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Unity Compiz won’t be backported to Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick

Compiz-based Unity may not see a backport for Maverick users to test after all.

Ubuntu developer Didier Roche, posting to the Ubuntu development mailing list, addressed many of the concerns he feels render such effort futile.

“However, after some porting discussions and following the natty work I think we should perhaps consider not doing that because it’s going to take quite some work for a moderated benefit and we would better spend those efforts in making natty rocking.”

It’s hard to argue with a statement like that; we’d all rather see Compiz-Unity get 100% attention for Natty than suffer inadvertently because people are impatient to try it out.

Didier goes on to list many other compelling reasons including Compiz incompatibly with GNOME in Maverick, the potential for testers to end up without a working desktop at all given Compiz’s development status and the current (lack of) functionality Compiz-Unity provides and potential difficulties in backporting the Unity Stack.

He finished up by assuring that ‘users will have a better experience by trying unity on natty and that we will gather more useful and coherent data, since it’s likely to be more stable than getting a working – and a less tested by our team backport.’

Whilst such news may disappoint some - especially in light that during Ubuntu 10.10 development cycle Unity was available for Ubuntu 10.04 users to test – it’s likely in the best interests of Unity and Ubuntu to focus all their attention on getting it working as flawlessly as possible on Natty rather than being distracted by issues occurring on Maverick.

Never fear, though! If you’re a bit gutted you won’t get your paws on this ASAP Jono Bacon points out in the comments below that testing Ubuntu 11.04 is pretty painless if you have a spare USB key laying around.

“My recommendation is that you get a USB keyring, download the daily image (http://cdimages.ubuntu.com/daily-live/current/), and use unetbootin to install it. I have found this to be a great way to try a new distro on your computer without moving you main machine over quite yet.”