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!


h4writer said...

hi, really looks good, but I think the icons don't have enough room in their container. I think it would be better to give them 1px a 2px spacing ...

Anonymous said...

Just wondering why not just use Cairo-Dock that already exists and is working great.

Neil J. Patel said...

@h4writer: Right, the design team is working on making that look better. Initially we were working on just framing the icons in a way that will (mostly) make any icon look nice.

Look out for updates when we land in Maverick :)

@anon: This is the first rev of the launcher, and doesn't accurately show all it's features. As mentioned I'll try and do a follow up blog post showing it's technical side and more features, which will hopefully answer your question. Also, the entire UI is in Clutter and uses shaders for effects, which is just not possible with cairo on netbooks in a per formant way (otherwise I'd just use AWN!).

Anonymous said...

sudo apt-get install unity does not work
bash returns : $ E: paket unity could not be found

Any ieda ?

bytor4232 said...

You forgot to do "apt-get update" between

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:canonical-dx-team/une


sudo apt-get install unity

Anonymous said...

Is someone working on a "single-window" empathy?

Gajim has such a mode.

Something similar in Empathy would be highly appreciated as I could use it full screen than on different screen-sizes without so much fiddling around.

hadess said...

You should add a rock pattern for the background, and call it GNOME 1.0:

Anonymous said...

Look great! The pop-up menu on the "dock" at the left should follow the same color as the standard gtk menu, that would look even better!

crep4ever said...

Ouch, not still usable on my desktop. Nice flickering btw ;) (ati hd4850) I still keep it in repos, looking forward for updates, good job !

Jack Hynes said...

Great work so far, my Docky bar is sitting in the exact same place and would be in panel mode too if it didn't cover the top panel. Think it's the only place you can really have a dock with a netbook.

Still I have some small questions. I am kind of confused about the choice of tooltip style. Why doesn't it follow 10.04 style, considering this has only just been added to Ubuntu? In my opinion the unity tooltip is very ugly in comparison.

Also is 'one indicator menu click opens one indicator menu' the new default? I can never open the right menu straight away at the moment because I always manage to move from one menu to the next by accident. So this new behaviour is definitely an improvement.

Neil J. Patel said...

@anon2: Urgh, thanks.

@anon3: Not that I know of, we hope to use Empathy as it's default in Ubuntu. Maybe we can get some community help to make it netbook friendly.

@hadess: Sounds like a plan, though it doesn't use Javascript, is that okay? :)

@crep4ever: Sorry :( We've been testing on minimum Intel GMA 945 netbooks, however Unity does require good GL support and at least ARB shader support. Feel free to file a bug with your X info, I can ask the graphics dudes to take a look :)

@Jack: Glad it's working well for you. The tooltips are actually meant to morph into the right click menus, hence they share the look-and-feel. We hope to land that animation soon.

Regarding the indicators, yes! What we've wanted from day one was a sane panel and Unity tries to realize this goal. The ability to open a menu and then scrub across opening the others like a standard menubar has been a design goal for indicators. Hopefully we'll get a full complement of indicators on the desktop this cycle too!

BATi said...

ummm, no luck under VirtualBox... fresh install of 10.04 and UNE but UNE session does not start :(i

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hmm, after all the bits I have read from Mark about saving vertical space - can I ask why you decided to bring the title bar back, rather than merge it in to the panel the way the current netbook edition does?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your great work, it is working awesome already!
I think this is even more usable than GNOME Shell (or 1.0 :P) because of the simple launcher. Especially for netbooks.
Great job!

Org said...

Lo estoy instalando, veamos los resultados!.. gracias por el trabajo se ve bien..

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