Thursday, 6 April 2017

Ubuntu ditched Unity for 18.04 LTS, returns to GNOME

Unity / GNOME

In a surprising move, Mark Shuttleworth announced in a blog post the shifting of default Ubuntu DE Unity to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Along with it, he also announced the shutting down of Convergence and Ubuntu Phones and that Canonical will no longer invest in them. Canonical has worked a lot over refining the Unity desktop over these years and the shift to the classic GNOME desktop environment is something which the Ubuntu users are finding hard to believe. Some Linux users who switched from Ubuntu just because they didn't like the Unity interface are more than happy, though. 

Mark Shuttleworth writes: 

I’m writing to let you know that we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell. We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

He also wrote that Canonical will keep on investing in Ubuntu Desktop, servers, VMs, Cloud and IoT. The Ubuntu Desktop will feature GNOME desktop by default from 18.04 LTS and will get constant updates. 

Now, there are 2 sides of this announcement. One side is happier with Ubuntu returning to GNOME who always found Unity horrible and switched to Linux Mint or other Ubuntu derivatives after the frustration Unity caused to them. The other side feels Unity was the thing that kept Ubuntu a different OS than other. If anyone wants to use GNOME, he can switch to Debian for example. Plus. spending a good amount of time and resources refining a DE and then ditching it is a bad move!

It's been 6 years when Ubuntu switched to Unity as default user interface and there are chances that Unity will continue as a community-driven project along side Ubuntu touch and Convergence. However, it won't be supported/invested from the company anymore. 

Time will tell if this decision of switching from Unity to GNOME is right. However, shutting down the Convergence is undoubtedly not a good news. With the aim of single OS for different devices and plugging a phone to a desktop and a keyboard to use it as an equivalent to PC is a great thing. Microsoft is trying the same with Continuum and I had hoped Ubuntu will succeed the race. Now, with dropping the development there is no choice anymore!

Are you happy with the decision of GNOME over Unity? Why / Why not, let us know in the comments. Lets have a healthy discussion.

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