Steve May 2, 2022

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This Week Saw New Releases of ‘Ubuntu Unity’ and ‘Ubuntu Cinnamon’ (

Posted by EditorDavid from the reviewing-remixes dept.

The Register noted this week that two “unofficial” Ubuntu remixes “came out on the same day as the official flavors.”

Ubuntu Cinnamon (Linux Mint’s flagship desktop environment)

Ubuntu Unity, a revival of what used to be the official Ubuntu desktop by Ubuntu team member Rudra B. Saraswat (described the Register as “a 12-year-old wunderkind”) Ubuntu Cinnamon is the older of the two and first appeared in 2019, while Ubuntu Unity came out in May 2020, soon after the release of Ubuntu 20.04.

Ubuntu Unity….has the macOS-like desktop that was Ubuntu’s standard offering from 2011 until the company pensioned it off in 2017…. Ubuntu Unity is as free as Ubuntu itself, and the new remix continues to evolve. In 22.04, most of the GNOME-based accessory apps have been replaced with the MATE equivalents, such as the Pluma text editor and Atril document viewer. (A handful remain, such as the GNOME system monitor rather than the MATE one, but the differences are trivial.) The System Settings app is the original Unity one, and the Unity Tweaks app comes pre-installed…. The new “Jammy Jellyfish” version of Ubuntu Unity also adds support for Flatpak packages alongside Ubuntu’s native Snap packages. To do this, it replaces Ubuntu’s Software Store with version 41.5 of GNOME Software. Interestingly, this also supports Snap packages, so sometimes, when you search for a package, you might get multiple results: one for the OS-native DEB package, possibly one for a Flatpak, and maybe a Snap version too….

[I]f you dislike both the Unity and GNOME desktops and want something more Windows-like, but you don’t mind GNOME’s CSD windows, then Joshua Peisach‘s Ubuntu Cinnamon remix may appeal. Cinnamon is the default desktop of both Ubuntu-based Linux Mint and its Debian variant. Ubuntu Cinnamon combines the latest upstream version of Mint’s Cinnamon desktop, 5.2.7, with the standard app selection of upstream Ubuntu. This means most of its apps lack menu bars, except for the Nemo file manager and LibreOffice. For these classic-style apps, the Ubuntu Cinnamon distro has tweaked the GNOME title-bar layout to be more Windows-like: minimize/maximize/close buttons at top right, and a window-management menu at top left….

Cinnamon’s roots as a fork of GNOME 3 do offer a significant potential feature that MATE, Xfce and indeed Unity cannot do: fractional scaling. This is clearly labelled as an experimental feature, and in testing, we couldn’t get it to work, so for now, this remains a theoretical advantage…. These caveats aside, though, Ubuntu Cinnamon is maturing nicely in the new version. While Ubuntu and Ubuntu Unity are now purple-toned, Ubuntu Cinnamon has switched to a restrained theme in shades of dark orange and brown, which reminded us of the tasteful earth-toned Ubuntu of the old GNOME 2 days…

Both these desktops are X.11-based, so there’s not a trace of Wayland in either distro. Both also benefit from having working 3D acceleration.

Both remixes “are aiming for inclusion as official Ubuntu flavors,” the article points out.

But then again, “There are dozens of Ubuntu remixes and flavors out there. The official Ubuntu Derivatives page links to 30, and DistroWatch has more than five times as many, including many which are no longer maintained.”

“Who alone has reason to *lie himself out* of actuality? He who *suffers* from it.” — Friedrich Nietzsche


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