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I have recently installed Ubuntu with the hopes of doing software development in a Linux environment.

However, coming from a Windows 7 environment, I can't help but notice how the default Ubuntu GUI (Unity) feels so unsharp, uncrisp, unresponsive, bloated, taking up too much space, etc.

For example, in Windows 7, the fonts are small but sharp and crisp, and the windows, forms and controls take up just the right amount of space. Using Ubuntu Unity, instead it feels as if the desktop shrunk in size and everything feels so cluttered.

What can I do to make my Ubuntu experience feel less cramped, and make it feel more sharp, crisp and responsive, at least to what we're accustomed to in Windows?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by dobey, Eric Carvalho, Mateo, Radu Rădeanu, Jorge Castro Aug 6 '13 at 13:31

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Try the following to remove your existing setup and replace it with another desktop environment


This switches to a full tty scripting terminal, without a GUI. You can safely make changes to your GUI and desktop from here without restarting your computer.

sudo apt-get remove --purge ubuntu-desktop

This uninstalls, and deletes all the files for, the Ubuntu desktop package, including unity, x, display settings, etc.

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop 

Installs kubuntu desktop, a lightweight and powerful integrated desktop environment. Incredible features when paired with koffice office suite.

sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop

Installs lubuntu desktop, another gnome based lightweight desktop. Best suited for low end hardware.


I was just thinking about your question, when it dawned on me that your Ubuntu install might not be using your video card, hence the lack of detail you're suffering from.

Check this before anything. Find this info by opening system settings, then System Details. A few lines on the first tab describe the devices used by the operating system, including the currently used graphics processor.

If it doesn't match the name of your current GPU, then do some searches about installing that brand of graphics driver on Ubuntu.

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This can be a religious thing, but I just never loved Unity... Gnome-Shell is a completely different experience and its worth a try since your starting out with Ubuntu... This will tell you how to install:

After installing, you will want to check out the large library of great extensions out there for Gnome Shell:

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