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What To Expect Of Unity 2D In Ubuntu 11.10

Ubuntu

Published on 09 May 2011 08:16 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu
7 Comments

This morning at the Ubuntu Developer Summit there was a discussion about Unity 2D, the lightweight 2D version of Canonical's Unity desktop that isn't dependent upon 3D (OpenGL) acceleration. Work on Unity 2D based on Qt began during the Ubuntu 11.04 cycle, but with Ubuntu 11.10 it should be more polished and comparable to the full-blown Unity desktop experience.

Here's some notes from this morning's Unity 2D session.

- A rule in developing Unity 2D will be to assume there is no GPU acceleration support, as to not design effects or other operations that are too taxing on the CPU.
- A common library for settings between Unity and Unity 2D will be worked on so that schemas can be shared. Right now the Unity "3D" version is using CCSM, but it will be moving to GSettings.
- Rather than using Metacity or any other non-accelerated window manager, Compiz will be used. While Compiz is commonly used as a compoisiting window manager for OpenGL / OpenGL ES, it does support different back-ends. Compiz can target X Render or even the CPU-based QPainter. A goal will be to use Compiz with a non-accelerated back-end as a new fall-back. With Unity 2D using Compiz as well, Metacity can be removed from the LiveCD, thereby slimming down the ISO size a bit as well (large discussions about hitting the 700MB CD ISO limit).
- Falling back to the classic GNOME desktop in Ubuntu 11.10 will be eliminated.
- Unity 2D will further minimize dependencies on X11 and GTK.

Find more notes from this UDS session on this Ubuntu.com page.

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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