When Ubuntu made the decision to go off on their own and develop their own desktop environment it didn’t bother me too much. To be honest, once Windows 7 let you simply press the super key and start to type the name of the application you want to launch I pretty much stopped using the start menu all together. (I still thinks it’s funny watching people struggle to find the application they want to start by navigating the huge monstrosity that is the start menu.) I fell into using Unity and was very happy with the 14.04 and then the very usable and stable 16.04 LTS versions. I instantly fell in love with the HUD, since I can never remember where the page landscape menu option is in LibreDraw or the emboss transform in Gimp. To me, it was like the Unity developers had mind melded with my keyboard centric work flow.
Well, now I have to begin switching to Gnome and so I spun up an 18.04 VM and began fiddling with it. I went into the settings dialogue and checked out the keyboard shortcuts. I tried simply changing the workspace navigation keyboard shortcut and the settings window locked up. I clicked on the close button for the window and it wouldn’t close. I waited several seconds for the window to popup allowing me to force quit the application, but it never appeared. Finally I decided to reboot and install the latest updates. After doing that I began again customizing some simple things. I decided to change my wallpaper. I opened the settings to change the wallpaper and saw a nice interface that even previewed the wallpaper and let me change the lock screen wallpaper as well. Then I discovered that it won’t let you pick a picture from any folder, you’ve got to put the picture into the Pictures folder. Fine, I tried to do this from files (Nautilus) and then once again, the files app locked up and nothing worked on the desktop. Just my mouse. This time I had to reboot the system to even get out of the locked desktop. Even though I have had the infrequent app fail in Ubuntu, it NEVER took out the whole system.
I don’t know. I looked online to see if anyone else is having stability issues with the transition and everyone seems fine or comments on how much better Gnome is. I must be doing something wrong because this Gnome desktop does not seem as polished or stable as Unity was. Maybe I won’t move from 16.04 just yet. 🙁