Unity 2D

It was a bumpy ride. Unity, Gnome 2, LXDE and KDE. I tried almost all the popular environments (except XFCE, of which I had heard a lot of bad things).

KDE is perhaps the most attractive of these, but, sadly, it’s too heavy for a netbook. LXDE is light-weight indeed, but I had trouble running several applications with it. For example I couldn’t get gPodder to work no matter how hard I tried, and ibus was buggy.

I was going to test run Gnome 3 but @kau_mad said otherwise, so gave up. Which left me with two options: Unity and Gnome 2.

Unity was originally intended for netbooks. (This was the default environment in Ubuntu Netbook Remix, remember?) Stuff like global menu bars were made with small screens in mind. Unity works, but I found it a bit too sluggish. The solution? Unity-2D.

Unity-2D is a clone of Unity intended for low power computers like netbooks. While Unity has been written with GTK, Unity-2D uses the QT toolkit. It doesn’t require GPU acceleration , something which netbooks and other low-end machines can’t provide.

To install Unity-2D in Ubuntu 11.04, all you have to do is to install the package “unity-2d-default-settings” from the Software Center. Log out and choose Unity-2D as the desktop environment. The interface is quite similar to Unity, but it may not be as slick as Unity is. For example you won’t get those lovely fading effects. However it’s able to provide you with the maximum possible Unity experience.

 

15 responses on “Unity 2D

  1. madura

    You gave up on Gnome 3? If you have a hardware accelerated graphics card that works with you should ever consider Unity over it, Unity is as half as usable as Gnome 3(IMHO). Unity crashed in the earlier days but after it because stable but the usability is very low, you can get stuff done faster by using Gnome 2 …that really sums it up. New desktops should not just look awesome they should make people work faster easily. I hated the shell at first but after using it after using Unity I kept using it more and now the shell is the most awesome thing to hit desktops ever :D again thats what I think.

  2. madurax86

    You gave up on Gnome 3? If you have a hardware accelerated graphics card that works with it, you should ever consider Unity over it, Unity is as half as usable as Gnome 3(IMHO). Unity crashed in the earlier days but after it became stable but the usability is very low, you can get stuff done faster by using Gnome 2 …that really sums it up. New desktops should not just look awesome, they should make people work faster easily. I hated the shell at first but after using it Unity I kept using it more and now the shell is the most awesome thing to hit desktops ever again thats what I think.

    (Sorry for posting two comments! I feel all weird, you’ll see the difference between the two..youd better delete the comment above)

    1. thameera

      The problem is that I don’t have a graphic card. This is a netbook, and the Unity interface works for such small screens. Unity is heavy, hence Unity-2D. If I had a better machine I’d definitely go for Gnome 3.

  3. budhajeewa

    hal3000 is becoming too old for these fancy things now. So I’ll stick to classic Gnome. But I’m going to test Unity-2D and Gnome 3 anyways. Found this while I was googling “unity 2d”, so just stooped by. :)

      1. budhajeewa

        Yeah, just trying. I’m gonna stick to Gnome 2.

        By the way, call this hal3000. If you say just “hal” people will think it is hal9000 you’re talking about, which is the AI on board of Discovery, the fictional spacecraft of Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey series. ;)

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