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The Spiel About The Default Ubuntu 11.04 Desktop

Ubuntu

Published on 07 April 2011 10:45 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu
12 Comments

Earlier today Phoronix was the first publication to widely report that Ubuntu 11.04 may default to the GNOME classic desktop rather than the Unity desktop that Canonical has been developing viciously over the past few months. There's just too many bugs outstanding and issues with Unity, but here's the whole spiel about what their evaluation is coming down to in deciding whether to stick with Unity by default or instead use the classic GNOME desktop until presumably Ubuntu 11.10.

A more elaborate email from Canonical's Rick Spencer has now hit the Ubuntu development mailing list that further analyzes the situation and discussion that came out of the Ubuntu Technical Board meeting.

The arguments for defaulting to classic GNOME in Ubuntu 11.04 come down to key feature regressions (such as no system tray support for many key applications), usability problems, and too many bugs on some hardware and just the final product being too buggy. Some of the cited usability problems are the settings are hard to find, the categorized view of applications, and the Unity search sometimes yielding bogus search results.

Though Canonical is pressing hard to keep Unity the default in Ubuntu 11.04. "Given the current course of development, it appears that we are going to achieve this goal, and Unity will stay the default for 11.04."

Additionally, "Representing the desktop team, Jason Warner believes that Unity will deliver the superior experience for most users in 11.04. I agree with this position and support staying the course."

But you can now hash it out on the Ubuntu development list if you would like to see the classic desktop used. Worth noting is that if this change happens it would be effectively to a GNOME 2.32 experience and not the GNOME 3.0 Shell, but both will be available regardless from the package repository.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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