Gnome Shell and Unity

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exploder
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Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by exploder »

I was wondering how many people are warming up to Gnome Shell and Unity since they have started to mature. I put Ubuntu 12.04 on my laptop I got for Christmas because I needed support for my WiFi and the newer kernel supported it out of the box. After using Unity 5.8 for a while I have really grown to like it. Unity looks elegant and has gained a lot of features in a relatively short amount of time. The idea of scopes and lenses is a really cool idea and a great marketing plan. The feedback the icons in the launcher now have was a nice detail, HUD is very original and interesting and LightDM using the desktop wallpaper makes the system more customized. The ability to resize the icons in the launcher was a nice touch too. Having all of the keyboard shortcuts displayed by pressing the super key is very handy and it really helps with the learning curve.

My wife generously gave me her HP quad core computer after she got her new laptop because she was not using it anymore. I installed Ubuntu 12.04 beta 2 on the HP and I am finding that I like Unity on the 25" wide screen just as much as I do on the laptop. Unity is getting quick and responsive and it is really slick to use once you get used to it.

I wanted to look at Gnome Shell and see how it compared to Unity so I installed Fedora 16 on the duel core system I was using. I have to say Fedora does an excellent job with Plymouth! I used the HDMI cable to hook up the 25" wide screen HP monitor just to see how Plymouth would work with it, (we have 2 of these monitors in the computer room). On Fedora 16, Plymouth displays perfectly! Fedora 16 has Gnome Shell 3.2.1 and it looks pretty slick. My wife got on the pc to look up something real quick on the Internet and she commented how nice the system looked. My wife is a die hard Windows user and runs Windows 7 on her new laptop, so I was surprised by her comment.

I have been playing with Gnome Shell in my spare time and have to admit that it is pretty nice. The only thing I did not like was having to press the alt key to make the shutdown and restart dialogue to appear, but really this is minor and you get used to it once you know to press the alt key. Gnome Shell is supposed to be more consistent in appearance in the 3.4 version and from the screen shots I have seen it looks good.

I think both Gnome Shell and Unity are doing a good job on re-inventing the desktop. In my opinion, people that are new to Linux do not want an interface that reminds them of the Mac OS or Windows. When my dad tried Linux he would not run KDE because he said it looked too much like Windows, he wanted something different for a change. People tend to expect an interface that looks like Windows or Mac OS to act like it, Gnome Shell and Unity look very different and it lets people know from the start that they are using Linux. Gnome Shell has given us a lot when you think about it because you have more choice as far as the UI goes, you now have, Gnome Shell, Gnome Classic, Unity 3D, Unity 2D and Cinnamon to choose from.

I can see Linux easily making it into the mainstream now, Android is proof of this. Android devices are very popular and very common these days. I really like the direction Gnome Shell and Unity have taken, creating an interface that works on a wide variety of devices is a smart way to go. I also like the fact that different interfaces can be used on top of Gnome 3, it has opened the doors to new ideas and ways of doing things. What do you think about how things are progressing with Gnome Shell and Unity?

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viking777
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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by viking777 »

Well said exploder, I get tired of hearing all the negativity about gnome-shell, I think it is the future simply because it is better than what went in the past. I can't say quite the same for Unity, because I installed it on an old computer and liked it so much I decided to install it to my main computer. The result was horrendous, you wouldn't think it was the same desktop, it crashed and crashed and crashed and crashed again, it was just dire, and I can't easily explain the difference or recommend Unity to anyone based on what I saw, but the old laptop install is still stable and usable- go figure :?

I presume you know you don't have to put up with the ridiculous shutdown dialog in gnome-shell? Just go here and install the first extension at the top of the page:

https://extensions.gnome.org/?page=1

PS I hope this isn't an April fools joke, if it is I have certainly fallen for it :D
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Lubuntu 13.10,Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint16 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).

exploder
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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by exploder »

Thanks for the link to the extensions viking777! No, April Fools joke here, I really like these new user interfaces.

Edit: I installed the extension and have the proper shutdown, restart feature now. Thanks again!

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bimsebasse
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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by bimsebasse »

Dangerous thread, it's waving a red flag to an immense herd of foaming Gnome 3 detractors roaming these very lands.

I like both and adapted to the workflow they favour immediately, so much so that I feel a bit lost and tied on my hands in Gnome 2 now (the opposite experience of an estimated 98% of all Mint users). Especially Gnome Shell with the extensions site bringing the userbase and the desktop much closer than before. It has a clean, attractive interface and I never used panel launchers, window tabs or desktop icons in my Gnome 2 setup so I don't miss them in default Gnome Shell. My only complaint with Gnome Shell - and the main reason I use Cinnamon - is that it is just too laggy and unresponsive still.

Unity I like for the excellent keyboard shortcut support out of the box, you can basically do everything without using the mouse which means you can do them fast and easy (or translated to the language of mouse-clenching Windows 95 desktop traditionalists: "unintuitive and difficult"). Unity's problem for me is the window handling, the unnecessary hiding of things and the lack of customization options.

Not a fan of Linux fragmentation but really appreciate how both Mint and Ubuntu are shaping their own identities now with their own default desktops (assuming Cinnamon will be default in Mint 13). 2 years ago Mint was little more than Ubuntu with restricted extras enabled out of the box and a different theme, and Ubuntu just used the main Gnome desktop like so many other distros. It's very different now.
Thank you for this thread. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this forum into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases. Thanks!

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MALsPa
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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by MALsPa »

I first tried Unity in Ubuntu 11.04, back in July; my first taste of GNOME Shell was with Fedora 16, in November. I liked both of them right away. There will always be folks who don't like this or that environment, and I think those folks tend to make the most noise. I think we've got a great situation, something for everyone. Except, I guess, people who just wanted to stick with GNOME 2.

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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by craig10x »

I would say that in my case, i do like and appreciate gnome 3 shell but edge more toward unity because i love the way it looks, and i also love the global menu because it gives you the extra "real estate" on the screen (especially when web surfing....lol)...I have been finding it to run very well on my 11.10 hard install and have (numerous times...lol) been playing with 12.04 on live session (in fact i am typing this in 12.04 beta 2 live session right now...lol) and like the improvements and extra features they have put into it...It also seems faster and more stable as well (and this isn't even in final release yet)....

So...i like gnome 3 shell a lot but have really become a real "unity fan" :D
Also, Ubuntu has a great look to it and looks very polished and professional...i think it could actually make a lot of new converts over from windows and mac...
I could actually "picture" it on a desktop or laptop in a commercial store and think it would attract much attention and interest :wink:

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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by craig10x »

I'll tell you...12.04 beta 2 has been running so nice on the live session that i am almost tempted to install it now (even though it doesn't go final until the end of the month)....if i did install it, would simply doing all the updates from the update manager bring it up to the final release? And at this point, would there still be much "risk" (problems developing or regressions, etc) ? I'd love to be able to install it now and just run with it until it finalizes but on the other hand, would hate to have to end up totally re-installing at the end of the month...which is why i am having a bit of trouble deciding to: go ahead or wait :wink:

exploder
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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by exploder »

I have 12.04 running on my laptop and the HP desktop my wife gave me. I am willing to take the chance at this point in time and I had nothing to loose on the laptop anyway. 12.04 was the only distro that recognized the ralink wifi out of the box. In the past I was able to keep 8.04 all the way through it's development cycle.

Edit: There are of course bugs remaining in 12.04 but no so serious that I can't put up with them for a while. :)

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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by craig10x »

exploder wrote:I have 12.04 running on my laptop and the HP desktop my wife gave me. I am willing to take the chance at this point in time and I had nothing to loose on the laptop anyway. 12.04 was the only distro that recognized the ralink wifi out of the box. In the past I was able to keep 8.04 all the way through it's development cycle.
Thanks exploder...that is a very encouraging report :D
I think i will give it a whirl...i like how it's running even now so hopefully it will be smooth going right to the release date :wink:

I guess the odds of a borking situation would be a lot greater on LMDE then it would be on an Ubuntu that has already past it's beta2 stage....
I'll be installing on wednesday, so i guess i will download the daily build for that day and install from that (that way it will have more updates already on then my beta2 iso does)...and as you just mentioned on your "edit" any bugs i detect should get smoothed out as the updates continue...

Heck, when you reach an ubuntu final release, there are still plenty of updates that come in for the first month or two anyway :lol:

exploder
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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by exploder »

craig10x, I found an awesome wallpaper for 12.04 right out of a thread where people were complaining about the new default wallpaper! Send me a pm with an e-mail address if you get stuck for a cool looking wallpaper and I will be more than happy to sent it to you. Just a thought, the new default they have planned does not look all that great (too much orange in my opinion).

Edit: Found a link to the wallpaper.

http://www.deviantart.com/download/2819 ... 4nvcph.png

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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by craig10x »

They're changing the default wallpaper, exploder? I kind of like the purplish one they have been using on 11.04 and 11.10....is that still in the wallpaper package?
Thanks for the link, by the way...also, i was wondering about the updates on the beta....how many do you average each day?

I posted the question about installing 12.04 beta2 on the ubuntu forums also and most seemed to feel i should wait until final release (unless i want to do testing and bug reporting)...but i am still tempted to do it now... :wink:

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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by exploder »

craig10x, a picture was posted of the new wallpaper. The new wallpaper is similar to the current one but they added a lot of orange to it. If you like the current wallpaper, you might want to save it. 12.04 will come with the new default wallpaper and the most popular wallpapers submitted and voted on by the community. As far as updates go, there are a lot on weekdays. Some days there might be as many as 75, other times updates come in small groups throughout the day. I mentioned the wallpaper to you because you have said that you kind of liked the Mac sort of look Ubuntu has.

If you are at all uncomfortable with a lot of updates you might want to wait until the final release. 12.04 will be final in a few weeks and there will still be a lot of updates for a while even after it goes gold. I installed 12.04 because of my laptops hardware and liked the way the new version of Unity was. I really did not think Unity was going to be that big of a deal until I started looking at and using it's new features. I have Fedora 16 with Gnome Shell on another machine and have been comparing Gnome Shell to Unity, so far I think Unity has the edge over Gnome Shell as far as features.

The timing was right for the LTS because of the current drivers situation, graphics card and WiFi drivers are pretty decent right now. I have been wanting some hands on experience with Gnome Shell and Unity and things have been working out pretty good for me lately.

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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by craig10x »

Very good and thanks for the "tip" (i think i will save my current wallpaper just in case...lol)....
I don't think a lot of updates would bother me as i once ran LMDE when it was on the straight debian testing only (update "packs" weren't as yet available) and i was accustomed to that level of updates...but on LMDE sometimes it would bork certain things rather seriously...so as long as that would not be the case on the ubuntu beta, then i'd be ok with it...

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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by digitalking »

I enjoyed using Gnome 2, and I also enjoy using Gnome 3. It's not the awful epic fail doomsday that people make it out to be, but I might not be using my PC in the same way as those upset by Gnome 3. It runs smoothly and I'm using it running Linux Mint 12 at the moment. I've actually disabled all the Mint shell extensions minus the "notifcations Extension", and switched to the Adwaita default theme. I think it look polished, easy to navigate, etc.

I also tried out the Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 2, and noticed the improvements in Unity. It seemed to run faster, and had a more polished feel to it overall. Honestly, I'd still rather not use Unity. For whatever reason, I still can't figure out how to re-order the launcher, and I'd just rather use Gnome 3 or XFCE as matter of preference. Over time, I'm sure all of these things will improve, but it's nice to see a thread mentioning some of the positive aspects of these new approaches to Linux desktop environments.

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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by craig10x »

just to mention: to re-order items in the unity launcher you just drag them to the spot you want them on the bar and drop them in... :wink:
adding and removing an item on the bar is simply right clicking on the icon...
takes a bit of getting use to with unity but after a week or two becomes "second nature" :)

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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by aes2011 »

exploder wrote:... In my opinion, people that are new to Linux do not want an interface that reminds them of the Mac OS or Windows. When my dad tried Linux he would not run KDE because he said it looked too much like Windows, he wanted something different for a change. People tend to expect an interface that looks like Windows or Mac OS to act like it, Gnome Shell and Unity look very different and it lets people know from the start that they are using Linux. ...
Well put. When I use another OS I don't want it to look anything like the one I left behind.

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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by craig10x »

exploder...i installed it this morning (12.04) i downloaded a daily build last night and put it on this morning...so far seems very smooth and stable....
keeping my "fingers crossed" :lol:

by the way...the new default wallpaper looks ok to me...a bit different then the one that was in 11.10 but not bad...i think i would likely keep it... :wink:

oh...so far everything seems to be running properly (all programs i have installed, file management, streams, flash, etc) actually the only "bug" i have noticed is that when booting up, i don't hear any ubuntu "sound" (i believe they replaced the drums with a different sound?) anyway, don't get any theme sound on that...and nothing wrong with the sound (works fine and have it maximized)...i was wondering if you get the "start up" theme sound? (i could live without of course...just curious)...
Last edited by craig10x on Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JonnyScatman
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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by JonnyScatman »

I think GNOME Shell and Unity are okay. Lemme split my story.

GNOME Shell:
I've wanted to try GNOME shell to see what the fuss was about, especially since Fedora began using it as the default DE. For some reason Fedora hated my internet connection, and seeing how Ubuntu 11.10 was rolling out at the time I wanted to try it, I gave it a whirl in Ubuntu. To be frank, I kinda liked it. The new interface was a little odd, but I didn't really care since I change my preferred layout lord knows how many times. I kinda liked it. I really like how it uses workspaces, and I think it does it the best. It expands all the open windows and you can easily organize windows within different workspaces.

To be honest, though, I'm starting to like Cinnamon better. I just think it combines some of the better features of GNOME 2 and GNOME Shell into one DE. Plus, one of my main gripes about GNOME shell is the lack of fluent customization. While you can customize GNOME Shell fairly well, the tweak tool doesn't organize your extensions. Digging through all of your extensions isn't very fun. Cinnamon puts everything into one convenient menu, and even adds some more stuff like custom animations.

Unity:
I disliked Unity at first, primarily with Ubuntu 11.04's version of it. It was terribly slow and buggy. Not only that, the boot-up time rivaled that of my Windows 7 partition. The interface seemed like a really neat idea to me. Like a combination of Windows 7 and Mac -- I ain't got problems with that. It was just poorly executed.

Ubuntu 11.10's version of Unity, at least in my opinion, was much much better. Things ran pretty smoothly on my end. It was fairly fast, probably about the same speed as 10.04 on my lappy. What I don't like too much about Unity is the menu. The way they organize the menus and applications in the lenses are abysmal. At least in GNOME shell things were mostly organized in the same manner as GNOME 2 (Accessories, Games, you get the rest). It seems like the Unity menu either uses some other-worldly organization that humans cannot understand or is just bad. My money's on the combination of the two.

I'm currently on Ubuntu 12.04, and it doesn't disappoint. Menu still stinks, but I like the HUD thing. It really helps me find my way through LibreOffice Impress. Been using PowerPoint XP so long that it is really hard for me to find the menu options.

I guess I'm not as mad as some other people since many other DEs do the same thing as GNOME 2 and probably better. For GNOME 2 people, there's XFCE, LXDE, MATE, and the multiple combinations of stand-alone window managers and taskbars. Since last year we've got GNOME Shell, GNOME 3 Classic, Unity, Cinnamon, Pantheon Shell, and soon Zorin Desktop. There's more choices now than ever.

TL;DR Version: I think they're alright, and I don't see why everyone's in a fuss when there's plenty of stable DE choices out there.
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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by akavir »

I'll start with the negative. Ubuntu has left such a bad taste in my mouth I'm not even curious to try any new version of Unity. Nough said.

Now as for Gnome shell, I'm not crazy about the default implementation(i.e. Fedora) or even the Minted up version shipped with Mint 12. That being said, I love how open and adaptable it is. My default has been a cairo-dock session. I really love how the team has made it a wonderful docked solution to the new gnome desktop. Cinnamon is really growing on me. In the past few years I haven't really liked the "windows" feel to a desktop. But for the first time I've got to hand it to Clem and team for a very nice augment to the gnome-shell. Can't wait to see what other teams can come up with!

To be a bit of a troll, I just can't believe that Ubuntu, being a corporate entity with financial resources(that it's squandering), has spent all this time and money on a desktop that has turned most users off. Yet, a small team of underpaid people like Clem can make a wonderful desktop like Cinammon in just a matter of months and hit such positive feedback!

This all being said, how long before Cannonical dies and people are managing Mint repositories instead of Ubuntu?!

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MALsPa
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Re: Gnome Shell and Unity

Post by MALsPa »

akavir wrote:This all being said, how long before Cannonical dies and people are managing Mint repositories instead of Ubuntu?!
Canonical doesn't have to die for that to happen.

But, why do you think that Mint hasn't become more of an independent distro, perhaps still Debian-based, but with its own repos, like what Ubuntu has? No indication that Mint is headed in that direction. Seems like the only question is whether the main version will continue to be Ubuntu-based, or if Mint will move completely to a Debian base.

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