Lomiri Desktop Environment, Keeping Unity Alive

If you have used Linux for a while you will remember the days where Ubuntu was trying to be self sufficient by making their own version of almost everything. The Upstart init system, the Mir display server, and the Unity desktop. One thing that many people miss about the older versions of Ubuntu is the Unity desktop environment. Many people think that it has died, but it is still alive! I am going to get into how it still around.

Who owns it?

Unity is now being worked on by Ubports. If you remember that name, it is probably because of their work on Ubuntu touch after Ubuntu abandoned that as well. They have forked Unity 8 and it is still in development. However, it is under the new name “Lomiri”.

Where can I get it?

Currently Lomiri (Unity) Is available in the Debian unstable repo’s, meaning that it will work on Ubuntu. There is also a pkgbuild available for Arch Linux. Of course, you can get it on Ubuntu Touch, the OS that is developed by Ubports. The team for the PinePhone even has an alpha release for Manjaro ARM with Lomiri. There is even some work being done to get it on Fedora.

What are the features?

They are essentially the same as you would get with regular Unity. It still uses Mir, it still has the same layout and apps. However, just from my experience running it in a VM, it is much less bloated and faster than old Unity was. Because Unity was and still is just a shell for Gnome, you are going to get a lot of the apps that you would on regular Gnome.

Conclusion

If you are nostalgic about the older versions of Ubuntu, or would like to try out a new desktop environment, Lomiri is a great choice. I would like to extend so much gratitude to the UBports developers for keeping this amazing desktop environment alive.

If you would like to see the Lomiri github page click here.

If you would like to take a peak at the pkgbuild for Lomiri click here.

If you are interested in Manjaro ARM with Lomiri click here.

Written on September 3, 2021