16 March 2012

Unity Desktop Is Not That Bad

Unity 2D in Ubuntu 11.10

Gnome Session Fallback, combined with Unity Launcher (click to enlarge)

Unity has brought Ubuntu to new “tragic” direction : it has made Ubuntu loses its popularity. Based on recent Distrowatch hits, Linux Mint has became the first, and then Ubuntu in the second. For many Ubuntu fans, this is probably a most tragic tragedy in Ubuntu history. But, if we want to honestly make a confession, Linux Mint “win” is also ultimately Ubuntu “win” (Linux Mint is directly a non-official Ubuntu derivative).

Alongside this dynamics, after much time enough exploration, I have to say a fact that : Unity is not that bad. In my opinion, Unity is just less efficient. We need to make more clicking to find and run an application. Example : to open Terminal, we have to click Dash > More Apps > Filter Results > Accessories > Terminal.

But, for the look and feel, Unity is cute and awesome. Everybody loves Ubuntu Ambiance Theme, everybody loves Ubuntu look, and unity-panel is obviously gorgeous : it is elegant, and looks professional (compare it to Gnome-Shell panel, that looks just black without theme). But, for me, the most favorite part of the Unity Desktop is Unity Launcher. Although it resembles Mac OS X dock, it is better in behavior and simplicity.

Because of its inefficiently, now, I'm using a combination between Unity Launcher and Gnome-Session-Fallback. I always need Gnome classic menu and task bar at bottom panel, but I also love the Unity Launcher. To perform this UI, I did this ways :

  1. Install Gnome Session Fallback

    sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

  2. Add Unity Launcher to the autostarted application list

    Create a folder /home/ourname/.config/autostart (If we haven't had it yet already)

  3. Open Gedit, and write these lines :

    [Desktop Entry]

    Name=Unity Launcher


    Save as unity-launcher.desktop (or whatever.desktop) and put in the folder /home/ourname/.config/autostart

  4. Logout and login back. And now, we have a pretty combination between familiar classic gnome desktop, and modern Ubuntu style :)

System Comparison :

System : Ubuntu 11.10

GNOME Session Fallback : 3.2.1-0ubuntu1

Unity Launcher : unity-2d-launcher 4.12.0-0ubuntu1

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