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I have been debating writing about this since we are mainly a gaming news site (I should really setup another site for all the other Linux news I want to write about!), but Canonical switching back to GNOME on Ubuntu is very big news for everyone.

Question: Is there any interest in me doing a separate site to cover general Linux news?

Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Ubuntu and Canonical wrote a rather shocking blog post announcing that Ubuntu 18.04 will officially drop the Unity desktop environment. If you didn't hear about it due to living under a large rock, let that sink in for a moment. Ubuntu is dropping a desktop environment they've worked on for years and poured tons of resources into building and rewriting for Unity 8.

I've had some time to let the news sink in now, after initially thinking it was a late April fools joke, when in reality it's very real and it makes perfect sense.

Unity was part of a long-term plan for Canonical with Ubuntu as part of their convergence strategy, which ultimately failed to gain any real traction. There's only so much time and money you can put into something when it's not giving you the results you wanted and it seems Canonical is in need of investors, as it turns out it has had to cut its workforce.

This now means there's going to be a little less fragmentation when it comes to the Linux desktop too. For all the good it does having lots of choice, having likely the biggest desktop-Linux distribution use a more standard desktop will help many things. For one thing, developers will no longer have to work around Unity/Compiz specific issues in games. It will also help the stability of GNOME Shell too, since they have even more people using it and working on it thanks to this.

This, in turn, makes Ubuntu go back to what made me originally love it. A polished GNOME desktop experience released every 6 months with the latest and greatest with a little extra love and polish thrown in for good measure. A good, solid desktop experience to introduce people new to Linux with. To me, it sounds fantastic again.

As expected, Unity 8 looks like it will be carried on by a few developers. Will be interesting to see if this actually gains any traction, or if it will fade away with little interest. Personally, I don't see any need to continue it, we have enough desktops already with GNOME Shell, KDE, Xfce, Budgie, LXQt, Cinnamon, MATE and the list goes on and on. Enough already I say, they all vary a lot in terms of features and time could be better spent on many others parts of the Linux desktop now.

Finally, I'm still very happy after switching from Ubuntu to Antergos. I've now settled with the GNOME Shell desktop with two extensions and it's glorious:
image
I couldn't imagine having to go back to PPAs again to get extra software, my love for the Arch AUR is never ending. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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102 comments
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Spl-it 7 April 2017 at 8:31 am UTC
QuoteQuestion: Is there any interest in me doing a separate site to cover general Linux news?
Yes but don't bury yourself in work ;)

For me ubuntu dropping Unity is a good thing, because indeed, developers now no longer have to work around unity and compiz to make things run

+ I simply hate Unity, ever since the first day it made its appearance.
Now please go and die Unity, die you filthy satan spawn
gojul 7 April 2017 at 8:34 am UTC
Same for me - I switched to Debian stable 2 years ago and it is soooo stable that I would not go back to an Ubuntu LTS. It is really a step up in term of stability.

For more recent software I often use backports but that's all. Recently, after the Stretch freeze, I upgraded all my machines to Stretch and it is also ways more stable than any Ubuntu LTS. Although I ran into problems in the very first days I could raise bugs and now all have been fixed, which means I could be somewhat useful to the community - this is the magic of FOSS ! ;-)

And BTW Debian Stretch really rocks and it looks close to release, probably in June or beginning of July if the number of critical bugs continues going down.
Faattori 7 April 2017 at 8:36 am UTC
Question: Is there any interest in me doing a separate site to cover general Linux news?

I'd guesstimate not really. But covering aspects that have impact on the gaming side of things is expected?

Edit: Or rather, there might be interest, but would it be worth your time.
Edit2: And the biggest thing in this that affects the gaming side of things is that Mir is gone, long live Wayland.


Last edited by Faattori at 7 April 2017 at 8:38 am UTC
Overlord 7 April 2017 at 8:40 am UTC
Too bad for convergence,It was a way to put Linux ahead of windows in technical terms.Future of Ubuntu becomes lot shakier too Bcoz they are redirecting their focus on Iot and Cloud not desktop.And from the blog it seemed more like Ubuntu is quitting bcoz of lack of community support.In that case Ubuntu desktop could entirely go into Coma,Which would not be healthy for Linux gaming or gaining desktop market share for Linux.

QuoteQuestion: Is there any interest in me doing a separate site to cover general Linux news?

This does not seems necessary. As, big Changes related to OS which can have impact on gaming can also be gaming news.


Last edited by Overlord at 7 April 2017 at 9:44 am UTC
Tchey 7 April 2017 at 8:44 am UTC
QuoteQuestion: Is there any interest in me doing a separate site to cover general Linux news?


I think it's good like it is today. "Gaming on Linux" is about gam+ing, the process of being a gamer on Linux. For me, it involves obviously the games, but also the tool, the idea, the political choice of Linux vs the rest of the world and so on.

Having to go to yet another website would feel very unnecessary.
ThePierrasse 7 April 2017 at 8:47 am UTC
QuoteThis, in turn, makes Ubuntu go back to what made me originally love it. A polished GNOME desktop experience released every 6 months with the latest and greatest with a little extra love and polish thrown in for good measure. A good, solid desktop experience to introduce people new to Linux with. To me, it sounds fantastic again.

It's funny that you say that, since I originally left Ubuntu in 2010 because I got tired of GNOME 2. I regain interest in Ubuntu when Canonical introduced Unity, and tbh it gave me the best desktop experience i've ever had. Hopefully Unity 7 will still be available as an optional UI in 18.04.
0aTT 7 April 2017 at 8:48 am UTC
Unity was a pain in the ass from the very beginning. There are still so many problems. With Ubuntu/Gnome we had lost a production ready and stable Linux OS for newbies. So new people switched to Linux Mint but this creates other problems, because Mint is only a community project.

The basis of Ubuntu is still rock solid and it's easy to use with a different desktop then Unity. But Unity is the default and especially new users without further guidance will not change this. So they end up with Unity. For most people a very disappointing experience. So people already have switched back to Windows 10 now.

Canonical has missed a great chance to pull people away from Windows 8 by creating a desktop that is even worse than Windows 8. And when you come from the Mac, Unity feels quite broken. It's just annoying

By the way, Canonical has not only canceled Unity but also Mir. This is almost even better, because now we can concentrate on Wayland. Great for games. The X server in honor, but it is simply not a contemporary display manager. The only effect of Mir was to hinder the introduction of Wayland. So we stick to the X server until today.

That Canonical discontinues Mir is for me as a Linux Gamer the best news of the year.


Last edited by 0aTT at 7 April 2017 at 8:53 am UTC
Guppy 7 April 2017 at 8:50 am UTC
"liamdawe"Question: Is there any interest in me doing a separate site to cover general Linux news?

Just keep it on this site and tag it so people can opt out ?
opera 7 April 2017 at 8:52 am UTC
I like unity and use it on a daily base, but if the discontinuation of unity means the death of MIR, I am pretty happy with this. Now Wayland is becoming the new standard display server and developers have to care less about the previous fragmentation and supporting two different display servers. The future of gaming should benefit from this.

Loosing unity as a desktop environment should not be a big deal. The concept will probably survive. Either someone will fork unity (hopefully on the base of wayland) or they will realise the concept on top of gnome. Pretty sure unity users can still have a similar desktop with ubuntu 18.04.


Last edited by opera at 7 April 2017 at 8:55 am UTC
Eike 7 April 2017 at 9:06 am UTC
QuoteQuestion: Is there any interest in me doing a separate site to cover general Linux news?

I wouldn't be interested, but I think this news is so important that it's rightfully on GoL.

About the news:
I'm sad that this puts the end to a possible alternative for mobile phones.
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