Unity (user interface)
Unity is a graphical shell for the GNOME desktop environment originally developed by Canonical Ltd. for its Ubuntu operating system, and now being developed by the Unity7 Maintainers (Unity7) and UBports (Unity8/Lomiri). Unity debuted in the netbook edition of Ubuntu 10.10. It was initially designed to make more efficient use of space given the limited screen size of netbooks, including, for example, a vertical application switcher called the launcher, and a space-saving horizontal multipurpose top menu bar.
|Developer(s)||Unity7 and newer versions - Unity7 Maintainers, Ubuntu Unity; Unity8 - Canonical Ltd., UBports|
|Initial release||9 June 2010|
2.0–7.4: C, C++, Python, Vala
8: C++ and QML
|Operating system||Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu TV, Ubuntu Touch|
|License||GPL v3, LGPL v3|
Unity was part of the Ayatana project, an initiative with the stated intention of improving the user experience within Ubuntu.
On 5 April 2017, Mark Shuttleworth announced that Canonical's work on Unity would end. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, a year away from release at the time, would abandon the Unity desktop and employ the GNOME 3 desktop instead. Unity7 Maintainers took over Unity7 development, while UBports founder Marius Gripsgård announced that the organization would continue Unity8 development. On 27 February 2020, UBports announced that it renamed Unity8 Lomiri.
Ubuntu Unity and Unity7 Maintainers have started working on the successor of Unity7, UnityX.
The Unity user interface consists of several components:
- Top menu bar: a multipurpose top bar, saving space, and containing:
- the menu bar of the active application
- the title bar of the main window of the active application, including the maximize, minimize and exit buttons
- the session menu, including the global system settings, logout, and shut down
- the diverse global notification indicators including the time, weather, and the state of the underlying system.
- Launcher: a taskbar. Multiple instances of an application are grouped under the same icon, with an indicator showing how many instances are open. The user has a choice whether or not to lock an application to the launcher. If it is not locked, an application may be started using the Dash or via a separately installed menu.
- Quicklist: the accessible menu of launcher items
- Dash: a desktop search utility that enables searching for information both locally (e.g. installed applications, recent files, or bookmarks) and online (e.g. Twitter or Google Docs). It displays previews of the results.
- Head-up display (HUD): Allows hotkey searching for top menu bar items from the keyboard, without the need for using the mouse, by pressing and releasing the Alt key.
- Indicators: a notification area containing the clock, network status, battery status, and audio volume controls
Dash is a desktop search utility with preview ability. It enables searching for applications and files. Dash supports search plug-ins, known as Scopes (formerly Lenses). Out of the box, it can query Google Docs, Ubuntu One Music Store, YouTube, Amazon, and social networks (for example, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+). Starting with Ubuntu 13.10, online search queries are sent to a Canonical web service which determines the type of query and directs them to the appropriate third-party web service. Pornographic results are filtered out.
One of the new features of Unity in Ubuntu 12.10 is the shopping lens. As of October 2012, it sends (through a secure HTTPS connection) the user's queries from the home lens to
productsearch.ubuntu.com, which then polls Amazon.com to find relevant products; Amazon then sends product images directly to the user's computer (initially, through unsecured HTTP). If the user clicks on one of these results and then buys something, Canonical receives a small commission on the sale.
Many reviewers criticized it: as the home lens is the natural means to search for content on the local machine, reviewers were concerned about the disclosure of queries that were intended to be local, creating a privacy problem. The feature is active by default (instead of opt-in) and many users could be unaware of it.
On 23 September 2012, Mark Shuttleworth defended the feature. He posted "the Home Lens of the Dash should let you find *anything* anywhere" and that the shopping lens is a step in that direction. He argued that anonymity is preserved because Canonical servers mediate the communication between Unity and Amazon and users could trust Ubuntu. Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon posted "These features are neatly and unobtrusively integrated into the dash, and they not only provide a more useful and comprehensive dash in giving you visibility on this content, but it also generates revenue to help continue to grow and improve Ubuntu." Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols from ZDNet said the feature does not bother him and wrote "If they can make some users happy and some revenue for the company at the same time, that's fine by me." Ted Samson at InfoWorld reported the responses from Shuttleworth and Bacon, but he still criticized the feature.
On 29 October 2012, the Electronic Frontier Foundation criticized the problem. It argued that since product images were (as of October 2012) returned via insecure HTTP then a passive eavesdropper—such as someone on the same wireless network—could get a good idea of the queries. Also, Amazon could correlate the queries with IP addresses. It recommended Ubuntu developers make the feature opt-in and make Ubuntu's privacy settings more fine-grained. It noted that the Dash can be stopped from searching the Internet by switching off "Include online search results" in Ubuntu's privacy settings.
On 7 December 2012, Richard Stallman claimed that Ubuntu contains spyware and should not be used by free software supporters. Jono Bacon rebuked him; he said that Ubuntu responded and implemented many of the requirements the community found important.
Since September 2013, images are anonymized before being sent to the user's computer.
A legal notice in the Dash informs users of the sharing of their data. It states that unless the user has opted out, by turning the searches off, their queries and IP address will be sent to
productsearch.ubuntu.com and "selected third parties" for online search results. Ubuntu's Third Party Privacy Policies page informs all of the third parties that may receive users' queries and IP addresses, and states: "For information on how our selected third parties may use your information, please see their privacy policies."
In March 2014, Michael Hall speaking for Canonical Ltd, indicated that in Unity 8 users will have to opt-in for each search, which will be conducted by opening a special scope and then choosing where to search. These changes would address all criticisms leveled at Canonical and Unity in the past. As of April 2016, with the release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, the setting is off by default.
Unity for Ubuntu TVEdit
Ubuntu TV, running a Unity variant, was introduced at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. Created for SmartTVs, Ubuntu TV provides access to popular Internet services and stream content to mobile devices running Android, iOS and Ubuntu.
Unity for Ubuntu TouchEdit
Initially Canonical maintained two discrete versions of Unity, which were visually almost indistinguishable but technically different.
Unity is written as a plugin for Compiz and uses an uncommon OpenGL toolkit called Nux. Being a plugin for Compiz gives Unity GPU-accelerated performance on compatible systems. It is written in the programming languages C++ and Vala.
Unity 2D was a set of individual applications developed for environments that Compiz does not run on, such as when graphics card does not support OpenGL. They were written in the GUI building language QML from the widespread Qt framework. By default Unity 2D used the Metacity window manager but could also use accelerated window managers like Compiz or KWin. In Ubuntu 11.10, Unity 2D used Metacity's XRender-based compositor to achieve transparency effects. Starting with Ubuntu 11.10, Unity 2D replaced the classic GNOME Panel as the fall-back for users whose hardware could not run the Compiz version of Unity.
Unity 2D was discontinued for the release of Ubuntu 12.10 in October 2012, as the 3D version became more capable of running on lower-powered hardware.
As Unity and the supporting Ayatana projects are developed primarily for Ubuntu and Ubuntu was the first to offer new versions.
Outside of Ubuntu, other Linux distributors have tried to pick up Ayatana, with varying success. The Ayatana components require modification of other applications, which increases the complexity for adoption by others.
- Arch Linux offers many Ayatana components, including Unity and Unity 2D, via an unofficial repository or through AUR.
- Fedora does not offer Unity in its default repositories because Unity requires unsupported patches to GTK. However Unity 6 has been ported to Fedora 17 and can be installed through a branch in the openSUSE repositories where the patches are applied. Newer Fedora and Unity versions are not supported.
- Frugalware had adopted Ayatana, including Unity and Unity 2D, as part of the development branch for an upcoming Frugalware release but the project is no longer maintained.
- openSUSE offers many Ayatana components for GNOME. After the packager abandoned the project because of problems with the then-current version of Compiz, new developers picked up the task and provide packages for openSUSE 12.2 (along with versions for Arch Linux and Fedora 17). Newer openSUSE and Unity versions are not supported.
- Manjaro has a Unity version of its distribution.
- Ubuntu Unity uses the Unity 7 desktop.
Ubuntu originally used the full GNOME desktop environment; Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth cited philosophical differences with the GNOME team over the user experience to explain why Ubuntu would use Unity as the default user interface instead of GNOME Shell, beginning April 2011, with Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal).
In November 2010, Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon explained that Ubuntu will continue to ship the GNOME stack, GNOME applications, and optimize Ubuntu for GNOME. The only difference, he wrote, would be that Unity is a different shell for GNOME.
Canonical announced it had engineered Unity for desktop computers as well and would make Unity the default shell for Ubuntu in version 11.04.
GNOME Shell was not included in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal because work on it was not completed at the time 11.04 was frozen, but is available from a PPA, and is available in Ubuntu 11.10 and later releases, through the official repositories.
In November 2010, Mark Shuttleworth announced the intention to eventually run Unity on Wayland instead of the currently used X Window System, although this plan has since been dropped, replacing Wayland with Mir for Unity 8.
In December 2010, some users requested that the Unity launcher (or dock) be movable from the left to other sides of the screen, but Mark Shuttleworth stated in reply, "I'm afraid that won't work with our broader design goals, so we won't implement that. We want the launcher always close to the Ubuntu button." However, with Ubuntu 11.10, the Ubuntu button was moved into the launcher. A third-party plugin that moved Unity 3D's launcher to the bottom was available. An option to move the launcher to the bottom of the screen was officially implemented in Ubuntu 16.04.
As of 2010[update], the Unity shell interface developers use a toolkit called Nux instead of Clutter. Unity is a plugin of the Compiz window manager, which Canonical states is faster than Mutter, the window manager for which GNOME Shell is a plugin.
On 14 January 2011, Canonical also released a technical preview of a "2D" version of Unity based on Qt and written in QML. Unity-2D was not shipped on the Ubuntu 11.04 CD, instead the classic GNOME desktop was the fall-back for hardware that could not run Unity.
In March 2011, public indications emerged of friction between Canonical (and its development of Unity) and the GNOME developers. As part of Unity development Ubuntu developers had submitted API coding for inclusion in Gnome as an external dependency. According to Dave Neary, "... an external dependency is a non-GNOME module which is a dependency of a package contained in one of the GNOME module sets," and the reasons why libappindicator was not accepted as an external dependency are that "... it does not fit that definition," it has "... duplicate functionality with libnotify," (the current Gnome Shell default) and its CLA does not meet current GNOME policy. Mark Shuttleworth responded,
This is a critical juncture for the leadership of Gnome. I'll state plainly that I feel the long tail of good-hearted contributors to Gnome and Gnome applications are being let down by a decision-making process that has let competitive dynamics diminish the scope of Gnome itself. Ideas that are not generated 'at the core' have to fight incredibly and unnecessarily hard to get oxygen... getting room for ideas to be explored should not feel like a frontal assault on a machine gun post. This is no way to lead a project. This is a recipe for a project that loses great people to environments that are more open to different ways of seeing the world ... Embracing those other ideas and allowing them to compete happily and healthily is the only way to keep the innovation they bring inside your brand. Otherwise, you're doomed to watching them innovate and then having to "relayout" your own efforts to keep up, badmouthing them in the process. We started this with a strong, clear statement: Unity is a shell for Gnome. Now Gnome leadership have to decide if they want the fruit of that competition to be an asset to Gnome, or not.
In April 2011, Mark Shuttleworth announced that Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot would not include the classic GNOME desktop as a fall-back to Unity, unlike Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal. Instead Ubuntu 11.10 used the Qt-based Unity 2D for users whose hardware cannot support the 3D version. However, the classic GNOME desktop (GNOME Panel) can be installed separately in Ubuntu 11.10 and later versions through
gnome-panel, a package in the Ubuntu repositories.
At the November 2011 Ubuntu Developer Summit, it was announced that Unity for Ubuntu 12.04 would not re-enable the systray, and would have better application integration, and the ability to drag lenses onto the launcher, and that the 2D version of Unity would use the same decoration buttons as the 3D version.
In July 2012, at OSCON, Shuttleworth explained some of the historical reasoning behind Unity's development. The initial decision to develop a new interface in 2008 was driven by a desire to innovate and to pass Microsoft and Apple in user experience. This meant a family of unified interfaces that could be used across many device form factors, including desktop, laptop, tablet, smart phones and TV. Shuttleworth said "‘The old desktop would force your tablet or your phone into all kinds of crazy of funny postures. So we said: Screw it. We’re going to move the desktop to where it needs to be for the future. [This] turned out to be a deeply unpopular process."
Initial testing of Unity during development was done in a laboratory setting and showed the success of the interface, despite public opposition. Real world shipping return rates also indicated acceptance. Shuttleworth explained, "ASUS ran an experiment where they shipped half a million [Unity netbooks and laptops] to Germany. Not an easy market. And the return rates on Ubuntu were exactly the same as the return rates on Windows. Which is the key indicator for OEMs who are looking to do this."
Microsoft's development of Windows 8 and its Metro interface became an additional incentive for Unity development, as Shuttleworth explained, "we [had to move] our desktop because if we didn’t we’d end up where Windows 8 is. [In Windows 8] you have this shiny tablet interface, and you sit and you use then you press the wrong button then it slaps you in the face and Windows 7 is back. And then you think OK, this is familiar, so you’re kind of getting into it and whack [Windows 8 is back]."
In April 2015 it was announced that Unity 8 would ship as part of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, or possibly later. It was also noted that this version of Unity would not visually differ much from Unity 7.
In April 2016 Ubuntu 16.04 was released with Unity 7, not Unity 8, as the default user interface, though Unity 8 could be installed through the Ubuntu software repositories as an optional, preview package. During an Ubuntu Online Summit, Canonical employees said that their goal is to ship Unity 8 as the default interface for Ubuntu 16.10, to be released in October 2016. These plans are now changed and for now Unity 8 will come preinstalled with 16.10 but not as default.
On 5 April 2017, Mark Shuttleworth announced that Canonical's work on Unity would end and that Ubuntu would employ the GNOME 3 desktop instead. However, the UBports team forked the Unity 8 repository and continued the development. Currently, the Unity 8 project is maintained and developed by UBports.
Early versions of Unity received mixed reviews and generated controversy. Some reviewers found fault with the implementation and limitations, while other reviewers found Unity an improvement over GNOME 2 with the further potential to improve over time.
With Ubuntu 12.04, Unity received good reviews. Jack Wallen described it as an "incredible advancement". Jesse Smith described it as "attractive" and said it had grown to maturity. Ryan Paul said Unity was responsive, robust and had the reliability expected from a mature desktop shell.
The Dash feature of Unity in Ubuntu 12.10 generated a privacy controversy.
In reviewing an alpha version of Unity, shortly after it was unveiled in the summer of 2010, Ryan Paul of Ars Technica noted problems figuring out how to launch additional applications that were not on the dock bar. He also mentioned a number of bugs, including the inability to track which applications were open and other window management difficulties. He remarked that many of these were probably due to the early stage in the development process and expected them to be resolved with time. Paul concluded positively, "Our test of the Unity prototype leads us to believe that the project has considerable potential and could bring a lot of value to the Ubuntu Netbook Edition. Its unique visual style melds beautifully with Ubuntu's new default theme and its underlying interaction model seems compelling and well-suited for small screens." In an extensive review of Ubuntu 10.10 shortly after its release in October 2010, Paul made further observations on Unity, noting that "Unity is highly ambitious and offers a substantially different computing experience than the conventional Ubuntu desktop." He concluded that "The [application] selectors are visually appealing, but they are easily the weakest part of the Unity user experience. The poor performance significantly detracts from their value in day-to-day use and the lack of actual file management functionality largely renders the file selector useless. The underlying concepts behind their design are good, however, and they have the potential to be much more valuable in the future as unity matures."
In March 2011, writer Benjamin Humphrey of OMG Ubuntu criticized the development version of Unity then being tested for Ubuntu 11.04 on a number of grounds, including a development process that is divorced from user experiences, the lack of response to user feedback, "the seemingly unbelievable lack of communication the design team has," and a user interface he described as "cluttered and inconsistent". Overall, however, he concluded that "Unity is not all bad ... While a number of the concepts in Unity may be flawed from a design point of view, the actual idea itself is not, and Canonical deserve applause for trying to jump start the stagnant open source desktop with Unity when the alternatives do not evoke confidence."
On 14 April 2011 Ryan Paul reviewed Unity as implemented in Ubuntu 11.04 beta, just two weeks before its stable release. He reported that Unity was on track for inclusion in Natty Narwhal, despite the ambitious development schedule. He indicated, "close attention to detail shines through in many aspects of Unity. The menubar is clean and highly functional. The sidebar dock is visually appealing and has excellent default behaviors for automatic hiding." He noted that the interface still had some weak points, especially difficulties browsing for applications not on the dock, as well as switching between application categories. He noted that, in particular, "random packages from the repositories, which are presented as applications that are available for installation in the launcher, are distracting and largely superfluous". Paul concluded, "There is still a lot of room for improvement, but Unity is arguably a strong improvement over the conventional GNOME 2.x environment for day-to-day use. The breadth of the changes may be disorienting for some users, but most will like what they see when Unity lands on their desktop at the end of the month." Two weeks later he added the lack of configurability to his criticisms. In a very detailed assessment of Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity published on 12 May 2011, Paul further concluded Unity was a positive development for Ubuntu, but that more development had to be invested to make it work right. He wrote, "They have done some incredibly impressive work so far and have delivered a desktop that is suitable for day-to-day use, but it is still very far from fulfilling its full potential."
On 25 April 2011, the eve of the release of Ubuntu 11.04, reviewer Matt Hartley of IT Management criticized Unity, saying that the "dumbing down of the Linux desktop environment is bordering on insane".
Reviewer Joey Sneddon of OMG Ubuntu was more positive about Unity in his review of Ubuntu 11.04, encouraging users, "Sure it's different—but different doesn't mean bad; the best thing to do is to give it a chance." He concluded that Unity on the desktop makes "better use of screen space, intuitive interface layouts and, most importantly, making a desktop that works for the user and not in spite of them."
Following the release of Ubuntu 11.04 Canonical Ltd. founder Mark Shuttleworth indicated that, while he was generally happy with the implementation of Unity, he felt that there was room for improvement. Shuttleworth said, "I recognise there are issues, and I would not be satisfied unless we fixed many of them in 11.10 ... Unity was the best option for the average user upgrading or installing. There are LOTS of people for whom it isn't the best, but we had to choose a default position ... It's by no means perfect, and it would be egotistical to suggest otherwise... I think the bulk of it has worked out fantastically—both at an engineering level (Compiz, Nux) and in the user experience."
In reviewing Unity in Ubuntu 11.04 on 9 May 2011, Jesse Smith of DistroWatch criticized its lack of customization, menu handling and Unity hardware requirements, saying, "There's really nothing here which should demand 3D acceleration." He also noted that "The layout doesn't translate well to large screens or multiple-screen systems." Jack M. Germain of Linux Insider reviewed Unity on 11 May 2011, indicating strong dislike for it, saying, "Put me in the Hate It category" and indicating that as development has proceeded he likes it less and less.
More criticism appeared after the release of Ubuntu 11.10. In November 2011 Robert Storey writing in DistroWatch noted that developer work on Unity is now taking up so much time that little is getting done on outstanding Ubuntu bugs, resulting in a distribution that is not as stable or as fast as it should be. Storey concluded "Perhaps it would be worth putting up with the bugs if Unity was the greatest thing since sliced bread — something wonderful that is going to revolutionize desktop computing. But it's not. I tried Unity, and it's kind of cute, but nothing to write home about."
In November 2011 OMG! Ubuntu! conducted a non-scientific poll that asked its readers "which Desktop Environment Are You Using in Ubuntu 11.10?". Of the 15,988 votes cast 46.78% indicated that they were using Unity over GNOME Shell (28.42%), Xfce (7.58%), KDE (6.92%) and LXDE (2.7%).
Developers of Linux distributions based upon Ubuntu have also weighed in on the introduction of Unity in early 2011, when Unity was in its infancy. Some have been critical, including two distributions who base their criticism on usability testing. Marco Ghirlanda, the lead developer of the audio- and video-centric ArtistX, stated, "When I tried Unity on computer illiterates, they were less productive and took ages to understand the concepts behind it. When I show them how to use it, they said that it is pretty to see but hard to use." Stephen Ewen, the lead developer for UberStudent, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution for higher education and college-bound high school students, stated, "Unity's design decreases both visual and functional accessibility, which tabulates to decreased productivity." Ewen also criticized Unity's menu scheme as much less accessible than on GNOME 2, which he said, "means that the brain cannot map as quickly to program categories and subcategories, which again means further decreased productivity."
Ubuntu 12.04 LTSEdit
Jesse Smith of DistroWatch said that many people, like him, had questioned Ubuntu's direction, including Unity. But with Ubuntu 12.04 he felt that the puzzle pieces, which individually may have been underwhelming, had come together to form a whole, clear picture. He said "Unity, though a step away from the traditional desktop, has several features which make it attractive, such as reducing mouse travel. The HUD means that newcomers can find application functionality with a quick search and more advanced users can use the HUD to quickly run menu commands from the keyboard." He wrote that Unity had grown to maturity, but said he was bothered by its lack of flexibility.
Jack Wallen of TechRepublic—who had strongly criticized early versions of Unity—said "Since Ubuntu 12.04 was released, and I migrated over from Linux Mint, I’m working much more efficiently. This isn’t really so much a surprise to me, but to many of the detractors who assume Unity a very unproductive desktop... well, I can officially say they are wrong. [...] I realize that many people out there have spurned Unity (I was one of them for a long time), but the more I use it, the more I realize that Canonical really did their homework on how to help end users more efficiently interact with their computers. Change is hard – period. For many, the idea of change is such a painful notion they wind up missing out on some incredible advancements. Unity is one such advancement."
Ryan Paul said Unity was responsive, robust and had the reliability expected from a mature desktop shell. He considered the HUD as one of several excellent improvements that had helped to make Unity "even better in Ubuntu 12.04". Yet he also wrote: "Although Unity's quality has grown to the point where it fulfills our expectations, the user experience still falls short in a number of ways. We identified several key weaknesses in our last two Ubuntu reviews, some of which still haven't been addressed yet. These issues still detract from Unity's predictability and ease of use."
Ubuntu 16.04 LTSEdit
Jack Wallen of TechRepublic, in reviewing the changes scheduled for Unity in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, concluded, "Ubuntu Unity is not the desktop pariah you once thought it was. This desktop environment has evolved into a beautiful, efficient interface that does not deserve the scorn and derision heaped upon it by so many."
- Canonical Ltd. (December 2010). "Publishing history of "unity" package in Ubuntu". Retrieved 9 December 2010.
- "Unity in Launchpad". Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- Jagdish Patel, Neil (November 2010). "~unity-team/unity/trunk: 4105". Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Paul, Ryan (17 October 2013). "Ubuntu 13.10 review: The Linux OS of the future remains a year away". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "Unity7 Maintainers Team in Launchpad". Launchpad. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
- Proffitt, Brian (10 May 2010). "Ubuntu Unity Interface Tailored for Netbook Screens". ITWorld. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "Welcome to Ubuntu 11.04". Ubuntu Official Documentation. Ubuntu documentation team. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
- "Ayatana – Ubuntu Wiki". Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- Jackson, Joab (25 October 2010). "Software / Services Oct 25, 2010 1:20 pm Canonical Ubuntu Splits From GNOME Over Design Issues". PC World Business Center. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "Ubuntu To Abandon Unity 8, Switch Back To GNOME". Phoronix.com. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
- Nestor, Marius (7 April 2017). "Unity 8 Now Has a New Home Over at UBports, Development Will Start Very Soon". Softpedia. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- "Lomiri: New Name, Same Great Unity8". UBports Foundation. 27 February 2020. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
- Ubuntu Unity (20 June 2020). "Ubuntu Unity - Unity os Power". ubuntuunity.org. Archived from the original on 20 June 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- Saraswat, Rudra (7 May 2020). "Ubuntu Unity Remix 20.04". discourse.ubuntu.com. Archived from the original on 20 June 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- Evangelho, Jason (12 May 2020). "A Surprising New Remix Of Ubuntu 20.04 Brings Unity Back To Life". Forbes. Archived from the original on 20 June 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- "Restarting Unity development in 2021 - Progress Report". Ubuntu Community Hub. 6 January 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
- "Terminology for Unity UI elements as of Ubuntu 11.04" (this is the official terminology, linked form https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Unity).
- "SessionMenu - Ubuntu Wiki". wiki.ubuntu.com. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "Unity's launcher groups windows belonging to one application in the same icon". Ask Ubuntu.
- "ClassicMenu Indicator". Retrieved 8 August 2015.
- "Unity lenses and scopes".
- "Unity/HUD". Ubuntu Wiki. Ubuntu.
- Parrino, Cristian (12 October 2012). "Searching in the Dash in Ubuntu 12.10 – an Update". Canonical Blog. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- Lee, Micah (29 October 2012). "Privacy in Ubuntu 12.10: Amazon Ads and Data Leaks". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- Gilbertson, Scott (18 October 2012). "Ay caramba, Ubuntu 12.10: Get it right on Amazon!". The Register. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- Samson, Ted (25 September 2012). "Canonical wants to shill for Amazon on Ubuntu users' desktops". InfoWorld. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "Shuttleworth defends Ubuntu Linux integrating Amazon". ZDnet. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- "Amazon search results in the Dash". markshuttleworth.com. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- Bacon, Jono (23 September 2012). "On The Recent Dash Improvements". jonobacon@home (blog). Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- Goodin, Dan (30 October 2012). "EFF calls Ubuntu's Amazon search result feature a "major privacy problem"". Ars Technica. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "On Richard Stallman and Ubuntu". jonobacon@home (blog). 7 December 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. (9 December 2012). "Free software father declared Ubuntu Linux to contain spyware". ZDNet. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- Farrell, Nick (18 February 2013). "Open source community wades into Ubuntu phone". TechEye. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "The Dash Is Now Anonymized In Ubuntu 13.10". Slashdot. 22 September 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- Sneddon, Joey-Elijah (12 October 2012). "Ubuntu Add Legal Disclaimer to Unity Dash". OMG! Ubuntu!. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- Smith, Jesse (29 October 2012). "Ubuntu 12.10 Desktop". DistroWatch. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- "Ubuntu's Shopping Lens Might Be Illegal in Europe". Sofpedia.com. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- "Blogger Claims Ubuntu's New Shopping Lens Breaks EU Law". OMGUbuntu.co.uk. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- de Sousa, Luís (6 August 2014). "Ubuntu Shopping Lens deemed legal by UK data privacy office". AtTheEdgeOfTime.Blogspot.com. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- Sneddon, Joey (30 March 2014). "Ubuntu To Make Amazon Product Results 'Opt-In'". OMG Ubuntu. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- Scott Gilbertson (10 May 2016). "Ubuntu 16.04 proves even an LTS release can live at Linux's bleeding edge".
- "Ubuntu TV readies for battle with Google and Apple". Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "Features and Specs". Canonical Ltd. Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Vlad Savov (16 November 2012). "Ubuntu phone OS announced, first devices shipping in early 2014". The Verge. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- fluteflute (13 November 2010). "Is unity just a plugin of compiz".
The version of Unity that will be released in 11.04 is definitely implemented as plugin(s) in Compiz.
- File:Unity-2D Natty.png
- "Canonical building Unity 2D on QML and Qt | Qt DevNet forums | Qt Developer Network".
- Sneddon, Joey (May 2011). "Unity 2D lands in Oneiric daily build". OMG Ubuntu!. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- "UDS-Q Summary: Bye-Bye Unity 2D, Hello GNOME-Shell Spin". Omgubuntu.co.uk. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- "The Ayatana Project". Canonical Ltd. 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
The Ayatana Project is the collective project that houses user interface, design and interaction projects started by Canonical.
- "Ayatana". Arch Linux Wiki.
- "Unity For Fedora (As in OpenSUSE or Arch)". Lists.fedoraproject.org. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- "Unity Desktop Available for Fedora". OMG! Ubuntu!.
- "Ayatana Project for openSUSE". Archived from the original on 21 September 2012.
- "Ayatana Project Portage". Frugalware Linux Wiki. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- "GNOME Ayatana". openSUSE Wiki.
- Nelson Marques. "GNOME Ayatana". openSUSE.
- "Manjaro Unity". Softpedia.
- "Canonical Ubuntu Splits From GNOME Over Design Issues".
- Jono Bacon (25 October 2010). "Ubuntu 11.04 to ship unity".
- Noyes, Katherine (26 October 2010). "Is Unity the Right Interface for Desktop Ubuntu?". PC World. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "Ubuntu GNOME 3 Team". Retrieved 2 March 2011.
- Andrew (13 October 2011). "Things To Tweak After Installing Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot – Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog". webupd8.org. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Mark Shuttleworth (4 November 2010). "Unity on Wayland".
The next major transition for Unity will be to deliver it on Wayland ...
- "MirSpec". Ubuntu.com. Archived from the original on 6 March 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013. (2013)
- Mark Shuttleworth (30 October 2010). "Movement of Unity launcher".
- Andrew (29 November 2011). "Install Ubuntu Unity Bottom Launcher Via PPA – Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog". webupd8.org. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- "Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will let you move Unity 7's launcher to the bottom of your screen". pcworld.com. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
- Jay Taoko (8 December 2010). "Nux and Unity". Archived from the original on 11 June 2011.
- "Unity To Use Compiz instead of Mutter [Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal News] ~ Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog".
- "Canonical Says Unity 2D Not Part Of The Ubuntu 11.04 Plan".
- "Comment 8 for bug 730588".
- Waugh, Jeff (March 2011). "Timeline: The Greatest Show on Earth – Dave Neary comment". Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- Graner, Amber (March 2011). "Has GNOME Rejected Canonical help? Shuttleworth Responds". Ubuntu User. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
- Shuttleworth, Mark (March 2011). "Internal competition is healthy, but depends on strong and mature leadership". Retrieved 19 March 2011.
- Shuttleworth, Mark (March 2011). "All the other guys are not wrong". Retrieved 19 March 2011.
- Sneddon, Joey (April 2011). "Ubuntu 11.10 will not ship with 'classic' GNOME desktop". OMG Ubuntu!. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
- Andrew (24 August 2011). "Installing / Using Classic GNOME Desktop In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot ~ Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog". Webupd8.org. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- Andrew (5 November 2011). "Expected Changes In Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin (UDS-P In Brief)". Web Upd8. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Sneddon, Joey (20 July 2012). "Mark Shuttleworth: 'We Didn't Want Ubuntu To End up Like Windows 8′". OMG Ubuntu. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- "Canonical announces Mir, a custom display server that will serve up future versions of Unity". engadget.com. 4 March 2013.
- "Canonical reveals plans to launch Mir display server – Update". H-online.com. 24 February 2013. Archived from the original on 6 March 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- Brodkin, Jon (17 May 2012). "Ubuntu dumps X window system, creates replacement for PC and mobile". Ars Technica. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- Stahie, Silviu (6 April 2015). "Unity 8 Won't Be Very Different Visually from Unity 7". News Organization. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
- Joey-Elijah Sneddon. "Unity 8 Takes Shape, Here's How To Install It on Ubuntu 16.04". OMG! Ubuntu!. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- Silviu Stahie (18 November 2015). "Ubuntu 16.10 to Have Unity 8, Mir, and Snappy Personal as Default". softpedia. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- "Ubuntu 16.10 Won't Use Unity 8 By Default".
- "ubports/unity8". GitHub. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- Paul, Ryan (July 2010). "Hands-on with Ubuntu's new Unity netbook shell". Ars Technica. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- Humphrey, Benjamin (March 2011). "What's wrong with Unity & how we can fix it". OMG Ubuntu. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
- Paul, Ryan (November 2010). "Blessed Unity: Ars reviews Ubuntu 10.10". Ars Technica. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- Paul, Ryan (April 2011). "Unity environment in good shape, on track for Ubuntu 11.04". Ars Technica. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
- Lynch, Jim (May 2011). "Ubuntu 11.04". Desktop Linux Reviews. Archived from the original on 5 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- Wallen, Jack (25 June 2012). "Ubuntu Unity: Making the desktop seriously efficient again". TechRepublic. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- Smith, Jesse (7 May 2012). "Review of Ubuntu 12.04". DistroWatch. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- Paul, Ryan (28 May 2012). "Precision and purpose: Ubuntu 12.04 and the Unity HUD reviewed". Ars Technica. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- Paul, Ryan (April 2011). "Ubuntu 11.04 released, a Natty Narwhal rises from the depths". Ars Technica. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- Paul, Ryan (May 2011). "Riding the Narwhal: Ars reviews Unity in Ubuntu 11.04". Ars Technica. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- Hartley, Matt (April 2011). "Why Is Ubuntu's Unity Squeezing out GNOME 3?". IT Management. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
- Sneddon, Joey (May 2011). "Ubuntu 11.04 released, reviewed". OMG Ubuntu. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- Sneddon, Joey (May 2011). "Mark Shuttleworth talks Windicators, changes for Unity in Oneiric, and whole lot more..." OMG Ubuntu. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- Smith, Jesse (May 2011). "A look at Ubuntu 11.04". Distrowatch. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
- Germain, Jack M. (May 2011). "Natty Narwhal Offers Unity but No Clarity". Linux News. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- Storey, Robert (7 November 2011). "Disunity". DistroWatch. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- Sneddon, Joey (20 November 2011). "Poll Result: 15,900 votes Cast; Unity Named Most Popular Desktop". OMG! Ubuntu!. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- Byfield, Bruce (17 May 2011). "Other Linux Distros' View of Ubuntu's Unity: It Ain't Pretty". Datamation.
- Jack Wallen (1 March 2016). "10 reasons why you should stop picking on Ubuntu Unity". TechRepublic. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Unity (desktop environment).|