We've known for some time that a "pure Gnome" version of Ubuntu Linux was in the works, and following last week's release of Ubuntu 12.10 "Quantal Quetzal," the first Gnome Remix of the software has now made its debut as well.
"The Ubuntu Gnome Remix is an unofficial Ubuntu flavor that aims to bring the best of Gnome to Ubuntu users," explained developer Jeremy Bicha in the official announcement last week. "The 12.10 release is our first stable release and is recommended for anyone interested in the Gnome experience."
[ Also on InfoWorld: Key parts of Ubuntu Linux 13.04 to be developed under wraps. | Prove your expertise with the free OS in InfoWorld's Linux admin IQ test round 1 and round 2. | Track the latest trends in open source with InfoWorld's Open Sources blog and Technology: Open Source newsletter. ]
Now offering a compelling new alternative for Ubuntu fans who are not so fond of the Unity interface that's now used by default in Canonical's popular Linux distribution, the new Ubuntu Gnome Remix is definitely worth a closer look. Here's a rundown of what you'll find.
1. Gnome 3.6
Both Gnome 3 and Unity have seen their share of controversy, of course, but the former is certainly more widely used. First and foremost in this new Ubuntu flavor is that it includes Gnome 3.6 rather than the Unity desktop. Included in this Gnome version are a reworked Activities Overview, updated message tray and notifications, and an enhanced Files application, among many other features.
2. Gnome Shell 3.6.1 and GDM 3.6.1
"Among other improvements, the login and lock screen have been redesigned," the project team notes. Gnome Classic (Gnome-panel 3) is also included, but Gnome Shell is the default for users whose hardware supports it.
3. Bundled apps
Much like Ubuntu itself, the Gnome Remix includes a variety of bundled apps, including the Epiphany browser, the Evolution email client, Abiword for word processing, Gnumeric for spreadsheets, Gwibber for microblogging, the Rhythmbox music player, Shotwell for photo management, and the Cheese webcam app.
4. Package management
Instead of the Ubuntu Software Center, Gnome Remix uses Gnome PackageKit, which includes its own update manager. To install updates, users need only open the tool and click on "Check for Updates."
5. Customization tools
Last but not least, Tweak Tool and dconf Editor are provided in Ubuntu Gnome Remix for customizing advanced settings.
Ready to give Ubuntu Gnome Remix a spin? You can download it for free from the Ubuntu Wiki site.