Alternatives to Unity

Liam Proven lproven at
Sat Dec 8 18:02:45 UTC 2012

On 7 December 2012 18:54, Johnny Rosenberg <gurus.knugum at> wrote:
> 2012/12/7 Johnny Rosenberg <gurus.knugum at>:
>> 2012/12/7 Liam Proven <lproven at>:
>>> On 6 December 2012 15:52, Johnny Rosenberg <gurus.knugum at> wrote:
>>>> I'm not the OP, but I have some follow-up questions that I think is on
>>>> topic in this thread:
>>>> Are those (Maté and Cinnamon) compatible with Compiz?
>>> Maté is GNOME 2 renamed, so yes, AFAIK.
>>> Cinnamon is based on GNOME 3 so it uses Mutter; I do not think it will
>>> work with anything else.
>> Okay, thanks.
> Oh, by the way, does Maté come with GTK+ 3?

No, it's based on Gtk+ v2.

There has been a little discussion of porting it to Gtk3. At first the
project head was very much Not Keen & he posted a rant about this
somewhere, but I can't find it any more. He may have taken it down.

Later there is a passing mention of it.

But it would be a very big task. Mind you, maintaining Gtk2 and
keeping it current and bug-fixed would be a huge job, too.

I am very concerned about all this forking going on in the GNOME community.
>From there just being GNOME 2, now we have:

* Unity - Ubuntu only; some like it, many hate it;
* GNOME Shell on GNOME 3 - mainly Red Hat; a few like it, many hate it;
* Cinnamon on GNOME 3 - from Mint; widely liked but on a less-mainstream distro;
* Maté, a fork of GNOME 2 - now adopted by Mint & arguably removes the
need for Cinnamon.

The only positive thing coming out of it, in my opinion, is that Xfce
has got lots of new users and is improving.

I'd like to see mergers between some of these projects. My dream
scenario might be:

* Unity abandons Compiz, moves to Mutter and integrates into GNOME 3
using the same window manager - GNOME's favourites bar replaced by the
Unity Launcher, Unity's virtual desktops replaced by GNOME 3's better

* Meantime, Ubuntu work with Mint and use Mint's forked file manager
Nemo in Unity. (Explanation: the GNOME project has trimmed so many
features from Nautilus in GNOME 3.4 that both Ubuntu and Mint have
cried "too much". Ubuntu is retaining an older version for now; Mint
has forked Nautilus to create Nemo.

* Maté and Xfce port their desktops to Gtk3, meaning less ongoing work
and maintenance and better cross-compatibility with Unity and GNOME 3.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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