Unity is not as a big resource hog as some say and the hud is not that bad either. The idea is to install Unity Tweaks Tool and disable some options in the Launcher/Dash to make it lighter, and especially the internet commercial suggestions related to Amazon etc. But do not try to make extensive changes with that tool because sooner or later that will entail errors that are not suited to the leading Ubuntu distro. I used to blame Ubuntu for those, when the unofficial tweak-tool is the real culprit here.
sudo apt-get install apturl
- Install Synaptic
- Install gdebi
- Install nautilus actions configuration tool
- Install Plank dock:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ricotz/docky&&sudo apt-get update&&sudo apt-get install plank
- Install restricted extras
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extra
- Install Megasync
sudo apt-get update nautilus-open-terminal
Is Plank needed? Why is the left-side dock a problem? Why should I use Plank when we have a ready made dock? Do I like left less than bottom? In fact the windows upper buttons are also on the left side, and in this way your view adapts easily to this typical Unity-style lefty dock, as it unifies in fact features that in Windows or Mac or other Linux desktops are separated between the upper and the lower part of the screen. Now, instead of thinking up-down in relation to the whole screen you should think only "left", and on the left side you have two things: the dock, and the upper buttons of the windows; nothing to care about at the bottom, right or upper sides. In Unity you have one single spot to concentrate your attention, the upper left corner, and this is closer to the whole dock, which takes less energy (effort of attention) than the screen in Windows (where attention is separated between the lower window tabs mostly starting from the left and the upper right corner where the window buttons are) or Mac (where attention is separated between upper and lower parts of the screen). Many Linux desktops follow either Windows or Mac approach.
On the other hand, the Dash/Hud is a great tool, even better than the Gnome shell or other similar tools I guess, and with the mentioned tweaks the whole system seems unexpectedly light.
Also, Unity looks great. It is so good looking that it is hard to compete with in the Linux world where the sloppy eOS pretends to be the greatest beauty in the land. Maybe the future Kubuntu 15.04 featuring Plasma 5 will really look better.
What it really lacks are some simple features when clicking the buttons on the dock, like minimizing an open window, or closing it on middle click. The dock icon of the open windows should be more clearly underlined maybe. (But that is a problem with many docks.)
Minimize on click is not enabled by default and to enable it, you need to use CCSM:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
And then, open CompizConfig Settings Manager, click the Ubuntu Unity Plugin and on the Launcher tab, you'll find an option called "Minimize Single Window Applications (Unsupported)".