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

Can you drag and drop files from the file manager to desktop screen and back? Can you drag a file (somehow on the screen) to another app? What happens, when you reduce the size of the Ubuntu dock icons, say to 24? Does the dock become thinner accordingly, or keep the padding the same, tiny icons on a thick panel?

Well, if you are new to the “ride” you don’t know what you got, you can enjoy the “changes” for the best. TK!

I doubt you’ll ever be the typical user that Ubuntu aims for — So, like others have suggested, stop what appears to be the incessant whining! It IS annoying.

Been an Ubuntu user since Feisty Fawn my dear friend, and Red Hat at university before that.

I use Ubuntu session and default GNOME sessions alternately, because I love both. I barely use the desktop icons, so no dragging and dropping here.

My Dash is size 18 … everything looks exactly the same as an overloaded GNOME dock would when you press Activities. No complaints here.

It looks like you just don’t like Canonical’s decision to use GNOME as the default DE. Maybe you should use another spin? …

Standard answer/suggestion most people usually hear/heard in the Linux world – if you don’t like… And, most people had listened to that in the past.

Well, I’ll never be the typical user. If I wanted to be the typical user, I would’ve stayed in the Windows world.

Ah, anyway, you guys have missed the question. Maybe, its time to drop the “Unity look” from default Ubuntu?

Its not that UD stopped being a fork of D2D, or even a move to D2P, but if/when a user installs D2D (removes UD), the look becomes the same as the screeny here. Gnome shell does the same job, whatever the base, or the package manager.

So, shouldn’t Ubuntu find its own (new) unique…as it was before? It is not just 3-4 months before the change, but enough time since 17.10.

You’re right, back to the question. I don’t mind Ubuntu moving more toward vanilla GNOME. I personally don’t want it to move in the direction of a single panel layout like Cinnamon or Windows. So, I’m not a fan of your proposal, to replace UD with D2P.


I like the single panel, because I use portable devices. I actually have a 15" laptop, and it is getting old, but will be replaced with a 13" device, when time comes. I tolerated Unity’s top panel, because Unity is unique, and also because it integrated with the open app. I like the ability put files/folders on the desktop, as that’s the place I work, and after finishing the job, I clean the place up, the result goes to where it should stay.

Some devs, it looks like, don’t have desks, work on the lap or balancing on a plate or something. I don’t need a menu all over the screen, but the screen as my desktop. If I needed a menu, I could get one from the Natty days, still working and all over the screen.

D2D is not updated to Gnome 3.34 yet. True, one of our people is there with D2D, but still it is a general extension, while UD is a less-option fork of it. The screeny is of Arch Linux with Gnome. D2D is the launcher. App indicator support is there. Desktop icons support is there. Files/folders can be dragged to and from the desktop. Most probably, this can be achieved with Fedora, OpenSuse and others. Nothing unique.

The sudden decision to move from Unity to Gnome was taken in 17.10, not much time to get the “Unity look” then. Most copy the Unity look, because it is unique. Manjaro Gnome comes with it. Even, Linux on DeX with Samsung comes with it. But, the real one can be had in LOD.

The Unity look is just a copy, and cannot take its place, so something unique has to be found, or Ubuntu would become one of the crowd.

I am absolutely fine with current Ubuntu’s look. I started using Ubuntu during Lucid Lynx era and I used “Netbook” edition for some devices as well.

I also quite enjoy default GNOME approach to UI and UX. I very much prefer it to KDE/Plasma, Cinnamon or other desktop environments.

Ubuntu with its dock and default Gnome-Shell, are in my opinion the best takes on desktop.

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Is this Ubuntu?

Dock auto hidden.

For about 9 years we had this look and although it was great, its time to change. Voyager Live for example did, its basically Ubuntu but redesigned.

I disagree. Change for the sake of change leads nowhere.

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But keep in mind. switching to Vanilla GNOME will KILL UBUNTU, because there is no twist to it. We should keep the Ubuntu Dock, or at least an app that will automatically adjust panels like Mate Tweak.

That would make it better for everyone.

I’d say we propose to Ubuntu Developers and then we can give them layouts and they can make it. Maybe even they can make their own.

Is this Ubuntu?
The dock is auto hidden. Gnome 3.34. Icons Adwaita.
Is it really Ubuntu?

I use Ubuntu because:

  • It has both short-term STS and LTS releases (vs Fedora that doesn’t offer LTS, vs Arch that is rolling release).
  • It’s based on Debian testing/unstable so it has a huge package base (vs Fedora that has a more limited package offering).
  • It’s pragmatic regarding licensing issues (vs Fedora more restrictive policies).
  • It’s focused on user experience more than on being bleeding-edge (vs both Fedora and Arch) yet its STS releases are reasonably up-to-date.
  • It has a great installer (vs Arch that has none; also, I sort of dislike Fedora’s Anaconda).
  • It provides both a slightly customized Gnome experience and also a vanilla Gnome experience (as simple as installing gnome-session, I don’t understand people whining everywhere about the “heavily patched” Gnome that comes with Ubuntu, while here the problem seems to be how close to vanilla even ubuntu-desktop is).
  • If a third-party provides Linux packages, then Ubuntu is kind of the default target (this is not my experience with Fedora).
  • There is a wonderful community around it.
  • (Seems to be the best Linux platform for gaming, although that’s not my cup of tea).

So “switching to Vanilla GNOME will KILL UBUNTU” seems such an overstatement to me. I do like the Yaru take on Adwaita. Accent colors and icons do make a difference. Still, that’s not why I choose Ubuntu; if that were the case, I would better switch to another distro and change the desktop to Gnome+Yaru, Unity or whatever I happen to fancy. I would use Ubuntu with gnome-session or even Kubuntu. I used Arch and Fedora for many years in the past, I can’t remember anybody there being worried about a distro being killed by evil Gnomes.


I can’t tell from the screenshot alone, you can run uname -a and check whether the output contains the word “Ubuntu”. Hope it helps!

Oh my!
You simply didn’t fathom the question/what it implies.
The dock is auto hidden. Gnome 3.34. Icons Adwaita, Appindicator support is there, Icons are on the desktop. Ability to drag and drop to and from desktop is available. Wallpaper is Ubuntu Eoan.
But, is it really Ubuntu?

The base in not Ubuntu, the package manager is not Ubuntu’s apt.

The dock is auto hidden. Gnome 3.34. Icons Adwaita, Appindicator support is there, Icons are on the desktop

I still can’t tell from this information alone, because Ubuntu is a highly customizable distribution. I provided you with a more reliable method. Why don’t you use it? Can you show me the output of that command perhaps?

I do really hope you understood what I meant.
It looks like Ubuntu, but it is not. It allows to drag and drop files to and from the desktop, making the desktop a place to work on. Ubuntu doesn’t allow that atm, or at all. You have to put the files in the Desktop folder for them to appear on the screen in Ubuntu. So, the screen is not a place to work on in Ubuntu, making it less user friendly.

The “Unity look” is not unique with Gnome shell, whatever the distro, whatever the name of dock. The user friendliness is more important.

From what I’ve seen and heard, Ubuntu’s tweaked GNOME experience is well-respected and fairly popular. Therefore, I believe there is no interest in the Ubuntu Desktop to completely drop our distinctiveness (switch to vanilla GNOME) or to make things significantly more distinctive.

Are there people that disagree? Sure, but they appear to me to be a minority.

Does that mean that the Ubuntu developers are uninterested in changing things to further improve the default home and office experience? Definitely not.

My opinion is that the improvements at this point are more likely to be relatively small things. One great thing about small improvements is that often those smaller enhancements are a lot easier for a newcomer to propose and get approved for acceptance than massive changes!


For a newcomer, from Windows or Mac OS, it won’t at all be easy to get used to the lack of drag and drop to and from the desktop. That’s quite user unfriendly. All other desktop environments, well except eOS, has that ability and for a newcomer much more easy to get used to.

I am not that sure there’d be any refugees from Windows any more, and if there’d be, they won’t come to Gnome, would they, when there are enough DEs that are more user friendly? As you are the person, who brought in the Ubuntu-Gnome flavour to Ubuntu, you must be aware that it was not the popular flavour at that time, and by changing it to the default didn’t make it any popuar, even with the “Unity look.”

As gnome shell extensions are available for everyone, creating the pseudo Unity look is not a big deal on any distro, if at all with a configurable dock. In the Linux world, users don’t care much for non-configurable stuff, do they?

Right now, Ubuntu proper is one of the crowd, not unique as it was before. And, been with Ubuntu since 4.10, I notice quite a disheartenment of the developers (not meaning the coders, for their services can be bought) from around 17.04. So, even though I suggest maybe something else should be found to make Ubuntu unique again, it won’t happen. Have look at the Ubuntu page, where is the desktop? At the bottom!

This conversation doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere useful. Please, @chanath can I recommend you take a step back and re-consider your approach. This near-constant negativity is incredibly draining for those of us who spend our time working on Ubuntu.

Also, the Ubuntu Desktop is linked from the top of underneath “Developers”.

Screenshot from 2019-09-25 10-01-17