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View Full Version : Whats the verdict on unity



OmegaFreedom
April 26th, 2012, 10:43 PM
Hi Guys

I have been using Ubuntu 10.10 and enjoy using its interface , I want to upgrade but do not want to be forced into using the unity interface. Any recommendations?

Trapper
April 27th, 2012, 12:25 AM
Hi Guys

I have been using Ubuntu 10.10 and enjoy using its interface , I want to upgrade but do not want to be forced into using the unity interface. Any recommendations?

You have an option to go back to 10.04 and your Gnome 2 is still supported till April 2013.

If you want to upgrade to 12.04 but don't want to use Unity, there's Gnome 3. If you don't want to use that there's always Xubuntu, Kubuntu and other U distributions.

Personally, I choose to use MATE DE, which is an active and well supported fork of Gnome 2. I'm on a 12.04 box with it right now and I'm a very happy Gnome 2 -styled camper. It takes a bit to get your feet wet, get it figured out and tweaked to your likes but the adjustment is speedy and worth it, in my eyes.

http://wiki.mate-desktop.org/
http://forums.mate-desktop.org

Also, I have done up some very nice Xubuntu Xfce setups that look and feel very much like Gnome 2. There's a bit of a learning curve there too but it's definitely doable if you are seriously not considering Unity or Gnome 3.

Here's a screen shot of my U12.04 running the MATE desktop:

http://ledduk.net/images/Screenshot.jpg

Wild Man
April 27th, 2012, 12:53 AM
Hi actual 10.10 is not supported much longer but 10.04 as another year, but 12.04 has gnome classic that looks almost exactly like gnome2, you just have to install it,
Thanks

Trapper
April 27th, 2012, 01:20 AM
Hi actual 10.10 is not supported much longer but 10.04 as another year, but 12.04 has gnome classic that looks almost exactly like gnome2, you just have to install it,
Thanks

Right. My bad. I got my 10.10 and 10.04 wires crossed. I will edit my original post and correct that. Thanks.

techsupport
April 27th, 2012, 03:39 AM
Hi Guys

I have been using Ubuntu 10.10 and enjoy using its interface , I want to upgrade but do not want to be forced into using the unity interface. Any recommendations?

I switched to the Classic Ubuntu "Fallback" Session instead. Works perfectly.

http://debianhelp.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/to-do-list-after-installing-ubuntu-12-04-lts-aka-precise-pangolin/

ubuntu27
April 27th, 2012, 05:38 AM
You can use "Gnome Classic" in Ubuntu 12.04

GNOME Classic in Ubuntu 12.04: Itís Like Nothing Ever Changed (http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/03/gnome-classic-in-ubuntu-12-04-its-like-nothing-ever-changed/)

RichardCain
April 27th, 2012, 05:43 AM
I use Cinnamon, it's a fork of gnome 3 developed by Mint but available for Ubuntu here (http://maketecheasier.com/cinnamon-alternative-for-gnome-shell/2012/03/19).

anejo
April 27th, 2012, 06:33 AM
Since this is about a verdict on Unity...
Now that I'm used its methods - I like it - use it - and think it is actually pretty good... after all!
(IMHO)

aura7
April 27th, 2012, 06:38 AM
You can also try Gnome 3, but it is even worse than Unity and then you feel Ubuntu has just done the right thing by discarding Gnome 3

carl4926
April 27th, 2012, 06:42 AM
Some things grow on you
Unity included.

nowUfunny2
April 27th, 2012, 06:51 AM
What's the deal with Unity? It taxes my processor for useless things and I can't even run it on my older machines. I don't get it at all. I thought Ubuntu's mission was to provide a user friendly distribution that can be easily installed and used in areas of the world where technology, ie available equipment, is not top of the line. I run a digital divide project in Nicaragua and Unity has been a total disaster. I think I will have to abandon Ubuntu but I feel like I've been lied to...putting my time and faith in something and then to have the rug pulled out from under me for what? Is it someone's ego project? And I don't have time to fiddle with work arounds. In my opinion Ubuntu has crashed and burned. Folks around here stick to version 8.4 and 9.4. (excuse bad english spelling)

kurt18947
April 27th, 2012, 09:27 AM
What's the deal with Unity? It taxes my processor for useless things and I can't even run it on my older machines. I don't get it at all. I thought Ubuntu's mission was to provide a user friendly distribution that can be easily installed and used in areas of the world where technology, ie available equipment, is not top of the line. I run a digital divide project in Nicaragua and Unity has been a total disaster. I think I will have to abandon Ubuntu but I feel like I've been lied to...putting my time and faith in something and then to have the rug pulled out from under me for what? Is it someone's ego project? And I don't have time to fiddle with work arounds. In my opinion Ubuntu has crashed and burned. Folks around here stick to version 8.4 and 9.4. (excuse bad english spelling)

I don't think Unity - or Gnome 3 for that matter are really happy on older machines, both really need pretty strong graphics systems. Would Xubuntu or Lubuntu work for your users? They'd still be using supported and updated releases.

DougC
April 27th, 2012, 10:21 AM
I was never keen on Gnome 2.x and was always a KDE user. However now that I'v started using Unity I'm quite enjoying it.

I found it's just a matter of re-adjustment (for me anyway)from working with classic windows and bars. I just had to persist for a bit.

Of course I still have KDE for when I really want that sort of interface.

3rdalbum
April 27th, 2012, 11:52 AM
You are never "forced" into Unity. It is the default desktop, but it is rather good these days, and as always you can change to a different desktop. KDE, XFCE, LXDE, Gnome 3, Gnome Classic... all installable. Plus more. But try Unity properly first and you might find you're having a good time.

Unity is quite happy on my netbook with 1 GiB RAM, a 1.6 GHz CPU and a horrible old Intel GPU that's been underclocked for even lower performance. I don't know how old the computers are that nowUfunny2 is using, but if they are older than that then Ubuntu has never been the distribution for you. Ubuntu is not a legacy-hardware distro and never has been, nor has ever claimed to be.

If you want Gnome Classic, then just install it - nobody has "pulled the rug out from under you" in that regard. Otherwise use one of the many lightweight or legacy-hardware distributions that are available for your needs.

nothingspecial
April 27th, 2012, 11:54 AM
Thread moved to Recurring Discussions.

Trapper
April 27th, 2012, 01:43 PM
Thread moved to Recurring Discussions.

Sorry. My intent was not to stir up the place.

TeamRocket1233c
April 27th, 2012, 02:00 PM
You can also try Gnome 3, but it is even worse than Unity and then you feel Ubuntu has just done the right thing by discarding Gnome 3

There's also LXDE, Xfce, and MATE, or you could do away with DE's altogether and use Openbox or Fluxbox.

nothingspecial
April 27th, 2012, 02:52 PM
Sorry. My intent was not to stir up the place.

Recurring Discussions is not the naughty step, it's just for conversations that have been had many many times before :)

BobW
April 27th, 2012, 07:49 PM
I use Cinnamon, it's a fork of gnome 3 developed by Mint but available for Ubuntu here (http://maketecheasier.com/cinnamon-alternative-for-gnome-shell/2012/03/19).

I would like to 2nd that recommendation. I've been using it for about a month and am quite happy with it.

kurt18947
April 27th, 2012, 11:50 PM
I would like to 2nd that recommendation. I've been using it for about a month and am quite happy with it.

Any comparison on hardware requirements or stress between gnome shell or Unity and Cinnamon? I have Mint 12 installed on an R61 Thinkpad and find Cinnamon okay to use but don't know if it's any less demanding of hardware than other choices.

Trapper
April 28th, 2012, 03:27 AM
Recurring Discussions is not the naughty step, it's just for conversations that have been had many many times before :)

Okay. I can understand that. Thanks.

mamamia88
April 28th, 2012, 05:17 AM
My verdict is that it's pretty but gets annoying to me when trying to do multiple things at once.

3rdalbum
April 29th, 2012, 03:48 PM
My verdict is that it's pretty but gets annoying to me when trying to do multiple things at once.

Use the Comparison view. Pick up a window and drag your mouse to the very left of the screen until you see an orange outline taking up the left half of the screen. Pick up the other window and do the same thing, except to the right-hand side. The windows will sit perfectly side-by-side so you can interact with both without having to do additional window management.

Okay, we stole this feature from Windows 7. But it fits perfectly in Unity. It's better in Linux because your scroll wheel operates in the window that the cursor hovers over, not necessarily the active window. You can scroll both windows without having to click in either, unlike Windows.

mamamia88
April 30th, 2012, 06:14 AM
Use the Comparison view. Pick up a window and drag your mouse to the very left of the screen until you see an orange outline taking up the left half of the screen. Pick up the other window and do the same thing, except to the right-hand side. The windows will sit perfectly side-by-side so you can interact with both without having to do additional window management.

Okay, we stole this feature from Windows 7. But it fits perfectly in Unity. It's better in Linux because your scroll wheel operates in the window that the cursor hovers over, not necessarily the active window. You can scroll both windows without having to click in either, unlike Windows.

true but the global menu also is annoying when the active window isn't maximized. also i've found that when trying to drag and drop from one nautilus window to another is kind of annoying sometimes. also having the window icons in top left can get really annoying since that is the side that brings unity out of hiding. i can see unity being pretty sweet in a few years once a few adjustments have been made. but right now my netbook is sluggish with it so i've moved on to xfce.

ubuntu27
April 30th, 2012, 06:24 AM
The veredict you ask?

Here is a poll (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1968220). The majority says that Ubuntu 12.04 is excellent :guitar:

Also see: Press Reaction to Ubuntu 12.04 (http://omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/04/press-reaction-to-ubuntu-12-04-mostly-positive/)

kroneaux
April 30th, 2012, 11:25 AM
Just playing with 12.04 in virtualbox still have 10.04 installed. Been sticking with the LTS versions. Have used Ubuntu since its beginning.

I like having apps in menus and sections that I can mouse to. Launchers on a panel does the same thing as the dock yet takes up less space.

Unity you have to click, then type to get to things, this is more work with more hands. Or, after several clicks, you can see them in a big list of all installed apps like an Android or Blackberry.
My computers are not touchscreens or netbooks, I don't need a desktop that behaves like either by default.
The dock feels like a dysfunctional counterfeit Mac, not very customizable, and little dots instead of a clear clickable panel of open windows. Workspace switching seems broken. Unity has no built in way to change the number of workspaces, which defaulted to one. Got Show Desktop? Should not be a 3 key combo, an icon works fine.

In the past I've customized Gnome to my needs. The top panel can hold many more launchers than the dock in Unity (without scrolling). Right clicking workspace switcher gets to its config and scrolling over it switches workspaces. Functional. Everything is a couple clicks away and the desktop environment doesn't get in the way or make extra work.

I read a post about Ubuntu error prompts giving instructions such as "click System > Administration > whatever" which shouldn't happen if these menus don't exist. Should read "click the the magic button and google your installed software to find your config application." By the way spelling counts.

This all sounds rather disgruntled and curmudgeonly, but I love Ubuntu, that's why I'm using it instead of OSX or Windows. I'd like to see more linux and less OSX/iOS in Ubuntu. Maybe Unity will get better with age, or be a good alternative for different types of hardware, but why default for LTS? As it matures are the new features/fixes going to end up in LTS? Maybe I'll try installing Gnome or Mint.

midden
April 30th, 2012, 07:36 PM
I started using Xubuntu after 10.10 because I disliked Unity for research computing purposes. I like the XFCE interface and may stay with it, but with 12.04, I am honestly giving Unity a fair trial.

Parts of it I really like. For example, I just hide the dock because I never really use it. HUD (when it works) is great (the developers better get Libre Office on board with HUD!). And using the Super key to activate application / document search is great (I have been relying on Gnome Do / Kupfer for a long time, and Unity is even better).

My main issue -- and it is one that may keep me from permanently adopting Unity -- is that I cannot tell what applications are open and on what workspace (what I want I describe in this thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1966994)). Super-W spreads the open windows on the current workspace, but I can't move among workspaces in that view (a commenter on the thread I linked to claims it works for him/her; however, I have done fresh installs on a desktop and laptop, all with the same limiting behavior). I realize that if the dock is open, you can see little arrows in the side, but I prefer to operate with the dock hidden, and even when it is present, it is hard to know what is on a workspace if windows are minimized. If I could only bring back tabs at the top of the screen (or get Super-W and Ctrl-Alt-Arrow to work together as I think they should), I would be sold.

So -- if anyone has suggestions for how to tweak Unity to improve window / workspace management, please let me know. I am otherwise very happy with Unity and suspect that for many folks it will be fine.

carl4926
May 1st, 2012, 05:37 AM
I cannot tell what applications are open and on what workspace


If I could only bring back tabs at the top of the screen

Sounds like gnome-shell you are need.

But I hear exactly what you are saying

kurt18947
May 1st, 2012, 11:24 AM
I started using Xubuntu after 10.10 because I disliked Unity for research computing purposes. I like the XFCE interface and may stay with it, but with 12.04, I am honestly giving Unity a fair trial.

Parts of it I really like. For example, I just hide the dock because I never really use it. HUD (when it works) is great (the developers better get Libre Office on board with HUD!). And using the Super key to activate application / document search is great (I have been relying on Gnome Do / Kupfer for a long time, and Unity is even better).

My main issue -- and it is one that may keep me from permanently adopting Unity -- is that I cannot tell what applications are open and on what workspace (what I want I describe in this thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1966994)). Super-W spreads the open windows on the current workspace, but I can't move among workspaces in that view (a commenter on the thread I linked to claims it works for him/her; however, I have done fresh installs on a desktop and laptop, all with the same limiting behavior). I realize that if the dock is open, you can see little arrows in the side, but I prefer to operate with the dock hidden, and even when it is present, it is hard to know what is on a workspace if windows are minimized. If I could only bring back tabs at the top of the screen (or get Super-W and Ctrl-Alt-Arrow to work together as I think they should), I would be sold.

So -- if anyone has suggestions for how to tweak Unity to improve window / workspace management, please let me know. I am otherwise very happy with Unity and suspect that for many folks it will be fine.

I would suggest tint2 from the repositories. It adds a bottom panel to both unity and gnome-shell. I added it to startup applications. It has a config file so I made it wider and made the clock go away. Gnome-shell has an extension which adds a second panel and also desktop management. The linux crowd being who they are, it's no surprise that there are work-arounds for Unity's shortcomings.

Lucradia
May 1st, 2012, 11:31 AM
You are never "forced" into Unity. It is the default desktop, but it is rather good these days, and as always you can change to a different desktop. KDE, XFCE, LXDE, Gnome 3, Gnome Classic... all installable. Plus more. But try Unity properly first and you might find you're having a good time.

I chose to not choose any of those, and go DE-less with OpenBox + stalonetray, PCManFM 2, Leafpad, Sakura and Firefox. Though, I found out Pidgin has a nasty habit of pulling a ton of gnome deps, so I tried ayttm, and that crashed a lot on MSN protocol (and no file transfers. Most of my friends use MSN Protocol, sorry, I need it :V)

Then I switched to Debian with the same setup, and dependencies are different there for some programs, (IE: the deps are much more lax than in Ubuntu.) And now I love Debian :V

Problem with Debian though is that I have to do the mini.iso, which usually never works on my harddrive unless I wipe it clean with DBAN (Due to how NTFS Formats the drive, GRUB will no longer successfully install. Installing LILO causes a Kernel Panic as soon as the OS tries to start.)

Once I finally get it installed though, I have a delightful time staring at my minimal desktop and conky while I figure out the best approach to play Portal 2 via Wine and how Terraria via Steam has a 90% chance to fail to work. (.NET 4 and XNA required.)

Although I do love the looks of Unity and whatnot, I'm not really too sure on the ease-of-use and functionality of it. What if I needed to run a command and can't seem to find my terminal / console via Unity?

craig10x
May 1st, 2012, 05:45 PM
lucradia...you type the letter "t" in the dash (search bar) and it's the first application that comes up (if it didn't then a few more letters would do it...lol)...
then you click it and "viola!" your terminal application window is up!!!

That was hard wasn't it? :lolflag:

PS: and if you access the terminal frequently, while the app is running and the icon is displayed in the unity bar, just right click and "pin" it (they call it "lock it") to the unity bar...then you have 1 click access and don't even need to use the dash (search bar) to get it...

Yep...can't agree more....Unity certainly is tough to use and very unproductive! (i say that with "tongue firmly implanted in cheek...LOL)

midden
May 1st, 2012, 06:02 PM
Sounds like gnome-shell you are need.

Well, I installed gnome-shell, and while it is interesting, it also broke Unity. I can log in but there are no taskbars, no launcher, etc. Luckily I can use key commands, terminal, and Kupfer to launch programs, but Unity was seriously fracked. I purged gnome-shell, removed gnome-fallback, etc. Still not working.

Finally, I typed in "unity --reset" and it appears to have replaced the default settings.

midden
May 1st, 2012, 06:21 PM
Yep...can't agree more....Unity certainly is tough to use and very unproductive! (i say that with "tongue firmly implanted in cheek...LOL)

I have to say that it is certainly different, and until folks get used to it they will not be LOL, they will be LFOO (looking for other options).

In my brief encounter with Gnome shell this morning, I saw that they had implemented the main feature missing from Unity that kills my productivity -- the ability to move between workspaces with all windows spread (i.e., Super-W, followed by Ctrl-Alt-Arrows). If I can't find the dang workspace on which I have an application or document open, I feel blind and somewhat claustrophobic.

I am trying to get used to this flying-blind feeling, but I am not very hopeful. If I don't figure it out soon, I will be back to XFCE. (And that is why I love Linux so much -- I can almost always find something that works for me!)

EDIT: My problem with the window picker appears to be a known bug (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/compiz/+bug/933776).

nowUfunny2
May 1st, 2012, 08:39 PM
Unity you have to click, then type to get to things, this is more work with more hands. Or, after several clicks, you can see them in a big list of all installed apps like an Android or Blackberry.
My computers are not touchscreens or netbooks, I don't need a desktop that behaves like either by default.You have hit on my issue with the direction taken with Ubuntu and Unity. It is in my opinion polishing the whole distribution towards use on small screen media. I am looking toward the future and know that soon classic will not be supported. Perhaps I am not seeing the future of personal computing clearly. Perhaps the laptop will become a thing of the past, taking back seat to androids and tablets like the laptop has done to the desktop today. In my digital divide project we use old thinkpads to teach the office suites how to make the most of the internet. These are skills needed in the job market and I can't see small screen media taking their place. The machines we use are capable of doing all we need, (even youtube with some patience). But we've got no space for a demanding operating system.Ubuntu 8.4 was magical. I guess it's time to try out Xbuntu.

mfZero
May 1st, 2012, 08:52 PM
I use to think Unity was unproductive, but it's actually MORE productive in certain ways. It just has a learning curve that people may or may not be willing to deal with.

synaptix
May 1st, 2012, 08:56 PM
Didn't like Unity/Unity2D at first, but now I use Unity2D all the time and quite like it.

wolfen69
May 2nd, 2012, 02:37 AM
I use to think Unity was unproductive, but it's actually MORE productive in certain ways. It just has a learning curve that people may or may not be willing to deal with.

Let's face it, after years of being taught that having a "start menu" is the correct way, it will be hard for some people to like it. However, I am of the belief that most people (unless they have a learning disability) can get used to anything and be productive with it. But some people choose not to.

I can be just as productive with unity as I was with classic gnome. But then again I might be more open minded than some, and willing to work with/learn it so I can be productive. As a matter of fact, I never complain about any desktop environments or OS's because I can adapt to and even like, just about anything. But hey that's just me. ;)

KBD47
May 2nd, 2012, 04:01 AM
I've done more than my share of bitching about Unity, but I must admit it is better in 12.04 than in the earlier versions. I like Unity 2D better as it runs cooler and a bit lighter than Unity 3D. I like that the launcher can be made quite small to save desktop real estate. I still think the dash sucks, but since I can stick everything I want on the launcher it is not as big of a deal. I shutdown HUD, remove the global menus, remove the overlay scrollbars, add indicator-weather and psensor, add synaptic and gdebi, put banshee back in, and yes, Ubuntu 12.04 with Unity 2D is a usable desktop, I'm not in love with it, but I wish this version had been our first introduction rather than the one in 11.04, but that's life :-)

Lucradia
May 2nd, 2012, 06:30 AM
lucradia...you type the letter "t" in the dash (search bar) and it's the first application that comes up (if it didn't then a few more letters would do it...lol)...
then you click it and "viola!" your terminal application window is up!!!

That was hard wasn't it? :lolflag:

PS: and if you access the terminal frequently, while the app is running and the icon is displayed in the unity bar, just right click and "pin" it (they call it "lock it") to the unity bar...then you have 1 click access and don't even need to use the dash (search bar) to get it...

Yep...can't agree more....Unity certainly is tough to use and very unproductive! (i say that with "tongue firmly implanted in cheek...LOL)

There's an age old bug with gnome (That likely exists still) where the entire gnome session daemon expires, among taking down various desktop environment services with it. The desktop stays, but no icons or the top bar are visible. Pressing the Windows Key does nothing (as unity is taken down too) but the mouse still works as that's not a gnome session dependant service (neither is X, nor is the desktop wallpaper apparently.) When this happens, users are forced to try the ALT+F2 Method to bring up the Run dialog (Which won't work if GNOME Panel is shut down) and if that doesn't work, they have to open the tty. I often had this issue when messing around with Wine, and applications run through wine. (When the GL System decides it'd be a good idea to crash, taking Metacity down with it.)

And believe me, I need Wine. (Often crashing wine because .NET or some odd program won't work all the time.)

Some Wine programs (Notably Steam) will cause the unity bar to disappear (Visibly) but you can still click on it, and press the Windows Key to bring up the unity overlay (but still, the bar won't show up) this seems to happen "Rarely" and only when Steam has issues where the "Void" of darkness starts creeping up around your screen (Damn those Steam friends chatting with us!) You have to logout and back in to repair this issue until it returns again. (Unless you kill wine / winbind, then restart the unity service.)

arpanaut
May 2nd, 2012, 01:48 PM
Yup, Just as I thought...

The Jury is still deliberating! :wink:

mkeuter
May 2nd, 2012, 08:55 PM
My verdict is that it's pretty but gets annoying to me when trying to do multiple things at once.

I switched to xmonad, for now still on Ubuntu. It's been fun (running Ubuntu at least since 2005 as main OS), but I get less productive after each release of Ubuntu..memory bloat, cpu, breaking upgrades..Unity is breaking even more functionality, imo it does more harm than good. So maybe it's not a verdict on unity, but the release management implementing unity..

Wharf Rat
May 2nd, 2012, 10:46 PM
I followed instructions posted early in this thread to install Cinnamon on Ubuntu 12.04. It now looks like Mint. Which is a FAR easier adjustment than Unity.

:)

Thanks for posting.