budgie-remix 16.10 released


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.


“Ubuntu Budgie” needs a campaign plan

Every major software project needs a plan – a set of requirements & derived requirements, an Impact Assessment, High-Level Design, low-level designs, tech-notes, transition plans, software impact statements, interface-control-documents …

xubuntu (before rhythmbox 3.3) [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_120

Yes – the software industry (which if you don’t know I’m a part of) just loves its documentation – its a wonder any software gets produced!

Does anyone actually read any of this?


“Ubuntu Budgie” needs a plan – a plan of what needs to be done – but it doesn’t need thousands of turgid pages of stuff to be created before someone decides on producing something real.

Here’s a plan – maybe a flight of fancy – maybe not practical in places… but a plan it is.

Have a read – what do you think?

Feel free to share – edit & comment – its an open plan so please dont abuse it…

Its quite a list – somewhat random – but such a plan needs a practical demonstration of what the key parts of the plan will actually look like.

Tomorrow’s story…

“Ubuntu Budgie”

The man himself – Mark Shuttleworth says he will support a budgie-desktop based community spin of Ubuntu.

ubuntu xenial (before library install) [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_108

That was a surprise I just had to throw onto Reddit.  Thinking that it would be one of those blink and miss it Reddit’s – to my surprise it gathered much comments and votes.

Even some people said they would help.

Do we need another distro?

A linux distro needs to have something unique.  Ubuntu has “flavours” – spins of well established Desktop Environments – LXDE, Mate, GNOME, KDE, XFCE plus Canonicals own Unity.  Heck it has spins of spins … Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu Studio, EdUbuntu, Mythbuntu – all created because there is a community around them that have shouted “I need”.  Have I forgotten any?

Budgie is brand-new … sort of.  It was first created a few years back but sort of lost traction.  Over the last year its been  refreshed and released v10.2 at Christmas 2015 as part of a brand-new – literally from ground up – distro called Solus Operating System.

ubuntu xenial (before library install) [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_107SparkyLinux were quick to spin out a Debian Testing version of the desktop environment.  Arch, Manjaro, Fedora, OpenSuse quickly followed.

Strangely enough – nobody from the massive Ubuntu community has stepped up.  So maybe it is not so surprising to see Mark taking an interest himself – trying to encourage ‘buntu folks to come-up with a spin on the great Ubuntu foundations.

Anybody up-for it?

Well such a project needs a plan … think that’s something for a post tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Cinnamon on Ubuntu is no more – maintainers required

On Ask Ubuntu, I received a comment on our How do I install Cinnamon on Ubuntu Q&A asking why they could not install Cinnamon any more…

enter image description here

The maintainer of the Cinnamon packages in Ubuntu has now hidden and/or removed the main PPA


Previously Cinnamon made it into the Universe repository for Ubuntu 13.10 users … but the desktop environment did not make it into Ubuntu 14.04.

Thus I contacted the maintainer and I’m grateful for the prompt reply:


The stable PPA is indeed no longer being maintained.

The nightly PPA is being kept for development purposes and should not be used on any sort of production machine (it can and will break at any time).

To be honest, I don’t have an alternative to offer Ubuntu users at the moment, apart from switching to a distribution that does support Cinnamon.
There are many such distributions out there, and I’m only hoping for someone to (finally) step up on Ubuntu’s side to provide proper packages to its users.



Thus, as Ubuntu users we should all thank Gwendal for such hard work for such a long time.

For Cinnamon users who are not Linux Mint users, your choices are limited now – you can either use the nightly PPA – with the warnings from the maintainer ringing in your ears … use another Desktop Environment … or take up the challenge set by Gwendal.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-nightly
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon

Be brave – step-up.  You’ll get the grateful thanks of many thousands of eager Ubuntu users I’m sure.

EDIT 26 June 2014:

Two people have created PPA’s for cinnamon stable.  Now I can’t comment about their veracity, but its worth checking out these:

Option 1: 12.04 & 14.04 users only:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tsvetko.tsvetkov/cinnamon
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon

Option 2: 14.04 users only:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lestcape/cinnamon
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon


indicator-sysmonitor – Ubuntu application indicator to show system information

A useful simple application indicator to show various system information such as:

  • File system disk space usage
  • Network activity
  • Memory usage
  • CPU usage
  • Swap space usage

It also has a very useful “Run what you want and display the result” usage – I used it here to show if the internet is up or down – for example, your router could be working fine, but your ISP has pulled the plug on you!

If you come up with any interesting scripts, drop a comment with a paste.ubuntu.com link and share with others the fruit of your labours 🙂

The original maintainer has not released a version since Ubuntu Raring and for later Ubuntu versions.  No code commits in the launchpad PPA has been made since first quarter 2013.  I presume the project has been mothballed.

Thus I have forked the project, fixed a few bugs and made it available for 14.04 Trusty users.  Feel free to check out the code on GitHub and help out with the maintenance. N.B. I don’t know how to use bzr on Launchpad so sorry in advance to the maintainer … if you want the code back grab it!

I’ve reproduced the answer from my Ask Ubuntu article here – attribution is obviously with Stack Exchange since that’s where the answer was written.

internet up

enter image description here

internet down

enter image description here

how to for 14.04

It requires an indicator from my PPA together with a custom ping test script:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/indicator-sysmonitor
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-sysmonitor
mkdir -p ~/scripts && cd ~/scripts


gedit pingtest.sh

Copy and paste the code below into the new file and save & close.

Give the file execute permission:

chmod +x pingtest.sh

Start the indicator

indicator-sysmonitor &

Then in the indicator-preferences click New:

enter image description here

Then enter the details as shown:

enter image description here

i.e. use the command


Click OK, followed by the following actions 1,2,3 & 4:

enter image description here



if ping -c 1 -W 2 google.com > /dev/null; then
echo “Up”
echo “Down”

Ubuntu Saucy graphics come of age…

Just a short note congratulating the Canonical Developers and other Team Ubuntu for the massive great work you are doing for the graphics on 13.10.

Looking at the phoronix results, X-Mir is virtually on a par with the standard x-org stack.  In some cases it improves the performance.

Even the phoronix blogger himself said (probably through gritted teeth)

While Linux enthusiasts are quick to criticize Canonical’s Mir display server for a number of reasons, the performance impact of having XMir involved in the graphics stack is no longer much of a legitimate complaint when using the very latest software — at least for Intel users; the 2D and 3D performance is both generally in good shape.

Way to go!

ubuntu gnome needs your help!

Special plea from the Ubuntu Gnome team:


Hello Everyone,

As discussed and agreed at the monthly meeting [1] for Ubuntu GNOME team,
I'd like to announce that the beginning for a recruitment process that will
start from now until the release date of Ubuntu 13.10. After that, another
round, if needed, may start.

*Ubuntu GNOME Team is recruiting*
As you may know, we are still a young project with few active contributors.
In order to improve everything, we need to grow bigger. However, grow
bigger does not really mean MORE members. We seek and need Quality over
Quantity. Having that said, it would be less helpful if we will have say 50
contributors but none of them will be available when we really need
some/few. I hope you see and understand where I'm coming form :)

*Areas that need help and support - more contributors*

   1. Development: We do have amazing, talented and skilled developers and
   we seek more for more options and features :)
   2. Testing: We are in BAD NEED to more testers. This is very important.
   I am going to ask for extra help on Ubuntu Quality Mailing List. I know
   Ubuntu GNOME Saucy is doing fine but having more testers will make the
   process much faster and better. Trust me :)
   3. Documentation and Wiki: It is true that I have built a nice area but
   I do need help. We do need more on that area.
   4. Communications and Marketing [Website, Facebook, Twitter and
   Google+]: I do have access on all of these areas but I do need help. The
   more, the better.
   5. Artwork: We have a very smart and active Artwork Team Leader but I am
   planning to bring some extra help so that we could have more options. While
   one of the Artwork guys take care of the Slide Show, Branding, etc ... the
   other one will take care of the wallpapers and some other stuff.

I did my best to narrow down these areas and come up with the 5 main
important areas. Importance is according to the sequence which means,
Artwork is less priority than Testing for example.

*Your Help is needed*

   - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuGNOME/GettingInvolved
   - Please, if you are interested in any of the above, write your details
   here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuGNOME/GettingInvolved/WhoWeAre
   - We need someone who stay for the long run. We are looking for people
   who stick around :) we don't want people on temporary basis.
   - This is as you know, a volunteer job. You are doing it because you are
   loving it and so passionate about. Having that said, you don't really have
   to do that if you can't for any reason. If you want to give back something
   to Ubuntu GNOME and Linux in general, that would be so kind and nice of
   you. If you can't, we totally understand that :)

Please, if you have any question, let me know!

Thank you for reading and excuse me if there are some spelling mistakes, I
am in my zombie mode and I must ZzZz right away :)
THANK YOU for choosing and using Ubuntu GNOME. Because of all of you, we
are here and this system is alive and doing well.

Special thanks to each and everyone who is contributing and participating
to this amazing system and great family!

Best Regards,

[1] - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuGNOME/Meetings/16092013

Remember: "All of us are smarter than any one of us."
Best Regards,
amjjawad <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/amjjawad>
Areas of Involvement <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/amjjawad/AreasOfInvolvement>
My Projects <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/amjjawad/Projects>