With its latest release of Ubuntu, Canonical decided to ship its operating system using the GNOME desktop environment, dumping Unity after over half a decade. Hot on the heels of that release, the company has decided to join the GNOME Foundation’s advisory board, meaning it’ll give the GNOME Project funding and expert consultation. Other members of the board include Google, the Linux Foundation, and the Free Software Foundation, among others.
Jamie Bennett, Vice President of Devices and IoT Engineering at Canonical, said:
“The recently launched Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) had been widely anticipated as the first version of Ubuntu to switch to GNOME. The success of this release is thanks to the GNOME community. We’re excited to join the GNOME Foundation Advisory Board to continue our collaboration in closer partnership.”
Neil McGovern, the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, said that Canonical brings lots of experience with them and that the GNOME Foundation is essentially happy to have them on board engaging with it and the wider GNOME community. Ubuntu is by far the biggest Linux distribution in the world (despite DistroWatch’s rankings) and will introduce thousands of users to GNOME 3 for the very first time.
By switching to GNOME, Ubuntu users are already seeing several new features including Night Light, Captive Portal detection, and a new Control Centre. The engineers building GNOME will no doubt get a slew of new bug reports thanks to the bigger adoption of their desktop, due in no small part to Canonical's switch.