Unity (Installed by default)
Founded in 2010, the Unity project started by Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical has gone on to deliver a consistent user experience for desktop and netbook users alike. Putting great design at the heart of the project, Unity and its technologies such as Application indicators, System indicators, and Notify OSD, have strived to solve common problems in the Free Software desktop while optimizing the experience for touch, consistency and collaboration.
- Unity is powered by Compiz.
- The top-right portion of the panel is very similar to GNOME 2, offering support for various menus and indicators.
- A launcher on the left side keeps track of currently-running applications, and also allows the user to pin favorite applications. Applications demanding attention will glow blue. Badges and progress bars on the launcher icons are also supported by some applications, as are quicklists revealed by right-clicking.
- By either clicking the button in the upper-left corner or pressing the Super key, the user can open the Dash, which allows searching for applications, files, and more via the use of “lenses”.
- Four workspaces are provided that the user can use for organizing windows.
- A global menu enable by Default, similar to that used in Mac OS X, is used for windows by default. You can reveal the menu by mousing over the left portion of the top panel, or by holding Alt. Alternatively, in Ubuntu 14.04 onward, a locally integrated menus (LIM) inside of the windows titlebar is enableable, instead of the global menu.
- Alternatively, in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS onward, you can tap the Alt key to reveal the HUD, which allows you to find menu commands by entering search terms, similar to the Dash.
- Maximized windows have their window controls also integrated into the top panel. This and the global menu are intended to provide more vertical screen space as compared to other DEs / shells, which is useful for machines like netbooks where screen space is limited.