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Why Don’t Other Linux Distros Use Unity? A Few Thoughts

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Last week I wrote about spinoffs of Ubuntu, noting that some of the once popular ones have now gone dormant. But later, I realized something else interesting: No Ubuntu variant — not a single one — uses Unity as its default desktop interface. Keep reading for some thoughts on why this might be, and what it says about Ubuntu and Canonical.

I have to give most of the credit for noticing the lack of Unity-based spinoffs of Ubuntu to an attentive reader of my earlier post named Jake, who pointed out in the comments that most Ubuntu remixes predate the adoption of Unity. Indeed: According to DistroWatch, there are exactly two Linux distributions that ship with Unity as their default interface: Ubuntu and Leenux, a relatively obscure spinoff that on its webpage actually appears to use the old Netbook Remix interface that Unity replaced. So that means that of the approximately 125 official and unofficial Ubuntu variants out there, Ubuntu itself is the only one based on Unity.

That’s kind of a big deal.

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