Ubuntu GNOME is now an official alternative to Unity, KDE, etc

Love Ubuntu Linux, but hate the Unity desktop environment that Canonical ships with it? There are a number of alternative versions of Ubuntu supported by a large development community including Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu — each with a different desktop environment.

Now you can add Ubuntu GNOME to the list.


Up until a few years ago, the default version of Ubuntu used the open source GNOME desktop environment. But then the Ubuntu developers at Canonical decided to build their own environment with an emphasis on a toolbar on the side of the screen, a head-up display that shows apps and other search results as you type, and other tweaks.

So Unity was born and GNOME became just something you could install on an Ubuntu device yourself if you felt like it.

But by the time Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail is ready to roll in April, you’ll also be able to download a community-supported version of Ubuntu GNOME which uses the GNOME desktop environment.

Developers have actually been building a GNOME version of Ubuntu since last year, but it wasn’t officially part of the Ubuntu family until now.

Ubuntu GNOME will feature GNOME 3.6 software, but users looking for something a little newer will be able to grab GNOME 3.8 and install it themselves.

via Phoronix and WebUpd8

  • Matt

    Aren’t just as many haters of GNOME 3 as there are for Unity?

    • ldrn

      Yup. Probably more so, if only because GNOME 3 reached all distros instead of just Ubuntu.

  • drac

    Is there a flavor of Ubuntu that by default has a minimal. All Ubuntu versions I have tested waste a lot of screen space on very large buttons, margins, headers, statusbars, menus and so on. One of the good things with Windows 8 (if we set the horror that is Metro aside) is those things can be easily made very compact.

    • drac

      *by default has a minimal GUI

      • ldrn

        Well, the default is not bad; that launcher bar to the side hides automatically, and the top panel is smaller than the bottom one on windows.

    • QuanahHarjo

      Tried Lubuntu?

  • ne-yo-gabba-gabba-hey

    I don’t care for Unity on my laptop but I am optimistic about the tablet/phone variant. I hope that supporting GNOME officially doesn’t distract from Unity/touchscreen testing and development. Linux Mint/Mate are a very reasonable alternative to Ubuntu/Unity.

  • OMG

    Time to check again if there is some gnome shell extension that restores the gnome 2 desktop.

    And yes, there are more Gnome 3 haters that Unity haters. It’s a choice of bad vs worst.

    • Albert

      Check out cinnamon, it’s gnome2 look on gnome 3 base. Also mint Linux.