I am trying to find out what is called the default desktop environment for Ubuntu 13.10.

Is it Gnome and if so, what version of Gnome does Ubuntu 13.10 come with?

  • 1
    The default desktop is Unity, Canonical's own creation.
    – Dillmo
    Jan 25, 2014 at 12:56
  • launchpad.net/unity/+packages
    – user.dz
    Jan 25, 2014 at 13:00
  • I thought so. I was mislead by an article which read "Ubuntu 13.10 ships with Gnome Desktop 3.8.x." Jan 25, 2014 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


Unity is a shell interface for the GNOME desktop environment developed by Canonical Ltd. for its Ubuntu operating system. Unity debuted in the netbook edition of Ubuntu 10.10. It was initially designed to make more efficient use of space given the limited screen size of netbooks, including, for example, a vertical application switcher called the launcher, and a vertical space saver multipurpose top menu bar.


  • Dash The Unity Dash is a desktop search utility in Unity.
  • Unity Preview is a function that previews an item in the search results.
  • Lens is a channel to throw the search query to Scope and show the search result.
  • Scope is a search engine of Dash. The search query is thrown by Lens.

The following lenses and scopes are installed by default:

  • Home lens
  • Application lens is a lens to find applications to launch or install. The source of installable applications is the Ubuntu Software Center.
  • File lens is a lens to show files from local (via Zeitgeist) and remote (using Unity's online account function) sources.
  • Music lens is a lens to search the user's music library.
  • Video lens is a lens to search videos from the user's video library and online video services such as YouTube.
  • Social lens is a lens to find the user's SNS activities such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ (via the Unity online account function).
  • Shopping lens is a lens for online shopping. It shows Amazon.com search results in the Dash home lens. However, this lens takes search queries from all lenses. See Privacy controversy. The shopping lens is filtered to prevent the loading of pornographic images


Ubuntu 13.10 comes with Unity version 7 by default.

To find out what version of Unity you have, run this command in your terminal: unity --version

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