Yunit in LTS base (Ubuntu 16.04 and Qt 5.9.1) and other project updates

We are still alive!

While most people were enjoying their summer holidays (at least in the North hemisphere :D), the Yunit team spent countless hours on making Yunit a reality.

The first step was to port Yunit to Debian (stable, testing and Sid), and Ubuntu 16.04. During the last month we focused on backporting Qt 5.9 to ubuntu 16.04, which is completed today (packages are available in our repos). Having Yunit running in an LTS distro (16.04) and also an LTS Qt base (5.9) will greatly benefit UBPorts who are currently seeking to move Ubuntu Touch to an LTS version.

Apart from that we are also working in Debian Sid which adds a new challenge: the switch from GCC 6 to GCC 7, and also in porting Yunit to the upcoming ubuntu 17.10, a work currently done by¬†Khurshid Alam in his personal PPA, which will eventually be merged in Yunit’s official repos.

In the same time, Joseph Rushton Wakeling, with the great assistance of Alan Griffiths (Canonical developer and MirAL creator), is working in porting the unity-system-compositor to MirAL instead of directly using the Mir server API. This abstraction layer between the compositor and the server will facilitate keeping Yunit compatible with the newer version of Mir-server and, in the future, make it runnable over the Wayland protocol.

In the meantime OSSPlanet Project, generously offered to sponsor all the Yunit servers and network bandwidth by hosting the services on their hardware. While we are very thankful for the generosity and the help, unfortunately we are still keeping this on hold, as we were not able to give a response not having the time and resources to actually discuss it in depth and come with a migration plan for our current infrastructure. Further to our current infrastructure, we also need to dicuss and design our CI infrastructure, so this might take some more time.

As a final note, many people are involved in translating Yunit and although there is much work done already, we have still many incomplete languages or languages without translators.

Things are moving forward and more and more people are getting involve in the project. We are very happy with what was achieve, but so much is left to do!

The great thing about free software is that anybody can add its line to the code, and we definitely need more lines. If you are interested in understanding and creating a brand new (and revolutionary) desktop environment, do not hesitate contacting us. Any help is appreciated and yours could make a difference.

Yunit packages for ubuntu 16.04 LTS

We are pleased to announce that Yunit is now available as an overlay repository for ubuntu 16.04 LTS xenial (64bit).

Installation instructions

The following have been tested and should work with an existing ubuntu 16.04, ubuntu gnome 16.04, lubuntu 16.04 and xubuntu 16.04 installation.

They will not work in either kubuntu 16.04 or ubuntu mate 16.04 due to the updated Qt libraries (see known issues below).

Open a terminal and execute the following commands

if asked, choose lightdm as display manager.

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  wget -qO - https://archive.yunit.io/yunit.gpg.key | sudo apt-key add
  echo 'deb [arch=amd64] http://archive.yunit.io/ubuntu/ xenial main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yunit.list
  echo 'deb-src http://archive.yunit.io/ubuntu/ xenial main' | sudo tee --append /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yunit.list
  sudo apt update
  sudo apt upgrade
  sudo apt install yunit-desktop

Security Checks

If you are concerned about security (and you should be), please verify the key fingerprint of yunit.gpg.key which is as follows

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  pub 2048R/5604A4FE 2017-05-31 John Salatas <jsalatas@gmail.com>;
        Key fingerprint = 9F77 C889 C9A2 901F EA37 96BC B10E EEED 5604 A4FE
  sub 2048R/4007B768 2017-05-31 [expires: 2019-05-31]

Known issues

As a general note this is considered alpha quality software and you should expect many issues and/or crashes. Currently we are aware of the following issues.

  • Most of the Qt/KDE applications should not work any more
    This is due to the updated Qt libraries (5.7.1), so if you are currently using any Qt/KDE applications, the last command sudo apt install yunit-desktop will fail.

    This issue will not be fixed in ubuntu 16.04 LTS. The only exception is that we will try to test and fix any issues related to the ubuntu SDK. We will also test the possibility of upgrading Qt Libraries to version 5.9 which is also an LTS version. This combination (Yunit in ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Qt 5.9 LTS) would be the perfect choice to be ported to phones by UBPorts.

  • Proprietary GPU drivers will not work
    We have verified that proprietary NVIDIA drivers don’t work. So If you are using it, you need to switch to the open driver (nouveau) before installing. Probably, the same applies to other proprietary GPU drivers which we haven’t tested.

We are looking forward to hear your feedback. If something doesn’t work for you please let us know preferably via our forum.

FAQ

What will happen next?

The release of Yunit packages for ubuntu 16.04 LTS marks or first milestone, regarding the availability of Yunit for all the supported platforms. Our next steps is to setup a CI infrastructure which will give us the ability to actually start working with the code and start improving Yunit by either fixing existing unity 8 bugs in launchpad or developing new features.

Will there be any packages for 32bit distros?

We would love to but due to our limited resources at this time, we are not planning to provide any packages for 32bit distros. However, if someone wants to be involved with this, then please contact us.

Yunit packages for debian stable, testing and unstable

We are pleased to announce that Yunit is now available as an overlay repository for debian stable, unstable and testing versions (64bit).

Installation instructions

The following should work with an existing debian installation running any desktop environment.

As root execute the following commands according to your distribuition

if asked, choose lightdm as display manager.

Debian stable

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  wget -qO - https://archive.yunit.io/yunit.gpg.key | apt-key add -
  echo 'deb http://archive.yunit.io/debian/ stable main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yunit.list
  echo 'deb-src http://archive.yunit.io/debian/ stable main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yunit.list
  apt update
  apt upgrade
  apt install yunit-desktop

Debian testing

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  wget -qO - https://archive.yunit.io/yunit.gpg.key | apt-key add -
  echo 'deb http://archive.yunit.io/debian/ testing main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yunit.list
  echo 'deb-src http://archive.yunit.io/debian/ testing main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yunit.list
  apt update
  apt upgrade
  apt install yunit-desktop

Debian unstable

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  wget -qO - https://archive.yunit.io/yunit.gpg.key | apt-key add -
  echo 'deb http://archive.yunit.io/debian/ unstable main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yunit.list
  echo 'deb-src http://archive.yunit.io/debian/ unstable main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yunit.list
  apt update
  apt upgrade
  apt install yunit-desktop

Notice: If you have installed Yunit packages before June 29, 2017 you need to fix some versioning issues.

In order to do this, you need to execute the following commands as root

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  wget https://archive.yunit.io/tools/force_yunit_packages.sh
  chmod +x force_yunit_packages.sh
  ./force_yunit_packages.sh

It will download and execute a script which tries to fix any local/obsolete packages and replace them with the correct ones from Yunit’s repositories.

Security Checks

If you are concerned about security (and you should be), please verify the following

Signing key fingerprint

The key fingerprint of yunit.gpg.key is as follows

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  pub 2048R/5604A4FE 2017-05-31 John Salatas <jsalatas@gmail.com>;
        Key fingerprint = 9F77 C889 C9A2 901F EA37 96BC B10E EEED 5604 A4FE
  sub 2048R/4007B768 2017-05-31 [expires: 2019-05-31]

Checksums of force_yunit_packages.sh script

Checksums of force_yunit_packages.sh script are as follows
SHA-512: 2fe47a3b0a2a68700ba1fa4261d8c00b46ab466fc0f622ae1b43bf9c1cc422186d0b57977473f8804f40e55974732ae81961b68bada19cffe43de3996fb5a4e4
SHA-256: 751e176fa9207109971bd5c5d23c226887d378ef94ff6beb5bacfb81035b80de

Known issues

As a general note this is considered alpha quality software and you should expect many issues and/or crashes. Currently we are aware of the following issues.

  • Settings for configuring online accounts are not working
    We are currently working to fix it.
    Seems that this issue is related to ubuntu’s kernel that has some additional patches regarding apparmor’s security. We have confirmed that with ubuntu’s kernel compiled in debian, online accounts work correctly. Obviously we don’t want to ship a patched kernel along Yunit’s packages and we are currently looking for other solutions/workarounds.
  • Libertine containers don’t work
    Apart from lxd which is not packaged for debian, yet, seems that libertine can use also lxc and chroot. However, none of these seem to work and it appears that it is also an issue in ubuntu 17.04.

We are looking forward to hear your feedback. If something doesn’t work for you please let us know preferably via our forum.

FAQ

For what (other) versions are you planning to provide packages?

Apart from Debian, we are planning to provide packages for ubuntu LTS (currently 16.04) and the latest ubuntu non-LTS starting from 17.10.

Will there be any packages for 32bit distros?

We would love to but due to our limited resources at this time, we are not planning to provide any packages for 32bit distros. However, if someone wants to be involved with this, then please contact us.

Where is the source code?

We have provided the source packages in our repos, which can be installed using the following command

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   apt source package_name

where package_name is the package you want to install its source code.

We are also planning to publish it in our github page in the following days.

 

1st Meeting of Yunit’s Council

Update (June 11): Unfortunately the meeting wasn’t possible due to technical issues. We will reschedule for some other time. We will keep you posted.

We are pleased to announce the 1st meeting of yunit’s council which will take place at Sunday, June 11 at 4:00PM GMT.

The meeting will be live streamed and you can watch it at yunit’s youtube channel at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_cG9B-T4LU

The meeting’s agenda includes the following topics

  1. Future of yunit.
    Convergence.
    Mir to wayland.
    Collaboration with other projects (ubports and halium).
    Distribution support.
  2. Management issues.
    Fiscal sponsor.
    Infrastructure.
    Financial support.

Finally, you will also be able to ask questions, through the live chat in youtube, which we will try to answer at the end of the meeting.