Author Topic: Ubuntu Unity and Mate, save a Linux Desktop from extinction - good YouTube video  (Read 662 times)

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Offline ssfc72

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I am not too much into trying out different Linux Desktops but I found this video to be quite informative.  I don't use Ubuntu either, but maybe I might just run a virtual Ubuntu and try out these 2 Desktops.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTEfarXmWRo
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Offline fox

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Interesting video; very informative. Gives me some nostalgia for Unity.

I used Ubuntu Unity for years and really liked it. (I was probably the only PLUG member who did.) It did things differently, but logically. Canonical had good reasons for the vertical dock, shifting the window controls to the left side, the HUD feature, etc. But when they abandoned the development of Unity and switched back to Gnome, I saw the handwriting on the wall and switched as well. Canonical modified the Gnome look and feel in Ubuntu enough so that adapting to it from Unity was pretty easy. For awhile I did have the Unity desktop added so that I could use either desktop. After awhile I didn't see any point in having that option, and I haven't installed Unity in years. Not that it isn't a good desktop. But Gnome is just as good for me.

The big Unity feature missing in Gnome is HUD (heads-up display). What that does is give you easy access to commands buried in menu layers that you might otherwise have difficulty finding. It's a good feature, but I rarely used it so it wasn't a good reason to retain Unity.

In my opinion, the most important feature that Unity brought with it is the vertical menubar (as a default with no option to change it). I think that this is the feature that turned most former Windows users off, but it makes a lot of sense when your display is landscape, as it makes better use of the pixels available to you. The feature was also available in Gnome 3 with the help of an extension which made the menubar always visible on the desktop. But in the past, it wasn't standard in any desktop that I know of. (Today, MxLinux also has it as standard.)

Presently, when I use or try out other distros, the first modification I make to their default desktop is to move the menubar to the left side of the display. This is easy to do in almost any distro I have tried, including Mint Cinnamon and Manjaro KDE. Are there any of you out there that put your menubar on the left side?
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
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gmiller1977

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I will be sure to watch the video. 

I admit this is one of my favourite things about Linux.  You can make your desktop, truly your own.  If Unity works for you, great, if not, rip it out and put in something else :)

I was never a fan of Unity.  I remember trying it in 2012 - 2014 (I'm sure LOTS changed), but I just couldn't get into the groove of using it, too much changed and it really screwed with my productivity.

I still think XFCE was the best desktop environment that was released, followed closely by Gnome 2.X.  I wish the Gnome team had spent the time finishing some of the polish on it to make it perfect.  What project did Gnome 2 move to?  MATE or Cinnamon, I think?

Offline fox

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....
What project did Gnome 2 move to?  MATE or Cinnamon, I think?

MATE, and it's covered in the video. Cinnamon is more indirectly related to Gnome 2. It was developed in Linux Mint, but there was a predecessor to it, whose name I cannot remember. Also, the dock was moved to the bottom of the display in Cinnamon. It was on the top in Gnome 2, as it is in Ubuntu MATE. (I'm talking about default configurations here, as the dock can be moved in Cinnamon and MATE.)
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
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gmiller1977

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I haven't had a chance to watch the video, but thanks!  I knew it was one of the two desktop environments.

Offline Jason

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Are there any of you out there that put your menubar on the left side?

Why would I want to do that?  ;) But seriously, I can see the advantage if you have only one window on the screen. But if you like to split the screen in half as I do, you might want to have that extra bit of real estate on the side. The bottom bar I have in Xubuntu doesn't take up much room. I actually sized it up with my failing eyes!

However, I will admit that I find the Gnome desktop elegant and obvious to use. If I was getting a new user to try Linux, I'd likely recommend a distro based on Gnome because its interface has fewer choices and is likely more obvious even if you come from the Windows or Mac world. Gnome has enough similarities to a smartphone interface that I don't think the transition would be difficult.

As an advanced Linux user, I prefer a GUI that is much more customizable like Plasma. I know there are add-ons to do this with Gnome but why bother when you can just use another desktop environment?
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline fox

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.... I can see the advantage if you have only one window on the screen. But if you like to split the screen in half as I do, you might want to have that extra bit of real estate on the side. ....

Actually, I often split the screen in half, having one document on each side. I don't find that problematic at all. In Gnome, if you drag the top bar of a document to the left, it resizes to take up the left half of the screen. Drag it to the right side and it resizes to half of the right side. The width of a dock on the left side of the display is a much smaller percentage of the total width than the height of an equivalent sized dock on the bottom relative to the total height of the screen. And if the little bit of lost space on the left bothers you, you have the option of making the dock disappear when a window is over it, using a Gnome extension.
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Offline Jason

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Ah, didn't know you could hide it. And yes, it bothers me to have it because I often have one of the windows or both needing the full 50%. But I also have a vision issue so I have to run my monitor at a lower resolution.

The width of a dock on the left side of the display is a much smaller percentage of the total width than the height of an equivalent sized dock on the bottom relative to the total height of the screen.

If you're using a normal-sized dock. But my desktop environment uses a bottom panel. Even sized up from 24 to 36 pixels, the bar only takes up 1/25th of the vertical distance whereas the dock looks a lot bigger than that. If I sized it down though, you'd be correct. But to me, a bottom dock is a lot easier to see what's running without having to hit any buttons. But everybody has their own preferences. None of you are wrong. But I'm still right. ;)
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline fox

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Ah, didn't know you could hide it. And yes, it bothers me to have it because I often have one of the windows or both needing the full 50%. But I also have a vision issue so I have to run my monitor at a lower resolution.....

It helps that I use 27" monitors. They give me enough real estate that I can easily work with two documents side by side plus the dock. My vision isn't great either, and I typically magnify a document by 25%. I used to have a 24" monitor, but found it much harder to work with two side by side documents on it. At one point I had two 24" monitors on my desk to make working with multiple documents easier, but I found that with a 27", I don't need two monitors.
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
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Offline Jason

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Well, that makes more sense. Are you running it higher than 1920 x 1080? I'm still using a 23" monitor. I think it's actually specified to be 24" but Xubuntu says it's 23". It's probably in between. I think it's one of the two monitors you sold me that you used on your dual-display system.

I had a 32" monitor for a few months. It only went up to 1920 x 1080 but for me, that was a benefit. I hate how many screens get bigger but then the resolution is upped so much that you can't see the text. It's a young man's world.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 10:25:38 am by Jason »
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline fox

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Well, that makes more sense. Are you running it higher than 1920 x 1080? ....

This is a 5K 27" iMac, which Linux and Windows see as 4K (3840 x 2160). Way too small for me, so I run it at 2560 x 1440, and I magnify text 25% on top of that.
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 20.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1