The end of the Unity environment in Ubuntu is perhaps the most logical conclusion that the ambitious project could have reached.
On the desktop, there is no more popular Linux distro than Ubuntu; even people who have never used Linux recognize that name.
It is true that it is no longer the most widely used Linux-based system (Android has that distinction); But that does not mean that currently millions of users continue to use a distro that, at the time, was about facing Windows.
The great Ubuntu project that never came
The situation is perhaps not as optimistic as before; Ubuntu is not talked about as much, or Linux on the desktop in general. Specifically, a server has been struggling for a couple of years to get something interesting every time a new version of Ubuntu comes out.
The reason for this lack of development is that Canonical, the organization behind Ubuntu, was focusing its entire budget and staff on one big project: make Ubuntu a platform for mobile phones and computers.
To do this, he developed the eighth version of the Unity desktop environment, capable of switching between a mobile and desktop interface; The so-called convergence will allow us to use our smartphone as a computer.
Now it has become clear that Ubuntu Phone no longer receive updates; and that the development of this platform will continue to be long and expensive. So Canonical has made the only logical decision.
Adis alentorno Unity in Ubuntu
Canonical has announced thatUnity 8 desktop environment development not continue; Instead, for 2018, all the work will focus on returning to the Gnome environment and focusing on other developments related to the cloud.
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the version that will arrive in April 2018, will be the first to completely abandon Unity and use Gnome; This is the environment that Ubuntu used in its beginnings, although with some modifications.
Chances are Ubuntu 18.04 doesn’t have the default Gnome desktop, but one modified in the traditional Unity style.
Ubuntu focuses on the cloud, but does not leave the desktop
Canonical does not hide that the decision is to invest in the areas that are really growing; and today, that is the cloud and the Internet of Things.
It is in these sectors where Ubuntu has achieved more achievements in recent years; with versions specially designed to take advantage of this type of hardware.
On the Internet, a good proportion of Cloud services, both public and private, depend on Ubuntu; Furthermore, it is key in the development of the Internet of Things, from cars to robots.
That does not mean that the desktop is going to be abandoned. The Ubuntu that we know so well and love to stay alive; Canonical is committed to continue producing new versions, to maintain LTS versions, and to continue distribution.
Therefore, we are at the end of an era for Ubuntu, and for Linux in general. It is no longer much use to think what would have happened if Canonical had used the resources of Unity 8 in other things; What’s past is past, and it’s better for the community that Ubuntu move on.