Why I like Unity?

There’s a lot of criticism out there for the Unity Desktop Environment. Strangely I can’t echo the same sentiments. I quite like using Unity (mind you not Ubuntu). Here are a few reasons why and why not.

The Unity Launcher: I have always loved launchers. Back in the days, when I would change desktop environments every second day – fluxbox, gnome, kde, wmaker, etc, one thing was constant. I had gnome-panel (&) start from my xinitrc irrespective of what distribution I used. Also I have never been a fan of taskbars. The Unity launcher marries the traditional launcher with a highly usable taskbar. It had some usability issues when Ubuntu initially switched to Unity, but it’s almost perfect now with AppIndicator Support. I can have upto 15 applications open at the same time and it’s still a breeze to manage them.

Gnome Run Command: No don’t confuse this with the Ubuntu Dash (super key). This is the plain old ‘Alt + F2’ command. Its as good an application launcher as any. I use the ‘Ctrl + Space’ combination which is much more accessible than the ‘Alt + F2’ combo. Seriously, Linux distributions should take a cue from osx and change the default key bindings for the ‘Run’ command.

No Widgets BS: The KDE Plasma Workspaces and the OSX Dashboard are just a waste of valuable RAM. Who uses widgets? They are hidden beneath the application windows. I set them up, but I never use them. So good job for not plagiarizing a useless feature from osx.

Themes: Lot of awesome themes available for people like me who spend an eternity on eyecandy stuff.

Things that I don’t like:

Gwibber: I loved the Adobe Air version of Tweetdeck before Adobe decided to stop developing Adobe Air for Linux. I now use the Tweetdeck webapp. Not as good, but still much better than most linux twitter clients out there.

Empathy: Its good, but still needs more work. Looks ugly.

The last two reasons are more to do with the Gnome Bundle than Unity itself.

I tried Gnome 3 a couple times, but wasn’t happy with it. KDE is ugly. I dont think I’ll like Cinnamon, Mate either. I have seen the screenshots and I don’t like the ‘Start’ Menu.

I think I’m going to stick to Unity for the time being till there’s a better alternative.


  1. Yes, I don’t understand why there are so many people criticizing unity. When I was using other DEs, I was always thinking that they can improve here and there, then it can be as good as windows at least. But after I turned to unity not long ago, i was totally satisfied. What I like most is the hud, it’s so convenient.

    But I didn’t understand the difference between gnome run command and dash. In dash, we can also run command easily.

  2. I’ve always loved Arch and recently switched to Ubuntu just for Unity. Pitty I didn’t seem this blog first. I may switch back and try it out.

    Where does one get unity themes? 🙂

    Thanks for the great work too!

  3. Thanks a lot for this article. I was looking for an alternative to Ubuntu, but – as you – want to keep Unity 🙂

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