The Unity Desktop

With Ubuntu 11.04 aka Natty Narwhal, Mark Shuttleworth’s team parted with the Gnome Desktop and decided to go with the Unity Desktop. I was quite happy with Gnome and I am also happy with Unity; for that matter I also like Kubuntu’s KDE. Its a matter of getting used to the way applications are organized on the desktop.
The Unity Desktop:
1 All icons, the tray at the bottom right-hand, the start button and the applications, places and system on the top panel of Gnome Desktop are missing.
2 Shortcut Icons for all applications, files and folder are called lenses and are ported to the left-hand panel; thus leaving the desktop completely bare.
3 The left-hand panel is now called The Launcher.
4 On my Desktop, The Launcher contains:
a) The Ubuntu Icon at the very top, which when clicked opens a dashboard with various shortcuts for applications for documents, music, shotwell photo manager, video( totem movie player by default), Internet applications, browser and email client and Banshee music player. It also has a search-bar to type in anything or any application you might want to look for.
b) This is followed by the Home folder lens which is self explanatory. Right click of the mouse reveals sub-folders for Downloads, Documents, Music, Video, etc. It is the same home folder as in Gnome.
c) The next lens is for Libre Office. Clicking it opens LibreOffice writer. Right clicking it
reveals, writer, calc or spreadsheet, math, draw and Impress the presentation software.
d) The Ubuntu software center allows one-click installation of any software from the Ubuntu repository.
e) Ubuntu One: Ubuntu provides free 5 gigabyte storage in the cloud. Useful for backing up important documents. If you need more storage space, you can purchase it from Ubuntu.
f) I have also moved shortcut icons for Opera, Chrome and Skype to the Launcher. You can drag shortcuts for any application to the Launcher. For this you will have to reduce the size of the shortcut icons from 48 to something like 32. The next blog will describe how to do this.
g) Desktop Recorder: I quite like this application. You can make a video clip of the desktop with it. You can see it in action below:
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h) CheckGMail: This one informs me if there is new mail in my gmail account.
i) I downloaded this application to keep a diary of my daily activity. Every application installed via the software centre offers the option to add it to the launcher.
j) This is a work place switcher which permits use of 4 workplaces to work on different applications in each work space.
k) Applications: Double clicking it opens a dashboard with all the installed applications a searchbar. If the applications not installed, the dashboard gives the option of downloading it from Software Centre. Right clicking shows the various groups of applications.
l) The last one is for files and folders. It also shows recently used files and folders. If you want to remove recent files and folders there is a way of doing this. Watch this space for the method.