This forum is in permanent archive mode. Our new active community can be found here.

The future of Ubuntu

edited November 2010 in Technology
After the recent 10.10 release, Mark Shuttleworth has made some pretty big announcements regarding the future of Ubuntu. First, they plan to ditch GNOME and switch to a Unity based desktop environment.
Unity is currently being used in the netbook distro, however it's going to become the primary environment in future releases.

More importantly, it was announced today that Ubuntu is shifting away from X11 and will be using the newer and more advanced Wayland display server. X Server has been synonymous with Linux environments for over twenty years, and it sounds like Shuttleworth is finally bringing meaningful GUI changes to the FOSS community. Scott has always said that the problem with open source software is that they have horrific user interface design, could this be a change that will finally make Ubuntu competitive in the OS community?


  • Whoa! Pretty nifty! Netbooks and low-end light hardware is a niche that needs to be better filled in the OS development industry.
    (I got so confused when I saw that. I was like "UNITY?! How does that even work?")
  • It will obviously make Ubuntu more appealing and better for people who want to use it as a normal desktop, such as my parents. However, Linux on the desktop is dead. The desktop is dead. If they had this ten years ago, it would have made a difference, but now? I think all this will do is make actual Linux enthusiasts, developers, people like me, use the inevitable Gnome-buntu that will appear to go with the Kubuntu and the Xubuntu. Most users out there don't need X or Gnome, and don't use those features. Better eye candy will bring/keep them in, so it is good for them. The enhanced security of not having X will also help them, but for people like me, it's just annoying.

    The side effect, I think, is that it is going to hurt the Gnome and and X development communities. Right now, those projects have a ton of users and attention. That results in bug reports, contributions, etc. If Ubuntu ditches them, their install base will plummet, and their rate of progress will be slowed to some degree.

    Also, just about every *NIX gui application ever works on X. If they dump X, even if they have a compatibility layer, there are going to be a zillion bugs due to interactions with multiple decades worth of applications. They'll make sure the big stuff like Firefox and OpenOffice work correctly, but a lot of shit will break. That first release without X is going to be a major headache, even if they spend years gearing up to it. Think about things like VirtualBox Guest Additions, NVidia official driver, the few 3D games that exist for Linux, running Windows games in Wine, all the video playing apps. These are all currently designed to work with X for all their GUI needs. Take X away, and you've got some trouble.
  • Desktops matter primarily to multimedia content creators/editors, but Linux has no software support for them.
  • Desktops matter primarily to multimedia content creators/editors, but Linux has no software support for them.
    And gamers.
  • Nifty looking...but I'm still only going to use Ubuntu as a server with no desktop.
  • They really should just make a non netbook-remix "unity-buntu" and leave the original in X. Maybe if "unity-buntu" ended up working great they could just make it the main release but for now I'm not too optimistic.
  • 11.10 is out and it sounds like Unity got some pretty massive improvements. Going to upgrade tonight to check it out.
  • Let us know how it is. I switched my netbook over to Mint because 11.04 was really shitty on it, but I'd be willing to switch back if 11.10 sucks less.
  • I'm very eh about 11.10, Ubuntu was very hush hush about it.
  • Couldn't stand Unity, still. Installed gnome-shell and the result mostly works now.
  • Unity is kinda eh. I don't mind the side dock thing, but I just miss having all of the menu's at the top. How hard was the gnome-shell to install? I wish I could just switch back to gnome at the login screen like in 11.04.
  • I decided to give unity a try and with some small modifications I'm actually quite likening it. The only big thing I did was get rid of the global menu.
  • I think that all the people who love Gnome 2 should start contributing to Xfce4 and try to make Xfce5. Make it mostly the same as 4, just ass some of the polish that Gnome 2 had. Mostly mixing up the configuration options and the interface of the control center.
Sign In or Register to comment.