Alternative to Unity in Ubuntu Raring 13.04: Mate.

Screenshot-Mate-13.04Unity sucks as usual. Ubuntu Raring Ringtail 13.04 does not work properly on older machines (e.g. AMD core 2 with 2GB ram and on-board graphics) any more. It installs alright but xWindow crashes. Ubuntu-Gnome also had the same problem. In such situation Xbuntu (Ubuntu with Xfce) is a better option and we can add ‘Mate’ as Desktop environment to make it even better. Mate is the new name for the classic Gnome 2.0 Desktop. Until 10.04 Ubuntu was shipped with Gnome 2.0 Desktop.
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Ubuntu 11.10 GNOME Shell Guide

Ubuntu 11.10 finally provides the curious users with an easy, safe way to install and try out ‘GNOME Shell’ – the new desktop interface from GNOME. This means that unlike previous releases of Ubuntu installing GNOME Shell in Ubuntu doesn’t require the addition of any extra ‘software repositories’, or the running of any dubious scripts: it can be installed directly from the Ubuntu Software Centre with a simple click.

via Ubuntu 11.10 GNOME Shell Guide.