Monday, 10 May 2010


Following on from Mark's keynote at UDS, I'm very pleased to announce Unity:

In it's current iteration, Unity consists of an easy-to-use launcher on the left and a panel up top. We have been and will continue to focus on a very quick log-in time, touch-friendliness and excellent usability.

The launcher allows you to launch and switch to your favorite programs, as well as any other applications you open during your session. The launcher is designed to be touch-friendly and group all your application windows into one icon. You can easily access your windows via a right-click (or long-touch) on the application icon. Adding a new favorite launcher is as easy as launching the application and then right-click-> Add to launcher.

The panel is a custom implementation that consists simply of a Ubuntu icon allowing you to quickly pick an open window and, on the other side, we've been able to harness the excellent work being done in the other half of the Desktop Experience team on Indicators, which allow us to render you panel entirely in Clutter.

In it's current incarnation, Unity is geared towards a 'light' variation of Ubuntu, which concentrates on getting the user to the web as quickly as possible. We would like Unity to be the default session for Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 (Maverick) and we hope to present some ideas this week to show how we think we can make the transition to a mostly web-based session to a more fully-featured session for netbooks (including search, better file management, and easier window management). I hope people will attend the UNE sessions this week (either personally or remotely) and give their feedback/ideas).

I'm really excited about this release and I can't wait to begin working on some of the new ideas (which you'll hear about shortly from others involved in the project :). In addition to the user-friendliness, I feel there are some interesting technical aspects of Unity that I'll detail in another post. For now, please go ahead and grab Unity using the following instructions:

1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:canonical-dx-team/une
2. sudo apt-get install unity
3. Logout and then log back in selecting 'Unity UNE Session' from your login screen.
4. Enjoy!