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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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Tchey 7 April 2017 at 9:06 am UTC
Since my first attempt with Ubuntu and Unity, i've always switched to XFCE right after installation is done, if no option was given during the process. Now i'm on Mint XFCE since i think 3 years, and quite happy white it. I may change next time i change computer, maybe, not sure to what.
Beamboom 7 April 2017 at 9:06 am UTC
I think this decision is wise, very wise. I just hope it's not an indication of something worse brewing, in regards to the financial status of Canonical.

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

Don't. There's plenty of general Linux news sites and you're better off focusing on this community here.
Instead I suggest that you allow a slightly broader scope on this site and cover the main events outside of gaming but inside of Linux. Especially if it can have an indirect impact on gaming too. Like, Ubuntu is the one supported distro on Steam. I think that in itself warrants for covering news related to Ubuntu.

It's all about the editorial balance. It's nice to find "something else" here, just to spice things up, as long as we doesn't feel it goes at the expense of gaming news.
Spyker 7 April 2017 at 9:33 am UTC
As a long time Fedora user, I welcome this decision.
Ubuntu dropping Unity alongside MIR will finally bring back convergence in the Linux Desktop.
Re-inventing the wheel for business purpose was their worst call ever.


Last edited by Spyker at 7 April 2017 at 9:34 am UTC
fabertawe 7 April 2017 at 9:40 am UTC
BeamboomIt's all about the editorial balance. It's nice to find "something else" here, just to spice things up, as long as we doesn't feel it goes at the expense of gaming news.

Agreed. I'm very happy to have the occasional non-gaming article, there's no need to be too strict about it. Something like this is big news and impacts people's desktops (not mine I should add) and running of games ultimately.

Good news for Wayland but a shame for those losing a job.
Tiedemann 7 April 2017 at 9:48 am UTC
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Question: Is there any interest in me doing a separate site to cover general Linux news?

Not as a separate site but adding something now and then would be good. I send ppl to this site whenever I can and most of them are first time users and/or people who don't know much about gaming/Linux in general (they kinda just install a distro to look around). Many Linux sites does not look good, and some of them have articles that is too technical/detailed or just plain boring to read.
If you color code the articles on the front page, which I'd like to have already so it's easy to spot the difference between games and software articles, then I think it can work. I often come here to just to check if there are newly released games.

Game related stuff should always be priority number one ofc.
Alm888 7 April 2017 at 9:51 am UTC
Long Live Wayland! Finally!
lucifertdark 7 April 2017 at 9:58 am UTC
I tried other Distros & front ends but when it comes down to it Ubuntu with Unity is the one for me, as long as they keep it available for those of us who still want to use it I don't care what they do. I like Unity!

ps the Phone project was always doomed to fail, they got into it far too late after the big boys already staked their claim & they could never hope to take away market share from Android, Windows or IOS.


Last edited by lucifertdark at 7 April 2017 at 10:00 am UTC
Overlord 7 April 2017 at 10:03 am UTC
SpykerRe-inventing the wheel for business purpose was their worst call ever.

This is a funny general quote but there is a difference between Bycyle wheels and a car wheels.
And sometimes wheels too needs to be reinvented and redesigned for where they are being used.
All in one convergence was good idea but If they could not continue to develop it ,Canonical should never have wasted those efforts.


Last edited by Overlord at 7 April 2017 at 10:16 am UTC
STiAT 7 April 2017 at 10:06 am UTC
Well, first of all, I don't need another linux-news-site. Even though, I find covering important changes for Linux Desktops overall do have a place here - we are all Linux desktop users.

Though, in this article, you missed out the most important fact for Linux Gaming: Mir is going away. They confirmed that they'll be switching to Gnome+Wayland, abdoning Mir and Unity. That is the best thing about the news - we finally get rid of the split graphics stack in a critical path.

Personally, I don't feel the desktop shells need to be reduced. Hell, I don't even care what others use. What I see the need of is that the whole backend stuff (and especially settings backends and things like hotkey stuff etc.) need to be unified. What UI they lay above that is irrelevant. To be true, the worse part is supporting different distributions than different desktops.

Unity - as all desktops - was received differently. Some loved it, some hated it. In example, I hate Gnome3 with a passion, and find Gnome and KDE a lot too overloaded. That's why I switched to Budgie (after having had endless issues with Cinnamon and MATE, though, maybe they matured by now).
liamdawe 7 April 2017 at 10:10 am UTC
STiATThough, in this article, you missed out the most important fact for Linux Gaming: Mir is going away. They confirmed that they'll be switching to Gnome+Wayland, abdoning Mir and Unity. That is the best thing about the news - we finally get rid of the split graphics stack in a critical path.
Have they actually confirmed this anywhere? Mir wasn't mentioned in the initial post from Mark.
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