Ubuntu popularity in downward spiral, is Unity to blame?

By Lee Kaelin on November 24, 2011, 8:35 AM

It has been an interesting year for Ubuntu and its backer, Canonical. Unity arrived amid much speculation in its April release of Ubuntu 11.4, with many questioning why Canonical needed to be moving away from Gnome's desktop environment. Unity makes sense for those new to Linux, but many power users found it frustrating to work with. The initial fallback into the old Gnome 2.x environment when lacking 3D acceleration just confused matters. Now at least, with the release of 11.10, Unity functions with or without 3D acceleration, providing a more consistent environment. But the latest figures suggest differently for the once dominant Linux distribution.

The graph, representative of page hit rankings from the last six years shows a mostly continuous decline in Ubuntu. It looks even worse when you look at the last 30 days page hit rankings. Ubuntu manages only fourth place, despite having released its new version, 11.10, only last month. To be fair, three of the top four distributions have released new versions in the last month or so, although interestingly Mint is not one of them. The figures should be fairly accurate when taking into account the extra attention they receive around release dates, with people scrambling to try their preferred Linux as it hits the download servers.

I think it's fair to suggest most of those new to Linux are unlikely to be viewing Distrowatch's website, though. Therefore, we'll look at Google's Trends tool to see search result statistics and gauge interest in each distro.

The graph above shows a continuous downward trend for Ubuntu, with Linux Mint slowly increasing in popularity and spiking much higher in the last six months to a year. Also decreasing are Fedora and Debian, although their fall is nowhere near as pronounced as Ubuntu is.

Ironically, the core release of Linux Mint is based on a snapshot of Ubuntu. They chose to keep to the Gnome environment, however, with customization and tweaks to the menu system. It is therefore a natural progression for existing users of Ubuntu, with the same available packages, package management tools and the same underpinnings that many users are already accustomed to from using Ubuntu.

Viewing the top five distributions in the above chart it does give some credence to the notion that Unity's release corresponds with a larger than expected reduction in Ubuntu's share. In the last 12 months, Ubuntu has reduced from 25 percent to just 14 percent, with Mint and openSUSE gaining ground in the top five. Mint increased its page hit ranking by 12 percent in the 12 month period alone.

However, it is important to point out that Canonical prefers to keep its different versions of Linux separate, so Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu all have individual listings on Distrowatch's page hit rankings. Mint on the other hand, bundles its different versions (including a Debian-based release) into one page ranking. This is obviously going to push the general outcome of the results in Mint's favor.

It could be that users are fed up with Unity and the direction Canonical is driving Ubuntu and are naturally progressing on to Linux Mint. The data does make it reasonable to assume that Unity has had at least some impact on these figures. That said, it is hard to really confirm a definitive answer for the reasons behind its decline. Any Ubuntu users -- or Linux Mint converts -- in the house? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

User Comments: 58

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Guest said:

Unity is the reason....

Cota Cota said:

If im not that drunk, i remember watching Ubuntu being promoted on schools and places like such back then, hell i even have installation CD's of all their versions wich came by mail, but the level of knowledge needed so users can do more than open the default apps and change the visual style are to "hi" for the casual user.

CHAUDHRY07 said:

yep unity is the reason though i was accustomed to ubuntu so switched to xubuntu and it is excellent distro it will make its way up.

Guest said:

i stopped using ubuntu since the day canonical no longer offered free ubuntu cd delivery.

mevans336 mevans336 said:

I don't think Unity is the sole reason, Ubuntu is losing share to Mint, plain and simple. Ubuntu needs to adopt Mint's approach and quit with the "You are installing proprietary software" shtick and just give me the tools I need out of the box. Let the "Open Source or Die!" crowd OPT OUT, don't make me OPT IN to have a system that functions at the most basic of levels.

That said, I installed 11.10 recently and Unity frustrated me to no end. Again, there should be a choice upon installation or first boot to allow the user to choose Unity or a more classic desktop.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

Unity makes sense for those new to Linux, but many power users found it frustrating to work with. The initial fallback into the old Gnome 2.x environment when lacking 3D acceleration just confused matters. Now at least, with the release of 11.10, Unity functions with or without 3D acceleration, providing a more consistent environment.
I guess that's important to Linux desktop users (hmm; maybe most important to gamers), but being a server side user myself, 3D makes no sense and would not be a criterion for choosing a Linux distribution for me. As you might guess, GUI access is seldomly used for server side config, building and code development.

caravel said:

Unity is not the only reason - 'buntu has been in decline since long before it became the standard GUI. But recently Unity has contributed to a surge of users deserting 'buntu and moving to Linux Mint, Debian or other non Debian derived distros such as openSUSE, Fedora and even Arch.

The reasons for 'buntu's fall are numerous, but the main reasons in my humble opinion are:

- Ignoring what their users actually want and making pointless changes to the GUI.

- It now has a reputation for being buggy and broken on release.

- The 6 monthly distribution upgrades pushed through the update manager, causing more misery and breakage for their inexperienced users.

- False marketing: There was a time when they were "selling" it as "Linux for human beings" which it clearly wasn't, but they've now dropped that marketing along with the brown themes... nowadays they don't even want you to know it's Linux... 'buntu is in fact a lot of very bleeding edge software which is mainly based on Debian's Unstable branch.

'buntu's main page: http://www.ubuntu.com/ubuntu

What is an operating system?

An operating system is[...]

If you're the sort of person who has to ask a question like that, then you should seriously never be considering installing an OS, certainly not a Linux OS and most definitely not two OS's...

How does it compare to my system?

With Ubuntu, you can do everything you can do with other operating systems. But faster. And for free!

That's clearly bullshit. I'm a "hardcore" Linux user, you can call me a "freetard" all you want. I'm also an arsehole who thinks noobs should do their homework and use a search engine before asking the same stupid questions that have been answered a million times before... but I would never make such an absurd and misleading claim. I would much rather someone stuck with windows, than installed a Linux OS based on misleading and false marketing like that.

- 'buntu started as a very community based OS, the forums were a nice place to be - not any more. The forums have been rotten to the core for the last few years, member and also staff turn over is high, moderation is excessive and enforcement of Canonical policy on the forums is quite simply at the oppressive level - which goes against all the principles of free software. That's before we even get to "stealth bans" or removal/locking of threads criticising 'buntu and Canonical Ltd policy, products and services.

- Canonical's lack of upstream contribution.

- Alienation of many hardcore Linux users because of all of the above.

To me the graph spells out how artificial 'buntu's success has been. You can clearly see that Debian, Fedora (a descendent of Red Hat Linux for those that don't know) and openSUSE (formerly SUSE Linux) show slow and steady popularity fluctuation. Those three have been around a lot longer than 'buntu, Debian in particular since 1993, so the period from '05 to '11 does not really show the full picture. In fact all three of those distros have risen slowly and steadily over the last 10+ years. 'buntu on the other hand, emerges, rises sharply and is now dying away again - much like any other fad.

'buntu have simply been the victim of their own short term success. Linux Mint have merely taken the "best" parts of 'buntu and produced something that users actually want - not something which needs to fit a corporate agenda. That is how the GPL works, that is how free software works - if you produce ****, others will merely keep the best parts, the rest will be discarded - no one is under any obligation to put up anything which they don't like. This is why Mint will succeed (for now) where 'buntu failed.

caravel said:

Let the "Open Source or Die!" crowd OPT OUT, don't make me OPT IN to have a system that functions at the most basic of levels.

There are legal reasons for this as well as ethical ones - there are also matters of system stability and security involved. If you're making a statement like that, it's clear that you understand neither. If you do not respect the basic principles of free software, then you are actually biting the hand that feeds you and showing no respect whatsoever for the huge amount of work these people put in to this. There are reasons why proprietary firmware was removed from the Linux kernel, why S3TC was removed from Mesa and why all distros don't just come with java or flash preinstalled - none of the reasoning behind it was "religious" or made by "open source or die" people.

Leeky Leeky said:

I guess that's important to Linux desktop users (hmm; maybe most important to gamers), but being a server side user myself, 3D makes no sense and would not be a criterion for choosing a Linux distribution for me. As you might guess, GUI access is seldomly used for server side config, building and code development.

The point was more about the fact it defaulted to a totally different DE when 3D acceleration was unavailable. For those experienced with Linux (and with Gnome over the years) it would have been annoying at the very most, but for those new to Linux it would have been a thoroughly confusing situation to land yourself in.

My point is Unity not working with or without 3D acceleration from the start was a huge mistake on Canonical's part. I personally feel they released it too early, but as the years have rolled on I've come to expect nothing less.

I cut my teeth with Ubuntu 6.06. I'm yet to experience a release anywhere near as solid overall than that release since. Granted thats subjective at best, but having experienced every release since the very first I used to learn to use Linux I just haven't been as impressed.

I appreciate where your coming from though. I don't need a GUI or 3D with my servers either.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So, Ubuntu holds less than 4% of Linux's 1%? LOL

Guest said:

In my opinion Unity is the reason. What else?

Besides that voices against it are silenced on Ubuntu Forums. Polls and post are merged and deleted... threads closed for "revisions"...

Ubuntu stopped been "cool".

Guest said:

I agree...I installed 11.10 recently and Unity frustrated me to no end.

Guess I will have to load mint as it is based on Ubuntu, which I have used for years and until 11.04 was very happy using their 32 and 64 bit versions on various equipment. Yes, the 64 took more effort yet was doable, the effort with 11.04 and 11.10 makes it hell MS is not so bad after this just more $$$ for software so if Mint works like Ubuntu 10.10 only updated like/near 11.10 that will be a win-win for me, unless upon installation or first boot to allow the user to choose Unity or a more classic desktop.

Guest said:

Unity keeps me from upgrading my good old 10.4 (I use this machine for work and at home too). I'm a linux user for more than 12 years from slackware through redhat to debian and from 2008 mainly ubuntu. I was quite happy with gnome and the stability of 10.4 with some packages from ppa or backport repositories (I needed the newest versions).

But now 10.4 is getting old, and I've tried every release from 10.4 and none of them were better... sadly release by release the GUI changes became more and more iritating (removed config options, frustrating and buggy 3d needing unity, still a bit unusable gnome shell, bad/rushed out classic gnome support), and I think this is unlikely to change in the near future (ubuntu leaders seem quite hardheaded)... and this will leave me no other choice but to change to some other distro (I'm thinking mint here...).

Or this is a good time to start the gubuntu project ;)

Guest said:

According to the statistics, the downward spiral started well before Unity.

Guest said:

Three reasons for Ubuntu's fall

1. Unity

2. Unity

3. Unity

Foisting a slow as dog, over-candied, unfamiliar interface on core users would be a more verbose articulation.

Tedster Tedster, Techspot old timer....., said:

not surprised. I tried to install this on 3 different computers. On all 3 the installation failed. I gave up.

Guest said:

I've been using Ubuntu for many years, but not full time accept for the past 2 years. Started around 9.10.

Unity is not that big a deal for normal surfers, email, and the like. Load Cairo Dock and things are better or add the Kubuntu OS frontend/shell and it is nice and clean.

Anyhoot, all the Linux systems are STILL not ready for prime time right out of the box, esp for gamers and the like. Apple/Mac, Windows, most just work right out of the box and gamers and others can just load, update, and use. I do not like Windows, so I try not to use them. I do have all the above though... 5 or 6 computers in my home. XP, iMac Leopard, Vista, Ubuntu... least favorite are the windows products, but my son, who games, needs and requires it.

Why should I have to go VIRTUAL or load some other software to TRICK the system and play or use a particular software?

As for Unity... upon the load/boot, you should have a choice, of that I agree. Download and put Kubuntu Shell in place and you will like it... XFCE...

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I think Unity is a large portion of the reason - and after using 11.10 I've decided this is my last buntu distro I'll be using. The next time something happens and it will take me more time to fix than reinstall I'll be slapping LMD on those machines. I hate the way the changed so many little things in 11.10 for who knows what reason.

tonylukac said:

My problem with it is I never got it to work with wireless encryption on my laptop even tho everywhere you look on different windows machines you find some type of wireless manager. Why couldn't they devote some of those many people to work on wireless for ubuntu, sort of like a chrome os machine? It worked better on my desktop but failed to boot 1 out of 5 times even after updates. Finally, why do they expect you to install an entirely new version every 6 months? Work out the bugs in the existing version and release it every 3 years, like windows. I never can see the business implications (like with firefox) in how it can be tested in such a short time in a business. Does anyone run a business anymore? I no longer use it because a power failure knocked out the final hard drive it was on and I never reinstalled it. Maybe it's bad luck.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

You guys should try Mandriva. Been using it for a year. it is SOOO FAST!!! Has half the mem footprint of Ubuntu

Guest said:

It has to do with Unity, but also with the general attitude. Ubuntu has, from the user perspective, a HUGE problem. It cannot manage the headphone jack on a large variety of laptops. You either get both headphone and LS playing simultaneously, or you get none. Now, most of the computers sold nowadays are laptops, and if you bought one, presumably you would like to take it with you, and would not have everybody listening to what you listen to. Thousands of users must have reported the bug but it was always assigned lowest priority, and a solution was never attempted. And it is something that affects every user, every day. While top priority is of course Unity, which nobody ever wanted, and how to make the dock semi-transparent, which nobody cares about. I will not even comment on the intelligence of persons who cannot see the advantage of a rectangle having four corners, and insist on cramming every single hot spot northwest. I think that, in the end, we will all leave MS alone with his priorities.

Guest said:

Unity is not rubbish. It is pretty cool and works quite well. Traditional users will find it annoying though.

The major problem (as I see it) is the fact that more and more settings are being hidden away or just not there. People don't want to dig for basic tweaks.

Mint and Kubuntu are great alternatives.

nickblame said:

Unity sucks hard! That's the basic reason.

Guest said:

Anyone who considers Google Trends and Distrowatch to be a authoritative gauge for interest on Linux distros should likely not be writing about Linux at all.

Ubuntu is alive and well

caravel said:

Anyone who considers Google Trends and Distrowatch to be a authoritative gauge for interest on Linux distros should likely not be writing about Linux at all.

I don't think anyone would claim the stats were scientific, but they do clearly mirror 'buntu's rise and decline - in particular the recent sharp decline since unity became the standard. They also clearly show the rise of Linux Mint at the expense of 'buntu. I'm sure if this article was only about 'buntu's rise from '04 through to '07 you would not be here questioning the reliability of distrowatch and google trends stats...

Ubuntu is alive and well

But if you have better, more accurate stats to support this, then please present them here...

Distrowatch stats, though admittedly unreliable in many cases are based on "hits". For many distros this is an unreliable gauge of how well a distro is doing.

Let's take Arch as an example. It's a rolling release, so presumably new users won't be going to the main site that often to download installation images, that would make Arch much more popular than it appears on distrowatch.

Debian is another example. It caters for many different types of user, many veteran users will upgrade rather than reinstall and testing/unstable users are running a semi rolling release, so many of them will never download new installation images.

'buntu and Mint on the other hand are obviously targeted at new users - in particular windows users. Even existing 'buntu users will almost always reinstall from scratch due to the, quite arguably perceived, unreliability of upgrades, so it's likely that the figures for both distros are actually rather inflated.

It's also quite obvious that 'buntu has been losing ground for years if you head off to have a read of any Linux related forum except the 'buntu forum (where this thread would have been censored).

Guest said:

I can't believe my eyes of what has been written from some comments... like windows is ready out of the box? In which planet does that happen? Failled to boot an OS 1 out of 5 times and also dare to make a comment? I personally hate unity but i've also read above "As for Unity... upon the load/boot, you should have a choice, of that I agree." I mean, Canonical wanted to make ubuntu clearly with unity in THIS release so why the choice? Has anybody refused access to the previous release with Gnome? Why is it such a fuss to have the latest version? It is like u are saying that in windows vista one should have the choice of vista or xp. Then why don't u install xp? I mean.. Why a version of a distro SHOULD have the view YOU like? I have 10.04 on my machine. I want my interface with Gnome 2 and not with Gnome 3 or Unity. So what do i do? I KEEP 10.04! All this time i am reading articles and articles.. saying about unity. YES UNITY SUCKS! So why don't you keep your version that suites you? Even the hardcore user above is complaining.. If you were a hardcore user you would clearly stick with the version you like and simply don't complain of the changes ubuntu has made. I've read so many articles on the matter specially latelly.. I don't use mint and do not intend to but i have read that they are heavilly opposed to unity and actually made great progress with Mint 12 "Lisa" providing 3 choices of DE. Gnome 3, MATE (a really newborn buggy fork of gnome 2 created from ONE of the Gnome developers and RedHat employee when asked by Linus Torvalds himself) and MGSE a new layer developed by mint team to be set right upon Gnome 3 and try to "look" much like Gnome 2. My congratulations to mint for this progress but personally what i think in up close is as follows.

Canonical's ubuntu is the last 4-5 years mostly number 1 distro and that is because of the easyness, the eyecandy, the simplicity and the right marketing of the first three. Canonical actually helped the community alot by bringing many many people from windows to linux just by that eyecandy and the easyness the distro is dominant for. After that shift every user is different and afterwards choosed the path and distro the user wanted to use depending on one's needs and uses. I use linux for work since RedHat 7, long before fedora appear on 2003 but never for home usage until i met ubuntu on 2007. I thought of linux fit for me only as a server perpose until i used ubuntu and thanks to ubuntu i never booted windows again. For the easyness! And for the all working out of the box and not have many things to worry about. Now Canonical wants to make a sole path and be unique among linux distros, canonical wants to compeet with apple because apple focuses on the GUI experience as much too without giving much effort to evolve operating system new technologies because redhat does that! Actually canonical has done nothing to contribute to the actual operating system the last few years and is only focusing on making it pretty. And that is OK because that is what brought people over to linux from windows! And opensource is opensource, so others spent time and effort on OS technologies and innovations and canonical is free to use them to update their ubuntu. Anyways that is what Canonical represents and u know what? It is OK! Also every version of ubuntu and of any other OS represents it's packages and GUI and that is what you are choosing when you install a version. For a windows user for example if one wants to work simple installs xp! on the other hand, one wants it to be in a way pretty too? Installs 7. Before that, vista and found out what a failure that was. That is the version FOR. TO CHOOSE! vista is buggy? ok You install 7, that is the same thing here. I want gnome 2! i want it as it is the minute it stopped being developed. I like it that way! so what do i do? I KEEP 10.04 and have all packages i care updating, updated! After all the DE is just another package and the same way i do not update blender because i don't care to do so and the same way i do not update libreoffice the same way i will not switch my DE. I want for example the latest on Chrome or firefox? ok i update that! I want the latest kernel? i update that. So i have my 10.04 the way i want it! Customised to fit my needs! that is supposed to be the beauty of linux. I believe that when the point comes that i will have to upgrade because of other dependencies and only because of that, i believe that gnome 3 will have grown and matured right, if not MGSE layer from mint might have matured as well and work nice or MATE will not be buggy anymore because it will not be at the time, a new project. For now, Gnome 2 does my job the way i need it, besides that 10.04 does the job the way i need it to do and so i am happy i keep that. Remember people because it seems that u have forgotten, the Desktop Environment is NOT the Operating System! That is why there are so many choices on the Operating Systems and So many choices on the DE! And i really do not see the reason why on earth one HAS to update to 11.10 and WHY 11.10 MUST look like 10.10! Why? I see different numbers there, why not different DE. Unity IS hatefull. OK that is why i do not upgrade! Canonical showed their new product, it is in my hand to choose. The actual downfall of ubuntu is based mostly on the MISTAKEN MUST that i see on mostly newbies like the "hardcore" user above complaining about unity. Yes Unity is awfull and a person cannot work right in it.. it looks like it is being inspired by smartphones ! FINE use a gnome2 ubuntu version instead. They are all available! Why on earth do u have to install 11.10? Do you actually think that as an Operating System it has innovations comparing to 10.04? Hell no! Just the DE and small things apart that mostly! I am using 10.04 and i have all the applications i use updated to the very last so i can do my job and have the most stable versions of all properly!

caravel said:

Another sermon from the church of 'buntu...

Believe it or not, I actually read that post, because I thought to myself "somewhere in there, there will be something relevant or fact based..." and not just a load of rhetoric. I think I lost the threads at about the 27th "praise the lord!" though...

Guest said:

I tried Ubuntu back a year or two when I hear is was awesome. I a windows power user and found it to confusing..If I did you can imagine how newbies would feel. It felt like I was back in the DOS days...I had hoped it would mature and be easier to use but it sounds like windows is where most people should stay and are.

Guest said:

Sorry messed up a few words above but you know what I was saying ^^^^^^

Guest said:

Yep. #27 said, with oh so many words, Why ever install Ubuntu if you can do better with any other distro? Why ever discuss Ubuntu if its followers have an attitude like that?

Guest said:

Unity was a mistake. It is too bad that whoever is in charge is too stubborn to learn from their mistake. It took me two days to find a way to get past that dumb interface, and most will simply give up and turn to a garbage program like windows.

Is the heads of Ubuntu so egocentric as to refuse to correct their mistake?

Are they trying to kill Linux?

Mark Heinemann

Zilpha Zilpha said:

Once upon a time, Ubuntu was really lightweight and easy to use. It installed fast, everything worked almost out of the box, and there was no drama.

Since they added this Unity interface, I can't get the OS to work on a lot of machines that ate earlier releases for breakfast. There were cryptic bootup errors that I could not find answers for, and the unity UI itself was just a chore to learn and manage. It's just not worth it anymore. I am not an expert linux user, but I did like to keep it on a spare laptop to noodle around, and at one point I considered switching entirely. i know what I am doing on the command line.

But, things like the previously mentioned issues really make it more costly than just staying with Windows. I'd rather pay a hundred bucks every few years and have an OS that I can easily find software, information, and a lot of really good support on than try to force Ubuntu to do what I need it to do.

Guest said:

unity to hell

AfricanTech said:

Yip - it's cos of Unity.....and the fact that Mint is just so much more polished and easy to use "out of the box" - once I installed Mint I just couldn't go back to Ubuntu (and I only tried Mint because I hated Unity so much.

Guest said:

I can not stress this enough. The 12 month 6 month 3 month 30 day averages at distrowatch are dominated by short term spikes in interest. The large uptick in interest in the last couple of weeks in Mint bleeds over into the 12 month and 6 month average due to its relatively large size.

Those 12 month and 6 month numbers are not snapshots of interest 12 and 6 months ago. They are continually updated to include recent data.

Because of this, graphs that show the relative percentages at the 12 month and 6 month level are very misleading and you are drawing the wrong conclusion from it. Mint was not X percentage of interest 6 months ago or even a year ago. What you are seeing is bleed over from the last few weeks dominating ALL the averages even all the way back to 12 months ago. You can not draw the conclusion that Unity was to blame.

What you need.... and what distrowatch does not provide... is a trending graph of the 7 week average. Not the single 6 month "average" which rolls in the effect of the near-term spike in interest.

The multiyear trending graphic is accurate upto the 2010 data point. The 2011 data point is again highly misleading due to the "averaging" that includes the large spike in interest in Mint which is limited entirely to the last month.

Your conclusions would be better served if distrowatch provided both mean and median. If mean and median agree then a concept of an "average" over a long time period makes some sense. If they disagree substantially, then you mean is dominated by a few data points that well away from the mean. And this generally an indication that the mean is hiding important dynamics.


Guest said:

Those are misleading graphs, but yes I think Ubuntu popularity will plummet once the updates end for 10.04 LTS. In 10.04LTS I thought they hit a home run, it actually worked well and was very easy to use (compared to the old releases). My hat is off to them for creating a great OS in 10.04, if they had polished the drivers and compatibility issues it would be the greatest OS ever.

I have installed 11.10 on 2 systems and am trying to get used to it. I'd be lying if I said I liked it at all, to be honest I have to say it really sucks. I do like the extra real estate with fire fox and thats where it ends. I support a number of people and have been using Ubuntu since 7.10. If only the launcher held MENUS instead of apps. Are you guys listening, MENUS. Sort of like having a glossary in a book, instead of their current system of flipping through until you find what you are looking for.

I have a copy of Mint 12rc and am looking at that to see how it shapes up, so far not bad. I just hope they can keep up the reliability. I know the people I help (some older) will not be able to handle a shift to Unity and I think I may be returning them to windows 7.

I hate to criticize the developers like this because they have done so much, I just fail to see what would make them go in this direction because it's really really bad. You know how much that hurt to say returning to windows?

Guest said:

Ubuntu starting down the hole back with 7.xx; for me it was the 'upgraded' camera manager not working with hardware the previous version was compatible with. Then can with the 9.xx incompatibilities-out of the blue-with the Intel graphics on my antiquated laptop. A Debian based build with aptitude and gnome, Ubuntu was convenient-take away gnome and it's just another Debian built. When you add in the annoyance of Unity-a thousand times awful-anything seems better. Mint anyone?

Drop Unity, grab Gnome 3

Guest accounts now ask trivia questions, I'm glad programs like 'cleverbot' don't exist. "What IT company is usually referred to as 'Big Blue'?"

Guest said:

Never mind Ubuntu but since Mint seem to be popular I have to check it out.

I wonder what kind of hate Metro in Win8 will get if the response for Unity is like this, the Unity changes are mild by comparison...

Guest said:

Ubuntu. Yes. What to say. Ever since 9.10 it's being going down that bloody mumbo-jumbo drain. My wife started using 9.10 and was happy with it. Freaked out when i upgraded to 10.04. Forbids me to ever touch that machine again. (Downgraded to 9 again.)

For me that says it. Ubuntu has become a combination of apple-copying shoegazers with a good eye for complicating matters.

Guest said:

I personally think Ubuntu has been hijacked by Microsoft. They are surreptitiously trying to take the operating system towards a direction where you would have to pay money for every other program you download. The sudden disappearance of the Synaptic Package Manager and the push towards the Ubuntu Software Center looks as if the people running the show at Ubuntu want to control how programs are downloaded and installed in the system. Anyway, I didn't wait - simply went back to Natty and installed Gnome. Maybe I will try Mint out and if it works then stick to it.

Guest said:

unity is not that bad. i would prefer to choose. and i'd go for gnome. but unity is usable.

Guest said:

I have been using Ubuntu for a while. But now I am trying to find a substitute. Unity is the reason, why I installed Mint yesterday after trying Fedora. When I edit videos, I don't want a panel suddenly appear, when I move the cursor to the left side of the screen to adjust the time-line. Popping unity panel makes me almost crazy.

Starting and changing programs is slower with unity than with a traditional start-menu. The panel appears, when I don't want it to appear, and it does not appear, when I need it. Unity makes working with the computer slow and frustrating.

I use the computer to do things (editing videos and photos, writing, working with sound, doing things in Internet), not to watch the beautiful desktop and menus. And unity, by the way, is not beautiful. Gnome3 looks better. But it is not very practical either.

Guest said:

Could be Unity, not a big fan, but it is not too hard to change it to something else, it does have apt-get after all. Unity is too hard to use, so many more clicks to get to things you want and I don't see a good point in it. Should have just been an option in the first place.

Guest said:

As much as I tried, I never could get Ubuntu to work satisfactorily on my old & decrepit hardware. The distro that works for my purposes is Puppy Linux - Linux for dumpster divers like me. I run several versions, on anything from a 433mhz 128MB ram thin client - to a 1.7 ghz 2GB ram laptop. My desktop OS (Puppy Slacko) is carried in my pocket on a bootable 4GB usb stick. Right now, I'm on a 1.5 ghz 1GB ram mini-itx industrial computer - that serves as my email & surfing box. As long as I can watch youtube, I'm happy. Puppy Linux does my form of computer necromancy just fine. If the hardware is too old to be recognized, I back up a few years & try a Puppy version with an older Linux kernel - which has not failed to work for me yet. Maybe, sometime soon, I'll find some faster & better hardware on heavy trash day...... on that day I'll try Ubuntu again. Then, I can beeyotch about Unity. LOL

Guest said:

I've got an old desktop I'm using as a media center for my living room television which I put Ubuntu on. I've refused to update beyond 11.04 so that I don't have to put up with the Unity interface. I hate it! I'll most likely be switching over to Mint myself soon, as I'm sure that sooner or later it will become necessary.

Guest said:

I dumped Ubuntu at 10.10 I was orginaly going to mint but the install failed and it was unresolved so I went to Kubuntu it worked nice and install and replaces all my files stored on Ubuntu one. I have been a long fan of Ubuntu but the unit shell sucks for a laptop or desk top it would be great in a tablet but its a mouse clicking maze on a laptop. I might look into Xubuntu ot try the new mint 12 maybe it will install.

oh ya unity sucks

send your hate to


Guest said:

Gnome3 and unity are complete disasters. Worse still, their developers insist on staying on the bridge of titanic until the end.

Guest said:

I'm a 4 year Ubuntu user but have switched to Debian for now. I might try the next Xubuntu or Lubuntu LTS release (12.04), or maybe Mint at some point. But for now Debian squeeze / xfce works well for me. I don't expect I will ever use Unity or Gnome3 unless they provide a LOT more customization. I have tried them both, in their current form - each would be OK for tablets or phones but neither makes sense for a desktop.

Guest said:

I think the reason its Unity: many people come to Linux Ubuntu for its facility of use and its amazing effects with compiz (cube, etc) I know that fx are not only in Ubuntu, but the end user thought that. For me Ubuntu is the best distro: free and free (gratis) with a great enterprise back and the biggest support for the Debian community.

Linux Mint is an ugly ubuntu. My server is Ubuntu 8.04, my desktop OS is Ubuntu 11.10, 10.04 (in the laptop).

Linux Mint is the "actual moda" a simple fashion for "to be snov". Althoug i don understund how Canonical not made more applications for Ubuntu, por example a good office pack based in LibreOffice but an interface more actual like office 2007-10, and any good 3D game o something for start up Ubuntu.

Guest said:

Ubuntu Unity sucks eggs. Period. It offers no new inspiring vision of a desktop that I was hoping for, and the only thing it adds for certain is an incredible amount of cognitive friction to the user who wants to do anything more than launch firefox. The worst UI designs hide the user's options or available actions neatly away from the user, which Ubuntu Unity does very well and in unique and hard-thought ways.

A real shame for Ubuntu.

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