Re: the little things of ubuntu

In a recent post thomaswy mentioned some things he liked about the CLI in Ubuntu (Linux in general, running bash in any distribution should yield an extremely consistent experience) and some things he disliked about the GUI. He’s not alone, just do a quick google search for “what I hate about Ubuntu Unity”.  Luckily, there are numerous ways to resolve this.  If you read the “Futures” chapter and other bits about the X-windows system in The Art of Unix Programming you learned that to remain consistent with the Unix design philosophy the designers of X created a clear separation between policy and mechanism.  A result of this is several graphical toolkits available to developers who want to create a GUI, and a result of *this* is many different GUI environments.  Unity is but one of them and just because it comes packaged with Ubuntu doesn’t mean that’s all Ubuntu can use.  If you aren’t in love with Unity, consider some of the alternatives:

Alternatives to Unity

and because it didn’t make it onto the previous list:


And that is but a small sampling of the graphical environments available for Linux.  A more complete list quickly becomes overwhelming

21 of the Best Free Linux Window Managers

and that still doesn’t include the one I use, i3.

It’s easy to see why Ubuntu, a distribution aimed at the casual user, would opt not to emphasize the amount of choices you have when it comes to picking a graphical environment!

And then many of the environments are further configured through themes and settings to control the look and feel and behavior for events like “click on a minimized window”.  Yes, you can easily spend a day or more finding and configuring the “perfect” desktop.  But that’s what makes Linux fun 😉