Lumina Desktop Preview | LAS 338

Lumina Desktop Preview | LAS 338

It’s one of our favorite things to do, we look ahead at the not too distant future of desktop Linux. Ken Moore from PC-BSD, and the creator of the Lumina desktop joins us to give us a tour of his new Qt based lightweight desktop.

Plus you know the old saying, where there is lots of blog rumors, there is fire. We’ll the rumor mill is hot hot hot with predictions of an Ubuntu based Tablet shipping very soon. But is it legit?

And the huge performance gain coming to Haswell Graphics users, the big Debian drama over the weekend….


All this week on, The Linux Action Show!

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— Show Notes: —

Lumina Desktop Walkthrough with Ken Moore


Brought to you by: System76

PC-BSD Is Developing Its Own Desktop Environment

The PC-BSD project is developing its own desktop environment from scratch! The ultimate plan is for Lumina to become a full-featured, open-source desktop environment that may ultimately replace KDE as its default desktop environment.

Lumina Desktop · GitHub

Lumina-DE is a lightweight, BSD licensed desktop environment designed specifically for use on FreeBSD (although it should be easily portable to other Unix-like OS’s as well).

PC-BSD 10.0.3 Preview: Lumina Desktop

Lumina/10.1 – PC-BSD Wiki

The Lumina Desktop Environment (Lumina for short) is a lightweight, XDG-compliant, BSD-licensed desktop environment that focuses specifically on streamlining the ability to get work done while minimizing system overhead. It is specifically designed for PC-BSD® and FreeBSD, but has also been ported to many other BSD and Linux operating systems. It is based on the Qt graphical toolkit and the Fluxbox window manager, and uses a small number of X utilities for various tasks, such as numlockx and xscreensaver.
Lumina’s features include:

  • Very little system overhead.
  • Intelligent “favorites” system for creating quick shortcuts to applications, files, and directories.
  • ZFS file restore functionality through the “Insight” file manager.
  • Desktop system is plugin-based, which is similar to Android or other modern operating systems.
  • Simple access to operating system-specific functionality such as screen brightness, audio volume, and battery status.

System Dashboard

The “System Dashboard” button is located at the far right of the panel.

This button provides quick access to hardware-specific information or operations, as supported by your operating system. The possible menu entries are:

  • A slider for changing the audio volume for the system from 0% to 100%. If the operating system provides a mixer utility, an icon will also appear. Click the icon to launch that mixer utility for advanced control of the audio system.

  • A slider for changing the screen brightness from 0% to 100%.

  • The current status of the battery, if your system has one, and the estimated time remaining if that battery is discharging.

  • A listing of the number of virtual workspaces that are in use, with buttons to switch between the different workspaces.

  • The log out button for ending the desktop session. When the log out button is clicked, a window of choices will be displayed in the middle of the screen. The choices include: Log Out, Restart (if the user has permission), Shutdown (if the user has permission), Cancel (to exit the choice menu), and Lock Screen.

  • Lumina/10.1 – PC-BSD Wiki

Right-Click Menu

If the user right-clicks on the desktop, a menu of quick shortcuts will appear for instant access and the title of the menu will indicate the name of the workspace. While this menu can be customized, here is a quick summary of the default items on the menu.

  • Terminal: used to launch a system terminal. The default is xterm, but this can be customized.

  • Browse System: launches the file manager. The default file manager, Insight, recommended, but this can be customized.

  • Applications: provides a drop-down menu of all the applications registered on the system, organized by category and name. Click an application to launch it. There are also a few shortcuts at the top of the application menu: one for opening the user’s home directory, one for launching the control panel, if the operating system provides one, and one for launching the graphical application installer, if the operating system provides one.

  • Desktop Settings: contains shortcuts to configuration utilities for the Lumina desktop environment, such as the control panel, if provided by the operating system, the screensaver configuration utility, the desktop configuration utility (lumina-config), and the Qt configuration utility (if installed).

  • Unlock/Lock Desktop: used to lock or unlock the desktop plugins. When unlocked, desktop plugins become “active” and can be moved, resized, or removed from the desktop. It is recommended to leave the desktop locked during normal operations.

  • Snap Plugins to Grid: this option only appears when the desktop is unlocked. Used to align and resize all the desktop plugins on an invisible 32×32 pixel grid, with special adjustments to align on the bottom and right screen edges if necesssary, in order to provide a uniform appearance.

  • Log Out: opens the system log out window, with options to shutdown/restart the system (if the user has permission), log out of the desktop session, lock the system, or cancel the log out window.

Lumina Configuration Utility

The Lumina Configuration utility allows the user to configure every aspect of the desktop and is the recommended way to make changes. To launch this utility right-click the desktop and select “Desktop Settings” → “Desktop” or type lumina-config from an xterm.

Insight File Manager

The Insight file manager allows the user to easily browse and modify files on the local system on a per-directory basis. To open Insight, right-click the desktop and select “Browse System” or type lumina-fm from an xterm.

It is possible to open up additional directories through the tab system (use “Ctrl-T” or click “File” → “New Tab”), allowing the user to easily manage multiple locations on the system. Insight also features the ability to “bookmark” locations on the system for instant access via the “star” button. Once a location has been bookmarked, it will be available via the “Bookmarks” menu at the top of the window. Any removable devices that are available on the system will show up in the “External Devices” menu, if supported by the operating system. When an item is selected, the options on the left side of the screen will show the possible actions that may be taken with regards to that item. Possible actions include: open, open with (will prompt for the application to use), add to favorites, rename, cut, copy, paste, and delete. By default, the actions buttons are visible. They can be made invisible by clicking “View” → “Show Action Buttons”.

A few additional options may be available at the bottom of the window, depending on the directory being viewed and the types of files that are in it:

  • New Dir: the ability to create a new directory will become available if the user has permission to modify the contents of the current directory.

  • Slideshow: if there are image files in the directory, there is an option to view those image files as a slideshow.

  • Play: will appear if there are supported multimedia files in the directory. The types of files that are supported depends on what multimedia plugins are installed on the system. If a particular file is not recognized as a multimedia file, install the associated multimedia codec using the operating system’s application management software and restart the file manager.

  • Backups: if the system is formatted with ZFS and snapshots of the current directory are available, this button will appear. Snapshots are organized from oldest to newest, with the most recent snapshot selected by default, and the contents of the directory at the time of that snapshot are displayed. To restore a file or multiple files, select them from the list and click the “Restore Selection” button. If those files still exist and you want to overwrite them, make sure the “Overwrite Existing Files” option is checked first. Otherwise, if a file with that name exists, the restore will append a number to the end of the filename. For example, the first restored version of testfile.txt will become testfile-1.txt.


Runs Linux

John’s my 70 foot display, Runs Linux…

Desktop App Pick

QWinFF, FFmpeg GUI front-end based on Qt4

QWinFF is a GUI for FFmpeg, a powerful media converter. FFmpeg can read audio and video files in various formats and convert them into other formats. QWinFF features an intuitive graphical interface and a rich set of presets to help you convert media files within a few clicks. Advanced users can also adjust conversion parameters in detail.

Weekly Spotlight

BOMB on Steam

Cool aircraft, big guns, dogfight thrill, single player, multi player, modding support, moustaches and ladies. You’ll like it.

War Thunder – Next-Gen MMO Combat Game now available on Linux!

War Thunder is a next generation MMO combat game dedicated to World War II military aviation, armoured vehicles, and fleets. You will take part in many of the major combat battles fought during World War 2 and the Korean War, fighting with real players from all around the world.

— NEWS —

Canonical Confirms Involvement in Ubuntu Linux Tablet

According to emails from Andrew Bernstein, who has emerged as the public face of the UT One tablet project, Canonical “certainly will be involved” in the production of the tablet, which will feature an Intel x86 processor.

  • Ubuntu Linux Tablet is Real, Pre-Orders Start Before the end of This Year

  • Operating System U by Andrew Bernstein — Kickstarter

  • The UT One runs Ubuntu Touch on a quad-core, Intel Atom Z3735D system-on-chip of the tablet-focused, 22nm Bay Trail-T generation, according to the Phoronix-reproduced UT One spec sheet.

  • The tablet’s SoC is said to run at 1.33GHz to 1.5GHz, and it’s accompanied by 2GB of DDR3L RAM, 16GB of storage, and a microSD slot.

  • The UT One’s 10.1-inch, IPS touchscreen is said to feature 1280 x 800-pixel resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio. The screen has 10-point capacitive touch with automatic calibration.

  • The 254 x 170 x 10mm, 636-gram tablet is further equipped with front- and rear-mounted 2-megapixel cameras, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and support for EVDO/WCDMA 3G cellular via a USB dongle, says Phoronix.

  • The tablet also offers a mini-HDMI port, a “USB 2.1″ port, a pair of speakers, and an audio jack. The 7900mAh battery is said to last up to eight hours and can be recharged via a DC port.

Major Performance Breakthrough Discovered For Intel’s Mesa Driver

The issue comes down to a difference in how hardware samplers were working compared to Intel’s Windows driver. LunarG passed along their findings to Intel’s Linux crew who with the help of their hardware engineers found a bit needed to make the hardware run faster.

Joey Hess Resigns From Debian, Unhappy With How It’s Changed

Joey Hess is now distancing himself from the Debian project as he resigns from his roles after being involved with Debian since 1996. In his parting remarks, Joey says his biggest regret over the past eighteen years is not speaking out against the Debian constitution.

Joey Hess played critical roles in the development of the Debian Installer, Alien, debhelper, and many other widely-used Debian components.

Not that it would be easy to ditch systemd. But there’s a lot of FUD
going around here about sysvinit support rotting because systemd is the
default, while the fact is that Debian fFreeBSD doesn’t have systemd at
all, and all the init scripts will be kept working for that reason if
nothing else. Also, the tech committe decision was that Debian continues
to support multiple inits to the best of our ability[2]. And, the init
scripts are a relatively miniscule portion of the code in Debian, and
don’t tend to bit rot much anyway[4].

So most of our concern about being locked into systemd is that desktop
environments are coming to require it, and that systemd-shim may be hard
to keep working in the long term. But desktop environments like Gnome
were already requiring systemd before Debian switched to it; Debian
cannot hold back the tide.

Colin Watson Resigning from the TC

ownCloud Client 1.7.0 – A big update

ownCloud Client 1.7.0 is a big release. First and foremost, it supports
new features of ownCloud 7, for example the new sharing. ownCloud Client
1.7.0 now comes with overlay icons in the most popular file managers on
the supported platforms. The icons visualize the sync- and sharing state
of synced files on the desktop.

The second great new feature of ownCloud Client 1.7.0 is selective sync.
Within a sync folder, subtrees can be excluded from sync to the client.
That makes syncing of huge data sets easier to customize.

Apart from these two lighthouse improvements this version also brings a
significant amount of bigger and smaller improvements that make syncing
with ownCloud faster, more reliable and more enjoyable.

The Reports of Compiz’s death have been greatly exaggerated, released

This is the first release of the Compiz 0.9.12 series. It consists of mostly smaller bugfixes, as befits a mature and stable project, but also some work to port the gtk-window-decorator to GTK+-3 to benefit some of the newer DEs. We have some wonderful and dedicated community contributors to thank for keeping this project going.



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