Maybe, it's time to drop the "Unity look" from default Ubuntu?

Its time to find something unique for Ubuntu (default), not for the upstream. D2D is not unique for Ubuntu, Manjaro Gnome comes default with it. The Zorin brothers came with their own unique stuff for example. There’s nothing unique in Ubuntu today than the rather dull theme.

It is pretty rare, practically nonexistent that someone dropping something unique to him/her for something available for everyone to copy.

Uhm… So when it’s unique it’s good design?
Why not make the panel change the location every time you unlock your screen? Pretty unique


Sudden decision and time constrain at that time. Read from…
There’s enough time now…

The top panel in Unity had a job to do, holding app menus, the global menu, while the gnome-shell’s top panel is just taking space, giving nothing much, especially useless on small laptop screens.

I can’t agree with that. It holds the clock and system controls. Yes you can shove them in on the side in a vertical bar, but there is not really any space for them, so they are forced into a strange vertical orientation. The solution we have now is closer to Unity, which did a great job. Whenever I try to re-create the Unity look in Plasma as an example, I always end up using two bars because having status icons and the clock shoved into the left-hand panel never really looks right.

The Ubuntu dock, a fork of Dash to Dock, only configures the Gnome shell’s Dash, which doesn’t have much possibilities. It cannot minimise, maximise from the dock. It cannot hold a clock. It cannot hold notifications and so on.

Minimizing from the dock has always been problematic. What do you do the minute there are multiple windows? I like the choice Canonical made in Unity actually: simplify behavior by making a click on the icon either launch it if the application is not active, or bring up the last used window for the application if it is active. If there are multiple windows and the icon is already focused, bring them all up in an overview so that you can select the appropriate one. (this leads to very fast window selection, because double clicking an icon brings up all your windows to choose, and even gave you the option to filter the list by typing a few characters!)

Now you have consolidated the functionality into 1) launching and 2) bringing a particular window into focus. Adding minimization just complicates things. Though I appreciate Canonical enabling the minimize/expand window controls for familiarity reasons, they aren’t even necessary. I realized that actually minimize is a rather pointless feature in most cases. Either kill the app if you no longer need it, or just switch to another window.

I did the same thing to great effect in Unity 7. Have a bunch of windows loaded and just swap to whatever I need. Why minimize? The main reason is to “clear” the desktop to make it viewable, so you can interact with the icons there, but if you are launching everything from an overview anyway, and you can access files using the file manager, what’s the point of clearing the desktop? (not to mention that if it really is so important, you could always have a “show desktop” option, either as a button and key combination, or as part of the alt+tab feature, unity had all three of those)

It’s even more useless in Gnome because you can dynamically create/destroy workspaces, so getting to a clean desktop is just a ctrl+alt+down, or hitting the meta key/activities button and then selecting a clean desktop to work from.

If anything, I would like Canonical to move closer to Unity in design, not further away. A really cool feature would be if you could click twice on an icon with multiple windows and have the overview come up with only the windows specific to that application. I also miss the HUD and filtering windows by name… (KDE actually has the latter feature, I’m so jealous! :star_struck:)

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It is nice people are discussing this matter politely and seriously. I always found one dock/panel being the best for me, in Openbox, former Gnome, XFCE and in Windows. I liked, and still like Unity for its beauty and the abilities of the launcher etc, even though I couldn’t get the top panel to hide. But, the top panel had a job to do, other than carrying a clock. It also carried a lot of usefull stuff, indicators on the right side.

I agree with you that minimise is not a die to have an option. But good to have. It is there in Windows 10 too, and by swiping from the left of the screen the “overview” appears and one can choose between open apps/files. Not only that, you can open last week’s apps/files/folders and so on.

All right, if there’s no other way than use Gnome shell as the default, the Unity experience could be continued, but something in-house should be found, so Ubuntu look would be unique. At that time half way in 17.10, there was not much time, but now.

Anyway, is the screeny below Ubuntu or not? Themes, icons had been changed. The browser is Web. The theme is Adwaita.

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I always found one dock/panel being the best for me, in Openbox, former Gnome, XFCE and in Windows.

Yeah I respect that. I like single panels if things are horizontal.

I liked, and still like Unity for its beauty and the abilities of the launcher etc, even though I couldn’t get the top panel to hide. But, the top panel had a job to do, other than carrying a clock. It also carried a lot of usefull stuff, indicators on the right side.

True, there was definitely more going on with the top panel in Unity 7.

Anyway, is the screeny below Ubuntu or not? Themes, icons had been changed. The browser is Web. The theme is Adwaita.

I get what you are saying, but as long as Ubuntu is using Gnome, it is never going to have that uniqueness that it had previously.

I really miss Unity. I just loaded a 16.10 iso to look at it again, and wow, even today the features and design surpass most current desktops in my opinion. And the speed! Even with the latest improvements, Gnome chugs along like molasses compared to what is essentially deprecated software.

Ugh, now I’m going to load Kubuntu again and see if I can make it close enough to Unity…

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You can still have Unity in Eoan. Works pretty well. It is a long read and quite a few changes/experimenting.

About that screeny. I installed Arch Linux again after a long time, just to check how Gnome runs in it. Well, it is much, much snappier than Ubuntu. I kept away from installing Arch Linux just because, if I do, I don’t want to look at any other distro. It is not that hard to install Arch, and once you do, you stay with it. And, that Arch Wiki.

Of course, a horizontal panel. D2P vertical was done only to make a point, and the D2D in the screeny in the previous post.

You can.

And you can use Unity on later versions of Ubuntu. Just install ubuntu-unity-desktop. One of my laptop is using it on Eoan.


Unity experience can be had only with Unity, and however you try (onward), it cannot be achieved in Gnome shell, simply because Compiz is unavailable for the Gnome shell. True, Ubuntu became so known in the world because of Unity, even with all that hate it collected from the open-source people. No DE that beautiful (and useful) had come up yet in the Linux world, not even Deepin DE, not even Plasma.

Windows is dropping the Windows 8 like tablet mode, Mac OS hasn’t changed its look all. Both are just adding features. There are more features for the user in the File Manager than ever before.

Once, it was like this,

Ubuntu’s interpretation of gnome shell is basically upstream + appindicators + always visible app menu (instead of just in the activities view). The closer to upstream the better IMO. If you want something else there are indeed good quality extensions to mix things up.

I get the argument that without a global menu and pushing window decorations of maximised windows into the top panel, that use of space is less optimal than Unity (there’s nothing that even comes closer to Unity in many areas), but I don’t see that as a good enough reason to completely change the UI users are accustomed to.


That’s exactly the reason.
For those, who have massive monitors (devs?), that space loss is nothing much, but for laptop users, especially the popular 13" ones, that is a problem.

The left dock is nowhere near the Unity launcher anyway. The screeny here on Arch Linux doesn’t show any difference from the default Ubuntu, does it? If one replaces the contents of dash-to-dock with the contents of ubuntu-dock, what would you get? Ubuntu appindicator extension works anyway.

Few hours later,
EDIT: Actually, D2D is better than UD. Been checking this up for sometime, even on Ubuntu proper.

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Ubuntu Dock is just Dash to Dock, but much more limited, that Canonical maintains in order to minimize any breakage. They even said that they also contribute upstream, and IIRC, installing Dash to Dock will overwrite Ubuntu Dock, and open up the dock to more customization options. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Well, D2D is the original. Ubuntu dock is just a fork with less options. Why should anyone needs a car without few tires?

You are right. OTOH @chanath is not being very accurate:

dock is just a fork with less options.

The options are all there, just not exposed in Tweaks. A few of them, supported by Ubuntu, are exposed in the Settings app (Gnome Control Center). The other ones are exposed via dconf, you might use “dconf Editor” if you prefer a GUI.

Why should anyone needs a car without few tires?

Because Canonical isn’t interested in maintaining a “combinatorial explosion” of settings, so they offer just the basic ones as officially supported. They don’t prevent you from tweaking dconf settings or installing the full extension, though (indeed, their design deliberately supports this capability).

I highly recommend for more accurate information on the original design.


I suppose, if you go up the thread and click on the link on #22, you’d see that I had known about that “original design.”

I have played with all those “toys” since the very beginning. The idea of the “original design” is to make gnome shell look like something it’d never be. You just can’t make a cake out of a bun, can you?

you’d see that I had known about that “original design.”

So even knowing about it you prefer to be inaccurate in a misleading way. But this is no mystery.


Misleading? Can you make a cake out of a bun?
UD is D2D minus options. The options the creator of D2D gives everyone.

And why can’t you just use d2d and stop all your whining and bitching? Or just use Unity? Why all this annoying back and forth here?


Maybe, its time to drop the “Unity look” from default Ubuntu?
When some thing is not the original, some things cannot be remedied.

People are actually quite happy with Ubuntu’s take on GNOME.

That is what I think the future will hold: convergence to a large extent with the GNOME experience, but always with Ubuntu’s branding and perceived needs of Ubuntu users (whether they be nostalgia Unity-ish features or new ones).

Relax and enjoy the ride; even take the wheel for a while.