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Unity. Simplify Your Life.

Welcome to the continuing story about what happens when an Ubuntu local community meets great software and decides to help make it more accessible.

The Ubuntu Vancouver Local Community believes that one barrier to the widespread adoption of Ubuntu's ethos and its collection of outstanding software is a shortage of well-written and accessible user guides. Guides that make people say "Wow! I didn't know Ubuntu is that easy. I didn't know Ubuntu could do that!".

Unity is most new users' entry point into Ubuntu, and first impressions count. Unity is the ethos of Ubuntu. Unity is our "secret sauce".

With that in mind, back in the winter of 2011 I set out to catalyze the creation of the first comprehensive guide to Unity on Ubuntu written for the benefit of a person that had previously been trapped in the world of proprietary, community-less software. My small spark to hopefully light a bonfire.

With the help of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) we, Charlene Tessier and yours truly, identified a talented technical writer, Pritpaul Bains, to partner with us and to help new users adopt Ubuntu, not only in Vancouver, but everywhere on earth.

After many months of blood, sweat, and tears (literally), I am happy to announce that our first Unity guide is complete and ready for your enjoyment. The creation of this guide really was a labour of love, and I hope the results will speak accordingly.

Get a copy here. Read it. But more importantly, give our guide to someone who is trapped on the other side. This guide is really more for them:


Please join me in thanking Pritpaul Bains and Charlene Tessier for a job well done. Please send them a note.

Special thanks to Jason Smith, Manish Sinha, Rick Spencer, and Jorge
Castro for their contributions to this document.

Special thanks to the Unity Team for making Unity amazing.

This guide is dedicated to Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu visionary and founder of the Ubuntu project. From the bottom of our hearts thank you for making the world a better place.

Want to Help?

All Ubuntu community members are invited to help make UVLC's guides even better and to help get them into the hands of even more people. Unity needs you, and so does your own Ubuntu local community. Join one today and help change the world.

Come Together, Right Now, In Unity.

Way back in the 80's I used to listen to "Unity", on vinyl. Yes, apparently I'm that old. To my surprise, I found this (now rare) track online today, after all these years. Take a listen. The internets is magic ;)

Though the song is about in-fighting amongst DJ's and MC's in the 80's rap music scene, I think it has a lot to say about some of what has been going on in the Ubuntu world recently. We should all come together, right now, for the sake of the advancement of free software and its ideals. This is our best chance.

Speaking of coming together: Next Friday, UVLC's DJ's will be spinning our Unity mix at a *real* party. See you all there! You do know your way to Vancouver, right?

P.S. Leave your computers at home. We will have powerful magnetic fields at the door that will do bad things to them.

Narwhals by Kirby.WA. U-Party crest by yours truly. (CC-BY-SA)

Unity: A Form Letter For Computer Journalists

Since the FUD that goes something like "Unity sucks and Ubuntu is forcing you to use it and making it really hard to change" seems to have some degree of immortality, I have prepared a form letter that you can use to help set the record straight.


Dear ____________,

It has been brought to my attention that an article you recently wrote [insert link here] is spreading misinformation and or FUD about Ubuntu's upcoming 11.04 release.

You have incorrectly stated or implied that Unity (the new Ubuntu interface) will be *much* too difficult for normal humans to change to something more to your liking.

Though Ubuntu 11.04 is still currently only in alpha, the developer snapshot notes clearly indicate that "There are now three session types available in gdm: "Ubuntu Desktop" will run Unity by default, "Ubuntu Classic Session" will run GNOME with gnome-panel... Finally, you can force a "2D mode only" with "Ubuntu Classic Session (no effect)" which has the same interface than the Ubuntu Classic session."

Each of these session types are available at login through a simple menu selection, and your changes will be persistent across multiple logins. (Please see attached screenshot below.)

Though I do not share your apparent dislike for Unity, I feel it is worthwhile to be accurate and clear about the easy options presented to Ubuntu users and I would appreciate it if you would correct the record. The simplest way to do this would be to amend the article at its original location [original article link here]

I look forward to your prompt attention on this matter.

Ubuntu Contributor

Changing Desktops is Easy!Changing Desktops is Easy!

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