I am looking at alternatives to Ubuntu, in particular I like:
- Fedora – Gives me a cutting edge open source graphics stack. I really have been enjoying their implementation of Gnome Shell (with Tweaks)
- Linux Mint – Great for everyday users and it comes with a very innovative and user friendly desktop, without trying to be “revolutionary”, it’s just evolutionary
- LXDE – as far as lightweight and friendly environments go, LXDE rocks (Lubuntu, Linux Mint LXDE, and Fedora LXDE are all good products)
I know the biggest reason I’m searching for alternatives is “Unity”, which I think is a perfectly ironic name for something that is dividing the ordinary users into two more desktop camps, Unity vs. Gnome Shell. If you asked users what more they want from Linux, they would say polish and a better office suite, not more desktop choices. [To be fair to Canonical, they are investing more into LibreOffice, which I am very happy about 🙂 ]
The graph below is from Google Trends. It tells the story of Ubuntu rising from obscurity and the predictable releases pushing the “buzz” higher and higher. 11.04 has had the weakest showing in recent releases and the drop after the release doesn’t seem to be a good sign either. It will be very interesting to see how the release fairs tomorrow.
The worst part for me is that Unity and Gnome Shell aren’t very different from the user’s point of view. They both are revolutionary in some of the same ways, and both make some stupid choices. I think it’s mostly the stupid things that have forced the separation (along with the usual politics), these are the things I would like to see removed from both.
Gnome on Ubuntu has served as the flagship desktop environment for Linux for at least the last few years. Gnome provided a solid usable desktop and Ubuntu provided an amazing amount of polish and things like OEM installs, etc. (along with everything else a distro does). I will be very impressed with both Ubuntu and Gnome if they are able to compromise and reunite.
United we stand, divided we fall.