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Jason Warner 08-17-2012 12:51 AM

Unity Going Forward
 
Hi Everyone -



Today is the first day that 'Unity' can be used without confusion on Ubuntu. Unity 2D has been removed as a default option in favor of Unity 3D across the board. This is a work in progress, so bear with us as we sort out the details in the transition.



What does this mean? First and foremost, it means we have one codebase going forward. Secondly, it means that that there will be some regressions in use cases where Unity 2D fit in the past. Lastly, it means you should see a unified experience wherever Unity runs.



Ever since Unity was introduced there have been slight gaps in the experience between Unity 2D and Unity 3D (forever forward called Unity). With one code base for all form factors we can guarantee a unified experience. One code base also means we should be able to move faster as we don't have to split the effort anymore, further accelerating our pace of innovation.



But there is a cost to this decision. Unity 2D fit a very specific use case in very low-end and non-GPU accelerated hardware. By consolidating to Unity using LLVMpipe for this specific use case we expect to see some regressions in systems supported. This means that a certain class of hardware will no longer be supported to run Unity. Unity will run on all GPUs that support OpenGL 2.0. The earliest GPUs that meet this requirement are at least 5 years old[1]. Even so, we know some subset of cards and hardware that could previously run Unity 2D will no longer be able to run Unity.



For these cases, we are actively working on Unity running through LLVMpipe which is a work in progress. Unity through LLVMpipe is CPU bound which means systems with decently modern CPU architectures and non-GPU accelerated hardware should be able to run Unity. As I mentioned, this approach is a work in progress as we tweak the experience and effects to maximize the performance. We expect this to shake out over the rest of this cycle and bleed into 13.04 as well[2][3].



Still, with all the above, there will be systems that are simply too old to run Unity. In those cases it would be necessary to either stick with 12.04 LTS or run another desktop environment[4].



We want this transition to go as smoothly as possible and are working on supporting as much hardware as we reasonably can. Hopefully we should have most of the wrinkles worked out by 12.10 release with just a little hangover for 13.04.



Thank you,
Jason


Ubuntu Desktop Manager

[1] - Unity will run on GPUs with support for OpenGL 2.0


The earliest GPUs meeting this requirement are at least 5 years old
Intel i915


NVIDIA GeForce 5200FX and up (5200, 6xxx, 9xxx, xxxGT(X/S))
ATI Radeon 9000 and up, maybe earlier (9000, X1xxx, HDxxxx)



By chip series rather than model series:
Intel: i915


ATI: R300 chip series
Nvidia: NV30 chip series



[2] - We know Unity is showing some graphical corruption inside a VM. Work to correct this has been done but not landed yet.



[3] - We know Unity won’t work right now on ARM. A solution is being worked on and should be ready shortly, hopefully before feature freeze.



[4] - http://askubuntu.com/questions/65083/what-different-desktop-environments-and-shells-are-available



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Florian Diesch 08-17-2012 05:09 AM

Unity Going Forward
 
Am Fri, 17 Aug 2012 10:21:18 +0930
schrieb Jason Warner <jason.warner@canonical.com>:

> Still, with all the above, there will be systems that are simply too
> old to run Unity. In those cases it would be necessary to either
> stick with 12.04 LTS or run another desktop environment[4].

What will people running such an old system get if they try to install
12.10?
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Robert Park 08-17-2012 06:58 AM

Unity Going Forward
 
On Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 12:09 AM, Florian Diesch <diesch@spamfence.net> wrote:
> Am Fri, 17 Aug 2012 10:21:18 +0930
> schrieb Jason Warner <jason.warner@canonical.com>:
>> Still, with all the above, there will be systems that are simply too
>> old to run Unity. In those cases it would be necessary to either
>> stick with 12.04 LTS or run another desktop environment[4].
>
> What will people running such an old system get if they try to install
> 12.10?

I vote for xmonad ;-)


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Sean McNamara 08-17-2012 11:24 AM

Unity Going Forward
 
It's not necessarily just old systems that will hit this, by the way. New systems with the latest generation AMD or Nvida GPUs can just as easily hit this snag due to lack of open drivers support. For example, even to this day there is no real 3d support for Radeon HD7000 series except for fglrx. Will Ubuntu be able to detect these cards and enable the restricted drivers automatically with no prompting, or will it fall back to llvmpipe when the Mesa stack fails to support your card?



Anyway, on brand new systems there is less of a concern, because the performance of llvmpipe on a current-gen CPU is almost tolerable. By contrast, the systems that are so old that the hardware doesn't support OpenGL 2.0 probably also have a CPU that will render llvmpipe a 0.1fps slideshow due to lack of SIMD instructions, which boost llvm's performance tremendously if available.



Further optimization work on llvmpipe may yield better results, but eventually you will hit a wall where software rendering is as fast as it can be - -* and on the kind of CPU that was in production back before OpenGL 2 was deployed, getting it to an acceptable FPS is going to be close to impossible, I think. The worst part is that we won't even be able to address the user complaints that "Ubuntu is horribly slow" after we hit that software rendering performance wall.



But if we can somehow warn these users off of using the main Ubuntu distribution and have them use Xubuntu or Lubuntu instead, that might be in everyone's best interest.

On Aug 16, 2012 8:52 PM, "Jason Warner" <jason.warner@canonical.com> wrote:
Hi Everyone -




Today is the first day that 'Unity' can be used without confusion on Ubuntu. Unity 2D has been removed as a default option in favor of Unity 3D across the board. This is a work in progress, so bear with us as we sort out the details in the transition.




What does this mean? First and foremost, it means we have one codebase going forward. Secondly, it means that that there will be some regressions in use cases where Unity 2D fit in the past. Lastly, it means you should see a unified experience wherever Unity runs.




Ever since Unity was introduced there have been slight gaps in the experience between Unity 2D and Unity 3D (forever forward called Unity). With one code base for all form factors we can guarantee a unified experience. One code base also means we should be able to move faster as we don't have to split the effort anymore, further accelerating our pace of innovation.




But there is a cost to this decision. Unity 2D fit a very specific use case in very low-end and non-GPU accelerated hardware. By consolidating to Unity using LLVMpipe for this specific use case we expect to see some regressions in systems supported. This means that a certain class of hardware will no longer be supported to run Unity. Unity will run on all GPUs that support OpenGL 2.0. The earliest GPUs that meet this requirement are at least 5 years old[1]. Even so, we know some subset of cards and hardware that could previously run Unity 2D will no longer be able to run Unity.




For these cases, we are actively working on Unity running through LLVMpipe which is a work in progress. Unity through LLVMpipe is CPU bound which means systems with decently modern CPU architectures and non-GPU accelerated hardware should be able to run Unity. As I mentioned, this approach is a work in progress as we tweak the experience and effects to maximize the performance. We expect this to shake out over the rest of this cycle and bleed into 13.04 as well[2][3].




Still, with all the above, there will be systems that are simply too old to run Unity. In those cases it would be necessary to either stick with 12.04 LTS or run another desktop environment[4].




We want this transition to go as smoothly as possible and are working on supporting as much hardware as we reasonably can. Hopefully we should have most of the wrinkles worked out by 12.10 release with just a little hangover for 13.04.




Thank you,
Jason



Ubuntu Desktop Manager

[1] - Unity will run on GPUs with support for OpenGL 2.0



The earliest GPUs meeting this requirement are at least 5 years old
Intel i915



NVIDIA GeForce 5200FX and up (5200, 6xxx, 9xxx, xxxGT(X/S))
ATI Radeon 9000 and up, maybe earlier (9000, X1xxx, HDxxxx)




By chip series rather than model series:
Intel: i915



ATI: R300 chip series
Nvidia: NV30 chip series




[2] - We know Unity is showing some graphical corruption inside a VM. Work to correct this has been done but not landed yet.




[3] - We know Unity won’t work right now on ARM. A solution is being worked on and should be ready shortly, hopefully before feature freeze.




[4] - http://askubuntu.com/questions/65083/what-different-desktop-environments-and-shells-are-available





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Thomas Prost 08-17-2012 12:36 PM

Unity Going Forward
 
Am Freitag, den 17.08.2012, 07:09 +0200 schrieb Florian Diesch:
> Am Fri, 17 Aug 2012 10:21:18 +0930
> schrieb Jason Warner <jason.warner@canonical.com>:
>
> > Still, with all the above, there will be systems that are simply too
> > old to run Unity. In those cases it would be necessary to either
... or too clever ? I'm so happy, that my graphics prevented me to come
in touch with unity :-)))
> > stick with 12.04 LTS or run another desktop environment[4].
Can I still get rid of unity in 12.04 ? What's the fallback ?
Up to now I thought, last chance avoiding unity was 11.04. falling back
to gnome2 and metacity !??
In 11.10 it was horrible, but that system couldn't be downgraded
although everybody wanted ...
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Paolo Pisati 08-17-2012 01:47 PM

Unity Going Forward
 
On 08/17/2012 02:51 AM, Jason Warner wrote:

*Hi Everyone -

Today is the first day that 'Unity' can be used without confusion on
Ubuntu. Unity 2D has been removed as a default option in favor of Unity
3D across the board. This is a work in progress, so bear with us as we
sort out the details in the transition.

What does this mean? First and foremost, it means we have one codebase
going forward. Secondly, it means that that there will be some
regressions in use cases where Unity 2D fit in the past.

[snip]

IOWs, since there's still no 3d omap4 driver in Q, no matter what we do,
from now on omap4 desktop image will be "broken", right? (and thus beta1
too)


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Jason Warner 08-19-2012 11:23 PM

Unity Going Forward
 
Hi Florian-

On Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 2:39 PM, Florian Diesch <diesch@spamfence.net> wrote:


> Still, with all the above, there will be systems that are simply too

> old to run Unity. In those cases it would be necessary to either

> stick with 12.04 LTS or run another desktop environment[4].



What will people running such an old system get if they try to install

12.10?
We are still working through the various scenarios (new install, upgrade, live image etc) and the messaging for each one. The rough cut, though, is to educate them about their options. The exact wording and UI for that is still TBD.*

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Jason Warner 08-19-2012 11:27 PM

Unity Going Forward
 
Hi Paolo -*

On Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 11:17 PM, Paolo Pisati <paolo.pisati@canonical.com> wrote:


IOWs, since there's still no 3d omap4 driver in Q, no matter what we do, from now on omap4 desktop image will be "broken", right? (and thus beta1 too)


Yes, that would be correct. A compiz GLES branch is being worked on at the moment and should land soon. Once that is tested and lands, we'd need the updated drivers for Quantal.
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Jason Warner 08-19-2012 11:30 PM

Unity Going Forward
 
Hi Colin -

On Sat, Aug 18, 2012 at 6:08 AM, Colin Law <clanlaw@googlemail.com> wrote:


On 17 August 2012 01:51, Jason Warner <jason.warner@canonical.com> wrote:

> ...

> But there is a cost to this decision. Unity 2D fit a very specific use case

> in very low-end and non-GPU accelerated hardware. By consolidating to Unity

> using LLVMpipe for this specific use case we expect to see some regressions

> in systems supported. This means that a certain class of hardware will no

> longer be supported to run Unity. Unity will run on all GPUs that support

> OpenGL 2.0. The earliest GPUs that meet this requirement are at least 5

> years old[1]. Even so, we know some subset of cards and hardware that could

> previously run Unity 2D will no longer be able to run Unity.



A heads up to make sure that the case of dual monitors with i945

graphics chipset (and possibly others) has been considered. *That

chipset will only run 3d if the virtual desktop is less than 2048

pixels wide so when an external monitor is plugged in only unity-2d

will run at the moment. *If the external monitor is not plugged in

then 3d is ok. *Having removed unity-2d the software will have to cope

with plugging in the external monitor in some way. *Note that this is

an issue for laptops made only a few years ago (Toshiba Satellite for

example).

Is there an bug for this? if not, please file one so we can track it. Thanks.**




>

> For these cases, we are actively working on Unity running through LLVMpipe

> which is a work in progress. Unity through LLVMpipe is CPU bound which means

> systems with decently modern CPU architectures and non-GPU accelerated

> hardware should be able to run Unity. As I mentioned, this approach is a

> work in progress as we tweak the experience and effects to maximize the

> performance. We expect this to shake out over the rest of this cycle and

> bleed into 13.04 as well[2][3].



Is it correct that at the moment a machine that will not run 2d will

not run at all after todays update? *This seems to be the case for me

at the moment, I see no unity shell on screen and in .xsession-errors

I see

compiz (unityshell) - Error: OpenGL 1.4+ not supported



When can I expect llvmpipe to start working so I know whether to log bugs?

The rought ETA is sometime just after FF, so adding some time for testing and shakeout, it might be closer to beta1.

*


Colin Law



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Martin Pitt 08-23-2012 12:17 PM

Unity Going Forward
 
Colin Watson [2012-08-23 13:12 +0100]:
> On Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 10:21:18AM +0930, Jason Warner wrote:
> > [2] - We know Unity is showing some graphical corruption inside a VM. Work
> > to correct this has been done but not landed yet.
>
> Do you have a bug reference for this? I'm unable to work on ubiquity in
> KVM right now, which is my normal working environment for installer
> development, and I'd like to know what bug report I should keep an eye
> on.

I think that's https://bugs.launchpad.net/compiz/+bug/1021104

Martin
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