Unity - What is it good for? An in-depth review.

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Mrkvonic, Nov 29, 2010.

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  1. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    May 9, 2005
    Hullo ...

    Let's talk future. Will Unity be the bane of Ubuntu? Or will it steal away the show and best Mac and Windows both? Well, it depends. My two cents in this fine review of Unity on Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick, examining the looks and functionality of the new shell on two laptops, including hardware requirements, usability, sidebar features and context menu, inline search, folders, workspaces, transparency, pros and cons, comparison to Gnome Shell, and more.


  2. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Hi Mrk,

    Nice review, but for my use, I will opt for the tried and true Gnome environment - so, it looks like I'll be cutting a new Live CD next April to simplify it for my own use.

    In their enthusiasm to match the Mac functionality - they have prematurely committed themselves. Let's wait and see what they come up with in April.

    -- Tom
  3. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

    May 6, 2006
    George, S.Africa
    Your feelings are probably shared by practically all Linux users here. Can you draw M. Shuttleworth's/Canonical's attention to this ? I am sure conservative, not necessarily older Linux users abound. I am one of them. Would be nice to hold a 'referendum' on this.
    (At least we will be able to switch to Gnome - let's hope they make it easy peasy to do.)

    Thanks for the update.
  4. Beavenburt

    Beavenburt Registered Member

    Dec 17, 2006
  5. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

    Oct 5, 2004
    Sounds tempting..... :)
  6. Trespasser

    Trespasser Registered Member

    Mar 1, 2005
    Virginia - Appalachian Mtns
    I just tried 11.04 Alpha 1 and Unity is still quite buggy. It keeps turning off Compiz when I reboot. I installed fusion-icon but it refuses to display the icon in the taskbar panel. I gave up on it and reverted back to Lucid just a short while ago. I will say they've improved it a lot since daily-build 11-30-2010. There are problems with it but after all it is an Alpha.

    If your video card doesn't support 3-D acceleration then you're just plain out of luck for when you finally get to Desktop you get the regular Gnome layout (no Unity).

  7. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Is Unity going to be mandatory in the next release of Ubuntu? Or can we still use Gnome without much fuss?

    Also, is Unity based on the Gnome codebase?
  8. katio

    katio Guest

    GNOME will certainly still be available, currently it's also default on any incompatible hardware (graphic card).

    Unity is a patchwork of Compiz, GNOME programs and a comparably small set of its new code (dock, menubar, app launcher).
  9. wearetheborg

    wearetheborg Registered Member

    Nov 14, 2009
    What IS unity?
    A desktop manager?
  10. katio

    katio Guest

    I guess you call it that way.
    It's no WM because that's what Compiz is doing and it's no DE because that part is still GNOME.
    But in the long term I think it could effectively become a GNOME fork and a full fledged DE on it's own (or that's the plan?), I don't know.
  11. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    I decided to give it a try with my youngest daughters new netbook (Neo Basic B3350) she got for Christmas.

    It came with Windows 7 Starter, after booting to that and verifying all appeared A-OK, I rebooted to the Ubuntu 10.10 Netboout Unity CD.

    Install went flawlessly. I opted for a complete wipe of the existing OS. I was at first quite impressed. But as I played around and tried to set a few things up I found my self getting ever more frustrated. Well what the heck. my 11 year old daughter will like it and she did until yesterday....

    She asked me how to delete files. So I sad sure hon, you just open this and right click.... what the hey.... (just like in your review). So perhaps you can drag and drop to the trash can? Nope. The what the heck good is this file manager thing anyway. We did figure out how, buy opening the Trash which opens Nautilus. Which reminds me, that is not even a option as far a programs go. So I pinned it to the menu thingy on the left.

    Then see asked me how to get rid of the mail icon and chat thingy at the top. Right click does not give you an option to remove it. Eventually after about and hour I decided drop this Unity desktop. It just not ready yet. I do think it has promise, but for now it just no worth the hassle.

    The great part though, it's Ubuntu 10.10 under the hood. Just log out, select the Ubuntu Desktop Edition session and log back in and my daughter is happy again and so am I. :)
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