Ubuntu 20.04 is all the rage these days, but there are some things that some members in the Ubuntu community would like to see changed in the stock version of Ubuntu. One of the biggest gripes for some with the newer versions of Ubuntu, is its lack of the Unity desktop environment. There are a few Ubuntu remixes out there, but one of the notable ones is UMix. Among other things, it addresses the lack of Unity.
UMix will be very familiar to you if you have used stock Ubuntu before. It is basically the same but with some nice tweaks. The most significant changes is that it runs the Unity desktop by default. One important thing to note about UMix is that it is not free. The author charges a one-time subscription fee of $15 to cover the work of putting the distribution together and testing it. The subscription fee is a one-time cost. After making the payment, you will get an email with your download link and can begin having fun.
One of the first things you will notice when installing UMix is that there are debug options in the boot menu. These options are useful for troubleshooting if you ever run into any problems.
Installation is pretty straightforward and isn’t out of this world compared to installing the stock version of Ubuntu. Select all of the relevant options and wait it out.
After your system reboots, you will be greeted with the UMix welcome screen. You’ll be able to configure your new installation based on your needs. You can always come back to this at a later date by opening the UMix Welcome app from the Activities launcher.
The welcome screen walks you through the initial setup that you should do before getting started with your new operating system. The following options are available on this screen:
- UI Theme
- Color Theme
- Remove Apps
- Web Browser
- Music Player
- Video Player
- File Manager
- Command Shell
Since UMix is very much like regular Ubuntu, let’s take a look at the notable features you won’t find in a vanilla version of Ubuntu.
Back to Unity
One of the major things to note about UMix is that it uses the Unity desktop environment instead of the Gnome desktop environment like Ubuntu. One of the biggest ways Unity differs from Gnome is the way its launcher works. Unity’s dashboard breaks apps up into categories.
You can also view all of the installed applications. With Gnome on Ubuntu 20.04, however, you will only be able to filter your applications by searching or by searching under the Frequent section that shows the apps opened frequently on your computer.
Some people like having their apps uncategorized like that, however.
Caja File Manager
Another major difference between UMix and Ubuntu is the file manager that UMix uses. UMix uses the Caja file manager, while Ubuntu uses Nautilus. Caja’s script extensions let you add operations such as Resize Images, Rotate Images, Encrypt, and Sign directly to the right-click context menu.
Nautilus has a limited amount of options available from its right-click context menu.
While there is a dark theme available in Ubuntu, it isn’t a full dark theme. The user interface continues to use a light theme even when the dark theme is selected.
With UMix, you can set a full dark theme from the UMix welcome app.
This can be done from under the UI Theme option. After setting this option, even the user interface will have the dark theme applied to it.
If you are still loving the Unity desktop and prefer it over Gnome, UMix is the one for you. It is not the only solution, though, as you are still able to install Unity desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 or make Gnome look and feel like Unity. If Ubuntu and Unity aren’t your cup of tea, you may want to consider Linux Mint XFCE edition instead.