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Linux tips and tricks for all users.

My thoughts on the Unity desktop, the lack of customization sucks.

I am trying out the Ubuntu Unity desktop again, in Ubuntu 11.10, the design is starting to grow on me, I recently bought a copy of Ubuntu user magazine that came with a copy of Ubuntu 11.10 with extra software included and I decided to try it out. I have not had any problems with this distribution at all. I tried out a couple of fixes to move the Unity launcher to the bottom of the screen, but they both caused problems with the Unity desktop. My screen is wider than it is tall, so if I make the Unity launcher only 32 pixels wide, it does not take up as much space as it would on the bottom of the screen. I ran sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade and I was upgraded to Firefox 13, and Chromium 18. Chromium is the open-source version of the Google Chrome web browser that does not have the code in it that tracks the users activity online and sends it to the Google servers. I am hesitant to upgrade to 12.04, I will wait a while before taking that road, I just wanted to try out Unity again and see how I like it. I like the Unity desktop but Canonical could have put a little more effort into the desktop design.

Wayland compositor demo screenshot. Quite unstable, but it does work.
Wayland compositor demo screen-shot. Quite unstable, but it does work.

I hope that when Ubuntu upgrades to the Wayland X11 server to replace the current Xorg display server that it currently uses, that the Linux desktop still works as well as it does right now. The Wayland display server is already available for Ubuntu 11.04 users: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/02/wayland-enters-ubuntu-11-04-repo and I gave it a go. The Wayland demos that are available are quite unstable, but this software will get better as time goes on. I guess you would not want to replace the whole Xorg compositor with Wayland yet, it is not ready for prime time as of now. I have included a video from Phoronix that shows the Wayland demo in action. The Unity dashboard that allows you to search your music as well as software that is available through the software centre. It will even return results for the videos in your collection as well. The ability to search the software centre from the Unity dash to find just the right program you are looking for is a good feature.