So its been announced. Ubuntu is dropping unity 2d support.

I wouldn't mind if it wasn't for two things that are important to me.

1) A working system

Unity is nice, i try to use it quite often. But it lags.

2) Support for older hardware.

I also have old computers. You can imagine how they would work with unity if my current laptop is slog in Ubuntu.

I guess i could use another desktop environment/ window manager , like switching to fluxbox.

Anyone have any suggestion ideas/solutions on how to proceed with Ubuntu in the future? All insights welcome

  • Switching to another desktop environment like fluxbox or TWM would for me mean that I'm not using Ubuntu, but something more similar to a "testing" version of Debian and that’s not what I want. But If llvmp pipe works as well on low end pc:s as described by @mateo-salta , then I feel more calm about the future of the fitire of Ubuntu on low ends computers. Also as someone posted out since were on a LTS release we can skip to this release longer than our "old hardware" will work. Thanks for all the informative replies!
    – tomodachi
    Sep 5, 2012 at 11:34
  • unfortunately it seems not to work like in kde...
    – Mateo
    Dec 17, 2012 at 16:32

5 Answers 5


According to this article on Phoronix systems without OpenGL acceleration will still be supported using the LLVMpipe driver.

"Those without OpenGL acceleration on the GPU for running the Unity desktop with Compiz will have to deal with the LLVMpipe driver for Gallium3D running on your CPU. LLVMpipe is bad for gaming, but good enough for a composited desktop experience. LLVMpipe already handles the GNOME Shell and with Fedora 17 the GNOME-Shell-On-LLVMpipe is the software fall-back method."

Sounds cool. We'll see how well it works in practice.



In 12.10 Unity will run on systems without decent OpenGL support by using LLVMPipe (see also this bug documenting the change). This will come at the cost of higher CPU usage so on older systems you may want to switch to another desktop.


Quantal is going to include a Gnome-Shell spinoff by default. This will work even if your system can't run Unity.

Gnome-Shell is something like the older versions before Unity.
ref: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/05/uds-q-summary-bye-bye-unity-2d-hello-gnome-shell-spin

In Unity 3D, your system will act slightly restrained, or even refuse to run Unity, but it is possible to install an alternate DE. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 and log in giving your username and password. Then, you may use this terminal to install a DE of your choice:

  • Kubuntu desktop:

      sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
  • Lubuntu desktop:

      sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop
  • Xubuntu desktop:

      sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

I guess you could still install lubuntu or xubuntu.


Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is supported until 2017 so for older computers this will be a good option if you want to use Unity 2D instead of lighter distros / desktops.

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