It’s been a few years since Canonical stopped using the GNOME desktop environment for Ubuntu Linux and instead switched to its own Unity user interface. While Unity has come a long way in the last few years, some people still hate it.
Soon you’ll also be able to install a GNOME-centric version of Ubuntu. It’s scheduled to ship on October 18th, when Ubuntu 12.10 is released.
We first heard about plans for a GNOME version of Ubuntu 12.10 from Bicha a few months ago, but now he’s confirmed that it’ll be ready to launch this fall.
Along with the GNOME desktop environment and user interface, this version of the operating system will include a different set of default apps than the main branch of Unity. For instance, it will come with Epiphany and Abiword rather than Firefox and LibreOffice. It’s not clear if the operating system will use the Ubuntu Software Center or the gnome-packagekit system for installing and updating apps.
It’s not yet clear exactly what the operating system will be called. Right now there’s a coming soon page at gnomebuntu.org, but the GNOME Foundation apparently isn’t happy with that name, so it will probably change before release.
Whatever it’s called, the Ubuntu GNOME Edition will be a community-supported spinoff of Ubuntu rather than a fully funded project from Ubuntu’s parent company Canonical. But that’s true of Kubuntu and other popular variants as well.