Ubuntu 11.04 Desktop To Get Rid Of GNOME's Shell
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 25 October 2010 at 10:52 AM EDT. 75 Comments
While GNOME 3.0 is expected to roll out in March and will boast the brand new GNOME Shell interface with the Mutter compositing window manager, this will not appear by default in the Ubuntu desktop. Certainly not in Ubuntu 11.04 and it doesn't look like it will be used at all in the future by default (granted, you'll be able to install the shell from a package repository). It's just been announced that beginning with Ubuntu 11.04, the desktop spin will begin using the Unity shell that Canonical originally developed for netbooks.

The Ubuntu Unity Desktop was developed by Canonical for Ubuntu Light during the Ubuntu 10.10 development cycle and was deployed with the Ubuntu Netbook Edition for the Maverick Meerkat. Mark Shuttleworth announced this morning when kicking off the Ubuntu 11.04 Developer Summit in Orlando the decision to abandon GNOME's shell in favor of their own solution. The Unity Desktop though does use Mutter for its window manager and the GNOME Shell still should be available via their package repositories.

Ubuntu 11.04 will still ship GNOME applications, but the shell is being replaced. Canonical's Jono Bacon has already blogged about this confirming Mark's statements about Unity really going into the Ubuntu desktop. Jono also had this to say, "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."

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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