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GNOME 3 vs Unity: Which is right for you?

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GNOME 3 and the GNOME Shell have their fans, who castigate Canonical’s Unity – and vice-versa. There are also those who decry both, claiming that a move to icon-based launchers represents a dumbing-down of the classic GNOME user interface. Worries over compatibility and extensibility cause further concerns, until nobody is quite sure what’s going on any more.

It’s time to set the record straight, and we here at Linux User think the best way of doing that is with a good old-fashioned head-to-head challenge. We’ve taken the reference implementations of both GNOME 3 and Unity – the official Live CD and Ubuntu 11.04 respectively – and given them a good going over, ranking them on familiarity for existing GNOME users, performance, compatibility, features, and extensibility.

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