Unity v/s Gnome Shell v/s OS X Launchpad


Gnome Shell

OS X Launchpad

Manish‘s tweet about Gnome shell being usable resulted in this impromptu conversation and comparison. I know all three are in development – but this how it looks currently. Gnome-shell looks way too cluttered, Unity’s icons seem to be too big while Launchpad seems to have gotten the right balance.


  1. Pingback: Sathya
  2. Pingback: Rahul Mathur
  3. Pingback: Bonster
  4. Pingback: Joe Steiger
  5. But you’re comparing the home screen of Unity to others, which isn’t really the interface for launching applications. I mean, you can launch from home screen, but easier is to go to ‘Applications’ – then either search-as-you-type for app you want, select from icon grid, or drill down to a category.

  6. same goes for gnome shell…not exactly sure where you snagged that screenshot or what version that is, but that’s not at all how it looks for me and i’m using (and loving) gnome shell.

    i think the biggest thing that one needs to understand about gnome shell is, well first, that it’s still under development…but the fact that you can add plugins to it with javascript and css. in fact the entire thing is controlled/themed by javascript and css. it also has a debugger built in.

    while there aren’t exactly many plugins yet, there is a dock bar plugin for it as an example. so as time goes on i think you’ll really see a lot of enhancement to the vanilla gnome-shell that will allow it to stand out from the others.

    i think all desktop window managers should be utilizing javascript and css to allow for customizations quickly and easily. also – gnome shell requires 3d acceleration and has some pretty cool potential with that. 3d effects are definitely something found in compiz for years now that should have definitely been mimicked in other window managers like OS X’s aqua and Windows Aero….but instead they used the graphics acceleration to do stupid things like transparent windows…. ooh ahh…

    honestly, OS X and also Windows are just very much behind the curve in window managers when you compare to the options available for Linux.

    1. That screenshot is the latest one which was featured in OMG! Ubuntu! Joey posted it.

      Unity is also under development, but looks better. The problem with Unity and Shell is to some extent due to requirement of compositing. They cant work without compositing which means that opensource novuea driver wont work as it does not have 3D capability. You need to download the blob for nvidia due to which your boot screen might look screwed up since nvidia driver doesnt support KMS

  7. I don’t know what OS to use in future. I will stick with old gnome for a while at my current hardware (C2D Q6600, 8Gb DDRII, 160Gb Intel X25-m G2 SSD, 1+1+0.75 Samsung F1 HDDs, etc). Both Gnome Shell and Unity feels too like toys, I just can’t use these pieces of shit (I’ve tried them several times, but have never satisfied with their approach: clunky, unprofessional, ill-minded things).

    1. Ubuntu and Gnome have forgotten one key point. Those interfaces are for touch! I seriously doubt touch technology will take over the conventional desktop simply because yes they’re too cluttered and childlike. For mobile and touch devices it’s fine but there is still a need for the traditional desktop.

      They have totally abandoned the traditional interface in favor of touch.

      I feel stand alone openbox aka crunchbang or archbang will have a surge in usage with the move to unity and gnome shell. Perhaps a compiz stand alone or a new ubuntu openbox distro will emerge.

      The people who can say touchtype and value optimal resource usage and speed over big flashy icons won’t use these environments on a non-touch computer.

      The move to clutter reminds me of windows vista.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *