You will know, there are many desktop environments for GNU / Linux and other operating systems, some of the projects have given rise to derivatives or forks that take the basis of one of these large projects and modify it to have a different result thinking of a series of qualities or characteristics that developers want to achieve and that they do not it satisfied the parent project, as in the case of Solus Project, elementaryOS, Unity, MATE, etc.
This wide variety in the free world can sometimes lead to confusion among end users. Although I consider that it is fun to have several alternatives to choose the most appropriate one, it is true that I do not see with good eyes that there are so many alternatives or forks of the projects, causing the developers to disperse and not focus their efforts on a single project . But this is not new, we have already talked in this blog on numerous occasions about this grandiose and at the same time blissful fragmentation.
Well, in this article I will try, in the best possible way, to explain what is the difference between GNOME, MATE and Unity. As you know, GNOME is a well-known desktop environment, along with KDE Plasma, the largest project in this area. But lately forks such as MATE have emerged, which is also a desktop environment based on the GNOME 2 base code that was intended to alleviate the discomfort of users with the changes of the new versions of GNOME.
Y on the other hand we have Unity, which is not a desktop environment, it is somewhat confusing, but it is a graphical shell that leans on GNOME. Unity as you know is developed by Canonical for Ubuntu, thus replacing what the developers of the GNOME project provide to give your Ubuntu a distinctive touch. But while MATE and GNOME share the GNOME Shell, Unity replaces this shell with its own. That would be the difference in broad strokes and explained in a simple way ...