Ubuntu Unity 22.04 is out, and it is higher than ever. This throwback to the glory days of Canonical’s in-house desktop would possibly simply usurp your day by day driver as your Linux distribution of alternative.
I’ve a confession to make. Again when Canonical created its personal desktop known as Unity, I felt it was, fingers down, the very best desktop atmosphere available on the market. Not solely was it fantastically designed, however it was additionally one of the environment friendly and productive UIs out there. With the Head-Up Show, highly effective search, and extremely configurable dashboard, I used to be capable of work with a degree of effectivity I had but to expertise.
SEE: Linux turns 30: Celebrating the open supply working system (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
However then Canonical did the unthinkable and jettisoned that desktop (and all of the work the builders put into it) and returned to GNOME. Ever since, I’ve felt Canonical made a giant mistake by scrapping Unity. Fortuitously, since that is open-source, a fork of the Unity Desktop was given beginning within the type of an entire distribution (known as Ubuntu Unity) and remains to be in lively growth. Though it’s not fairly the identical Unity as was discovered again in its Canonical heyday (no HUD related to utility menus), it’s nonetheless a implausible desktop.
Let’s check out what Ubuntu Unity 22.04 has in retailer for you.
First, you may obtain the ISO for Ubuntu Unity from the official obtain web page. I extremely suggest deploying this as a digital machine at first. If the distribution serves your wants, you may then set up it on naked metallic and benefit from the Unity desktop as your day by day driver.
My first impressions of Ubuntu Unity 22.04
Upon putting in and logging into Ubuntu Unity for the primary time, my fast impression is that of nostalgia. Apart from the colour scheme and the wallpaper, this appears to be like precisely just like the Ubuntu Desktop of outdated that I liked a lot (Determine A).
This impression actually hits dwelling the second you click on the menu button on the high left nook. As soon as the Sprint is open (Determine B), you’ll see what appears to be like virtually precisely like Unity when it was having fun with its heyday.
One factor I appreciated concerning the Unity Sprint is that it allowed me to get very granular with my looking out. You can allow/disable totally different classes and sources on your searches. Should you solely need to seek for functions, be certain that Functions is the one possibility chosen below Classes. If you wish to seek for solely Information & Folders … ditto.
That’s to not say all the things works completely. Similar to again with the unique Unity, generally the search merely received’t discover recordsdata in your system. If I recall (again within the day) the issue with this concern needed to do with Zeitgeist and whether or not you’d really opened a file. Right here’s an illustration:
- Open a terminal window and concern the command contact ~/Paperwork/TechRepublic.
- Shut the terminal window.
- Open the Sprint and seek for the TechRepublic file.
The search outcomes will provide you with nothing. Nonetheless, do the next:
- Open LibreOffice.
- Open the TechRepublic file.
- Add some textual content to the file.
- Save the file within the ODT format.
- Shut the file.
Now, if you seek for the TechRepublic file within the Sprint, it’ll seem within the outcomes (Determine C).
This was only one facet of why Unity was such an environment friendly desktop. In fact, it’s not like different desktops don’t embrace such options, however Unity simply all the time did it higher (and seemed higher doing it). Fortuitously, Ubuntu Unity nailed this function.
The lacking piece
The one function of Ubuntu Unity that I liked was the HUD (Head-Up Show). Successfully, what this did was combine utility menus into the Sprint such that you can (whereas an app was open) hit the Tremendous key (aka the “Home windows” key) after which search the app menus. For instance, you’ve got LibreOffice open, and also you need to heart a line of textual content. As an alternative of choosing the textual content, after which clicking Format | Align | Middle, you can choose the textual content, hit the Tremendous key, kind Middle, and hit Enter and the textual content could be centered. This makes it fairly environment friendly, particularly when an utility had a big menu system that made it difficult to seek out what you wanted.
Sadly, not each utility took benefit of this function, and it appears to be like like Ubuntu Unity has not built-in the HUD with utility menus. That’s a disgrace as a result of it was the very best function within the authentic Unity.
Even so, Ubuntu Unity has included the worldwide menu function, which implies utility menus are discovered within the high bar and never within the precise app window (in a similar way to how macOS handles world menus).
One of many issues the builders have finished is swap out a couple of of the default GNOME apps for people who higher match the Unity UI. That checklist consists of the next:
- Doc Viewer–switched with Atril
- Textual content Editor–switched with Pluma
- Video Participant–switched with VLC
- Picture Viewer–switched with EOM
- System Monitor–switched with MATE System Monitor
Apart from that, the OS consists of (out of the field) the likes of:
- LibreOffice 184.108.40.206
- Firefox 99.0.1
- Eye of Mate
- Doc Scanner
- Disk Utilization Analyzer
- Remmina Distant Desktop Consumer
- Unity Tweak Instrument
And, after all, you may all the time set up from 1000’s of functions utilizing the included GNOME Software program.
Who Ubuntu Unity is for?
Anybody who loved what Canonical was doing with the Ubuntu desktop, earlier than it jumped ship again to GNOME, will vastly admire what the builders behind this distribution are doing. Should you like a desktop that very a lot creates an environment friendly and stylish workflow, this would possibly turn out to be your go-to Linux distribution.
This may be an unpopular opinion, however I imagine Ubuntu Unity is without doubt one of the most lovely Linux desktops available on the market. If the builders might solely convey again the total HUD, I might see myself changing Pop!_OS as my distribution of alternative.
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