Saturday, 26 September 2009

Ubuntu Netbook Remix Karmic

As Karmic hit beta freeze this week, and the artwork began to freeze, I thought it would be a good time to introduce the latest version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR):

As you can probably tell, the largest change from the previous version is a new design and layout. This is thanks to the awesome work of the design team. In addition to the new UI, there has been a fair amount of work in the architecture of the various UNR components. Apart from the users ( :) ), the largest beneficiaries of this are the launcher and window-picker-applet.

The launcher has been updated to use the latest version of Clutter, and benefits from the performance improvements that the Clutter 1.0 release carries. In addition to that, the launcher now has a framework for plugins, which allow extending the home screen and adding new categories on the left (and example is the Files & Folders category). There's not too much documentation at the moment, but I'll follow this post up in the coming weeks with some examples.

Window Picker Applet has had a major overhaul thanks to Jason Smith of Docky fame. In addition to making the code more sane, he's transformed the look and feel of the applet and fixed a bunch of annoying bugs. Coupled with the new Gtk and icon theme (Dust and Humanity), Jason's work makes the panel look much, much nicer than before:

In addition to these bits, there are a couple of things I'd like to highlight:

UNR Karmic contains both the excellent Messaging and Session Indicators. The message indicator allows you to quickly see how many unread emails/IM messages/Twitter replies you have. The session indicator allows you to easily set your IM presence and also lets you switch users (if you hardware supports it) and log out easily.

We've also got the very latest Notify OSD and the Ubuntu Software Store, for a nice and easy way to expand your netbook's usefulness :).

That's it for now, you can grab the latest UNR image from the daily builds here, and I've posted links to a few more screenshots below.