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chuckula
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Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:29 pm

At first I thought it was a late April Fool's joke, but it looks like the Unity desktop from Canonical (makers of Ubuntu) is dead. Ubuntu will now focus on the Gnome desktop as the default option going forward.

Full disclosure: I've been using Linux on the desktop regularly for about 17 years but I never really used Unity at all.

As a side note, Canonical was working on the Mir display server, which was seen as a competitor to Wayland. There was no express statement that Mir is dead too, but it was heavily tied to Unity and Wayland might be taking over whatever niche Mir had at Canonical too.
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:40 pm

Fantastic news.

Hopefully this will help with less fragmentation of the linux desktop. Now I loathe GNOME 3 as much as Unity (KDE user here), but using either of the two or three big standard desktops in something as popular as Ubuntu is always a good thing. I really also hope that this will lead to the discontinuation of Mir, again we don't need the fragmentation, Wayland is the future.

I have no real opinion of the Ubuntu touch part, as I've never liked the whole convergence stuff anyway.
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:03 pm

I won't miss Unity, but I wish they'd picked a different DE to switch to; I hate GNOME 3 for many of the same reasons as I do Unity. Maybe they should pick up MATE and go for a classic Ubuntu look.
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:08 pm

Where is Canonical burying Unity?

I need to know the correct grave to dance on. :D
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chuckula
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:11 pm

DrDominodog51 wrote:
Where is Canonical burying Unity?

I need to know the correct grave to dance on. :D


That seems to be a common refrain.
Maybe I should have tried to use it so I could hate it just as much as everyone else!
I did use Ubuntu for a couple of years after using Debian way back when the default was still Gnome 2.

Then I got hooked on Arch and I've mostly used KDE 4 & Plasma.
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:24 pm

This is nice. The only reason I currently use Kubuntu is because I'd tried Unity and hated it. I didn't even bother trying to learn it; I just hated looking at it. :lol:

The phone thing was stupid. Consumers were never going to go for it and there was never any money in it.
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:27 pm

I've been using Ubuntu since the default Gnome 2 days, through Unity from the first LTS release. I've never understood the hate for Unity aside from "It's not Gnome 2". It's always worked fine for me (so did Gnome 2, and MATE does when I've used that, mind you). And given that you've never been restricted to using it, the flames its received in its lifetime have always struck me as petty.

I've actually never used Gnome 3 - I should probably check it out somewhere along the line.
 
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:43 pm

"Never mind!" </Emily-Litella>
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:49 pm

Unity and GNOME 3 were what originally convinced me to check out KDE. I'm pretty comfortable with KDE these days, but I imagine GNOME 3 has settled down by now to the point it is tolerable. If KDE 5 sucks (I am still running 4.x) I'll probably bounce back to GNOME. KDE 5 has been out long enough now that it shouldn't be too bad though.
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:49 pm

Emily, the issue at hand is the Linux desktop environment, not starving sled dogs in Nome, Alaska [/Jane Curtin].
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"Never mind!" </Emily-Litella>

(just had to add the Jane Curtin there for classic SNL's sake)
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:03 pm

After playing with Unity and GNOME 3 over a long weekend some time ago, I believed that they were two sides of the same coin of desktop environment design. Apparently it took Mark Shuttleworth & co. millions of dollars and countless, mind-numbing man-hours to arrive at the same conclusion. Yeesh. I'm not big on any of the Big Three, having jumped ship to Xfce for most of my needs with the odd dabbling in OpenBox or LXDE, but hey - one less hulking desktop environment I don't like is a net positive. If it means Mir has also been thrown onto the junkpile and all efforts can be focused on Wayland, that's terrific news.
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:11 pm

My wife really likes Unity. She was mad when i switched her to Win 10 and still wants me to move her back to Ubuntu with Unity. I like it, too, though I prefer a more classic DE. Unity was the first DE that, to me, struck a good compromise between touch and mouse centric interfaces.

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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:36 pm

That's good for Linux in general, but Gnome? Really? I won't bother repeating my rants against Gnome here - y'all have probably heard enough of that. It'll suffice to say I'm really annoyed with their new choice of DE. :evil:

When I saw the title, my first thought was of the game engine, and much confusion ensued.
 
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:40 pm

bthylafh wrote:
I won't miss Unity, but I wish they'd picked a different DE to switch to; I hate GNOME 3 for many of the same reasons as I do Unity. Maybe they should pick up MATE and go for a classic Ubuntu look.

Meh. By the time 18 LTS is released, Unity will have been around for eight years. Gnome3 gives a fairly comparable experience, whereas KDE is trying to mimic Windows.
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:52 pm

I always thought Unity made sense on small screen - or if you were coming from a Mac.

I don't use a small screen. I switched over to KDE for a while but the biggest change was that Unity moved me across to Mint/MATE. Well done Canonical...
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:35 pm

I wonder what changed internally to motivate this decision. Does seem like Canonical has shifted almost entirely to be enterprise focused and actively dropping projects not focused on that goal. I welcome it if only because Red Hat's increasing costs could use the increased threat from competition. Regardless of why they made the decision I think its good for pretty much everyone. I imagine Unity users will be fine with Gnome 3 and this reduces unnecessary redundancy in the Linux DE space. I'll just continue using Xfce and Fedora.
 
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:18 pm

My guess is that after Ubuntu Touch failed they didn't see the point in developing its desktop counterpart.
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:33 pm

Unity sucks but GNOME 3 is even worse. But hey, look at the bright side: once they push it on millions of unsuspecting users the ensuing torrent of rage might lead to better software.
 
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:50 pm

Unity is the reason I switched to Mint. Now I use MATE and I'm very happy. I just want my desktop to work and I can configure it the way I like.
 
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:12 am

Unity was pretty crappy but at least it was basically usable out of the box (all I had to do was disable global menus and make the launcher/dock smaller). Gnome3 really isn't, it's a total unusable mess out of the box with installing various extensions required to make it at all usable. On top of that there's this insane system of installing extensions directly from a webpage with requires extensions to the browser (which don't seem to work for lots of people, me included).

I really hope Canonical make some kind of ubuntu extension for gnome so I don't have to spend hours fiddling with every new install I do. I'd probably move to Mint and Cinnamon if they didn't.
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:23 am

just brew it! wrote:
Unity and GNOME 3 were what originally convinced me to check out KDE. I'm pretty comfortable with KDE these days, but I imagine GNOME 3 has settled down by now to the point it is tolerable. If KDE 5 sucks (I am still running 4.x) I'll probably bounce back to GNOME. KDE 5 has been out long enough now that it shouldn't be too bad though.


I use KDE 5 as my daily driver at home. Some people at work are using it too, they switch from Unity because they hated it, sadly I'm still stuck on Windows :-(. Anyway though I still don't think it's quite as mature as 4.x it's almost there. It is settling down nicely and a lot of the bugs are being ironed out, even multi-monitor support isn't bad.

Sounds like you'll be fine by the time to you from 4.x (I've not used that in years, but I know the likes of RHEL/CentOS still ship with it).
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:43 am

I've run Linux on my laptop(s) for almost 10 years now. I was strictly Ubuntu until they switched to Unity. Now I'm running Mint Mate and LOVE it.

Couldn't care less about what Ubuntu does these days...although ditching Unity is a step in the right direction.

I've heard of Mir, but this is the first time I've heard some hate for it.
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:14 am

Around here I mainly see "gnome-session-flashback" i.e. Gnome 2 on Ubuntu.

I really hate searching for programs rather than having them in a hierarchical list off a menu button. I want to be able to discover stuff. That killed Unity for me.
 
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:16 am

srg86 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Unity and GNOME 3 were what originally convinced me to check out KDE. I'm pretty comfortable with KDE these days, but I imagine GNOME 3 has settled down by now to the point it is tolerable. If KDE 5 sucks (I am still running 4.x) I'll probably bounce back to GNOME. KDE 5 has been out long enough now that it shouldn't be too bad though.

I use KDE 5 as my daily driver at home. Some people at work are using it too, they switch from Unity because they hated it, sadly I'm still stuck on Windows :-(. Anyway though I still don't think it's quite as mature as 4.x it's almost there. It is settling down nicely and a lot of the bugs are being ironed out, even multi-monitor support isn't bad.

That's good to hear. Multi-monitor seems like it is often a weak spot in Linux DEs; it mostly works in KDE 4.x with just a few minor annoyances (I'm currently running triple-head off of a GeForce GT 720).

srg86 wrote:
Sounds like you'll be fine by the time to you from 4.x (I've not used that in years, but I know the likes of RHEL/CentOS still ship with it).

Kubuntu 14.04 LTS shipped with it, that's what I'm using. Haven't decided if I will upgrade to 16.04 LTS, or just hold out for 18.04 LTS. This will likely depend on whether I do a Ryzen build before 18.04 drops (I often upgrade my hardware and OS together).
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:06 am

just brew it! wrote:
srg86 wrote:
Sounds like you'll be fine by the time to you from 4.x (I've not used that in years, but I know the likes of RHEL/CentOS still ship with it).

Kubuntu 14.04 LTS shipped with it, that's what I'm using. Haven't decided if I will upgrade to 16.04 LTS, or just hold out for 18.04 LTS. This will likely depend on whether I do a Ryzen build before 18.04 drops (I often upgrade my hardware and OS together).


I'm in the same boat! My target Ryzen build completion date's around Halloween, which would put me in a good spot to try Xubuntu 17.10 right away... You think it'd be alright to cruise along there until 18.04 drops?
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:59 am

Concupiscence wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
srg86 wrote:
Sounds like you'll be fine by the time to you from 4.x (I've not used that in years, but I know the likes of RHEL/CentOS still ship with it).

Kubuntu 14.04 LTS shipped with it, that's what I'm using. Haven't decided if I will upgrade to 16.04 LTS, or just hold out for 18.04 LTS. This will likely depend on whether I do a Ryzen build before 18.04 drops (I often upgrade my hardware and OS together).

I'm in the same boat! My target Ryzen build completion date's around Halloween, which would put me in a good spot to try Xubuntu 17.10 right away... You think it'd be alright to cruise along there until 18.04 drops?

I tend to avoid the non-LTS releases, even though the applications in the LTS repos can get a little crusty by the time the next LTS drops. If I wanted the kind of bleeding edge churn and heartburn that comes with non-LTS I could just run Debian Unstable... or Fedora. :wink:

For the past few years I just stick with LTS (for the overall platform stability), and if there's a particularly egregious bug in an application I use that isn't getting fixed in the official repo, I re-compile that application from upstream source.
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:03 am

just brew it! wrote:
Concupiscence wrote:
just brew it! wrote:

Kubuntu 14.04 LTS shipped with it, that's what I'm using. Haven't decided if I will upgrade to 16.04 LTS, or just hold out for 18.04 LTS. This will likely depend on whether I do a Ryzen build before 18.04 drops (I often upgrade my hardware and OS together).

I'm in the same boat! My target Ryzen build completion date's around Halloween, which would put me in a good spot to try Xubuntu 17.10 right away... You think it'd be alright to cruise along there until 18.04 drops?

I tend to avoid the non-LTS releases, even though the applications in the LTS repos can get a little crusty by the time the next LTS drops. If I wanted the kind of bleeding edge churn and heartburn that comes with non-LTS I could just run Debian Unstable... or Fedora. :wink:

For the past few years I just stick with LTS (for the overall platform stability), and if there's a particularly egregious bug in an application I use that isn't getting fixed in the official repo, I re-compile that application from upstream source.


I understand that, and have similar general policies... My current workstation's still running 16.04 without skipping a beat. I'm just trying to think ahead to any Ryzen compatibility issues. Would it be at all sane to add a newer kernel repo, upgrade that while leaving the rest of my setup in place, and keep on 16.04 until 18.04 drops, or just embrace 17.10 in the short term, upgrade to 18.04, and hope nothing goes sideways as a result?
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:14 am

The LTS interim point releases actually include newer kernels. 16.04 LTS shipped with the 4.4 kernel, but 16.04.2 is on 4.8, and 16.04.3 is scheduled to drop in August, presumably (hopefully?) with a kernel which includes all the Ryzen-specific patches.

More info here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/LTSEnablementStack (yes, Ubuntu's kernel support roadmap is a bit of a mess)
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:27 am

Are they serious?!

I have tried gnome 3 and kde. Basically I like unity because I know where everything is. Like system settings is on the right top corner with a nut shaped icon. And everything I needed is in there like a windows control panel.

With gnome and kde I have no idea where I can find system settings/control panel equivalent. and unity has the notification area with all the icons (e.g. skype et al) where they are familiar to me.

Not so with gnome. I mean mate and cinnamon is better, but I still find icons missing in system settings. like audio settings and printer. as well as and more importantly add proprietary hardware drivers (nvidia graphic driver).

It's a pain to learn new gui. I mean they are all linux, but damn, some times the same programs don't work the same way. (I always have trouble printing in gnome, what I print out is always messed up).
 
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Re: Unity is Dead!

Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:46 am

Darthutos wrote:
With gnome and kde I have no idea where I can find system settings/control panel equivalent. and unity has the notification area with all the icons (e.g. skype et al) where they are familiar to me.

Yeah, I am not a big fan of KDE's menu system either. But what I do is put another panel at the left edge of the screen (set to auto-hide so it doesn't constantly occupy screen real estate), and add quick launch icons to it for everything I use frequently (yes, that includes System Settings). Really frequently used applications like Chrome also get a global hotkey. The only time I open the menus is when I need to run something that isn't part of my normal daily usage pattern.

You can put KDE's notification area anywhere you want too.

So while I don't particularly agree with many of KDE's defaults, at least most of it is configurable.
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