budgie-remix 16.10 released


16-10

I’m very pleased to announce the release of budgie-remix based on the solid 16.10 Ubuntu foundations.

For the uninitiated, budgie-remix utilises the wonderful budgie-desktop graphical interface from the Solus team.

This is our first release following the standard Ubuntu release cycle – alphas, betas, release candidates.  Certainly eventful with this release we are very proud with the results.

The level of interest has been spectacular – a growing number of contributors, offers of help – so much so we just could not incorporate everything!

With a dynamic team and community developers & testers we are certain we have a good future ahead of us.  Roll on 17.04.

Just a few thanks – there too many people to individually thank – but you know who you are – so three cheers to you.

  • Our Debian reviewers – Adam Borowski & Gianfranco Costamagna
  • Our Ubuntu reviewers – Jeremy Bicha & Daniel Holbach
  • Ikey Doherty
  • Rob Peters and all the budgie-remix bug-busters – massive thanks for your detailed testing effort.
  • Ossian Mapes – we will definitely be looking to showcase your budgie-remix lightdm webkit2 greeter in the future!
  • The budgie-remix team Udara, Niyas, Joshua, Hexcube, Nikola,  Mikl
  • Our financial supporters
  • Our exponentially growing community who have embraced us on all social media – twitter, reddit, G+, Facebook

Read the official release announcement here.  Downloads are here.

budgie-remix 16.10 beta 2


16.10beta2.png

The very latest budgie-remix distro based on the firm 16.10 Ubuntu foundations is now available for testers.

More details available on the project-page – and download links are available from sourceforge.

I have submitted many of the budgie-remix key packages to Debian and these are now available direct from the Yakkety repositories:

  • budgie-desktop,
  • Moka icon theme,
  • Faba icon theme,
  • arc-theme.

Similarly, Ubuntu has accepted our budgie-artwork and budgie-wallpaper (xenial) packages as well.

We look forward to working with the Ubuntu devs and hopefully our remaining packages of budgie-remix will be accepted in 17.04 – budgie-desktop-environment, budgie-welcome, budgie-wallpaper (yakkety) and arc-firefox-theme.

In the interim – these are available from the budgie-remix PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:budgie-remix/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install budgie-desktop-environment

 

Rhythmbox Alternative-Toolbar goes dark…


Taking some time-out from budgie-remix matters, I’ve released an update to my plugin for rhythmbox called alternative-toolbar.

For those not in the know, this plugin gives rhythmbox a stylish makeover – introduces a compact bar for most desktops and a headerbar for GNOME based desktops.

In this release the following changes have been made:

  • Option for dark theme
  • Display Browse Categories horizontally or vertically
  • Display app-menu correctly in budgie-desktop
  • Updated translations from Launchpad.net
  • correctly toggle search button via CTRL+F
  • option to force the display of the app-menu if required

For a full list of extras that are available for rhythmbox users via this plugin have a look a the README.

But lets have some pretty pictures to explain what’s new.

Dark-theme – For those that like their media players with a dark-style there is a new option in the plugin-preferences.

Screenshot from 2016-05-19 19:45:28

Normally Rhythmbox displays its filter options above the music.  For those of us without much vertical space to play with this doesnt allow us to see as much music in the grid-list.  This new option allows for the filter options to be displayed on the left hand-side of the music list making much more use of a normal widescreen display.

Screenshot from 2016-05-19 19:46:55

For budgie-desktop users you may have noticed that the App-menu was not displayed in the same position as other GNOME apps … well that’s been fixed.

ubuntu xenial [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox : 1_029

… and as an aside, there is a gsettings value to force the display of the app-menu if required.

The search button is now correctly toggle-able via the CTRL+F keystroke.

This version has also been accepted into Debian – so Yakkety users will see the plugin in the main repo soon.

For all 14.04, 15.10 and 16.04 users this version can be installed via my rhythmbox-plugins PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins
sudo apt update
sudo apt install rhythmbox-plugin-alternative-toolbar

 

budgie-remix … the apps


Choosing the default applications for a distro is contentious – you can never please everyone.  Fortunately with Ubuntu as its base – you can change/add/delete anything with ease.

For those testing an installed version of tech-preview beta 2 (keep updating!)  these are the current default applications budgie-remix probably (emphasis on probably) ship with.  Let me know your thoughts.

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Themes:

By default budgie-remix ships with Arc-Theme from Horst3180 – this includes firefox styled with Arc theme .  Also available is Horst3180 Vertex Theme which is equally impressive with the budgie-desktop

Accessories:

  • Files (Nautilus) is shipping with v3.18 not v3.14 as in base Ubuntu.  This is combined with GNOME Sushi – nice piece of software to view the contents of what you have highlighted – just press the Space bar
  • GNOME calculator
  • Gnote – note taking software EDIT: GNote has removed system tray capabilities so does not integrate with budgie-desktop
  • Main Menu (Alacarte EDIT: MenuLibre) – allows customisation of the menu
  • GNOME Photos
  • Gedit Text Editor
  • EDITL GNOME Calendar

Games:

  • Solitaire
  • Mahjongg
  • Mines
  • Sudoku

Installing the package gnome-games has two dozen games to choose from – the chosen four are those that Ubuntu has selected as the default.

Graphics:

  • Simple Scan
  • EDIT: GThumb image viewer

Internet:

  • Chromium Webbrowser EDIT: Now removed
  • Firefox Web-browser customised with the Arc Darker firefox theme
  • Transmission BitTorrent client

Not decided yet (but leaning toward firefox) on the default browser … ship with both?

Office:

  • Libreoffice with sifr as the default toolbar style

Sound & Video:

  • Rhythmbox customised with Alternative Toolbar and Tray-icon for controlling via the panel
  • Video Player (Totem)

Sundry:

  • Orca Screen Reader
  • Power Statistics

System Tools:

  • GNOME Control Centre Settings
  • GNOME Software Centre

Administration:

  • Ubuntu Software Updater

Preferences:

  • Startup Applications
  • Additional Drivers
  • GNOME Disks
  • GNOME Online Accounts

Utilities:

  • Archive Manager (file-roller)
  • Evince PDF Document Viewer
  • Image Viewer (eog)
  • GNOME Screenshot
  • GNOME Terminal

EDIT: TLP is included by default – this will enhance the battery life for laptop uses.

EDIT:… and xfdashboard is available as an optional install (sudo apt install budgie-xfdashboard) – press CTRL+TAB – this gives a gnome-shell like dashboard

ubuntu budgie [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_139

Developing for budgie-remix


Getting started with developing with budgie-remix

budgie-remix is hosted on GitHub for development.  For anyone who wishes to contribute to the development of budgie-remix, this article is the starting point.

budgie auto.txt (~-Documents) - gedit_147

It consists of a number of sub-projects – some are still work in progress.  Obviously the number of sub-projects will grow as the project matures – below is the current structure:

budgie-desktop-environment is the starting point for the distro.  It is a meta package consists of two parts:

  • Depends: this installs all the necessary packages building upon the mini.iso  minimal Ubuntu install.
  • Recommends: this installs all the desktop packages like rhythmbox which the end-users see and use out of the box.

budgie-desktop is the upstream budgie desktop itself together with any Ubuntu specific patches

budgie-remix-lightdm-theme configures the LightDM theme and live CD autologin configuration files.

In the Debian package itself it has the gsettings override file central to budgie-remix; all the key customisation settings are done here:

  • rhythmbox
  • fonts
  • nautilus
  • screensaver and desktop background initial wallpaper

budgie-xfdashboard configures xfdashboard for budgie; defines a theme together with initial defaults per user autostarted on logon

budgie-isohelper contains stuff to create an iso:

  • reworked PinguyBuilder deb package stripped of unnecessary dependencies together with a base config file.

arc-theme is the upstream arc-theme together with the Debian package to install it.

plymouth-theme is the budgie-remix plymouth files displayed when booting

budgie-wallpapers consists of wallpaper jpegs including the key screensaver and desktop background wallpaper file itself


The whole project is built upon the mini iso

  1. Connect the downloaded ISO to virtualbox
  2. Boot and accept all the defaults – no desktop is installed
  3. Install budgie-remix as follows
sudo apt-get install -y software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:fossfreedom/testbudgie
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y budge-desktop-environment

The PPA testbudgie are development packages.  The PPA budgie-desktop are the release packages

That’s it – simple!

Feel free to contact me with any suggestions – contact me via google+ or hit the contact page (please use a real email address!) and I’ll reply as soon as I can.

 

what should the default web-browser be for budgie-remix?


Quick question – what should the default web-browser be for budgie-remix?

Untitled6.png

Ideally there should be a way for a user to select and install any web-browser that they want – a so called browser-ballot.  If anyone is up for the challenge to write this in (for example) python then please shout!

Some of the more popular browsers are not available directly from the Ubuntu repos  – Opera, Chrome, Vivaldi just to name a few.

Thus budgie-remix cannot by default have any of those installed – we cannot depend on a third-party.

The only two browsers I’m aware of actively updated in Ubuntu are chromium and firefox.  Have I missed any?

Thus – what should the default browser be?

I’ve defaulted the tech-review 1 & 2 images with chromium.  As we approach Beta 1 at the end of March a decision needs to be made.

Cogent arguments are welcome.

budgie-remix preview 2 is available


budgie-remix tech-preview 2 is now available for download to test, get feedback etc.

Please DO read the README.  This is labeled a tech-preview – it is not production ready and should not be installed if you want to use budgie in the long-term.

Next up will be beta 1 at the end of March – this will be production ready.

So what is different from tech-preview 1?

Well this has been correctly engineered – the previous effort was all hand-cranked.  Tech-preview 2  is all been debianized – built by launchpad and most importantly – can be reproducibly built for now and the long-term.

ubuntu budgie [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_135

For this tech-preview budgie-remix is using lightdm as the login-manager.  The picture shows what budgie-remix could look like.

Help needed – we need a logo for the login box

The previous tech-preview could not  be installed.  Tech-preview 2 can be – please refer to the README on how you can do this.

ubuntu budgie [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_136

On logging in by default the wallpaper is the same as the login screen:

Help-needed – we need public domain/ cc attribution licensed wallpaper (that allows distribution) – guidance (taken from Ubuntu Flickr):

We’re looking for photographic wallpapers: lovely backgrounds that greet the user on budgie-remix welcome screen and at login, and complements the arc-theme. Like Ubuntu call for action – We’re also looking for an illustrative wallpaper that plays off the theme “xenial xerus”.

* Images shouldn’t be too busy and filled with too many shapes and colors, a similar tone throughout is a good rule of thumb.
* A single point of focus, a single area that draws the eye into the image, can also help you avoid something too cluttered.
* Try your image at different aspect ratios to make sure something important isn’t cropped out on smaller/ larger screens at different resolutions.
* Take a look at the wallpapers guidance on the Ubuntu Wiki regarding the size of images. Our target resolution is 3840 x 2400.

Break all the rules except the resolution one! 😀

Network Monitor applet now appears correctly:

ubuntu budgie [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_138

As this is a tech-preview budgie-remix has included with the live cd the gnome-shell like dashboard xfdashboard

ubuntu budgie [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_139

You can see all your apps running very easily…

ubuntu budgie [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_140

… and you can switch between workspaces simply – dragging apps from the main pane to the workspace as well.

Help-needed: Somone who can help out integrating xfdashboard i.e. theme it, set the key-combination on first logon)

Look at the README how to hook this up to a keyboard combination e.g. CTRL+TAB.  If there is sufficient good feedback, budgie-remix will include this as default in the upcoming beta correctly integrated.

Plymouth is the default boot loader: Help needed – we need someone who can change “Ubuntu 16.04” to “budgie-remix 16.04”

Hidden in the background is printer support – hplip dependency has been added.

Help-needed: testing this

We also want feedback as to what other back-end software should be included out of the box

The next article will describe where the project is hiding on the interweb, how you can contribute.