Ubuntu had gone from strength to strength during this time. It was regularly at the top of the Linux charts, it had a huge fanbase and it was easy to use.
Then, one sunny April day, the 14th release of Ubuntu came about, but with a slightly different look: Unity. Apart from KDE4 and Gnome 3, never has such venom been spat at a desktop interface as with Unity.
It's safe to say that nearly everyone hated it, and they still do. Ubuntu fell from favour and is still struggling to keep up, but it has stuck by its guns and still supports Unity. Will it eventually become the final nail in the Ubuntu coffin?
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After some years with the 2.6.x kernel, version 3.0 was finally released with the following changes: "NOTHING. Absolutely nothing," as said by Linus. Indeed, due to the kernel numbers getting too high, and the 2.6.* notation getting out of hand, Linus decided that a new number was called for. Version 3.0, there you have it.
After the debacle that was KDE4 some years earlier, you'd think that those who created desktop environments would have learnt what the public liked. This obviously hadn't reached the ears of the Gnome team, who in April of this year launched Gnome 3.0.
Like lemmings, users of Linux ran towards the cliff and threw themselves off in favour of KDE, or earlier versions of Gnome, such was its effect on the Linux community. The damage was done, and Gnome is still paying for it, with the likes of Linux Mint offering users an alternative desktop environment, in the form of MATE and Cinnamon.
Unfortunately we've reached the end of our brief timeline, although we've seen some classic retro Linux distros, and how it all began.
What does the future hold? Who knows, our lack of ability to foretell the future is obvious, as we're still only journalists and not mega-rich layabouts, but keep watching this space and in another 20 years' time, we may have a look at the history of Linux from 2012 to 2032.