktop at startup time, but apart from that it ran pretty well. There were occasional glitches, but that may well have been a result of running the bleeding-edge Cinnamon on a slightly old version of Ubuntu.

      For home use I occasionally run through the latest and greatest distros and desktops, but I usually come back to Mint/Cinnamon.

    5. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: My thoughts on this ... @badger31

      I never liked Unity on the desktop, but having used it on a 'phone for some time, it works surprisingly well.

      My view is that it works well for people and devices that only really do one thing at a time, thus it works on 'phones quite well (who tries to multitask several applications on a phome screen?). Scopes are really interesting, and switching between different concurrently opened programs by swiping from the left does work. I would have loved to use a WebOS device to see whether the Cards feature from that and the task switcher in Ubuntu Touch worked in the same way.

      On a desktop or laptop, people who fill the whole screen with what they are doing probably like Unity (and probably the Mac interface and Metro as well). But the original behavior, where applications opened full screen by default and the launcher bringing to the front an already open window rather than opening a new instance alienated me and a whole lot of other users.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: My thoughts on this ... @badger31

        It's the concept of plugging your phone into a monitor, mouse and keyboard that has fallen by the wayside. Why? Because a discrete (and discreet!) HDMI ARM or X86 computer of equivalent power to a phone can be very inexpensive and be about the size of a cigarette lighter. So, why faff around plugging your phone into stuff when you can use it in parallel with with a separate device?

        These days I don't plug my phone into an amp or speaker dock to stream music - that's what the Chromecast Audio is for. Being able to control the music from anywhere in room, or take a phonecall outside without unplugging cables or interrupting the music offer clear user advantages over the 'one device does all' approach.

        Notably, Apple never went down the Unity / Metro route (though there was an argument for Unity in poorer countries where a user could only afford one device but might share a HDMI tv). Of course, Apple would rather you buy an iPhone *and* a Mac, but I can't help but think their 'Continuity' approach (share open documents and files seamlessly between phone and desktop) has more merit for most users than faffing about plugging phones into monitors.

        1. Updraft102

          Re: My thoughts on this ... @badger31

          I've never been a fan of Apple, but Apple's refusal to "converge" iOS and MacOS/OSX is one thing I've cited as something they did right.

          Yes, from a sales basis, they'd rather you buy an iPad and a Mac, but that's also better from a technical standpoint. While it's tempting to look at a tablet and see what looks like a laptop screen (if it only had a keyboard attached), the truth is a lot more complicated.

          Simply attaching a keyboard to an iPad does not, of course, make it a Mac. Macs run x86 software, and they do it on hardware far more powerful than even Apple's best-in-class ARM hardware. Macs have more memory, more GPU processing power, and far more secondary storage (HDD/SSD) than iPads.

          In order to make a convertible iPad into a credible Mac when the keyboard is snapped on, it would need to be able to run x86 Mac programs at a usable speed. Given that ARM processors are marvels of low power consumption, but not so much at raw processing speed, an emulated solution is unlikely to make happy customers. The ARM CPU itself natively isn't even fast enough to be a credible Mac, let alone trying to do it with the large overhead of emulation.

          That means that to deliver the same quality of experience you'd get in a native Mac laptop, you'd have to have a secondary x86 CPU for Mac mode within the base (keyboard). You'd have to do the same for storage (Mac programs take up a lot more room than iOS apps), with a separate SSD in the base unit. It would need its own RAM and a separate GPU (separate from the ARM one, not necessarily separate from the x86 cpu).

          By the time you've gotten done adding all that stuff, you've essentially got two separate devices. The only shared bit would be the display itself. When you're carrying that laptop around, the weight of two of everything is always there, and so was the cost at the time of purchase. It would cost about as much as a separate iPad and Mac, because it essentially is.

          MacOS and iOS can't really be converged without a serious design change. MacOS has poor touch support (if any), from what I've read, and iOS is so locked down that it's not credible as a real computer. Apple has shown itself to be very inflexible in making the iPad (and iPhone) any more friendly to "real computer" features like being able to see the file system. They can't be converged without major philosophical changes.

          You could add a keyboard to an iPad... people already do this. If that's all you need, then further convergence is of no use. If that's not all you need, though, then you need a real computer... one without the many limitations of the mobile platform. You're better off getting a separate laptop and tablet (and/or phone) rather than trying to meld the devices together to save yourself one LCD screen. That way, you can have a PC processor in your PC (term used in the generic sense, not to mean Windows device), with a PC operating system running on it, using PC programs with a PC level of storage available on board. When you need more mobility, you've got your tablet, with everything similarly tailored to that platform.

          You don't need to be running one device as a PC and a tablet to get them to work well together. They can seamlessly sync via "the cloud", and both of the devices can have their own related (but still separate) software to use the synced data. It seems "gee whiz" cool to be able to run exactly the same app on tablet/phone and PC, but what use is it? PCs are far more powerful, have way more screen space, and have better input devices (mouse and keyboard blow touchscreen away ergonomically). Why use apps that are designed for relatively limited mobile devices on a PC when you can do so much better?

    6. dmacleo

      Re: My thoughts on this ...

      I also like mint and cinnamon.

      I use mix of windows and mint here.

      I just don't like gnome layout.

      but its good to have choices.

      1. Chika

        Re: My thoughts on this ...

        Agreed but then wasn't that one of the reasons behind Cinnamon coming into being, much like MATE? The biggest problem, as I see it, is that too many UI developers don't pay enough attention to what users actually want and while that isn't necessarily bad - it's worth trying new things to see what can be accomplished - it has given us some pretty awful UIs (including Windows) over the last five or so years at least.

        So yes, while I like Plasma 5 more than I ever liked KDE4, for example, I recently built my new box around Mint and Trinity 14 since I much prefer KDE 3 even to this day.

        And yes, it's good to have choices. It's the biggest reason why I have dumped openSUSE after about two decades of use since they have their noses well and truly up Redhat's anal passage and Leap is becoming too unwieldy to modify to my liking.

    7. Barry Rueger

      Re: My thoughts on this ...

      1. Is Files really that bad? I've used Mac's Finder, so I know how bad things can be.

      Beat me to it. What is it about file managers that developers find so difficult?

      1. itzman
        Paris Hilton

        Re: My thoughts on this ...What is it about file managers that developers find so difficult?

        Creeping Featurism.

        I run some sshfs mounted files on a very remote server.

        File managers take minutes to display directories that 'ls' displays instantly.

        Why? because they must needs download loads of information - even construct thumbnails - that is totally unneeded.

        Why? Because people they think like to see thumbnail images rather than renaming files to something human comprehensible.

        When all you have is a GUI everything looks like a clickable icon.

        "My little pony Sep 2016.JPG" versus "DSG_0901893257.JPG"

    8. Oh Homer

      Is it done yet?

      So has Gnome 3 "Shell" finally restored all the features missing compared to Gnome 2?

      Actually I'm only half trolling because I'd seriously like to know. It's been so long since I've used any version of Gnome that I can't even remember what features were missing, but I vaguely recall thinking at the time that it was so Spartan that I might just as well use Openbox at a fraction of the bloat, so I did, and never looked back. As a bonus this made it somewhat easier to avoid being infected with the Systemd virus and other Poettering baggage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is it done yet?

        They're probably rolling them into a future release of systemd.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Is it done yet?

        " I vaguely recall thinking at the time that it was so Spartan"

        And yet it still had too many menus as I vaguely recall.

      3. jelabarre59

        Re: Is it done yet?

        As a bonus this made it somewhat easier to avoid being infected with the Systemd virus and other Poettering baggage.

        I've suspected systemD is Lennart Pothead's way of punishing the Linux/unix communities for disrespecting pulseaudio.

    9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: My thoughts on this ...

      "Perhaps it's just that I'm rapidly approaching middle-age and I don't like radical ideas anymore."

      Or just the dawning realisation that radical isn't enough - ideas also need to work.

    10. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: My thoughts on this ...

      Whilst I agree with your last paragraph, in that trying to get a UI to work on tablets and desktops is a stupid idea, your first line about Mac's finder, I disagree with.

      I've always used Windows, since 3 and before, and the file manager in that has always bugged me. By Windows 10 it has got less and less intuitive. A few months ago, I managed to get hold of a Macbook and what a refreshing change! The file manager seems to remember where you were between uses; it's easier to find folders, it remembers that I prefer the downloads folder in reverse date order (so when I go to pick a file to attach to an email it's easy to attach the thing you just downloaded, for example). The file picker. as well as the file manager parts of Mac's finder are far simpler to use than any other file manager I've used.

      I even tried (again - I try every two years or so) to use Ubuntu last year and the one thing that put me off was the file manager. Not intuitive, difficult to navigate and slow.

      But all in all, what's kept me wowed by the Mac is the Finder file manager. It's definitely one of the Mac's strong points.

  2. wolfetone Silver badge

    Lovely article written by someone who clearly loves GNOME.


  3. tiggity Silver badge

    Only unity fans really affected

    Surely if someone really prefers a particular desktop, they will grab that tailored distro ( I like KDE so kubuntu) or if no tailored distro tehn manually install & set up.


    Only the unity fans lose out as they will have to manually set up unity (so long as fan base keep it alive) instead of a ready made distro

    1. Ramazan

      Re: Only unity fans really affected

      "Surely if someone really prefers a particular desktop, they will grab that tailored distro ( I like KDE so kubuntu)"

      You know, in a galaxy far far away, of which noone heard about yet, there does exist a distro named Debian which asks a user to select between GNOME/KDE/XFCE/LXDE/MATE/Cinnamon during installation.

      In this galaxy user doesn't have to pick a separate distro for each and every desktop, can you believe it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only unity fans really affected

        But you do need a separate distros if you want a different init system.

        1. Oh Homer

          Re: if you want a different init system

          That choice is rapidly disappearing, not so much because distro maintainers actually want to standardise on Systemd, but mostly because more and more of the upstream stuff those distros depend on is becoming increasingly hard wired to it, starting with Gnome itself. It's the Poettering Effect: a self-fulfilling prophesy in which the monolithic and exclusionary nature of Systemd makes it "necessary".

          Systemd is not only an overreaching abomination that is an affront to the Unix philosophy, but it's also single-handedly destroying the freedom and diversity of the Linux ecosystem, to the point that eventually there simply won't be any point in there being more than one distro, more than one Desktop Environment, or more than one anything. The anti-choice brigade applaud this development as a great victory, like a bunch of cloth-cap-wearing nationalists applauding the deportation of foreigners.

          The last bastion of "real Linux" is down to just Devuan, and possibly Gentoo (for now). The rest, or at least any not based on the above, are destined to be assimilated by the Poettering Collective, if they haven't already.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: bastions

            The Funtoo project has been very clear about not going there. Apparently they won't prevent you from taking it there, either-- which is also cool-- but I never unmasked systemd to try to find out. Being the other Gentoo-derived distro started by the guy who started Gentoo, it ought to get more notice, IMO... maybe people just don't like heating their rooms with GCC as much as I do :D

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: if you want a different init system

            You can include Slackware in the "no systemd" ranks.

  4. frank ly

    Nemo ... Files ... pah!

    Caja is the only one worth using. It carries the (old) Nautilus torch and carries it well.

    What's that? ... You disagree with me? .. Then it will be pistols at dawn!

    1. quxinot

      Re: Nemo ... Files ... pah!

      I wonder how many people will return from Mint, after Unity pushed them away. Ubuntu always did excellent polishing of their releases (compared to many, at least), but Unity's forcible and massive change drove many users away.

      I really like Mate, but Caja's lovely usability is failed by a surprising lack of stability, at least on the machines I've used it on. Seems like transferring large files or large numbers of files makes it get wonky in a way that I don't remember Nautilus doing. I do keep wishing that I could find more dual-panel file managers for other desktop environments, and other OS's.

      1. Richard 22

        Re: Nemo ... Files ... pah!

        Cinnamon + Nemo? I've not had any stability issues with it, and Nemo and Caja at least have the same philosphy, if not exactly the same features (i.e. make a Nautilus fork useful again by re-adding removed features and adding new features). Similarly, Cinnamon and Mate have a similar philosophy.

        I wish there were an official Cinnamon version of Ubuntu (perhaps they've got room for another spin now Unity has gone). At work we have to use Ubuntu (Mint is verboten), but can install alternate desktops. There are unnofficial PPAs for cinnamon, but I'd be happier if it were in the main repos.

      2. DropBear

        Re: Nemo ... Files ... pah!

        "I wonder how many people will return from Mint"

        Fair question, especially considering that even though I prefer to be as "noob mainstream" as possible in Linux (helps a lot with the 24/7 search for "how do I fix/do <$issue>" apparently obligatory whenever I'm trying to use some Linux distro) and that kinda used to mean Ubuntu, I'm still going to take the Mint route instead, even after Unity going away. It's just that Mate was the only thing I could find that would get me a proper classic desktop experience, and last time I checked Mint's version of it was (after a fair amount of un-mintifying) significantly more polished and free of aggravating sticking points than Ubuntu's. This may have changed since but I have serious doubts...

        1. Allonymous Coward

          Re: Nemo ... Files ... pah!

          > This may have changed since

          Guess it depends what your aggravating sticking points are. I run Ubuntu MATE all day at work and find it to be excellent. It also tracks "main" Ubuntu very closely - I heard somewhere that there are only 30-odd packages different between the two (no, I haven't checked).

          Might be worth another look.

        2. itzman

          Re: Nemo ... Files ... pah!

          It's just that Mate was the only thing I could find that would get me a proper classic desktop experience, and last time I checked Mint's version of it was (after a fair amount of un-mintifying) significantly more polished and free of aggravating sticking points than Ubuntu's.

          Yup. Linux is the best engine and gearbox, Ubuntu is the best chassis, and Mate is the best interior and dials.

          I'm staying with Mint because its supplies all three in a well integrated package.

      3. Chemical Bob

        Re: I wonder how many people will return from Mint

        What is this "return" you speak of? Mint has always done an excellent job of removing the baked-in stupidity one found in Ubuntu. Unity was just a huge increase in stupidity compared to earlier versions.

      4. dajames

        I wonder how many people will return from Mint, after Unity pushed them away.

        I would hope that anyone who was put off Ubuntu by Unity -- and by Unity alone -- would simply have run Ubuntu with a different desktop. No need to run to a different distro altogether (but a lot of people seem not to have understood that).

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: it will be pistols at dawn!

      Surely "Distros at dawn"?

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Nemo ... Files ... pah!

      Both Files and Caja are based on Nautilus. All suck, IMO.

      When I want a file manager, I reach for an xterm and type "mc" ... Does everything I want in a file manager, without having to lift my fingers from the keybR0ad.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't install properly

    Still no support for a bunch of Realtek wifi dongles, the manufacturers drivers won't compile correctly and there are issues with the included nVidia drivers that crash the system. Standard open source seems to be more stable, but sloooooooooooooooooow.

    I'll try again in a few weeks.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Won't install properly

      Unless the nVidia drivers in the repository are back-level compared to other distributions, blame nVidia themselves for the poor quality.

      As I understand it, both nVidia and AMD (ATI) provide a binary blob that is wrapped to allow it to be plugged into, Mir or Wayland for each distro. As long as that blob is wrapped correctly, any instability will be caused by the blob. Also, are you sure it crashes the system, and not just the GUI? X11 or Mir drivers should be running in user mode, so should be incapable of taking the whole system out. Have you tried Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get to a console so that you can kill the X server?

      If the repository is out-of-date, then pick up the new blob from the nVidia or AMD website, and compile it into the wrapper yourself.

      Personally, I find the open-source drivers sufficient for my needs, and much less prone to have the code to drive my older graphic cards removed with no notice (which has happened more than once). But then, I'm not a hard-core gamer.

      I suspect that the code that Realtek provide for their WiFi dongles (presumably you mean USB devices) hasn't been updated by Realtek recently, and may not compile because the Kernel version and library stack has moved on from when their code was written. Try engaging Realtek to ask them to provide a copy that will compile on what is, after all, a mainstream Linux distro.

      But the basic point is, get the chipset vendors to support their hardware better on Linux rather than griping at the distro maintainers. Or buy hardware that is more Linux friendly.

      1. yossarianuk

        Re: Won't install properly

        If you want the latest stable Nvidia driver just add this PPA - no need to manually install the binary

        info ->

        Anyone running Nvidia really should be using the latest drivers or you are missing out on many performance fixes (vulkan in particular )

        1. stephanh

          Re: Won't install properly

          I avoid nvidia and amd for their crappy drivers and always go for intel GPU. Less performance but at least it works reliably. And I only play Nethack and for that, Intel GPU is sufficient.

        2. itzman

          Re: Won't install properly

          Anyone running Nvidia really should be using the latest drivers or you are missing out on many performance fixes (vulkan in particular )

          Not true. Performance fixes are not the while story.

          Things like the ability to restore a video session after suspend or hibernate are crucial too, and Nividias own drivers often dont play nice here.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Won't install properly

            As per usual when something doesn't work in Linux, it's the users fault for having the wrong gear or not being able to get it to work properly.

            1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

              Re: Won't install properly @Peter R. 1

              I hope your comment was not aimed at me!

              If it was, I think you've missed out the gist of what I was saying. If you install or buy some bleeding edge or niche hardware for Windows, something that is not in the normal Windows driver repository, the vendor provides this thing, normally a shiny silver disk or a link to a web site, that adds the support for that device to Windows.

              Without it, you would have as much trouble running that hardware on Windows as many people experience on Linux. As an exercise, try installing Windows on one of these problem systems just from Microsoft media, and see how much stuff doesn't work without the mobo and other driver disks from people other than Microsoft. It's an education.

              The problem hardware vendors do not provide their own drivers for Linux, and this is the biggest problem for niche hardware. You cannot expect anybody else in the Linux community to reverse-engineer hardware drivers for this type of device. If it's important, do it yourself, and contribute it back into the community!

              Do not expect someone like RedHat or Canonical to provide drivers for Linux when Microsoft do not do it for Windows (remember, even drivers in the Windows repository are often provided by the vendor, not Microsoft themselves). It really is the vendors responsibility to ensure that their hardware is supported, not the OS community.

              It is a wonder that as much works as it does with just the base Linux install media. A testament to all the hard work that has been done, often by volunteers or philanthropic companies.

              What I find more cynical is those vendors who provide Mac OS drivers which would differ comparatively little from the Linux ones, but don't actually bother with that last step of packaging and testing for Linux.

  6. Cab

    Fedora ?

    Didn't understand the comparison with Fedora, surely if Ubuntu is moving to GNOME it's going to end up looking more like Debian (as Jessie is GNOME by default) given that's what is is underneath ?

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Fedora ?

      I think the comparison was along the lines of it looking like Fedora, rather than acting like Fedora.

      Plus the version of GNOME that gets shipped with Fedora will be more akin to the one Ubuntu gets, as the version Debian uses by default tends to be several versions older. That said, there isn't that much of a graphical change to GNOME between Debian's version and Fedora's. I'm not sure there is a difference to be honest.

    2. Ramazan

      Re: Fedora ?

      "surely if Ubuntu is moving to GNOME it's going to end up looking more like Debian"

      I had the same question. Surely theregister journalists either don't know there is a distro named Debian which Ubuntu is based on, or don't know that GNOME is the default desktop on Debian...

  7. mrmond

    How times change..

    Mark Shuttleworth, Aprile 29th 2011:

    "We put user’s first because we committed to test and iterate Unity’s design with real users, and evolve it based on those findings. We’ve documented the process we’re following in that regard, so that other free software projects can decide for themselves if they also want to bring professional design into their process. I very much hope that this will become standard practice across all of free software, because in my view the future of free software is no longer just about inner beauty (architecture, performance, efficiency) it’s also about usability and style."

    And most people hated it but no, he was determined it was here to stay.

    And now we go back to Gnome

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: How times change..

      Unity didn't work. However he had a point in general about usability and UI design - these things are important if one wants to attract the uninitiated. It is hard to get right, time consuming and expensive too if you want to test a UI amongst a large range of users. That said, it can also be about some simple things, such as giving applications names that reflect their function. Windows' Text Edit, Paint and Explorer might be shit, but at least a novice might guess what they do. This is important - if they are learning, why fill their heads with arbitrary names? Imagine learning to drive if the instructor insisted the steering wheel was called Antelope and the accelerator ColdDerek - it would just be useless aribitary stuff to remember, on top of the actual important stuff such as speed limits and clutch control.

      InkScape is a reasonable name; The GIMP is not a useful name.

      1. badger31

        Re: How times change..

        The Gnu Image Manipulation Program tells you exactly what the program is and does, unlike InkScape. It's a bit of a mouthful, though, so gets the (official?) acronym 'Gimp'.

        I think the problem is there's only so many descriptive names you can have for a file browser, text editor, photo editor, etc., so a lot of names tend to be jokes or puns which get worse as they are forked. Examples: Hudson -> Jenkins, Mustache -> Handlebars, JavaScript -> CoffeeScript

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: How times change..

          "What's that Photoshoppy thing, called, the one I can use to edit pictures?"

          The GIMP.

          "Come again?”

          The GIMP, The GNU Image Manipulation Program

          "What's GNU mean?"

          It stands for GNU's Not Unix.

          "Eh? But what..."

          It's a recursive name, see. The GNU in GNU'S Not Unix stands for GNU in...

          "You know what, don't bother. I'll just print it out, cut it out with scissors and scan it back in."

          * * *

          If the menu item just says GIMP, then no, it doesn't say what it is. InkScape isn't the best name, but at least gives a clue (the convention for more than thirty years across platforms is that pens and ink metaphors are for vector graphics, and brushes and paints are for bitmap graphics)

          I do take your point that in a community where projects are forked and improved upon and there is no 'default' text editor, so each text editor needs its own name. It's just not ideal for all users though.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: How times change..

            Dave 126 scrive: "It's just not ideal for all users though."

            That, my friend, is reality. Because NOTHING, that's NOTHING! made by mankind is "ideal for all users".

            And that's precisely where Redmond, Cupertino and London are going wrong ... They are trying to be all things to all people. The result, as we can see, is nothing short of a clusterfuck. It's also why I don't use or recommend Redmond, Cupertino or London products. KitchenSinkWare wastes disk, burns CPU, eats bandwidth and frustrates the user.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How times change..

            In Mint 18.1 KDE, GIMP is shown in the application menu as "GIMP Image Editor"

            Seems quite clear to me, unless you are specifically looking for an application to edit your collection of gimp images, for that you will need GIMP Image Edi ... oh I see now.

            1. Vic

              Re: How times change..

              In Mint 18.1 KDE, GIMP is shown in the application menu as "GIMP Image Editor"

              On Centos7, it's "GNU Image Manipulation Program".


      2. Orv Silver badge

        Re: How times change..

        Open source developers are terrible at naming things -- they try to be overly cute and often fail. GIMP has grown into a great program, but I'm still a little embarrassed every time I mention it to someone, thanks to the BDSM implication.

        Command-line utilities are sometimes worse. I eventually aliased "dcfldd" to just "dd" because it was usually the one I wanted and I could never remember what order all the letters came in. I'm also always mixing up systemctl with sysctl...

        1. frank ly

          Re: How times change..

          It's Foss so fork it, strip out the Gimp branding and artwork, put your own in and have your own application to impress your friends with. You could call it Paint Imagination My Program or something.

    2. Ramazan

      Re: How times change..

      "And now we go back to Gnome"

      Go back to GNOME, they said. It will be fun, they said.

    3. dajames

      Re: How times change..

      And now we go back to Gnome

      As Winston Churchill said: I'd rather be right than consistent.

  8. Conrad Longmore

    Good riddance, but..

    I always hated Unity, but then I don't use Ubutnu on a daily basis and never "got it" I suppose. GNOME of course was always very simple and easy to get to grips with. And then GNOME 3 came along and it was right back to WTF? again..

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Good riddance, but..

      Quite. Gnome 2 had it right; Unity and Gnome 3 didn't (for me; your mileage may vary and that's why we like Linux!) which is why I moved to Mint. With all the effects turned off.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Good riddance, but..

        GNOME flashback (or failback, whatever they want to call it) works for me. GNOME 2 look and feel delivered on top of GNOME 3. It's not identical (plugins have to be re-written, for example), but it's close enough.

        I chose that on Ubuntu rather than switching to Mint.

  9. yossarianuk

    Petition to make Plasma (KDE) the default DE

    I'm sure it won't lead to anything, I really wish it would.

    Plasma is a far better desktop than Gnome, for power users and newbies.

    I cannot imagine a newbie coping with Gnome, for one in order to use the mutant tablet/desktop you have to 'adjust your workflow', the lack of such luxuries as a taskbar and minimise button will not go down well (you have to use memory to remember which windows you have open rather than a visual aid).

    Also most KDE applications are far better, take Dolphin for example (the file manager).

    Personally I would advise everyone to use kde-neon which is Ubuntu LTS based but has latest stable KDE/QT

    1. Craigness

      "Visual aid"

      To see your running apps, press the Windows button. In Android you do it by tapping the Home button, in IOS you do it by tapping the physical button. This is standard contemporary workflow.

      There's a preinstalled extension that gives you a taskbar. I tried it for a while and then turned it off, because the new way is actually better.

    2. Avatar of They

      Re: Petition to make Plasma (KDE) the default DE

      Sorry what?

      "the lack of such luxuries as a taskbar and minimise button will not go down well (you have to use memory to remember which windows you have open rather than a visual aid)."

      I hated Unity as it didn't have scroll bar and there was no real clear visualisation to how many windows you had open, just silly little ticks. And Gnome doesn't even have that?

      sure Ubuntu have someone that works in the real world???????????

    3. simonb_london

      Re: Petition to make Plasma (KDE) the default DE

      Signed the petition. If only Trolltech open sourced QT just a couple of years earlier.... sigh.

    4. Ceiling Cat

      Re: Petition to make Plasma (KDE) the default DE

      There's already an Ubuntu-based distribution which does this - it's called Kubuntu. In fact, with the exception of my Raspberry Pi it's the distro I use on all my PCs.


  10. Mage Silver badge

    what about the users who love Unity?

    They could buy a phone able to use a mouse, keyboard and HDMI HD screen. My ancient Sony Ericsson Z1 connects to those and gives an experience like Unity.

    I used to use Gnome, but when it went "koolaid"/Mozilla/"Worst OS X/Vista features" I switched to Mate. I also have KDE installed, so if I break the desktop it's easily fixed.

    That's what's great about Linux for a laptop, no arrogant GUI lock-in to stupid corporate / web designer fashion.

    Unity was always a doomed idea, like Windows 8.

  11. ro55mo

    I have tried to use Gnome

    I just can't deal with it. It is the Windows 8 interface of the Linux world to me.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: I have tried to use Gnome

      apt-get install mate-desktop. re-log in, choose Mate as your desktop. Enjoy!

  12. Kepler 452b

    5 people who still care about Ubuntu:

    1. Mark Shuttleworth





    1. yossarianuk

      2. Mint users

      3. kde-neon users

      4. Xubuntu users

      5. ElementaryOS users


      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        "5. ElementaryOS users"

        They don't count.

  13. mykingdomforanos

    Lost: One brown and orange mojo

    I still can't quite get over the speed of Ubuntu's fall from grace. One moment the distro was the darling of all things Linux desktop and could do little wrong, the next it was being derided in many circles, with users signalling their displeasure in the harshest way possible, by jumping ship to the likes of Mint, Fedora, Arch and (irony of ironies) Debian.

    The distro had become the dominant Linux desktop by some distance when Unity was released. It was a stunning change, fresh and innovative in many ways, but for many brought too many unhelpful and unwanted changes. It came with a new focus on convergence with mobile and an overbearing attitude, both of which clearly rubbed many users up the wrong way. For example, the position of the in-your-face launcher bar couldn't be changed (it was a Linux desktop FFS, not Apple), settings in dialog boxes became so simplified that some became downright unusable (IIRC the available screen lock periods jumped from "After 10 minutes of inactivity" to "After 30"). There were many other small, but often irritating changes that all added up to a frustrating experience and often caused one to attempt to route around the dumbed-down UI completely by going directly to config files, something that rather undermined the very case for having a graphical desktop.

    Mark Shuttleworth got exasperated on his blog and rounded on the Unity critics, telling them that the project's research had demonstrated that their designers were right and that the critics were wrong. Informing upset users that their preferences and feelings are objectively incorrect, and that they should just get over their issues, is always a high risk strategy. Predictably, for many users that strategy went down about as well as a fart in a spacesuit and from that point on you could hear the sound of the feet of the disillusioned, exiting the auditorium.

    Then came the fiasco with sending search queries to Amazon. Privacy has always been a first class, non-negotiable concern for, well, pretty much every Linux desktop user I'd ever met. At this stage I concluded that those overseeing the development of Ubuntu had rather lost the plot. The "but you can disable it in the UI" arguments failed to wash; a cardinal rule had been broken, a red line crossed. This particular development made me realise, if I hadn't before, that Ubuntu's developers had broken with traditional Linux culture and were off down a path of their own. I wished them luck, remained excited and intrigued with many of the project's goals, but wasn't prepared to compromise my desktop to stay on board.

    1. Ramazan

      Re: Lost: One brown and orange mojo

      "users signalling their displeasure in the harshest way possible, by jumping ship to the likes ... (irony of ironies) Debian."

      What's wrong with Debian in your opinion?

      "Then came the fiasco with sending search queries to Amazon. ... a red line crossed"

      I do search queries from Firefox browser where I set up Bing as the default search engine... Do you say that in Ubuntu people run queries from Ubuntu UI/desktop/taskbar/elsewhere? And search engine choice isn't configurable?

      1. mykingdomforanos

        Re: Lost: One brown and orange mojo

        Ramazan wrote:

        "What's wrong with Debian in your opinion?"

        Nothing at all, in my opinion. I currently have Debian running on three servers, two on the public Internet, and one acting as a file server on my internal network. If you understood the origins and history of Ubuntu, you'd understand my use of 'irony of ironies'. Hint: I wasn't disrespecting Debian.

        "I do search queries from Firefox browser where I set up Bing as the default search engine... Do you say that in Ubuntu people run queries from Ubuntu UI/desktop/taskbar/elsewhere? And search engine choice isn't configurable?"

        Look, no offence, but I think you need to do a bit of research into the issue at hand, gain some understanding, before attempting to debate the matter.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Wayland

        Re: Lost: One brown and orange mojo

        Ramazan you miss the point. Ubuntu is sending your local searches to Amazon. You don't want people seeing what you are doing on your computer. It's different to what you chose to do on the Internet. This is the principle. If you do want to share what you do then get Windows 10.

    2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Lost: One brown and orange mojo

      The distro had become the dominant Linux desktop by some distance when Unity was released.

      Yup, and Unity blew it. They might as well have called 11.04 "Ubuntu Vista"

  14. Craigness

    Files and sloooooooowwww

    I've not found any functionality missing in the files app, but it would be great if they didn't split the "Menu bar" between a hamburger button on the right of the window and a "Preferences" option in the desktop title bar. Fortunately there is an extension which moves the wayward menu back to almost where it should be.

    Unity HUD: Meh, I always forgot it was there.

    Lenses: never got them working, always opened an app instead.

    Dock: I mostly used Search for apps, but I used the right-click on the Files icon as a substitute for a "Places" menu (Gnome has an extension for this!).

    Waste basket and mounted drives: Unity got these right - always visible in the dock. To see them in Gnome you have to show desktop or open Files (or install some extensions).

    The transition from Unity has been surprisingly easy. For me the main problem is that in the time it takes Gnome to boot, I could boot Unity 7 times.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I never really got on with Unity... Running it on an AMD E-450 I always found it slow, although the same is true of the early versions of Gnome 3.

    I have been happily using Xubuntu until Ubuntu GNOME 16.04LTS, at which point Gnome 3 became massively more responsive and much more usable. I have however found that I need certain extensions to make sure Gnome fits in with the way I work. Fortunately, Gnome 3 has a very healthy set of extensions available and I would be very surprised if there weren't extensions to re-create all of Unity's missing functionality.

    So, for me, the swap makes very little difference. However, Unity wasn't all bad. And as eluded to in the article it did push the focus of Linux UI's firmly onto usability and design polish.

  16. Fading

    It's been a long 7 years......

    I loved ubuntu up until 10.04 - and then unity happened. At the time I was dual booting with Vista and whilst had an issue every time I updated my GPU (from an ati 3450 to a 4550, 5550, 6570 and finally 7750 - all low profile to fit in the SFF case) it was only with unity the issue became a Problem. Just couldn't get along with the UI and found myself more and more doing rather basic things via the terminal. In the end I shifted to Mint and that machine is still in service as a HTPC with Mint.

    I might try ubuntu again but only out of curiosity.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's been a long 7 years......

      "I loved ubuntu up until 10.04 - and then unity happened"

      Well then, why not go and change it to a desktop environment of your choice. In fact you can have more than one installed at the same time and select desktop environment at login.

      Install Classic GNOME Flashback in Ubuntu 16.04

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what's next?

    I don't think it's a bad decision, but it does strike me as a bit odd. And I can't help wonder how long it will take before Ubuntu is going full speed ahead into Mono based development again. That would basically really set the clock back quite a few years.

  18. Peter X

    Re "Files" speed

    Ubuntu 16.04 running on a Core i5 with nVidia graphics vs. Raspberry Pi 3 with Raspbian/Pixel: I find the file manager on the Pi (PCmanFM) to be much snappier than Files on the Core i5.

    I appreciate that there's less thumbnailing enabled by default on Raspbian, but even so, I struggle to understand how Files manages to be sooooooooooo slow!

    As for Ubuntu/Unity, I've stuck with Unity thus far because, it's good enough. I like some Canonical stuff, like all the polish with colours/icons/fonts, but it's always disappointing how many bugs there are... it always feels like Canonical don't dog-food the LTS releases, so they get pushed out but the user has a ton of work to do to make them usable. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    1. stephanh

      Re: Re "Files" speed

      Raspbian uses LXDE, you can use that too on your Ubuntu box.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: Re "Files" speed

        Raspbian uses LXDE, you can use that too on your Ubuntu box.

        With remarkable ease, if you use Lubuntu.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Non-obl Kipling quote

    "No more mines remain

    Send back Unity [Claribel, Assyrian, Stormcock and Golden Gain]"

    So there's the naming scheme for the next 4 unsuccessful desktops on Ubuntu.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    The screenshot in the article says it all for me

    A recipes app? With the OS GUI package? For real?! My head just exploded.

    <old geezer rant alert>

    The I in GUI stands for interface, as in, interface to the operating system that lets me get work done. The whole thing goes off the rails when a simple GUI decides to go all deep-hooks and requires 300M of stuff just to get out of bed (dbus, I'm looking at you, but you're not the only offender). Frankly I miss the days when all you had to do was pick your window manager at login and everything else was take care of for you. I don't want to pick between GNOME's recipes doodad and KDEs or anyone elses. I want to pick a visual theme and have whatever the hell app I want to run fit into that look and feel. Old school UNIX had this back as the late 1980s. Remember picking between NeWS and OpenWindows, and then a decade later between OpenWindows and CDE? It wasn't so hard.

    </old geezer rant alert>

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: The screenshot in the article says it all for me

      This reminds me that in my group of friends "you can put your recipes on it" is the routine gag whenever we see some useless-looking new computing device. Because we're all old enough to remember when no one quite knew what to do with microcomputers, and "storing recipes" somehow always ended up on the list.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: The screenshot in the article says it all for me

        It's been all recipes all the way down since the year dot ... See: Honeywell's H316 "Kitchen Computer" from 1969 ;-)

      2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: The screenshot in the article says it all for me

        Because we're all old enough to remember when no one quite knew what to do with microcomputers, and "storing recipes" somehow always ended up on the list.

        A bit like the way that we are always told the point of smart appliances is to allow the fridge to order milk when you need it.

  21. CJ_C

    DLNA client

    AFIK all file managers for Linux are stuck in the 20th century, with no DLNA support. To my mind, less angst about look and feel and more effort on useful features would be good

    1. Ramazan

      Re: DLNA client

      I can't even imagine what might I need the DLNA support for, but upvoted your post nevertheless just for the "less angst about look and feel" phrase.

  22. Herby

    Proves the axiom...

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Me? KDE all the way with Fedora!!

  23. Spoonsinger

    Sad, but not unexpected.

    For me it always gave a nice glow just to see it. However I never did use it in a proper working environment. A typical design over functionality thing I suspect. Nice that it existed though.

  24. Ernie Barson

    Just be very careful

    Just a warning to anyone thinking of upgrading to 17.04, I did and ended up having to wipe and reinstall 16.04 (it was the only disc I had) as all networking was lost (I have a dell 6400). cannot get my head round why this seems to happen with every upgrade.

  25. zero2dash


    They should've went with MATE, since MATE is based on GNOME 2 which is what Ubuntu used before they pushed Unity on everyone.

    Oh well, at least DE's are easy to add to any distro, or obviously you can pick a different flavor of the distro.

    MATE is easily my favorite DE after trying Cinnamon, GNOME (3), Budgie, XFCE, KDE, and Unity.

    1. Ramazan

      Re: MATE

      "MATE is easily my favorite DE after trying Cinnamon, GNOME (3), Budgie, XFCE, KDE, and Unity"

      Blackbox+bbkeys+xbindkeys is my favourite DE/WM after trying GNOME 2, (3 and even 1 IIRC), KDE, XFCE, LXDE, MATE, Cinnamon and WindowMaker. I liked off-the-shelf MTP support in Nautilus (to xchg files with Android devices), but it didn't stop me from purging it together with all the other GNOME bloat.

  26. Jonathan 27

    Well, nothings changing for me. I'm already running Ubuntu Gnome. Unity always felt half-finished, like a school project. It never got to the level of finish that I would really want in a shell. It took ages but I think the current versions of Gnome and KDE are finally back at that point. All in, there is little need for Unity anymore and it's different for differences sake attitude wasn't ever really sustainable. Canonical doesn't have the resources to develop their entire desktop system themselves without serious community support. And that support wasn't there for Unity.

  27. decoherence

    All you people...

    you want pretty ez to use guis but you don't buy the windows or the mactinosh. linux has gui but you probably haven't heard of it. it is call twm and only the pros running the openbsd linux knows anything about it.

    i left the oven on under my bridge, gtg

    1. stephanh


      The funny thing is, when I first started with Linux somewhere in the mid-90's, twm was considered rather bloatware. It had less functionality than fvwm while taking entire megabytes of memory (I think it also tended to leak memory, so usage would go up over time.)

      So generally fvwm was recommended. X11 barely ran on my 486 DX with 4MB with fvwm (8MB was really the minimum recommended configuration at the time.)

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe I should give gnome 3 another go, but the last time I used it I hated it. Is it really that spartan ? Cinnamon is way better than gnome 3 or windows 10 IMO. Certainly for general work purposes I find it way faster.

  29. phands

    Just use KDE...Gnome sucks.

    <ducks and runs for cover>

  30. i1ya

    My 2 cents regarding ditching Unity

    1) Unity had perfect keybord support and does something to un-clutter your screen - the only two upsides, really

    2) Unity is compiz based. And shares all compiz-related bugs. I.e. on old ASUS laptop with some prehistoric Radeon video card it crashes when pixel width of combined screens is more than 2000px. I saw same bug on both Arch + custom-built compiz AND stock Ubuntu 16.08

    3) Compiz project was cool (really cool), but doesn't have enough resources now. Actually, it looks stagnating.

    4) From my experience, Unity works good on some machines and has significant lag on others, especially older ones. And I cannot disable effing effects!

    I don't know about Unity 8, but if they were going to bet on Compiz, it is a miracle that they dropped Unity only now.

    1. Ropewash

      Re: My 2 cents regarding ditching Unity

      Ditto on the compiz here. Always one major regression away from being usable.

      I tried unity when it first came out and was sort-of getting used to it when I noticed something up after an update, my fans were on while watching a video. Why? The system was using 25% processor to run an 8-bit vid, and 70% to decode hi10p. On a quadcore...

      Swapped to my ever-present fallback UI openbox and those numbers were 2% and 15%.

      Filed a report to the unity devs and got the reply it was a compiz thing and they would look into it. I installed Mint instead. Never went back to Ubuntu and though I departed from Mint quite a few years ago, I've never left cinnamon behind for long.

  31. bailey86

    Funnily enough...

    Just had to upgrade to Ubuntu 17.04 for other reasons - and due to thinking I had a Unity problem I tried other desktops.

    I was happy enough with Unity - the alt-tab and alt-` are really useful. But the winner for me is Gnome shell.

    As mentioned - it just feels cleaner/faster/more polished - alt-tab and alt-` is done better - and it mainly stays out of the way. And it's nice to have a change!

  32. uncommon_sense

    The Fallacy of Choice and Too Many Kooks!

    This article nicely summons up why WankOS has no chance in hell of ever becoming mainstream, much less replacing WinBlows.

    Not being content with two GUIs, but also switching them around as the Wind Blows...

    Strangely enough, M$ seem to have sunk to the same level of decisiveness and consistency, which may give the fat bird a slight chance.

  33. keith_w

    No wonder LINUX still doesn't rule the desktop.

  34. huberddp

    Unity Gone that would be asking too much

    I don't know how anyone could stand to use that worthless interface? It has dragged Ubuntu down now for years and they don't get a clue to get rid of it. Cinnamon all the way for me. It's super easy to use and I love it.

  35. Vatsan

    Quite a few might jump on me for saying that I have grown to love the Unity Interface. It offers something different from that of Windows and (I hear) from Mac. Some of the HUD functionalities were subtly copied in Windows 10. I only wish that Unity7 continues in some avatar.

    1. Tim036

      File Browsers: Files AND Dolphin

      I use both Dolphin and Files for some years, Each have some excellent features (and can be run at the same time)

      Files allow you to eject your data DVD/Memory Stick with great ease and Dolphin (as installed using 'Terminal', and gives better information detail. The is another Dolphin one that is truly terrible !)

      Don't know anything about the others... Dolphin is by far the better.


  36. Citizen99

    Another vote here for Trinity, the fork of KDE3. Rock solid, not greedy with resources, and contains a rich suite of convenient tools - some of whose functionalities, that I like, have been removed in later KDE whilst eye-candy proliferated.

    You can get Devuan with Trinity default at

    I keep that on one partition, Trinity on Debian Testing on another.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gave up on Gnome some time ago and reasonably happy using KDE Plasma on my laptop and desktop although it's still a bit rough round the edges.

  38. Pat 4

    "But what about the users who love Unity?"

    I'm sure he'll be just fine.

  39. TRazor

    Gnome is broken and retarded!

    Gnome is broken and retarded! Unity is broken and retarded! As a Computer Scientist, I can't believe a billionaire like Shuttleworth couldn't make Unity work. Of course, I sent them emails over the years about their "broken and retarded" desktop and never received a reply. Ubuntu is likely run by marketing/advertising people who like to move buttons around all day in meetings. And what about the ugly puke orange color of Ubuntu? Or the stupid name "Ubuntu" itself?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Running Ubuntu Mate at the moment, didn't like the default waste of vertical screenspace of Gnome 3 or the green tinted scheme and slow servers of Linux Mint.

    Just remember to type in sync in shell after copying something to USB and it works reasonably well.

  41. Uplink

    Unity gave almost all of the screen to me

    I'm a Unity user mainly because besides the top bar it gives the rest of the screen real estate to me. The menus go in the title bar, and I maximise pretty much all my windows. I don't get a bunch of OS UI eating in the space where the apps already eat some more with tabs and their own toolbars. My second option after Unity for this purpose is Cairo Dock - but it's still not quite Unity. Couldn't find a third option.

  42. VladimirCZ

    Ubuntu to switch back to Gnome Shell

    Gnome Shell, as it comes from developers, is a disaster. Without non-official plugins it is usable only for patients with dementia or very small children - but the plugins have no reliable future. Even with them a lot of functionality that is in Unity is missing. In short in would be better to switch to mature desktop envirenment like Cinnamon, KDE or XFCE and not to a unfinished joke of disoriented luntaics, which the Gnome Shell definitely is.

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