I've read in another question that Canonical has already ported Unity to Compiz, and that this new version has much better performance on supported hardware. Since the work is done, is there an expected date for Natty testers to get it?
This is available via the release of Natty Alpha 1.
There is currently a PPA available that was made available for earlier releases of Natty, but this is now no longer necessary; The Unity Installation Guide has intructions on how to install and test this.
Unfortunately due to complications with backporting parts of the GTK3 stack, Compiz, and Unity itself (and not breaking your existing desktop) there will not be a PPA for 10.10 (Maverick). Testing for Unity will have to be done on Natty itself. More information on this development is available on Didier Roche's status report mail to the ubuntu-devel mailing list.
The source code is available here: or with the following command
bzr branch lp:unity
We don't know for sure yet, but once all the developers are home from UDS (the Ubuntu Developer Summit) I'm sure more information will slowly trickle out.
I'd say it's very much possible we'll have runnable examples within the next few weeks. Having said that Canonical may want to polish things a bit more, so people don't immediately jump to conclusions about an unfinished version of Desktop Unity.
I'd be surprised if we get to Christmas and there's no sign of it though... it's a rather major new thing to be tested!
Tomorrow apparently.12th November
Just read this over on OMG Ubuntu (credit them)