Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-features (542 mails)

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[openFATE 310804] Include Unity as alternative GNOME GUI
  • From: fate_noreply@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 25 Dec 2010 02:37:06 +0100 (CET)
  • Message-id: <feature-310804-11@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Feature changed by: Jedi Beeftrix (Jedibeeftrix)
Feature #310804, revision 11
Title: Include Unity as alternative GNOME GUI

Package Wishlist: New
Requester: Desirable

Requested by: Markus K (kamikazow)
Developer: Nelson Marques (ketheriel)
Partner organization:

Canonical introduced "Unity" with Ubuntu 10.10 as netbook GUI and plans
to extend it for desktop use.
As Unity is FOSS (GPLv3), Unity can be made available as alternative

- Blog by Nelson Marques (url:
- ketheriel home project with some packages (obs/project: home:ketheriel:

Business case (Partner benefit): Users may want to try different user experiences.
Offering Unity as option would be beneficial. Its dependencies are
probably all already packaged anyway.

#1: Anomyous Anomyous (jcat123) (2010-11-22 03:11:08)
A classic advantage to Linux has always been the ability to run it on
old systems. By addng this, we would help restore that.

#2: Jos Poortvliet (jospoortvliet) (2010-11-30 10:38:05)
I love this idea. Choice is good, ain't it? Besides, unity seems like
an interesting experiment, so I'd love to see it on openSUSE... No
reason not to offer our users all the available linux DE's ;-)

#3: Koushik Kumar Nundy (kknundy) (2010-11-30 22:02:58)
The idea is noteworthy. Unity is appreciably light. Also it is
sufficiently capable as GUIs go, if not as pretty. The only major
concern might be added overhead/dependencies in the DVD, if Unity is
added as default. Also, I am not aware if upstream contrib is
sufficient to keep development high.

#4: Nelson Marques (ketheriel) (2010-12-23 21:56:43)
Here's a brief view based on my own perspective around this: 1. Though
I fully support we have a repo for it (including even some patched
applications for indicators, currently done metacity and empathy for
testing purposes), I strongly disencourage it to be on the media for
several reasons: * Compiz needs a patch often referred as 'glib main
loop patch'. From a small talk I've had with Adam Williamson from Red
Hat which is doing this task for Fedora, the patch was sent to upstream
and there's strong beliefs it will be accepted for the next release.
Without this patch, there's no Unity. I'm not much in the mood to re-
package compiz from a git version. My call is to wait a bit more. *
There is absolutely no warranty that GNOME3 applets will work on Unity,
I've got no information about this. If GNOME3 applets do not work with
Unity, we have a problem and will be relying on Indicators (read
bellow). * Indicators - I've built most of the indicators, and
currently here's the deal for them: - indicator-network > A serious
downgrade from NetworkManager-gnome. Not gonna happen. It also requires
'The Connection Manager' to be present, which is pretty stable even
working in compat mode with NetworkManager. This leads me to contact
the SUSE Security Team to implement and more packaging. Not gonna
happen by my hand for a piece of software which bring no real benefit
against NetworkManager. - battery-status > funny python-gtk applet...
Requires gnome-power-manager to be patched for doubled functionality.
Not gonna happen by my hand. - indicator-me > The 'ME Menu' (that weird
stuff for online status and all). This works ok without patching
software. Pidgin, gwibber and empathy work even without patching. So
this one is a clear go. - indicator-messages > This indicator picks up
the messages from apps and places them under a very clear structure.
It's kinda cute, but requires patching on many applications (evolution,
xchat, empathy, pidgin). Gwibber does work without hassle, and minimum
functionality is provided by applications which are not patched, in
other words, it works if the application is being run already, ex:
empathy. - indicator-session > This indicator provides session options
for users... So far: Lock Screen, Switch from user, Logout, Suspend and
Hibernate work... Shutdown and Restart do not work unless gnome-power-
manager is patched. Like stated before, not gonna happen by my hand. -
indicator-applications > This is a fun one for mac lovers, strips the
menu from GTK apps and places it on the panel, mac style. I'm not going
to package this one because it's kinda alpha and gnome-globalmenu does
provide the same feature with less hassle. - Apps... Some apps require
also patching to support some indicators or to place themselves an
indicator. I'm not going to duplicate them all as it will end up in a
maintenance nightmare or actually in a 'fork' like packaging solution.
Unity is cool to have on a repository for those wanting to check it out
(with or without full functionality), but bringing it into the MEDIA
will make us patch a lot of unnecessary stuff (which I can do on a
separate repo) and mess too much with GNOME. I do favor to have Unity
available, specially to avoid having users installing a platform from a
competitor. I favor to have Unity available to offer o wider choice to
our users and to take a minute to educate them on why some divergences
from Canonical to upstream aren't usually good for free software. I
have some regards to support this as well: - Most feedback I got is
inspiring and makes me move at double speed towards this goal. But some
people seem not to like it either. - This might become itchy to some
Ubuntu users which will take the opportunity to throw something at
us... since we're kinda hitting them where it hurt most... on their
ego... no longer they will have 'exclusive' stuff... Place some
attention to this, cause it might be fun to actually figure out why
they go Ubuntu and not something else. Please no Unity on install
options for the reasons stated above. I would love to provide this as
an option through repos/zypper dup. Fully integrating Unity with
Indicators will end up on a maintenance nightmare because of many
patches that are now upstreamed (thanks to Vincent for pointed this
out). To finish... IF unity supports GNOME2/3 notification applets,
then we can offer this in any way you like... since we will be only
requiring this: 1. Compiz with glib main loop patch (should be
upstreamed for next compiz release); 2. dee / bamf / nux as
requirements > no strange requirements. 3. dbusmenu > no strange
requirements. 4. We need to provide Ubuntu icon theme Humanities and
Humanities-Dark... so far with any other icon theme, Unity blows up ;P
And we're fine ;) I leave this into your hands... and would wait a bit
more before taking such decisions as giving Unity to install on media
(by the way, the requirements in space for the libs and icon package
should be minimum, understanding that compiz is patched, maybe 20Mb's
tops... need to check it out soon).

#5: Nelson Marques (ketheriel) (2010-12-23 21:59:27)
I forgot the licences... The whole stuff includes: 1. GPLv2 and GPLv3
2. LGPLv2 3. MIT / expat 4. Canonical's Agreement
Not all the components are only GPL... they involve other licences...
I'll make a small catch of all of them and will transcribe them here.

+ #6: Jedi Beeftrix (jedibeeftrix) (2010-12-25 02:36:55)
+ if opensuse was to include unity, and i think its a great idea, could
+ we please have the multi-touch x-input patches to go with it?

openSUSE Feature:

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