Ubuntu Linux losing popularity fast. New Unity interface to blame?

Don’t panic Ubuntu fans but your favorite desktop Linux distribution has fallen to fourth place in DistroWatch’s latest ranking.

Ubuntu has been overtaken by Fedora, Mint, and openSUSE. Mint now holds the number one spot in all of DistroWatch’s rankings going back at least a year, which leads us to wonder why.

One reason behind this reversal of fortune for Ubuntu could be the change of default interface in version 11.04 or “Natty Narwhal”, released in April 2011. With the new Ubuntu came Unity, an interface previously seen in Ubuntu Netbook Edition, and Gnome was relegated to an option.

There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding Unity. Now it seems like Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, may be paying the price for the change. Let’s look at the numbers.

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Mint’s rise to the top

We charted the top distributions since 2005, as ranked by DistroWatch. In doing so, we excluded a couple of distributions that only made a brief appearance in the top five: Mandriva dropped off after 2006, PCLinuxOS only made an appearance in 2007 and 2008, and Sabayon only showed up during 2007.

Here’s what it looks like from 2005 until now for the current top five Linux distributions:

Based on the DistroWatch numbers, Ubuntu’s market share has been declining for years, and has seen a remarkable drop in 2011. Linux Mint, on the other hand, has seen a huge leap in market share this year and has become the most popular desktop distribution. Is this a side effect of the controversy around Unity?

To give you an idea of how drastic the recent changes are, let’s compare the most recent statistics (for the last 30 days) with the average number for 2010:

  • Ubuntu is down 47.2%.
  • Mint is up 105%.

Note that even though the relative share of Ubuntu has dropped during this period, the total number of hits on the distribution pages at DistroWatch has almost doubled.

Adding that to the mix makes Mint’s popularity even more spectacular.

Comparing the top five: Mint is growing fast

If we focus on the last 12 months, we can see how this compares between the top five distributions: Debian, Fedora, Mint, openSUSE, and Ubuntu. First we see how they compare to the total of all desktop Linux distributions as reported by DistroWatch:

Besides the remarkable growth of Mint, which is again obvious, it’s also interesting to note that the top five distribution’s share of the total has increased quite significantly over the year.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Mint’s share of the average hits per day for the specified periods has almost doubled, with an increase from 5.6% to 10.12%.
  • Ubuntu has fallen from 5.4% to 3.82%.
  • Debian’s popularity has shrunk a bit from 3.42% to 2.95%.
  • Fedora has gained from 3.97% to 4.88%.
  • openSUSE has also gained some, moving from 3.35% to 4.83%.
  • We should also point out that the total has increased during the 12-month period with about 21%, possibly indicating a rising popularity of Linux as a whole.

What we’re comparing here is really the average hits for each distribution over the four periods. As you can see from the first chart, the difference is even more noticeable over a longer period of time.

Then we dig into the relationship between the top five distributions:

In this chart, a bar represents each distribution’s share out of the total for the top five distributions for the period. It gives you a good overview of how things have shifted in the top five over the last 12 months. Here the change for Mint and Ubuntu is even more clear:

  • Mint has gone from 26% of the top five to 38%.
  • Ubuntu has lost quite a bit, from 25% down to 14%.

Again it’s clear that Ubuntu is the big loser.

What does Google say?

We have used Google before to review at the state of Linux. So again we turn to Google Trends to chart Linux and to supplement DistroWatch. Since this is based on search statistics, it’s more to gage the “interest in” the various distributions, or mindshare, if you like.

The downward trend for Ubuntu is clear to see also with Google’s tool but the rise of Mint is also visible. Mint is overtaking openSUSE by mid-2008, and Debian and Fedora about 18 months later. Towards the end of the chart, in 2011, there’s a definite spike in search volume for Mint, according to Google Trends.

Time for Ubuntu to take notice

It’s obviously way too early to say whether Ubuntu, in actual use, is declining or not. However, if this is any indication of which way the wind is blowing, it’s time for Ubuntu to take notice.

What we also can’t say for sure based on this research is why this change in popularity is happening. It’s possible that it’s due to how the DistroWatch numbers are put together, and it’s possible that Unity is having some effect.

It does seem certain that the timing of Unity’s introduction coincides with the decline in Ubuntu’s popularity. And according to DistroWatch, the widening of the gap between Mint and Ubuntu is accelerating.

Finally, we have to congratulate the Linux Mint team. They are clearly doing something right with so many Linux users choosing their specific distribution.

Update (2011-11-25)

Some of you asked about what the situation for Ubuntu would look like if we included the other Ubuntu distributions in the statistics, like KUbuntu. We went back to the numbers and here’s the chart with all Ubuntu distributions added into the Ubuntu category:

The popularity of Ubuntu increased until about 2007 but then it’s been in decline relative to desktop Linux in entirety. Since 2010, the decline for Ubuntu and the rise for Mint is not much less dramatic.


  1. Ubuntu seems to have been in decline since 2005~6? does that correlate with the release of unity? It would be interesting to see why the decline has been there for years. Perhaps the main source of these stats, distrowatch, isnt used by people much now that ubuntu has become better know. Are people directly going to the ubuntu homepage instead?

  2. Of course it should be mentioned that DistroWatch is more of a Linux enthusiast website. In my opinion new users to Ubuntu will not discover it from their pages.

    I’m glad you included Google results in this report. It helps drive the fact that Ubuntu is by far still ahead of other distributions. However, according to the Google the decline begun in late 2007. Well before Unity showed up.

    If anything this shows that as users become more comfortable with Ubuntu they look for new options. Ironically, My first Distribution was Ubuntu followed by Mint then ArchLinux.

    Additionally, does this report include Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu? Mint tends to lump all the desktop environments together but Ubuntu prefers to market them separately.

  3. My thought is that people use Distrowatch for disto-specific information, and the latest release news. But, the average student or non-techie will use google and not distrowatch to find information on the “Linux” they have heard about. Google data showing a decline in searches could simply be Linux is no longer for geeks, and that people know ubuntu by name and can then go to ubuntu.com directly bypassing the need to search.

    What is needed is to know how many Linux installations pull down updates from their respective repos in a given month. Microsoft tracks sales, not installations. Distros need to track the installations since sales are so far and in between.

  4. Thanks for being concise with the cookie cutter, typically useless statistics that have nothing to do with the actual userbase numbers.

    Regardless of what’s popular, the editorial blog hype we’ve been seeing over the last 4 to 5 years needs to die off. No matter how much “desktop linux” is hyped, the quantitative user-base stays about the same. Like Linus says, it’s in the code. But a bunch of needless installation screenshots and regurgitation of opinionated fluff that has nothing to do with real productive work as a workstation is a dead horse that collectively needs to stop being beaten.

  5. i find it funny that whenever someone mentions distrowatch and ubuntu’s obvious decline that is just reflected there, fanbois jump to say that distrowatch doesn’t matter.
    it’s funny because i never heard this “argument” while ubuntu was still number 1 over at DW? back then it was relevant?
    well, lolz.

  6. I’m not sure I can agree fully with this article. This is using 1 set of data to show a specific outcome. I suspect it’s only showing people who are thinking of switching or are curious.

    We really need to be able to compare userbase.

    All distrowatch & google are doing is showing how many people click on a link or search for a distro. And Distrowatch doesn’t show how much Mint is alienating KDE users.

    As an example, both these stats wouldn’t show I’ve switched from Mint to Kubuntu, because I didn’t use distrowatch or google to get to kubuntu.

    If you are already using a distro, you are not going to go to the homepage via Distrowatch. And perhaps not via google either.

  7. The irony of the whole Mint thing is that say Ubuntu died over the next year, goodbye Mint (Ubuntu version anyway) – I argue that Mint should develop their Debian side more for more future stability and forget what Ubuntu is doing.

    Ubuntu has a playschool interface sitting upon software that is coming and going on a regular basis and also Wayland will get thrown into the mix too sooner or later – sometimes progress isn’t an advancement.

  8. Not a big surprise. Unity is shit, and if Ubuntu forces me to use it, I won’t use Ubuntu anymore. Same applies to wayland. Ubuntu is destoying standards and made some very bad decisions. Unity, Upstart, Wayland, PulseAudio, Indicators… There once was a time when Ubuntu was a well configured operating system, but now it’s… crap.

  9. Its obvious, but it needs to be said — Linux Mint is not one single distribution but approximately 6 variants. LM has one each for KDE, Gnome, LXDE, XFCE. Those are all Ubuntu based. LM also has two XFCE, Gnome that are Debian based as rolling releases. So it is not surprising that LM has received so much traction. Throw in the fact that Unity has left many cold and your sole respite from the switch is Linux Mint.

    What drew me to LM years ago was their rolling the more popular codecs into the release. It was something that I typically did with a Ubuntu upgrade anyway so I made the switch. Saved me time and effort and I have been satisfied with the LM packages ever since.

  10. I am one of those that defected from Ubuntu to Mint earlier this year. I made an honest effort to use Unity – for three months – but the productivity hit was too big. I am a developer and Unity really, really hurts my daily workflow.

  11. I began looking for alternatives after I started to get a feeling that with each new release, Unity was being more forcibly forced down my throat by Canonical.

    Leave that bad behavior to Microsoft and Apple — it just doesn’t seem like the right kind of attitude for a Linux organization to have.

  12. I actually didn’t like how I was strong armed into adopting Libre Office over Open Office. That’s something that really upset me. I’m sure it had a list of 100 software programs that it prompted me about whether I wanted it included in the update or not, but I don’t like searching through a big list of apps when there are only a few that I care about.

    Ubuntu is the first I tried… but I’ve downloaded Mint and am considering giving it a try on my netbook.

  13. Your anti-Ubuntu fanboism is quite funny.

    Firstly distrowatch doesn’t matter. This site is constructed by geeks for geeks. I’m pretty sure that most of Mint users watch Distrowatch but it’s not true to Ubuntu users. Today most Ubuntu users don’t even know what distribution or even Linux is 🙂

    In google trends you used term “Ubuntu Linux”. Why don’t you just try “Ubuntu”?
    We both know why 🙂 Look at Ubuntu users forums and check how many people use term “Ubuntu Linux”. Yeah – almost nobody! 🙂
    Check also “Intel”, “cpu”, “Microsoft” and ask yourself why they are also “declining”.

    Shame that distrowatch doesn’t count Windows, MacOS and Android. It’s quite possible that Mint will remain on top :). And tell me: How many payed developers works full-time for Mint? 0? Maybe 1?

    Ubuntu still gains market share and it’s dominance thanks to Unity will be even stronger. Unity is better designed than old gnome and even gnome-shell is known for copying Unity. Most of the hate comes from the outside of Ubuntu community. Not because Unity is bad, but because it’s a threat – Distro changing will be much harder and Ubuntu dominance will be cemented 🙂

    And Mint is in its current form just Ubuntu platform with old desktop, with no support from commercial applications and OEMs. Mint will rather help to sustain Ubuntu dominance 🙂

  14. Unity sucked up until now…Why try to copy the worst feature of MacOSX???This awful menu bar at the top!?!?!?
    I like it now but still I think this is one major cause of Ubuntu’s popularity decrease..

  15. Add on the Distrowatch hits for Lubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu and see who is still on top. Remember that Mint also offers these different versions but they are not listed seperately. I personally don’t like Unity or Gnome3 but that is no reason to start writing off Ubuntu.

  16. As some mentioned above, seasoned *buntu users, as well as other distro users, would not be spending much time visit their particular distro’s website. I think a good measure of a distro’s popularity is to find a way to measure: the activity of forums for a particular distro; how active bloggers are writing about a certain distro; how active IRC is; and so on. Server hosting companies should also provide some stats on which distro is widely used. I think Linode, Ubuntu server is the leader (I use CentOS 6 if anybody wants to know).

    If somebody can create some sort of algorithm for this, it would be a great way to judge which distro is popular or not. Distrowatch just measures the number of hits, that is all.

  17. It’s not only Unity that’s hurting Ubuntu, it’s the attitude. Mark S makes it very clear these days how he sees Canonical’s relationship with the community and that alienates a lot of people. Add to that the attitude of some of the developers in Launchpad, e.g. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/netcat-openbsd/+bug/544935 and it’s hardly surprising if some people look for alternatives.

    Mint based on Debian looks like an easy switch.

  18. Regardless of the argument over the stats, I have moved away from Ubuntu because of Unity which means I no longer promote Ubuntu.

  19. The problem goes further than a Unity issue. I have seen the same problem with Fedora and OpenSuSE. A lot of the key developers don’t listen to end users and much rather prefer to do their own thing which is not necessarily the right thing. As I think now. Fedora sucks because Pulseaudio sucks and the new Gnome Desktop wasn’t as versatile as the old one. Basically it was useless. On the OpenSuSE side, Microsoft might as well just distribute Vista with a Gecko on it. I was a faithful openSuSE/SuSE user for over 10 years. Now, if I see a machine running it, I look at is as Windows Vista with a green interface.

    In short, Mint’s edge is that they are listening to end users and actually doing it right.

  20. “Unity interface to blame” I am not convinced. In the chart of % of total per year it shows that Ubuntu is declining in % since 2005 which Unity is not even shipped. (Though I agree that Unity sucks.) I am more willing to believe that Canonical was too eager to think different, to be different from other distro but cannot deliver. Just my 5 cents.

  21. I think whats happened is that Linux Live CDs make it trivial for Linux newbies to venture past Ubuntu.
    I got in at 8.04 and hated it with a passion… my friends thought it was the ugliest UI ever. I then discovered Kubuntu and Xubuntu and making a desktop look how I want. Because thats where the real choice is, not the distro.
    Take two distros using the same desktop and you will be hard pressed to see the difference apart the cosmetic (oooooh, look kids… a differetn wallpaper!!)
    If you tough it out past a few years on Linux, you are bound to say ‘what the frack and just download another distro or desktop.
    You are bound to find a desktop-distro combination out there that you find is more suited to your current needs and it doesnt cost you a thing to test out something new.
    Its the beauty of choice, where the user has the final say.
    For some, Linux Mint among others has struck a chord that Ubuntu might have missed just like PCLinuxOS did the same with Mandriva. We stand on the shoulder of giants and there is no reason to fear offering free software users what THEY want.
    Thats hard to market and leverage but for the user, its just wonderful.

  22. At the surface Unity is the issue, but the real issue is Ubuntu has lost there connection with the community. The reason is Ubuntu has been ignoring community requests for changes,

    While I don’t like Unity and I think many can agree with me, there has been a ton of change requests from the community that have been ignored.

    I think this started with the notification system that’s not clickable, there was some bickering about how “Ubuntu is not a democracy. This doesn’t help.

    Here’s recent servery that was done that really points out some Ubuntu’s issues.

  23. There are many Linux community far better than Ubuntu with everything working out of the box, Linux Mint was one of my favorites but when I found Ultimate Edition all that changed because Mint has started to go down hill, Even Ultimate edition is going down hill Over the last couple of months I have downloaded all the latest releases.

    Now I have found the one that blows them all away, This release if people get to know about it will be the number one without a doubt everything works out of the box, I never thought I would ever find anything better than Ultimate Edition but I have. I am recommending it to everybody to download it and give it a spin you won’t regret doing so It’s a pity that it’s only for the 64 bit systems

    Check out CommodoreOS 64 Vision. It’s mind blowing to say the least and this is only the beta version. I say well done to the Commodore developers team Keep up the fantastic work your doing

    check it out here. their website is a mind blaster too

  24. Ubuntu “Innovation” started by moving the title bar buttons to the right side. Next came the overlay scrollbar. Then the global menu came to the mix, then unity with enormous icons.

    Each time, it required a while to adapt and I was not convinced at all that the new interface is better. Or it took time to reconfigure the GUI. Then one day I got fed up and switched all the computers at home to Linux Mint.

  25. i think blamming Unity isn’t going to turn the table around, it was Canonical focusing too much resources on eye-candy and forgotten other aspect of the Linux world needs. that could be a reason why Mint got passed Ubuntu in nature.

    if you look at Fedora, they leverage on already existed desktop manager such as GNOME 3 and KDE 4 and focusing deliver stable platform and up-to-date fixes and packages instead.

    my 2 cents only since i already switched to F16 both work and home

  26. Mint doesn’t exist without ubuntu distro, right ?

    So, what do we learn : “vanillia” ubuntu may be on the same slope as gnome has embraced, and people are going away. This slope is the lack of choice and control. (Yeah, unity, I mean you)

    Some other distros ask politely what desktop you want. A newbie will be lost – so a default is relevant.

    As mentioned earlier, this study should consider Xunbuntu and Kubuntu as well, because that’s exactly the option choosed by Canonical. It may be simpler for them to ship different desktops, personnally I prefer the Arch way : you have none by default, then you choose one.

  27. Ubuntu /Canonical ignore their users and showed down our throat an UNPRODUCTIVE (windows’s menu is moved away), buggy, unity that cannot even do a proper search !
    Many have changed preferred OS, and many more will.
    I’ve really tried to use Unity, since it came, but I am more fed up than ever, and will do proper research and shift to another distro ASAP

  28. I switched to Linux Mint Debian Edition since a lot of things haven’t worked on my laptop in Ubuntu 11.04. I thought that 11.10 will fix those issues, but I got even more problems. Then I started searching for alternatives and since I always wanted to try XFCE, I installed LMDE. It did required some tweaking, but at least now I have a stable OS I can work on, with a fast desktop environment.

  29. This only confirms what we already know. Google the phrase “Ubuntu has jumped the shark” and you will see that the overwhelming consensus of Linux users is that we hate Unity and are abandoning Ubuntu because of it. Spaceman Mark is openly hostile towards Unity critics because it’s his pet project, but it’s ugly and unusable and we’re not going to swallow it down like a bunch of Apple users — we’re Linux users and we know how to exercise our freedom of choice.

    Ubuntu has had its day in the sun but it’s time to move on.

  30. Help,
    I am a long time Mandrake(Mandriva) KDE user, still stable and I am content.
    But is there anybody out there who could advice me on “the next step” if I need to jump ship.

  31. Not to be a bearer of bad news, but Unity has been around a lot longer than 11.04. Remember back when they released a Ubuntu Netbook Remix? Circa 8.04 era. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Netbook_Edition – Canonical has been working on this interface for quite some time. The people did not accept it then due to the crashy nature of it and it made seasoned vets feel real stupid using it. I mean… look at this: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UNR

    While I have switched most of my home boxes to Xubuntu with Xfce DE, I’m also still running Ubuntu 10.10 Gnome2 my power tower box.

    The main distribution of Ubuntu may now be tied to their Unity interface, but there are other spin offs like Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu that utilize other DEs and maintain use of Ubuntu’s repos and developer goodness on Launchpad. There’s also distros like Pinguy and Bohdi that have a Ubuntu base and use lesser used DEs like Enlightenment.

    ProTip: Linux is about freedom and choice. Make a good choice and be free!

  32. What these charts say to me is that the combined share of Ubuntu and Mint does not change much. It is just that Mint gains something at expense of Ubuntu.

    Also the share of Fedora is stable.

    Other than that it seems that combined share of Debian and openSUSE is also constant with openSUSE increasing at expense of Debian.

  33. My tuppence worth; I have been a great great fan of canonical since 2005, which is when I decided to change from AmigaOS to Linux (finally). I thank Ubuntu as the OS for allowing me to have a clean and pleasant change.

    Canonical have always been in front with willing to take a risk and try new things. That’s what they have always strived to do. However, like many a good user like myself, I prefer to do things on my computer, not let the computer decide what I’m doing. To me, that’s what Unity is trying to achieve, and with that, I decided to change to Mint. It wasn’t a difficult decision either, as I tried Unity and Gnome3, and pretty much instantly disliked it.

    Mint brings the beauty of Ubuntu to us in a way that I adore and enjoy using the computer. Personally, if it wasn’t for Unity and Gnome3, Id still be using Ubuntu. The great thing about the Linux world is we have choice, and lots of it. No one is forcing us to use anything we don’t want to (like other OS’s). Linux lets us create an Operating System subtle and personal for our individual needs. So since Ubuntu IS the core of mint, I will always be interested in new technologies Canonical may present to us.

    Saying that, I’ve found Mint more of a joy to use as it feels less “official” and the community appear to keep to the ethics of Ubuntu, and for that, I see no wonder why Mint is (at the moment) the most popular. Join us in http://www.n00bsonUbuntu.net one of the admin seems slightly obsessed with Unity, so there are often tongue-in-cheek discussions on IRC.

  34. Once a ‘Classic’ interface is given as a choice along with Unity I see Ubuntu’s share rising. I don’t know why Team Ubuntu can’t give its users the choice of using either UIs or using both user inter faces. Mark, please step in so Team Ubuntu shows some flexibility.

  35. Whatever. I don’t care what the stats say. I hate Unity. I’m still using 10.10, but I don’t know where I’m going from here. I suspect lots of people like me are in a holding pattern with Linux.

  36. Unity sucks, Ubuntu’s new softer-center is very slow.
    Fedora 16 with gnome shell is Great!
    now using Mint in gnome shell mod, but the softer-center is slow too.

  37. What sunk Ubuntu for me was Shuttleworth’s Love it or Leave it attitude about Unity. So I left it for Linux Mint, who seems to be listening to their customers complaints.

  38. In my case, I started in the Linux world, as a lot of people with Ubuntu, and then switched to Linux Mint because I liked its design and look & feel.
    Using it as my daily and working desktop, I decided to try LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) to be “closer” to the “root” of linux spirit, but without to many disadvantages (compared to full and native Debian desktop).
    But, Gnome 2 started to look really old and not up-to-date, not stylish compared to modern applications.

    So, I switched to Fedora 16 with Gnome 3.2, and I honestly don’t regret at all my choice. It’s “work efficient”, nice, modern and not as buggy as Unity ! (at least on my hardware)

    I now feel closer to Fedora spirit than ubuntu one’s, and even more after reading that Canonical don’t share and participate to community as others do.

  39. When you SLAM the door closed on the ubuntu community as shuttleworth has done, his message is loud and clear. Being trapped in his little grey box was not for me, i since moved on to Mint. Unity has brought down shuttleworths ubuntu to the point if he does not open his eyes and realize just what has happened its over. The biggest indicator of his narrow mindedness is the fact of the 5 year LTS now. Ubutnu could have stayed at the top with the support from its community and as with any marriage there is compromise to be successful, but its quite clear shuttleworth has filed for divorce.

  40. Distrowatch shouldn’t be used to judge a distros popularity. Even says that on the website. ” They correlate neither to usage nor to quality and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions. They simply show the number of times a distribution page on DistroWatch.com was accessed each day, nothing more.” My source http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=popularity . Next time dig a little deeper before making a comparison.

  41. As someone already pointed out, you used “ubuntu linux” instead of “ubuntu” in google trends. If I make a chart of “ubuntu”, “ubuntu linux” and “linux mint”, I get a chart where the latter two seem almost equal because “ubuntu” soars so high.

    Like this: http://www.google.com/trends/viz?q=ubuntu+linux,linux+mint,ubuntu&date=all&geo=all&graph=weekly_img&sort=0&sa=N

    As for distrowatch, it’s so inaccurate I won’t even dig into it.

  42. Well… Add me into this camp.

    Just did an install of Linux onto a virtual machine for a project; after loading/deleting the latest Ubuntu (yecch), I have switched to Mint for the time being… Was always happy with Ubuntu til now.

    These guys are pulling a RIM (bad) move here. I have work to do and want the interface I am familar with to work against, period.

    Why not allow their new (crappy) interface as an install option vs. the default. They are brain-dead if they think they will make any traction against Android in the tablet space.

    Just my 2 cents.//GH

  43. Unity as a desktop is a COMPLETE FAIL shuttleworth knows it … and he knows it because he never intended it to be a DESKTOP interface … canonical is working out the bugs for their upcoming tablet and telephone interface and forcing their loyal followers to suffer through the failures and bugs … ubuntus goal is to monetize it’s customers … i can’t blame them , they are running a business … but what they will be essentially doing is watering down the OS reducing the amount of usable programs in it , then giving you an easy way to get to an APP store to purchase apps that will bring back the functionality that they broke on purpose so they could get paid for it …. i personally will NEVER again use a ubuntu based distro , Mark can suck it

  44. I got Xubuntu running on the laptop and Ubuntu 10.4 LTS on the desktop. I’m grabbing a copy of Mint 12 now to see how that is once the 10.4 LTS support is dropped. Good bye Unity and any other tablet/phone type OS being shoved on the desktop without thinking. (I’m looking at you Gnome 3 and Windows 8!)

  45. I have used various Linux Distros solemnly since 1998. But Ubuntu was the best. There have been many frustrations during these years but anything was better than windows for me. My problem with the Linux Distros was the feeling that as a desktop os it never really delivered, always something missing or not working, and maybe the worst thing for me was that when something worked on an previous version and then did not work on the next, though I was using the same hardware was continually frustrating and not really serious. In the end it is not about the desktop, it is not about KDE, Gnome or Unity, they should be in the background it is about a desktop with exiting softwares or apps that just simply functions and does the job. I bought a MacBook Pro in June 2010 and never ever looked back on Linux any more. For everybody still believing in Linux, I have only one word for you “ANDROID”.

  46. Ubuntu really missed it with Unity. They need to take a hard look at their test market. From what I have read, it is made up of mostly developers and not daily users including the business user market which I think they totally ignored.

    I have been a fan of Ubuntu for years but not pinguy and mint have my attention.

  47. I think the new interface is the next thing, and you would have to be a total idiot not to be able to change it.
    Although you could get one of those other operating systems and just deal with the crap programs available and all kinds of cost and virus’s
    Ubuntu Rocks!!!! if you don’t like it….. don’t use it.

  48. The fact is from new linux user (I am trying linux in august 2011), i search in google and found distrowacth website. First try is ubuntu 11.04 , but unity make very confuse. I try Mint 11 , and very comfort with that.
    You must know the the most OS use to view distrowacth is MS windows ( about 46 %, source :http://distrowatch.com/awstats/ ). Be number 1 is attracting new linux user who swicth from MS to try that distribution.

  49. IMHO it’s complete nonsense to compare the popularity and total usage of different distributions by looking at meaningless statistics from a useless website like distrowatch. I’m using linux for 5 years now, from opensuse, ubuntu, opensuse, debian, fedora to finally ubuntu again. In this whole time I’ve been ONE SINGLE TIME on distrowatch.com, namely when this whole discussion about the sinking popularity of ubuntu started. And, when visiting this site I have not visited the ubuntu page at distrowatch.com, because.. why should I? Instead I visited pages from other distributions I’m not familiar with. I doubt the usefulness of this whole discussion and especially the rankings at distrowatch. Or is anybody out there, saying “hey, I’m using distribution X, so let’s motherf***ing click the shit out of its distrowatch page!!”

  50. I have been using Linux from ~1997, starting with slakware and ending up with Ubuntu as my main distribution somewhere around 2005, in between trying a few including Mandrake/Mandriva, Fedora and CentOS (Mandrake and CentOS for quite a length of time for serious work). Did I ever been to Distrowatch? Naah. I have been more than happy with Ubuntu, ever since, often feeling withdrawal pains when the official work forces switching to Windows and/or CentOS for tool compatibility (EDA tools etc.). Did I try Mint? Yes, when 11.04 came out and with all these hew and cry, and coupled with the unfamiliarity of the new interface, I did install the Mint. But did I stick with Mint Big No. I didn’t see enough there, except the hype! Why? Once I got my basic launchers and shell short cuts setup, it really didn’t matter what distro was there! Not to mention Cairo Dock which I chanced upon on the way. Then 11.10 came out. With a little tinkering (a 9 virtual desktop and some mouse gestures for desktop switching, Cairo) and Unity, I never had a more functional desktop. I did install all the Mint goodies from the Mint by adding Repo including Mint Desktop. How many times I logged into Mint desktop? 4.

  51. Yes. Lots of little annoyances with Ubuntu, then the Unity thing. So I was stickign with the 10.04 LTS release. Then had some issues w/ a web app I wanted to use… and ditched it. Went back to plain old Debian (stable/squeeze here at work and testing/wheezy at home). Wheezy at home just “upgraded” to Gnome 3, so I’ve purged that and gone to KDE …

  52. I love linux, it’s fast, secure, stable, etc. I’ve been using for years. I’ve gone from Yggdrasil, to Slackware, Redhat, Mandrake, to Ubuntu with some in between. I HATE, friggen HATE unity. I’m trying Mint 12.1 right now. Die UNITY, DIE!

  53. Part of it also may be that Mint is just more user-friendly. Mint doesn’t make it a pain in the ass to install proprietary software, which can include fully functional video and wireless drivers that are essential to a complete computing experience. That’s not to mention Java – the proprietary version of the JRE still outperforms the open-source version substantially and that’s come to matter thanks to the new wave of cross-platform Java games (Minecraft, most notably).

    These things aren’t impossible to set up in Ubuntu, or even that hard for a savvy user, but Mint is completely painless and otherwise sports most of what makes Ubuntu great (by way of deriving from it). Any time someone asks me which distro to start off with as a new user, I tell them Ubuntu if they care about open-source, otherwise Mint; predictably, most go with Mint, and love it.

    Unity turned off a lot of long-time Ubu fans, yes, and that matters too. Personally I left it for Arch last year, but that’s primarily because I was ready to ditch the training wheels and secondarily because I wanted to play with Gnome 3 and Ubuntu didn’t support it properly (which is tangentially related to Unity). I’m not looking back, but I am still fond of Ubu.

  54. Whoah, hat’s a lot of comments… Many relevant things already have been pointed out by others — though IMHO not strongly enough.

    I hardly need to mention as well how little meaning the Distrowatch numbers convey. They aren’t even *close* to being representative — all they tell is which distribution is most hip as of late; and while this certainly has some relation to trends in uptake, it tells virtually nothing about actual market share. (BTW, the difference between 3 months an 1 month data is mostly because Fedora and OpenSUSE usually release somewhat later than Ubuntu, so there was more buzz there this last month…)

    The Google numbers are a bit more telling. As people pointed out, the numbers are heavily skewed though, because of “Ubuntu Linux” as a search term — hardly anyone uses that. This effect also exists for most other distributions, but less pronounced: leaving out “Linux” in the terms produces quite a different picture. While Mint is indeed strongly on the rise, the total number hardly shows up at all compared to Ubuntu, or even Debian and Fedora. What’s more, if you compare against the general trend for “Linux”, you will see that Ubuntu hasn’t really declined at all over the past few years. Perhaps even more importantly (and more to the topic), there is no significant drop since Unity…

    For yet more useful numbers, take a look at Alexa rankings for the project sites. Pretty much the same picture: Mint strongly on the rise, but at an extremely low level; Ubuntu and other major distributions hardly changed. The only remarkable observation is that Fedora has a visible increase since last year. So maybe there is indeed a number of defections from Ubuntu to Fedora, which makes a significant difference to Fedora’s low share — but hardly having an impact on Ubuntu’s numbers…

    Also note that this upward trend for Fedora started before Unity. What’s more, if the trend was due to a preference of Gnome3 over Unity, why is there no comparable rise for OpenSUSE, which also ships with Gnome3 AFAIK?…

    All in all, Ubuntu’s loss of dominance seems very small (so far at least — the change in mindshare could of course have a larger impact with time…); and it doesn’t really seem like Unity is a major factor there either.

  55. Jubilado con 65 años, hace quatro que no sabia abrir un ordenador. Banesto me regaló un Portátil Compac de 15″ de 1 GB RAM y 100 GB d.d. con Windows Vista. Me volvía loco y al medio año compre un sobremesa con Windows 7. Al medio año, empecé a experimentar con el viejo W-Vista, y fuí probando diferentes distros GNU/Linux, al final dudaba -como principiante- entre LinuxMint y Ubuntu. Me decidí finalmente por Ubuntu al que he seguido hasta 11.04 Gnome Clasic. He probado tres veces el Unity, y lo siento, no lo trago. He probado LinuxMint 16 Lisa y Fedora 16, pero no me acaban de convencer, y es que mientras, he usado Xubuntu con escritorio Xfce original y me encanta, cada día me gusta más, ademas tengo todo el repositorio Ubuntu, y el viejo cacharro, corre que se las pela. El Xfce original, es mucho mas claro y limpio que el de Xubuntu. Es lo ma parecido a “mi” clasic, ¿será por qué seré un clásico? Seguro, me encantan los Ferraris….aunque sea para salir a pasear. No me hce falta competir para disfrutarlo…como disfruto con mi Xubuntu con Xfce original, pero este corre mas que el Ferrari.

  56. Long time Ubuntu user who recently gave up and switched to Linux Mint. Unity has been a major failure. Ubuntu should change back the UI to 9.x standards; I would be back in the camp then.

  57. I’ve been with Ubuntu since ‘Dapper Drake’, but like many other people I switched to Mint as a result of the Unity interface – but not so much because of the interface itself (which is easily changed) but because of Canonical’s ‘you’ll take it and damn well like it’ approach to their users. In how Mint is going about preparing for Gnome 3 they show themselves to have a genuine interest in their users.

  58. Confirms my experience. I’ve tried them all. Stability, since 6.04, has gone down and problems that didn’t exist, started appearing. Some fixes were quick, but the none-fixable “bugs” keep growing. Then they’re on to the next SIX MONTH version.Some bugs go away, replaced by many new ones. Really stupid release cycle. Micro Soft takes years, and still the most wildly used OS is TEN YEARS OLD -(XP)!
    Just think about it for a moment, six months development vs six years.
    Canonical just does not get it. People complain, but they do not listen. They are too busy making the next version even worse.

  59. It seems that the majority of commenters here are Linux desktop users. I personally don’t care for Linux on the desktop, since that’s not where it shines. I say, use the right tool for the job. Linux is a great server OS, and that’s what it’ll always be for me. Enough with the debates about window managers and whatnot, because those things don’t matter. What matters are the lower-level OS enhancements, the support for software development, stability, and ease of administration. Which translates to the kernel and user-space libraries; which languages and versions thereof are supported; availability and recoverability; and of course the maturity of the tools available for configuring and maintaining an installation such that it’s secure, easy to manage, and easy to update/upgrade. Script kiddies get out of my way.

  60. I don’t understand why people hate (or claim to hate) Unity so much. It is the best linux interface I’ve seen, yet. It had problems initially, and is still incomplete, but I think it has the most potential. It is consistent, simple, and given a few tweaks could become elegantly powerful.

  61. The family together, with Debian (the father) and the “big” brother Ubuntu and “little sister” Mint, take all the lion’s share in linux distros. My wish is that these three distros interact in much better and productive ways, as to they can be improved, according to the needs of users. There are many efforts being repeated, it’s like re-inventing the wheel or like wasting efforts. I hope that all the best features get re-united into one great distro, including stability, beauty, functionality.

  62. Unity sucks. It made a very good full-fledged computer interface into a cell-phone screen. Irritating to navigate and get around and do work. Don’t know what button to push and what option will pop out. Seems like a mysterious mess.

    It is very good for netbooks (and small notebooks) but on others, it sucks. Better switch to Ultimate edition linux 3.0. It uses good old Gnome 2.32.

    Ubuntu should release Gnome CD too.

  63. Compare the two graphs showing the percentage distributions of the various distros, one containing Ubuntu (Gnome) and another containing all the flavors of Ubuntu combined. The graph containing Gnome has fallen down to almost nothing, but all-flavor graph was still decent, the others’ percentage more or less stagnant. Only Ubuntu Gnome fell because it used unity. See for yourselves.
    Graph 1:

    Graph 2:

  64. I don’t agree at all that Mint or Fedora will overcome Ubuntu. After all Mint was built on Ubuntu. I have Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora and Debian all on my Notebook in addition to Windows. Of all, I like Ubuntu most even with Unity. I don’t think latest GNOME interface was at all better received by users than Unity. All what you need to do is to install CAIRO or DOCKY and add the shortcuts for your preferred programs. A distribution is not about interface, but is rather about stability, speed, availability of packages (programs), ease of installation and availability of updates. Now is your turn to tell me who is best in all of theses? Bliss Canonical.We have to show appreciation and gratitude!

  65. I’ve been using Ubuntu since 6.04 and always enjoyed when a new release came out, at least until 11.04. I found it to be to buggy, and not customizable enough. I didn’t have time to find a suitable replacement so I stuck it out until 11.10. After using 11.10 I switched to Mint, and that is where I am now. My main concern now is what am I going to do with the friends computers on which I installed the last long term release of Ubuntu. When it no longer is supported after April this year I am probably going to have to do a clean install of Mint rather than try to force them to use this radically redesigned crap.

  66. The major exodus from Ubuntu to Linux Mint is because Mint has working projects to keep Gnome 2 alive as long as possible and to make Gnome 3 a more reasonable DE. All flavors that are heavy into Gnome are having pains because the new Gnome 3 is lacking, putting it mildly. Ubuntu is making matters worse by turning its flagship desktop distribution into a small appliance operating system with its default Unity desktop.

    It’s bad enough that the linux community, in general, is in turmoil because of the new and “declining” Gnome 3 DE. Ubuntu, turning it’s flagship desktop release into the joke of the linux world only makes matters worse.

    The top Ubuntu developer believes the home desktop and the office workstation is going the way of the kiwi and is doing his share to make that happen … at our expense. They can have their OS and philosophy. This is linux. There will always be an alternative to everything and the current desktop scenario is not going to disappear. Both Ubuntu and Gnome will pay for their insistence that it will.

  67. I’ve tried living with the new Ubuntu for a while now in the hope it was just the different way of working I didn’t like, but no, sadly, it really is terrible. What were they thinking? My rate of work has dropped dramatically, due entirely to this stupid new system, time to move to a different distro I think. Cheers Ubuntu, it was fun while it lasted.

  68. Hey Pingdick –
    “The DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics are a light-hearted way of measuring the popularity of Linux distributions and other free operating systems among the visitors of this website. They correlate neither to usage nor to quality and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions. They simply show the number of times a distribution page on DistroWatch.com was accessed each day, nothing more.”

  69. I’ve been on Ubuntu 10.04.4 LTS since it came out.  Put LXDE on it some time ago.  Most of my use is within VMWare or VirtualBox both at work and home.  Installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS today.  I’m totally put off by the Unity interface and will NOT use it.  I installed LXDE on 12.04 a few minutes ago.  However I’m now downloading MINT.  Ubuntu is sliding and a combination of Unity and Canonical are the likely culprits.  Unity is a bad idea and the largest distraction in the Ubuntu space.

  70. I am incredibly frustrated with Canonical’s self-congratulatory tone about the new releases, which are getting worse and worse. I’ve been using Ubuntu as my main desktop OS since Gutsy, and it’s been more-less fine until Karmic. Then all hell broke loose. It seems they got bored with a stable system that worked fine and intentionally broke it in every possible way just to have “exciting” things to do.
    What’s worst of all, everybody hates their Unity crapware and they keep circlejerking about it, which is especially annoying when I reinstall the damn distro after everything completely broke down on my system when I just tried to enable the legacy gnome2 mode and disable all their crap – looking at their self congratulatory twitter feed is just extremely annoying and right now I’m doing something about it – I’m downloading the latest Mint, and this is my “F* YOU!” farewell message to Canonical and the Ubuntu development team.
    I f*ing hate them. They don’t seem to be able to understand that for some of us Linux is not a toy, it’s a working system that’s supposed to be stable so we can just keep running our stuff.

  71. Ubuntu is an elegant and one of the most popular Linux based operating system, but after using Ubuntu for a while are you finding something different to differ your experience so here are some alternatives to ubuntu http://goo.gl/V4VfV

  72. 1) Distrowatch is not a reliable statistics source since it can be artificially manipulated (as it seems to be the case); 2) If you want to use google trends, try comparing “Ubuntu” vs “Linux Mint”. Ubuntu is a unique name, most people don’t say “Linux Ubuntu”; 3) A good statistics source is wikipedia traffic: http://stats.wikimedia.org/wikimedia/squids/SquidReportOperatingSystems.htm. How does Mint do there among Linux distros? In fifth, below Debian.
    As for the comments, I just can’t understand all the whining and hate towards Unity. If you don’t like it, just change the desktop!!! I’m pretty sure XFCE would fit for most people as a Gnome 2 replacement. It’s fast, light and pretty close to Gnome 2 in terms of features (much closer than LXDE).
    I know there’s still some work to do on Unity, but on Ubuntu Precise it runs beautifully fast and STABLE, plus the new feature, the Hud, is quite handy once you get used to it. The overall experience is simply great.
    Bottom line, Ubuntu is doing fine.

    1.  @Neliton
      “I just can’t understand all the whining and hate towards Unity”
      I’ll be happy to explain it to you, then.
      1) Global menu and HUD
      Whether you like it or not is a secondary issue, but it doesn’t work with LibreOffice by default. Which is a fail and a large inconsistency that shouldn’t happen when we talk about applications installed by default. Moreover, HUD is arguably the most useful with LibreOffice, because that’s an application which makes large use of the menu and it’s used almost exclusively with the keyboard (unlike, for instance, Gimp or Inkscape), which makes keyboard based access to the menu desirable for LibreOffice. Yet, it’s not there. In an LTS that many of us will not upgrade until 5 years from now.
      Yes, I know that you only need to install one package, but that makes it an even bigger fail, because either the support wasn’t stable enough to be included, or someone “forgot” to include it. In both cases, the HUD shouldn’t be there, because it doesn’t support all of the applications installed by default.
      2) Overlay scrollbars
      Google used this. Once.
      Besides, they’re inconsistent because sometimes they’re on the inside of the window, sometimes they’re outside, which is a design mistake. Minor? Maybe, but obvious. And yet, it’s there. Oh, and IIRC they don’t work with Firefox, which adds up to the OOTB inconsistency of the desktop.
      I know that you only need to remove one package. Most end users will either not know that, or they will be afraid of doing that.
      3) Window buttons and title bars
      Maximized windows’ title merges with the panel, which makes its window buttons and menu unavailable completely when it’s maximized, but not in focus. So we have different system behavior for each of these states:
      a) maximized focused
      Title bar merged with panel and menu/buttons on the panel
      b) maximized unfocused
      Title bar merged with panel, menu/buttons unavailable since the panel is taken by non-maximized focused window’s menu (without buttons)
      c) non-maximized focused
      Title bar not merged, menu on the panel, buttons on the title bar
      d) non-maximized unfocused
      Title bar not merged, menu unavailable, buttons on the title bar
      e) Dash opened
      All menus unavailable, panel taken over by dash (for no reason), window buttons for maximized windows unavailable since taken over by dash as well.
      I hope this speaks for itself. And if you have 2 monitors, it gets even worse, because sometimes it just gets lost in what and where to display.
      4) Hide and seek
      If the 3rd wasn’t enough, they decided to hide everything and reveal on mouseover. So you won’t know in which of its many states the panel is at any given moment, unless you *just know that*, or you take your mouse on a trip to the top edge of the screen.
      That’s just a list of the biggest issues with Unity from the top of my head. The biggest of all is the idiotic idea of merging the title bar with the panel and worst of all, there seems to be no way of disabling that.

    2.  @Neliton I don’t know in which paralell universe you tested Precise, but it is *far* from being stable. Its user interface is unstable, unreliable, full of annoying bugs and stupid design choices, and worst of all, IT CANNOT BE REMOVED. The freaks who designed it made sure of that. Even when I tried to install mate desktop, all the unremovable ubuntu defaults kept interfering with it so half the UI services weren’t working properly. When I tried to remove some of the ubuntu services that kept interfering, the whole desktop catastrophically failed, leaving the system frozen at attempted logoff. 
      And the alternatives are also buggy; cinnamon desktop kept crashing and restarting every few hours of normal use. I tried Mint, which couldn’t migrate my user configuration and left the system unusable. Finally I threw the towell and installed Lucid on the system. Now I cannot use the newer version of the apps I need but at least the system is not fubared and everything works as it’s supposed to.
      Bottom line, Ubuntu is doing very, very “not fine”. In fact I think this is the end of Linux desktop, permanently. The people who develop proved themselves to be unreliable and I don’t really think anyone is going to trust these people again. If there’s going to be a linux desktop that has a future, it will probably be developed and maintained by Google. I am personally disappointed not only with Canonical but also with Gnome, and the entire linux community babble of linux being better than windows and having a bright future proved to be self-serving nonsense. No way in f*ing hell is it better than windows. I have never seen a windows system with the kind of instabilities, nonsense and autistic disregard of the wishes of the user base. Linux desktop today is ten times worse than Vista was at its worst. And I’m putting that very kindly. It is utterly useless and I hate it. I had to rollback years of Canonical idiocy just to get a stable linux system again.

      1.  @danijel973 My “parallel universe” is using Ubuntu for everything (work and fun) in a daily basis, not just to test it. It runs clean, fast and stable in two different machines. I also have a Xubuntu 12.04 in a low specs machine that runs amazingly fast and stable, and it’s pretty much Ubuntu old-school (Gnome2-like).
        Now I realize you are just a troll and not a real Linux user, because many things you say don’t make sense. Or else you’d know you can install many desktops environments in your Linux system and that they DON’T interfere which each other in anyway. You would also know that if you’d like to get rid of Unity (i.e., not having it installed in your machine even as an option), you could just install Xubuntu or any other distro based on XFCE (for example). And that it makes no sense migrating system configurations to another system, though you can migrate applications configs.
        Anyways, I wish you a good life as a windows supporter and a linux hater…

        1.  @Neliton I believe you work for Canonical, because nobody else who ever tried Unity could write what you did and keep a straight face. It is exactly that self-congratulatory tone, “it’s fine and you’re a troll” tone that makes me hope Ubuntu fails, and Canonical with it. Having the latest forced-Unity releases work like total crap on my machines is bad enough, but listening to the likes of you makes it ten time worse.

        2.  @Neliton I like/love Ubuntu 11.04 . Had no problems . I even started to like the unity interface and  of course you can switch to the classic interface.  What I can see however  is that long term its all obsolete .The world is  going to mobile Tablets fast  and desktops and  their  O/S’s will soon be dead.  I also use an  Ipad2 and ..well its very different  ..and is the  future . Sadly my  days of writing  java apps are clearly numbered if  tablets are the way ahead. 

        3.  @Neliton  @danijel973 Danijel is right, Unity sucks!  I had it on my system (Fresh installed) for about 25 minutes ( i have also tried installing it on other machines, and had nothing but issues with it… so perhaps it may work on your machines.. but i haven’t had to much luck with it… I ended up switching to Mint + Mate and Its working much better!!   Although I still can’t see how Danijel can say windows is better than linux… I think once you find the right Linux OS to meet your needs then everything will be smooth… it sounds like you should try a fresh install of linux mint + mate and you shouldn’t have any issue… 

      2.  @danijel973 “I have never seen a windows system with the kind of instabilities, nonsense and autistic disregard of the wishes of the user base.”you clearly haven’t tried windows 8 yet…

      3.  @danijel973 “I have never seen a windows system with the kind of instabilities, nonsense and autistic disregard of the wishes of the user base.”- you clearly haven’t tried windows 8 yet… NOBODY wants the metro desktop, except of course microsoft, which plans to use it to funnel software sales through their own channels.

    3.  @Neliton I concur with danijel973: Unity is a horrible interface, completely unfit for a computer on which you actually want to do some work. Very cumbersome, very unintuitive; I couldn’t get used to it no matter how much I tried.
      You’re right that that XFCE would work somehow as a Gnome 2 replacement. That’s what I did for a while, use Xubuntu. While not bad (and somewhat better with 4.10), XFCE hasn’t the functionality of Gnome 2. So I could hardly await Linux Mint 13 with Maté, and indeed, I’m not at all disappointed. It pained me to leave Ubuntu, which I loved, after so many years, but Canonical’s latest actions really frustrated me. As long as they keep Maté running, there is no going back to Ubuntu for me.

  73. You bet Ubuntu is losing fast popularity. I got really disenchanted when both, Ubuntu forced Unity down everyone’s throat, and Gnome came up with the horror of Gnome 3.
    I used for a while Xubuntu. XFCE is not bad, but it’s nowhere near Gnome 2, so I was very happy to switch to Linux Mint 13 with Maté, when it came out not so long ago. Maté is really good, and I can highly recommend it to people who loved Gnome 2, and generally GUI’s in which you can actually work, instead of just using it for entertainment, like a smartphone or tablet.
    I feel really sorry for Ubuntu and that they lost their minds. I was a faithful user of Ubuntu for years. I think it’s foolish to aggravate so much the very core users…

  74. I was relieved in April 2011 when I learned that I could go back to the old desktop. In November I was dismayed to learn that Unity prevented Synergy from moving the mouse from Ubuntu (on the left) to my Mac (on the right). As a result I use Ubuntu only when absolutely necessary, and use my Mac as my “default” at home. During the same time, I’m liking CentOS (which I’m using at work) more and more.
    I’ve gone from being a rabid fan of Ubuntu to looking for a way to switch to another distro at home–maybe Mint or CentOS?

  75. NOTHING beats the simplicity of menus…. and Unity is way more complicated in comparison to gnome 2.I can’t see why anyone would like Unity – such nonsense. It’s like what someone said in a post here (really made me laugh) but he got it right – logging into your desktop is now logging onto your cellphone – oh what stupidity – really – how could people be naive enough to swallow such crap?!!? They’re trying to blow away the nice serious desktop experience – I think they’re off their rockin minds… it seems so immature this new fling for unity – how silly… it’s hard to belive they’ve arrived at such conclusions – deluded birds looking for more money…. so why not compromise on things and ruin everything we’ve worked for up until now… geez – what’s this world coming to?!!?
    Where is the sense to this big black screen in unity that is so imposing? Everytime you want to find something – here it comes… All you have to do is use SYNAPSE – and everything is at your fingertips… what more could you ask for…?!! I don’t need unity.

  76. I find Unity much better on Ubuntu 12.04, but if you need an interface like Gnome Panels or Windows XP, then you need the Xfce interface. How to steps: 1 – install xfce4 and xfce4-goodies packages. 2 – at Ubuntu logon screen, select the Xfce session. 3 – you will have a Windows XP like interface with all the apps from a standard Ubuntu install and no doubles. It works like on Windows 8 where you can choose the Metro interface or the Classic Windows XP interface.

    1.  @3r0s a good reason to stick to Ubuntu is that it supports most of the hardware out there, including USB internet sticks.
      On the contrary, Debian (Ubuntu father) needs to get all the non GPL drivers added manually. Not very appealing for Linux novice, while Ubuntu, beside Unity, still is quite straight-forward to install and use.

      1.  @3r0s well different distro for different usage , to debian lack of prop drivers i’d tell you , maybe but much more stable without all the ‘buntu bling (not that i dont like it on my desktop) , debian is much more at it’s place in a rack where ubuntu does great for users

        1.  @ericsou a friend of mine said to get ubuntu server and then install via terminal the desidered GUI.
          In this way, he told me, he’s got Gnome 3 (with all Gnome apps set) without any Unity non sense.

  77. For those who dislike Unity intensely but do not want to leave the Ubuntu community (yet) here are couple of possible workarounds that might offer you the familiar look-and-feel you require.:-
    1. sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
    This will install the beautiful-looking and Windows7-like KDE4 desktop. The start button is in the right place. The pop up applications menu, the task bar and status area all make sense. In fact most people I show it to ask if it’s a new version of Windows! Most of KDE’s notorious early issues have been resolved. Basically KDE4 was released long before it was ready. But it’s OK now.
    pros:- Familiar look-and-feel; very feature-rich; very pretty; highly customisable; shed-loads of eye-candy; lots of extensibility; super KDE apps available (though you can run these on other desktops too); ; my girlfriend likes it – so does my bro.
    cons:- Can be a bit resource hungry; you really need a decent machine, especially if you want to use all the whirling desktop cubes and wobbly windows and stuff; there are still a few annoying minor bugs that remain unresolved.
    Not sure if this is a pro or a con:- After you have used KDE 4 for a while, and customised it to your liking, all other desktops, including Macs might seem crude, or lacking in functionality. My g/f has to use a Mac at work and frequently comes home complaining about all the “Things the bloody Mac won’t do!”
    2. sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
    This installs the simple but stable XFCE desktop. This is fairly customisable but generally has the look and feel of a plain vanilla Windows 95 desktop. XFCE can be beautified. However, my experience is that many XFCE users are not interested in beautiful desktops. They just want to look at the web or read their email etc., with the least amount of hassle or delay.
    Pros:- Very stable, very simple; very familiar look and feel; does not hog resources; doesn’t get in the way; Linus Torvalds uses it; my mum likes it.
    Cons:- It’s a bit plain-looking.
    FWIW, I chose option 1 (KDE) for my desktops/laptops and option 2 (XFCE) for servers, for most of my customers and for elder family members. I have just one customer still determined to give Unity a fair go, and even he’s considering dumping it.
    HTH, best wishes, G.

    1.  @mrgoose 
      If you install xubuntu-desktop on Ubuntu, you end up with double apps from Xubuntu set.
      If you have Ubuntu and want Unity out of the way, just install XFCE4 package and switch to it permanently in the “Login Screen”.
      Xubuntu is a little too minimalistic for a medium powerful desktop, so it’s better to install Ubuntu and then XFCE4 package on top.
      If you install kubuntu-desktop on Ubuntu, you end up with double apps from Kubuntu set as well.
      Just directly get Kubuntu so no Gnome/Unity custom apps installed.

      1.  @3r0s
        You raise some interesting points. I guess you are right if application purity and low disk-usage is an issue for you.
        However, like many users, I tend to pick and choose a goodly mix of GTK and QT based apps, and have no problem with some extra apps/libraries lying around. I use Thunderbird and Firefox – that come with Gnome/Unity. I have yet to meet anyone, even among KDE diehards, who actually uses KMail or Rekonq! I also use Gimp, GNUCash and Zim. There is nothing KDE-side to match them either IMHO.
        But I prefer KDE tools such as Konsole, Dolphin, Kate and K3B to Gnome-Terminal, Nautilus, Gedit and Brasero. Then there are oddball KDE apps such Kaffeine that easily enable DVB without all that MythTV palaver.  Not to mention KID3 (id3 tagger), soundKonverter (CD ripper and LAME/FFMPEG front end for audio), KRename and Krusader (a KDE incarnation of the good ole Midnight Commander). And in KDE, it’s relatively straightforward to give all apps a reasonably common look and feel. It is also reasonably easy to remove applications one doesn’t need.
        However, my post was primarily aimed at users who have *already* installed Ubuntu, and wanted quickly and easily to upgrade to something more appropriate to their needs, whilst retaining access to their data and all their familiar apps.
        So directly getting Kubuntu isn’t really an option for these people because that means reinstalling everything. They would also need to copy and restore their home folder(s). Also means they would have a new app-set to learn without any familiar apps to lean on while they did so.
        Best wishes, G.

  78. Unity might have been a wrong turn for Ubuntu. It would be interesting to check, among Ubuntu users, how many went with Canonical and Unity and how many kept Ubuntu but switched to Gnome 3 or Gnome Classic (like myself for example)?

  79. Of course, the adoption of Unity began to delve seriously Ubuntu, but in fact when you look good, it is a trend that took shape before and whose cause is often biased attitude, and almost hegemonic Mark Shuttleworth contemptuous towards the community he had managed to create. In particular, a policy of being marginalized and often not entirely in the Linux community or overtly commercial example Ubuntu One and the shift towards a system of integrated Market instead of creating a commercial structure different, such as the integration of Amazon in the dash (why not Microsoft!), eg its immediate agreement with Microsoft on UEFI instead of joining the community on this Linux-Linux Foundation has fortunately found a solution for all …! In fact, for well-known and experienced the rise of Microsoft since its inception, before Windows 1 (product archi buggy yet we had done hair pulling), I would say that there is gigantism syndrome and power (note that I’m not talking about Google). The specificity of Linux is above all to be fully integrated into the world of free software, who does not like these kinds of wrens accessing or wanting access the imperial status. Since the dictatorship years IBM 50/70 then followed by that of Bill Gates, we have very good reasons for this. Without radical change in strategy, we do not see hardly draw, Ubuntu will continue to lose market share in favor of more environmentally friendly distributions of ethics customers.

  80. I think Unity was the best thing to happen to Ubuntu, and I’ve been using it for 7 years.  If you want gnome so badly, just install it.  Remember, you’re still free.

    1. @BryanBasil I use Ubuntu 12.04 at works and Xubuntu 12.04 at home.
      I have to admit that i started to understand this Unity, which is much faster than Gnome3.
      I haven’t tried 12.10, i normally stick to LTS versions for stability and no surprises, and since I started (in 2009) to use Ubuntu, i always have been satisfied with this OS.
      Now i am 50% for Unity and 50% for Xfce, otherwise i use Unity with the xfce-panel installed for quicker window switching.

    2. @BryanBasil Unity way to open only one instance of an app locked to the launcher is the best way to keep any computer user to open too many times the same app.
      Example: in the office where i do IT support, i saw that 90% of users are not waiting for their Windows box to complete the settings at logon, they start to click here and there to open their mail, file manager, etc., ending with more than one instance open for the same app.
      Then if they modify a file they opened 3/4 times at the same time, they start to get sync issues when saving that file because the system detects different running version of that file.
      Even worse with programs like Outlook.
      Unity does not allow this, unless you right-click on the launcher and select “open new window”.
      This is keeping the desktop tidy and functional.
      I now see the usefulness of Unity on the desktop, not only on a mobile/touchscreen device.

  81. Definitely Unity’s fault. i can understand the need for Unity to be uniform across all devices but on a desktop it’s so crap. Yes, Canonical shot themsleves in the foot.

  82. I am just going to comment based on the title of this article. An emphatic YES. Unity is the stupidest thing to happen to a PC since Windows ME.

  83. Yea I stopped using ubuntu altogether now, I would like to go back though, I just can’t stand unity… and Mint doesn’t feel the same  I wish they would not mess with things that were okay.

  84. Just how it goes. As soon as a good idea becomes mainstream, people become greedy. This is usually where I get out. The first cue for me was the Amazon crap. The so-called “kill-switch” is not enough. People make mistakes I just hope they realise it before they go the same way as Google etc etc.. I decided to give them a chance but well on my way to ditch them.

  85. Actually Unity is why I dumped Ubuntu about a year ago and switched to KDE/Mint. I hated that they started to remove useful features: tree view in Nautilus, cannot press DEL to delete a file etc. I understand that a feature-free blank screen is prettier to look at than a screen with bunch of buttons and options, but it does not help me use the computer.

  86. Ubuntu is the worst operating system I have ever encountered. Didn’t even have to install it to find out. The demo was quite enough. After finding no way to close open windows on the desktop, much less any way of navigating while the windows we present, I decided I had enough of that idiotic designed crap. Who in their right mind though this interface was a good idea? Some 8 year old?

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