Ubuntu Unity 22.04 is a Linux desktop distribution that is as productive as it’s elegant

Ubuntu Unity 22.04 is out, and it is higher than ever. This throwback to the glory days of Canonical’s in-house desktop would possibly simply usurp your each day driver as your Linux distribution of alternative.

Picture: Ubuntu Unity

I’ve a confession to make. Again when Canonical created its personal desktop referred to as Unity, I felt it was, arms down, one of the best desktop atmosphere available on the market. Not solely was it fantastically designed, nevertheless it was additionally probably the most environment friendly and productive UIs accessible. With the Head-Up Show, highly effective search, and extremely configurable dashboard, I used to be in a position to work with a stage of effectivity I had but to expertise.

SEE: Linux turns 30: Celebrating the open supply working system (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

However then Canonical did the unthinkable and jettisoned that desktop (and all of the work the builders put into it) and returned to GNOME. Ever since, I’ve felt Canonical made an enormous mistake by scrapping Unity. Happily, since that is open-source, a fork of the Unity Desktop was given beginning within the type of an entire distribution (referred to as Ubuntu Unity) and continues to be in energetic improvement. Though it’s not fairly the identical Unity as was discovered again in its Canonical heyday (no HUD related to utility menus), it’s nonetheless a unbelievable desktop.

Let’s check out what Ubuntu Unity 22.04 has in retailer for you.

First, you’ll be able to obtain the ISO for Ubuntu Unity from the official obtain web page. I extremely advocate deploying this as a digital machine at first. If the distribution serves your wants, you’ll be able to then set up it on naked steel and benefit from the Unity desktop as your each day driver.

My first impressions of Ubuntu Unity 22.04

Upon putting in and logging into Ubuntu Unity for the primary time, my quick impression is that of nostalgia. Apart from the colour scheme and the wallpaper, this appears precisely just like the Ubuntu Desktop of previous that I beloved a lot (Determine A).

Determine A

The default Ubuntu Unity desktop immediately hearkens back to the good ol' days of Ubuntu.
The default Ubuntu Unity desktop instantly hearkens again to the nice ol’ days of Ubuntu.

This impression actually hits house the second you click on the menu button on the high left nook. As soon as the Sprint is open (Determine B), you’ll see what appears virtually precisely like Unity when it was having fun with its heyday.

Determine B

The Unity Dash is open and ready to make your life a bit more productive.
The Unity Sprint is open and able to make your life a bit extra productive.

One factor I appreciated in regards to the Unity Sprint is that it allowed me to get very granular with my looking out. You might allow/disable totally different classes and sources on your searches. In case you solely need to seek for purposes, be certain Purposes is the one possibility chosen beneath Classes. If you wish to seek for solely Recordsdata & Folders … ditto.

That’s to not say all the things works completely. Identical to again with the unique Unity, generally the search merely received’t discover recordsdata in your system. If I recall (again within the day) the issue with this subject needed to do with Zeitgeist and whether or not you’d truly opened a file. Right here’s an illustration:

  1. Open a terminal window and subject the command contact ~/Paperwork/TechRepublic.
  2. Shut the terminal window.
  3. Open the Sprint and seek for the TechRepublic file.

The search outcomes will provide you with nothing. Nevertheless, do the next:

  1. Open LibreOffice.
  2. Open the TechRepublic file.
  3. Add some textual content to the file.
  4. Save the file within the ODT format.
  5. Shut the file.

Now, while you seek for the TechRepublic file within the Sprint, it’ll seem within the outcomes (Determine C).

Determine C

Our file is there to quickly open from the Dash.
Our file is there to rapidly open from the Sprint.

This was only one facet of why Unity was such an environment friendly desktop. In fact, it’s not like different desktops don’t embody such options, however Unity simply at all times did it higher (and appeared higher doing it). Happily, Ubuntu Unity nailed this function.

The lacking piece

The one function of Ubuntu Unity that I beloved was the HUD (Head-Up Show). Successfully, what this did was combine utility menus into the Sprint such that you can (whereas an app was open) hit the Tremendous key (aka the “Home windows” key) after which search the app menus. For instance, you could have LibreOffice open, and also you need to middle a line of textual content. As an alternative of choosing the textual content, after which clicking Format | Align | Heart, you can choose the textual content, hit the Tremendous key, sort Heart, and hit Enter and the textual content can be centered. This makes it fairly environment friendly, particularly when an utility had a big menu system that made it difficult to seek out what you wanted.

Sadly, not each utility took benefit of this function, and it appears like Ubuntu Unity has not built-in the HUD with utility menus. That’s a disgrace as a result of it was the best possible function within the unique Unity.

Even so, Ubuntu Unity has included the worldwide menu function, which implies utility menus are discovered within the high bar and never within the precise app window (in a similar way to how macOS handles international menus).

App swap

One of many issues the builders have performed is swap out just a few of the default GNOME apps for people who higher match the Unity UI. That checklist contains the next:

  • Doc Viewer–switched with Atril
  • Textual content Editor–switched with Pluma
  • Video Participant–switched with VLC
  • Picture Viewer–switched with EOM
  • System Monitor–switched with MATE System Monitor

Apart from that, the OS contains (out of the field) the likes of:

  • LibreOffice
  • Firefox 99.0.1
  • Eye of Mate
  • Doc Scanner
  • Disk Utilization Analyzer
  • Remmina Distant Desktop Consumer
  • Thunderbird
  • Unity Tweak Device

And, after all, you’ll be able to at all times set up from 1000’s of purposes utilizing the included GNOME Software program.

Who Ubuntu Unity is for?

Anybody who loved what Canonical was doing with the Ubuntu desktop, earlier than it jumped ship again to GNOME, will vastly respect what the builders behind this distribution are doing. In case you like a desktop that very a lot creates an environment friendly and chic workflow, this would possibly grow to be your go-to Linux distribution.

This could be an unpopular opinion, however I consider Ubuntu Unity is among the most lovely Linux desktops available on the market. If the builders may solely deliver again the complete HUD, I may see myself changing Pop!_OS as my distribution of alternative.

Subscribe to TechRepublic’s How To Make Tech Work on YouTube for all the most recent tech recommendation for enterprise execs from Jack Wallen.