Ubuntu Flavours (The Ubuntu Desktop Environment List)

Unity (Installed by default)

Screenshot from 2014-05-09 13:02:49

Founded in 2010, the Unity project started by Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical has gone on to deliver a consistent user experience for desktop and netbook users alike. Putting great design at the heart of the project, Unity and its technologies such as Application indicators, System indicators, and Notify OSD, have strived to solve common problems in the Free Software desktop while optimizing the experience for touch, consistency and collaboration.

Features

  • Unity is powered by Compiz.
  • The top-right portion of the panel is very similar to GNOME 2, offering support for various menus and indicators.
  • A launcher on the left side keeps track of currently-running applications, and also allows the user to pin favorite applications. Applications demanding attention will glow blue. Badges and progress bars on the launcher icons are also supported by some applications, as are quicklists revealed by right-clicking.
  • By either clicking the button in the upper-left corner or pressing the Super key, the user can open the Dash, which allows searching for applications, files, and more via the use of “lenses”.
  • Four workspaces are provided that the user can use for organizing windows.
  • A global menu enable by Default, similar to that used in Mac OS X, is used for windows by default. You can reveal the menu by mousing over the left portion of the top panel, or by holding Alt. Alternatively, in Ubuntu 14.04 onward, a locally integrated menus (LIM) inside of the windows titlebar is enableable, instead of the global menu.
  • Alternatively, in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS onward, you can tap the Alt key to reveal the HUD, which allows you to find menu commands by entering search terms, similar to the Dash.
  • Maximized windows have their window controls also integrated into the top panel. This and the global menu are intended to provide more vertical screen space as compared to other DEs / shells, which is useful for machines like netbooks where screen space is limited.

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Next-Gen Linux Desktop LXQt Makes First Public Release

The first public release of LXQt, the next generation of popular lightweight Linux desktop environment LXDE, has been made available to download.

628dd__lxqt

Its arrives almost a year after the teams behind the LXDE Qt initiative and Razor-Qt desktop projects decided to merge. By pooling resources to focus on a single desktop environment, instead of two, the team say they “hope offer the best possible experience while reusing as much code as possible.”

Ten months on and number of core improvements have been made, both in the way the desktop works and in the feature set it offers. Today’s beta release, intended for early testers and developers, is already said to be ‘stable and usable’.

The Beginning of Something Beautiful

The unified development team behind the project are continuing to focus on offering a lightweight and user-friendly alternative to the heavier, increasingly complex shells. LXQt will remain well suited to lower speed computers using a leaner, faster and modular code base than that currently offered by the GTK+ based LXDE.

Several significant changes have bridged the previous formal release of RazorQt (0.5.2) and today’s debut, including a Qt port of the PCManFM file manager, improvements to system settings, new modular components, and on-going progress in supporting both Qt5 and the Wayland display protocol.

Development of the GTK+ version of the shell will, the team say, continue for the foreseeable future. Those running Lubuntu 14.04 LTS certainly have no need to panic, with Lubuntu devs committed to providing three years of ongoing fixes.

The team behind the Ubuntu spin have previously stated their intention is to transition to Qt-based desktop as early as Lubuntu 14.10. Whether this happens will be decided in the coming months.

Trying it Out

LXQt is in active development and so it is not recommended for use on any device you hold dear.

The Lubuntu Daily PPA plays host to the required packages for LXQt, including a meta-package to simplify installation.

A number of Qt dependencies will be pulled in as part of the installation process. Those wrestling with a particularly pathetic internet connection should plan accordingly.

Source tarballs, install details for Arch and Debian users, and links to more information can be found on the newly launched website for the project.

You can install it using the following commands:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lubuntu-dev/lubuntu-daily
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gilir/q-project
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install lxqt-metapackage

Once installed, log out current session and select log in with LXQt Desktop:

LXQt-session

Visit the Official LXQt Project Website: LXQT.org

via Next-Gen Linux Desktop LXQt Makes First Public Release | Best of Ubuntu.