Ubuntu 11.04's Unity Interface

Ubuntu 11.04's Unity Interface

Now before you get allĀ emotionalĀ on me, I just want to let you know that I personally love Ubuntu, and I use it everywhere, on all my computers, and even my servers. However that may be about to change. Ubuntu 11.04 codename Natty Narwhal, which will be released in April, will implement many new and drastic changes to the OS, and they all have to do with one thing…Unity.

What is Unity?

Before I can talk about that, you need to know that Ubuntu currently uses GNOME, a graphical environment which makes up mostly everything that you interact with by default. Unity is a shell interface for GNOME, which is written by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu.

So what’s happening?

Canonical, is replacing the regular GNOME shell with Unity. Canonical already did this to their netbook OS last year, but is now going to do the same with their regular desktop OS too.

Why is this bad?

The whole reason that I, (and lots of other people) use Ubuntu and other distributions of Linux, is that the OS is freely open to customization and modification. Unity is entirely locked. Nothing about the interface can be changed at all. You cant even move the dock from one side of the screen to the other, and you can even to that in Windows! Regardless of customization options, the interface is not suited for desktops at all. It was designed for netbooks and it should stay on netbooks. Once you get past the ooohs and aaahs of the graphics, it really isn’t all that useful. Besides, if you don’t have 3D GL acceleration on your system, Unity is just a waste. Unity is also proprietary to Ubuntu, so not all applications will like it, and neither will all developers support it. Unity will make application development more difficult, as developers will have to support more than one interface. The only good news is that Ubuntu will still have the capability of running the regular GNOME interface.

My advice: when 11.04 comes out, make it your first priority to remove Unity.