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Ubuntu Moves Away From GNOME 514

An anonymous reader writes "It's official: Ubuntu has, with its ironically named 'Unity' interface, chosen to move away from GNOME for Ubuntu Natty Narwhal. Or at least move away from GNOME Shell. Mark Shuttleworth says that Ubuntu will still be 'GNOME,' even if it's not using GNOME Shell. Do you agree?"
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Ubuntu Moves Away From GNOME

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  • by sourcerror ( 1718066 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:03AM (#34012440)

    From TFA:
    "GNOME Shell is the interface being developed for GNOME 3.0, which was delayed to spring 2011."

  • by pietromenna ( 1118063 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:05AM (#34012478)

    From TFA: "GNOME Shell is the interface being developed for GNOME 3.0, which was delayed to spring 2011."

    Probably then they are switching to Unity due to the schedule?

  • by arhhook ( 995275 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:12AM (#34012580)

    There is going to be some questions about this decision in relation to GNOME. I want to make something crystal clear: Ubuntu is GNOME distribution, we ship the GNOME stack, we will continue to ship GNOME apps, and we optimize Ubuntu for GNOME. The only difference is that Unity is a different shell for GNOME, but we continue to support the latest GNOME Shell development work in the Ubuntu archives.

    Jono Bacon from []

  • Re:About time. (Score:3, Informative)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:20AM (#34012696)

    Gnome has held GNU/Linux back for nearly 10 years now.

    Started 1997, first release 1999, more like 11 to 13 years rather than nearly 10 years.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:24AM (#34012748) Journal

    The nice thing about light weight GUIs is that it's a lot easier to tune and fix than a giant stack of software is. Saving memory isn't the only reason to use Fluxbox, etc. Once you settle on a good configuration (which doesn't take that much time), you never have to worry about the choices your distro will make in the future. It's much nicer to sit down and figure out your GUI once, than to relearn every time they release a new version.

  • by captainpanic ( 1173915 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:25AM (#34012762)

    From TFA:
    "GNOME Shell is the interface being developed for GNOME 3.0, which was delayed to spring 2011."

    On the plus side: there are now also ordinary people using Ubuntu - people that don't know anything.
    On the down side: they still don't understand what a shell is, even after that explanation (see quoted text).

    To me, it's not really clear where GNOME starts or stops... So there's at least one Ubuntu user who is quite clueless what this is all about.

    The value of this post? I show you all that there are people able to use Ubuntu without even the basic knowledge of the processes or even the names of them running on the computer. I always think of myself as the target group for Ubuntu. The wizkids can use the other Linux systems.

  • Re:I agree... (Score:5, Informative)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:25AM (#34012770) Homepage

    I agree that the summary is far from unbiased. It's making it sound like Ubuntu is dropping Gnome, which isn't quite what's happening.

    A more reasonable way to look at it, in my opinion, is that Gnome is currently undergoing a large set of changes in the 3.0 release. The people running the Gnome project are planning a radical shift from the current UI to something called "Gnome-Shell". Ubuntu is apparently not sold on this dramatic redesign, so instead they'll be going their own way with a UI that is, in some ways, closer to the current UI.

    Having tried Gnome-Shell out for a little while, I have to say I'm not excited about the change. I appreciate that they're trying something very new and trying to be innovative, but at the very least it didn't feel ready for use.

  • Re:Confusion (Score:5, Informative)

    by maugle ( 1369813 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:32AM (#34012862)

    "Not a clue what any of this means. I'll just stick with Windows or Mac. You buy it, turn it on, and it works." - Joe Q Public

    "I hope my neighbour's kid can make my damn Windows machine work again." -Joe Q Public, 2 weeks and 10 malware infections later

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:35AM (#34012886)

    I agree but thats one of the things I like about Gnome/Linux. If you dont like the way something looks there is probably a way to do it. If you want it to look like OSX or Vista [] you can do that too.
    They're just trying different things to see what people like best.

  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:47AM (#34013118) Homepage Journal

    Seconded :) I also install Gnome Do as well to get back the functionality it had while Docky was part of Gnome-Do. I tend to launch things with Gnome Do, and use Docky for a task manager/trashcan.

  • Re:Wow (Score:2, Informative)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:51AM (#34013186)

    I can't freakin' STAND Gnome. I never really understood the appeal of it...just seemed like a convuluted mess to me.

    Gnome is basically Windows XP/MacOS/Solaris/every other GUI for the last twenty years. KDE is... actually I don't really know what it is, it just seems like a mess every time I try to use it.

  • Re:Natty Narwhal? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:58AM (#34013340)

    Yeah, that's all well and good until you have a problem with running Random Program 10.4 on Mac OS 10.6 and all the search engines give you is advice on how to run Random Program 10.6 on Mac OS 10.4. That's when the names are useful.

    And you can still use the version numbers if you prefer.

    "Random Program 10.4" on "Mac OS 10.6"
    The biggest problem I have is with Google thinking punctuation is white space.

  • Re:Natty Narwhal? (Score:4, Informative)

    by lordandmaker ( 960504 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:05PM (#34013464) Homepage
    Random? They're in alphabetical order and they alliterate.

    There never was an 8.0 or 8.1. They're all x.4 and x.10, since they're released in April and October. Though they used to be x.6 and x.10 when they released in June and October. That bit seems to confuse the most people; the numbering scheme.

    Also the Mac Gs refer to the hardware, not the OS.
  • by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:14PM (#34013600)
    I want something that looks like Windows...

    Well, if that's what you want, you have plenty of choices. If you want something full-featured, both Gnome and KDE will fit the bill, and you can download themes that even make the icons and windows look similar to Windows.
  • Re:Natty Narwhal? (Score:2, Informative)

    by KendyForTheState ( 686496 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:15PM (#34013616)
    I'm holding out for Xenophobic Xylophone.
  • Re:Natty Narwhal? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dragonslicer ( 991472 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:24PM (#34013800)

    Though they used to be x.6 and x.10 when they released in June and October.

    The only June release was 6.06, and that was only because it wasn't ready for release in April. The goal has always been releases in April and October.

  • Re:Meh. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:25PM (#34013808) Journal

    FWIW, I wish there was a window manager that set it's own paradigm.

    There are several families of window managers that are pretty much unique to UNIX environments. Someone already mentioned Window Maker, there's also Afterstep if you like NextStep. There's also the Fluxbox/Openbox family. There's Enlightenment too.

    Although if you want a wholly new paradigm that simply doesn't exist on other platforms, try a tiling window manager. Ratpoison/Awesome/evilwm/wmii/ion, there's actually a lot of these. Nobody who's used one of these window managers can accuse the Open Source community of not innovating.

    it'd be nice if there was a window manager that set the standard for FOSS GUI desktops.

    There will never be a wm that "sets the standard" because interface choice is too personal. Think of the actual physical desktops people use, and all the ways they choose to organize things. You can't expect computerized desktops to be any more consistent.

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @01:04PM (#34014438) Homepage Journal

    Maybe because it doesn't work well for him?
    I played with KDE 4 and felt that it was too buggy and slow. What should a Desktop do for me? Launch applications and maybe manage files.
    That is really about it. I may pick a wall paper but that is it. Even widgets don't really thrill me.
    I think that KDE has a lot of detractors because they don't find any benefit to it for them. Gnome actually works as a good compromise for IMHO between a bare bones and and overly complex desktop environment.
    But then I may be just too hard to impress. I move between Windows, OS/X, and Gnome all the time and find them all about the same as far as the desktop goes.
    Not wonderful but not great.

  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Informative)

    by Thinboy00 ( 1190815 ) <thinboy00@gmail. ... m minus math_god> on Monday October 25, 2010 @01:16PM (#34014610) Journal

    Wait a minute, have you ever tried to configure gnome-screensaver? They basically removed ~all configuration besides "which screen saver do you want and when do you want it?" It does have better encapsulation than xscreensaver, but ironically enough, all the settings that they nicely encapsulated are now hidden behind various semi-standard text files.

    Gnome != Windows

  • by Nexus7 ( 2919 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @01:23PM (#34014720)

    Not just older machines...

    On a newer notebook with graphics in the Core i5 (i915 driver), I upgraded to KDE 4.5.2. Now KWin crashes all the time, window decorations are completely messed up. Doesn't matter whether desktop effects are on of off. And I don't know why they don't just make a KDE clone of Synaptic, instead of Adept or KPackagekit which miss functionality. And KNetworkManager - why?

    If I go back to GNOME, I'll keep pulling my hair out at the severely dumbed down options. Maybe I'll try GNOME+Compiz+Emerald.

  • Re:Wow (Score:2, Informative)

    by imric ( 6240 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @01:30PM (#34014814)

    "People"? So you think that = people.kde4-haters? Got news - they are two different sets.

    Further, I DID pan 4.0 - it deserved it. (and that was BESIDES the fact that kubuntu made it impossible to have both on the machine if you wanted to use the repository - I'm STILL irritated at that)

    The reason it took me so long to 'forgive' though, were the blatant LIES stated regarding what the 4.0 release was. The kde enthusiasts kept repeating them, and would attempt to shout down and denigrate anyone that didn't like 4.0 when it came out. (The 4.0 release page did NOT include any kind of note saying it was a testing or developer's release that wasn't ready for prime time. The actual release page said it was. The only reference re: development or testing referred quite clearly to packages that might not be ready in distro repositories yet). That left a bad taste in my mouth for a long time.

    It was not ready, even though it is now. The only voice of reason at the time (that I can remember) was Aaron Seigo - and he was the ONLY reason I kept coming back to KDE to try it out with each release. Good guy.

  • NETBOOKS ONLY!!!!! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Maarek ( 213279 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @01:35PM (#34014886)

    Read the article, this is for netbooks, not desktops or laptops!!!

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

    by KugelKurt ( 908765 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @01:43PM (#34015004)

    Plasma Desktop (the KDE project underwent a rebranding a year ago -- that's now the name of the DE) looks in its default layout somewhat like Windows but behaves actually very differently. The differences begin with the use of a single click to open files and end with Activities, newspaper views, etc.

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pentagram ( 40862 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @02:02PM (#34015302) Homepage

    There seem to be a lot of people complaining about it, but I *like* the current Gnome interface. It's simple, straightforward, has plenty of information available in minimal space and is pretty enough. OSX drives me nuts and I don't like the idea of GnomeShell or Unity. I like having a taskbar. I don't like having to click buttons or move my cursor to see which windows I have open. Evolution rather than revolution please.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @02:04PM (#34015334) Journal

    You are confused. Nowhere in the article it says that this is for netbooks (indeed, Ubuntu already ships with Unity for Netbook Remix, so this wouldn't be news). Heck, the second sentence of TFA is:

    Moving to Unity as the default interface for Ubuntu Desktop with Natty Narwhal (11.04), rather than GNOME Shell.

  • Ubuntu Minimal (Score:4, Informative)

    by Artemis3 ( 85734 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @02:17PM (#34015508)

    Ever seen this? []
    There is no need to spend time with packages you won't use.

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by mweather ( 1089505 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @03:18PM (#34016238)
    Use Rekonq instead of Konqueror. It's based on Chromium.
  • by Nexus7 ( 2919 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @03:21PM (#34016262)

    The Samba shares feature is the big reason they're still using Ubuntu at this non-profit where I installed it on some Pentium M notebooks.

    For my personal use though, I think features like not opening a new Nautilus window when you click on a folder, should be configurable though options (without having to fire up gconf-editor). But that beats a crashing KWin any day.

  • by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @03:47PM (#34016576)

    Nope. More that they're trying to create their own path and they disagree with the way Gnome is going. Ars has a better article [] than the one in the summary.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

    by Noughmad ( 1044096 ) <> on Monday October 25, 2010 @04:03PM (#34016816) Homepage

    KDE 4.5 is to KDE 4.0 as a Maglev is to a trainwreck.

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:24PM (#34020934) Journal

    You're telling me.

    I don't know about the others, but I'm savvy enough to use linux on the desktop for 90% of the time (I likes my Guild Wars). If I wanted to use a Mac, I'd use a Mac, dammit.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith