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Posted by , 18 April 2017 at 8:45 pm UTC / 4651 views
As expected, some users and developers aren't happy that the Unity desktop environment is going to be stopped and removed in favour of GNOME Shell. Here come the forks!

Details are light on both, since of course everything is so very new, but hopefully they will see rapid development.

First up is yunit, which you can find on GitHub. It's being based on Unity 8 and their main focus is on the desktop.

Then we have UBports, who have a focus on mobile, so they felt the best option was to roll their own fork instead of contribute to yunit (source).

It was always going to happen, the same happened with GNOME 2 getting forked and being turned into MATE. Hopefully they will both see a long and healthy life like MATE has enjoyed. I certainly look forward to seeing what happens and if any more forks appear. I wouldn't mind trying out a proper forked Unity desktop, that isn't so reliant on a single distribution.

Going by the small user survey done on GamingOnLinux, Unity was the third most popular desktop, so hopefully people who are fans of Unity may be able to continue using some form of it.

I actually liked Unity, since it was such a clean desktop environment, but it did have a lot of niggling issues. One such issue is tray icons, with Unity forcing indicators when many applications didn't have one and they stopped allowing traditional tray icons some time ago. I remember the difficulty I had with some applications that I wanted to close to the tray, but they didn't have one. Hopefully the forks will solve issues like this.

What are your thoughts?
Corben commented on 18 April 2017 at 9:58 pm UTC

As I got pretty used to Unity, I'm glad the community carries this DE on.
But I also don't want to fiddle around with different DEs and will probably stick with the default one shipped.
Also interesting is the performance comparison the linux gamer did with Unity and Gnome on youtube:


wormzy commented on 18 April 2017 at 10:21 pm UTC

I'm no fan of Unity, but I wouldn't use Gnome 3 if you paid me.

I can understand the decision to kill off mir, but Canonical's decision to kill off Unity too is baffling.


TMTVL commented on 18 April 2017 at 10:55 pm UTC

The United Look and Feel theme for Plasma 5 looks like Unity and has received pretty positive reviews. Might be worth checking out for fans of Unity.

Personally I just use a pretty standard Plasma theme, but I did like Unity when I was on Ubuntu long ago. GNOME, on the other hand, I've never liked.


neowiz73 commented on 19 April 2017 at 3:51 am UTC

if i had the choice of running unity & wayland on Arch with the latest gtk release, vise GNOME I most likely would. but that would be after someone changes the unity dock so that it has intellihide or dodge maximized window. dash to dock is by far my favorite dock.

the unity-for-arch repos aren't kept up to date that much. which I've tried before. plus there are a number of other issues I ran into with the unity-for-arch repos.


Aryvandaar commented on 19 April 2017 at 7:27 am UTC

I never liked Unity and I never liked Gnome3 either. For those who did like it I can understand the pain. I felt about the same when Gnome2 morphed into the abomination that is now Gnome3.

Atm I'm using KDE Plasma 5.


fredbird67 commented on 19 April 2017 at 7:38 pm UTC

The way GNOME has been managed and maintained has always been a HUGE turn-off to me, especially after they upgraded to GNOME 3. Also, I tried Unity once -- hated it. For the last several years, I've mainly been a user of either XFCE or LXDE, but about 2 months ago, I installed Linux Mint, with its Cinnamon desktop -- and now, I'd have to say that Cinnamon is by far my favorite of the really fancy-schmancy desktop environments.


STiAT commented on 19 April 2017 at 8:41 pm UTC

I'm not a Gnome fan, rather the opposite. I lately turned my back on KDE as well when I went to Solus with Budgie (didn't regret it yet).

I didn't ever use Unity for a long time, I never could get used to it. But it's nice to see it continued, since I can see pretty often that people do use it.

Yunit still has to show they do have the skills to continue the project. I do not know any of those who forked it, and you can't judge those by their github commits (too few of those). I hope they can continue the project, since in this case, a Fork makes sense.


CFWhitman commented on 21 April 2017 at 12:44 pm UTC

I read elsewhere that the Unity team is not being dissolved, but just no longer receiving direct support from Canonical. So Unity itself may continue even without a fork.


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