As we reported this morning, via a blog post and keynote to kick-off the start of the Ubuntu Developer Summit this week for engaging in Ubuntu 10.10 development activities, Mark Shuttleworth announced Ubuntu Light and Ubuntu Unity. Ubuntu Light is a new spin of Ubuntu that is being offered up to OEMs that are looking to offer Ubuntu Linux as part of a dual-boot installation on their PCs. Unity is the new Ubuntu desktop interface that is used by Ubuntu Light.
There has been Ubuntu MID Edition and Ubuntu Netbook Remix for the past two years, which have evolved over time. The interface of Ubuntu Netbook Remix now looks great with its Clutter-driven interface and with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS they even wrote an ARM-specific netbook interface that used the Enlightenment libraries. Along the way, Canonical also created Ubuntu Moblin Remix as a version like Ubuntu Netbook Remix but with Moblin's wonderful user-interface. What's being worked on now is Unity.
Unity is designed to be a lightweight netbook interface that provides rapid access to key applications and maximizing the screen's real estate. Unity is still early on in development, but with Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 they hope it will be embraced and offer many more features. Mark Shuttleworth talks about all this in today's blog post. Mark describes Unity as being complementary to the GNOME Shell, but the Unity desktop uses Mutter for window manager, the Unity interface continues to be written in Clutter, and Zeitgeist will be used for file management.
For those wanting to test out the Ubuntu Unity desktop right now as we have done, you can add the ppa:canonical-dx-team/une Launchpad PPA to your Ubuntu system and then install the unity package.