A while ago I've planed to do full review on new Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal. I'm not going to do that. What happened someone might ask? Canonicals latest desktop called Unity happened. The feeling after booting new Ubuntu 11.04 for the first time seemed familiar. The feeling of being powerless when someone forces you to use an application that you don't like under excuse that you don't know what is good for you. I thought I left that feeling a few years ago after I have left Windows XP to find myself a better desktop solution. What is wrong with Unity? Please read on...
What isn't wrong with it would be a better question. Unity is created out of pure desire to create something different in the area of desktop solutions where every sane approach has already been taken. So Canonical had no option but to go down the insane road and serve clumsy, non flexible and unbelievably unstable piece of software and to give a shot on convincing us users that this is what we need. But my suffering wasn't over after I've wiped Ubuntu 11.04 out of my hard disk sectors.
After formating my primary partition I was once again on a distro hunt. Ubuntu has disappointed me so much, so I needed to find a new toy to play with. I got this crazy idea that Canonical is an exception, and that no other developer group would make mistake of underestimating his software user base to that extent. Gnome3 is the place to go, I've sad to myself. I thought that I'm safe from disappointment because I've just witnessed Unity experience. Man was I wrong.
I've downloaded myself a copy of new Fedora 15 beta and populated my primary partition with what I thought would be my savior. I must say that Gnome3 is even worse than Unity. Gnome developers brought joy to my desktop for so long and now there it was, a cell phone like interface without minimize and maximize buttons. You can't even change user interface font size without bringing out the big guns and messing with your theme files using your favorite text editor (if you mange to find it in unintuitive Gnome3 user interface). Gnome3 lasted for 15 minutes on my desktop, and as soon I've managed to reboot my PC using terminal (no, there is no GUI way to reboot your PC, or even to shutdown). So like Unity, I've taken Gnome3 to the place where all bad software goes after their users jump of a bridge in an attack of insanity brought by using it.
Now I'm using Linux Mint 10. Mint has promised not to use Unity or Gnome3 for the next release and this is enough for me. The sad thing is that the most users would get used to this new desktop environments and that after a while of being forced to use it they will love it. Just like latest Windows version haven't improved as much as their user have been brainwashed. So please try not to become one of the zombies and choose your software wisely.
Why didn’t you just use 11.04 with the ‘Classic Desktop’ or XFCE? Seems silly to jump when all you don’t like is the Desktop manager, and it’s so easy to switch that!
I struggled with Unity for about 2 days … but have come to love it. There are so many more ‘short cut’ ways to do things fast that I just never did in Gnome 2 because it was so awkward. Just use CCSM to configure Unity as you want, add a few custom launchers and it all quickly becomes very nice to use.
But, even if you try again and still hate it – no need to ditch Ubuntu because it’s still very easy to switch desktop in it.
You’ve got a point up to a point 🙂 The thing is that by using Ubuntu trough last few years I had to struggle with lots of its “things” in a lot of its releases. So this Unity thing was kind of a breaking point for me because It makes me ask myself where is this heading in a few years and will then be anything left I like about Ubuntu. I didn’t like pulseaudio, Ubuntu One, plymouth and I for sure don’t Like Unity. I don’t see Ubuntu getting better any time soon but thanks God there are a lot of options in our Linux world.