Canonical (Ubuntu) Abandons Funding for Unity Desktop

Subject: General Tech | April 6, 2017 - 03:00 PM |
Tagged: ubuntu, linux, canonical

For the next long-term support (LTS) build, Ubuntu 18.04, Canonical is moving back to the GNOME desktop. For the last several versions of the operating system, they have put their home-grown Unity desktop at the forefront. The official blog post also announces that Canonical “will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell” to focus on desktop, cloud, and internet of things.

As always with open-source software, it’s possible that someone could take the project and keep it going, but I doubt that this will happen (outside of the hobbyist and archivist circles). The general consensus, from what I’ve seen, could be summarized as: “Finally!”

Update (April 6th @ 6:45pm EDT): Speaking of, UBports, which is a Patreon-supported group of hobbyists that port Ubuntu Touch to new devices, apparently expects to continue Unity development.

I haven’t heard any discussion over what this means for Canonical’s engineering team. I hope that this will just lead to reassignments, rather than lay-offs.

Also, this has nothing to do with the Unity game engine. That's a very different company and a very different product. I just thought I'd make that clear in case it comes up.

Source: Canonical

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April 6, 2017 | 03:08 PM - Posted by TheTolsonator

I'll echo the FINALLY sentiment.

April 6, 2017 | 03:14 PM - Posted by razor512

Unity, was horrible. Hopefully we can get something that is not insanely wasteful of screen space, while also lacking useful functions, and hiding things in menus unnecessarily.

April 6, 2017 | 03:20 PM - Posted by Cristian Kleuser (not verified)


April 6, 2017 | 03:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Unity Fans to Unity DE party crashing Angry Gnomes: You double dipped the chips!

Party Crasing Gnomes: Ha ha ha! Yes, but at least we'll be still around atop of Linus' Kernel and your dip now has Genome of Gnome in it!

April 6, 2017 | 04:16 PM - Posted by Mike S. (not verified)

The real message here is that Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical couldn't get any hardware manufacturers to accept the Ubuntu Touch product. The future of open source software for mobile devices will be open-source-focused Android derivatives like Cyanogenmod/LineageOS and on the more extreme end Replicant. (which is all but unusable, unfortunately).

Mainstream Android is so locked down that a lot of the practical benefits to open source, let alone the ethical and philosophical ones, are lost.

April 6, 2017 | 05:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It is about time that people know that there are much better alternatives to Ubuntu and Ubuntu derivatives distributions.

In my opinion, Ubuntu needs to die. Ubuntu is losing users and developers to other distributions.

Arch based distros work much better than Ubuntu. So no need for Ubuntu at all.

I am using Arch-based OBRevenge OS, Manjaro Budgie/Gnome/Cinnamon/KDE/LXQt desktops. My browsers are Chrome/Chromium.

Linux on the desktop is going to stay. Majority of the people do not know how good Linux really is. Microsoft paid $500,000 dollars to become a member of the Linux Foundation. Do you know how hard is get the money from Microsoft?

April 6, 2017 | 08:06 PM - Posted by Mike S. (not verified)

First, Microsoft has in the neighborhood of $100 billion in revenue per year, so a half a million dollar donation is 0.0005% of their annual revenue. They spend more than that on pencils in a year.

Second, while I wish Arch and the OBRevenge team the best of luck, the distribution has a ways to go before it's as newbie friendly as Ubuntu. If one out of every thousand new Linux users becomes a contributor, the best way to make Linux technically awesome is to get as many thousands of new users as possible. The Ubuntu community worked incredibly hard at that from 2004-2010, lost their way a bit, but may be back on track now. I wish them the best going forwards.

April 7, 2017 | 04:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I tried ubuntu on an older system and it crashed as soon as I hit the menu in the top corner due to it trying to use some transparent menu thing that didn't work with the default driver for my video card. It did function once I installed the nvidia driver, but it was slow. I found it way to hard to find what I wanted and it seemed to waste a lot of resources. I ended up switching to lubuntu which uses a light weight window manager. I don't run a machine to run the OS, so I would generally prefer that the OS be very light weight and not waste resources on unnecessary graphical effects and other cruft. In may switch back to CentOS since that is what I use at work.

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