The next version of the Lumina desktop environment (0.8.1) has just been tagged in the source tree, the FreeBSD port has been updated, and pre-built packages will be available in the upcoming PC-BSD 10.1.1 release (or earlier if you are using the “Edge” package repository).
This version includes quite a number of quality-of-life improvements, new plugins, and the usual assortment of bugfixes. There is a full breakdown of the changes below, but for most of you a screenshot (or two) is worth a thousand words.
1) New Desktop Plugin: “Audio Player”
This plugin allows the user to play audio files directly from the desktop (with playlist randomization if desired).
2) New Panel Plugin: “Home Button”
This plugin will minimize all open windows so the desktop will be completely visible.
3) New Panel Plugin: “Start Menu”
This plugin is the classical alternative to the “User Button”, and provides a simple menu for quickly launching applications.
4) New Slideshow file interactions in the Insight File Manager
When viewing an image slideshow, the user now has the options to delete the current image file, or rotate that image file clockwise or counter-clockwise (automatically updating the image file as necessary).
5) New Backend distribution customization framework.
There is a new system file (<PREFIX>/etc/luminaDesktop.conf), that can be set by the distributor of the Lumina desktop or a system administrator to provide system-wide defaults. This allows full customization of the initial desktop experience for a new user (will not change existing settings), allowing the distributor of the desktop to easily create a customized experience for their users. Along with this comes the ability for a user to reset their desktop settings back to defaults should the need arise (either system defaults or the defaults set by the Lumina project itself). This can be performed through the desktop configuration utility (in the session settings).
1) Allow a customized user icon for the user button (this same icon will also be utilized for the user in PCDM). This option is available through the desktop configuration utility (in the session settings).
2) Have panels follow the current desktop theme by default. A customized color may still be specified through through the desktop configuration utility (in the panel settings), and any previous color setting for the panel is still saved as the customized color for that panel.
3) Have desktop plugins now follow the current theme. This allows for a much more unified look and feel, with simple user modification through locally saved modifications to any theme templates.
4) Convert the “Note Pad” desktop plugin to a file-based utility. Now all notes are automatically created in the ~/Notes directory (with the .note extension), and a generic non-note text file may also be loaded into the plugin for editing/watching. All notes in the previous format will be auto-converted to the new format the first time the new version is used. Warning: if you currently have multiple notepad plugins on your desktop, only one of them will have all the notes successfully converted to the new format. Before updating to the new version, it is a good idea to move all your notes into a single plugin instance (and remove the others) to ensure a proper conversion to the new format.
- Fix when auto-hidden panels are re-hidden. This fixes a Qt5 bug where moving the mouse over the system tray was re-hiding the panel, preventing access to the system tray applications.
- Make the userbutton open even faster than before (auto-updates the menu in the background if applications are added/removed from the system).
- Various stability fixes involving the removal of desktop plugins.
- Filenames with multiple “.“s in them will now be properly handled through lumina-open.
- Have the log-out window appear on the current screen (instead of always the left-most screen).
- Make sure the log-out window is closed at the start of the log out procedure.
- Various other small bugfixes
The first Qt5-based version of the Lumina desktop environment has just been released!
The source code for this release is available in the Lumina repository on GitHub, the FreeBSD port has been updated, and the new package is getting pushed out to the PC-BSD “Edge” repository here in the next couple days. Version 0.8.0 is mainly just an update to all the backend systems, but there are a few notable changes:
Updates for version 0.8.0:
- Uses Qt5 (tested with 5.2) instead of Qt4. This also brings in a new dependency on the XCB libraries.
- Uses the new QMultimedia framework instead of Phonon for playing multimedia files. This has much better results when playing audio/video files through the Insight file manager.
- New built-in single application framework for the Lumina project (no more external dependency for this, and it works on all OS’s).
- New task manager mode (no groups). This reproduces the traditional task manager functionality of one button per window, and it lists the window title for each button. For ease-of-use, this mode is treated as a distinct/new panel plugin through the Lumina configuration utility.
- The task manager “action” menu (right-click) now has many more options that are auto-generated based on the current window state.
- The lumina-open crash reporter for applications now provides details about the crash from the application (if any are available).
- New windows will no longer appear with the titlebar underneath a Lumina panel.
- Command-line inputs with special localized characters are now properly used.
- Large clean-up of recursive file operations in the file manager. (Better reporting and error detection, add ability to copy a directory into itself, make sure no files are missed during recursive operations).
- Detect when running in a VirtualBox VM (if OS is FreeBSD) and hide the screen brightness controls since these do not work in a VM.
- Clean up how the special “Exec=” field codes are handled for XDG desktop shortcuts (fixes the issues with starting various KDE applications like Okular).
- Various other small bugs fixed.
As always, please test it out and submit any bugs or feature requests through the PC-BSD bug tracker.
The next version of the Lumina desktop environment has just been tagged in source! PC-BSD users on the “Edge” package repository should expect to see an updated package available in the next couple days. Please test it out and file bug reports or feature requests as necessary on the PC-BSD bug tracker.
What has changed in this version:
- Streamline the startup process and Lumina utilities, with many of the utilities now being multi-threaded.
- Enable login/logout chimes (can be disabled in the lumina-config session settings)
- New Desktop Plugins:
- Note Pad: Take text notes on your desktop
- Desktop View: Auto-generate icons for everything in the ~/Desktop folder
- New Utility: “lumina-search“
- Quickly search for and run applications/files/directories
- Registered on the system applications menu under “Utilities -> Lumina Search”
- For new Lumina users, this utility is set to automatically run with the “Alt-F2” keyboard shortcut
- New Color Schemes:
- Lumina-[Green, Gold, Purple, Red, Glass] now available out of box (default: Glass)
- New backend system for registering default applications:
- Uses mime-types instead of extensions now
- All lumina utilities have been updated to work with the new system
- WARNING: Previously registered defaults might not be transferred to the new system, so you may need to re-set your default web browser/email client through lumina-config after updating to the new version.
- Miscellaneous bug fixes and minor improvements
By popular demand, the source tree for the Lumina project has just been moved to its own repository within the main PC-BSD project tree on GitHub.
In addition to this, an official FreeBSD port for Lumina was just committed to the FreeBSD ports tree which uses the new repo.
By the way, here is a quick usage summary for those that are interested in how “light” Lumina 0.6.2 is on PC-BSD 10.0.3:
System: Netbook with a single 1.6GHz atom processor and 2GB of memory (Fresh installation of PC-BSD 10.0.3 with Lumina 0.6.2)
Usage: ~0.2–0.4% CPU and ~120MB active memory use (no apps running except an xterm with “top” after a couple minutes for the PC-BSD tray applications to start up and settle down)
Will Backman has just posted his interview with Ken Moore about the new Lumina desktop environment on the bsdtalk website. The podcast is only 28 minutes long and goes into some of the history/motivation/philosophy of the project.
As we are getting ready for PC-BSD 10.0.3, I wanted to share a little preview of what to expect with the Lumina desktop environment as you move from version 0.4.0 to 0.6.2.
To give you a quick summary, pretty much everything has been updated/refined, with several new utilities written specifically for Lumina. The major new utility is the “Insight” file manager: with ZFS snapshot integration, multimedia player, and image slideshow viewer capabilities built right in by default. It also has a new snapshot utility and the desktop configuration utility has been completely rewritten. I am going to be listing more details about all the updates between the versions below, but for those of you who are not interested in the details, you can just take a look at some screenshots instead.…
==== FULL UPDATE DETAILS ====
(Moving from 0.4.0 to 0.6.2)
- A desktop plugin system has been implemented, with two plugins available at the moment (a calandar plugin, and an application launcher plugin).
– The panel plugin system has been refined quite a bit, with transparency support for the panel itself and automatic plugin resizing for example.
– A new panel plugin has been added: the system dashboard. This plugin allows control over the audio volume, screen brightness, and current workspace, while also displaying the current battery status (if applicable) and containing a button to let the user log out (or shutdown/restart the system).
– The user button panel plugin has been re-implemented as well, and incorporating the functionality of the desktopbar plugin. Now the user has quick access to files/application in the ~/Desktop folder, as well as the ability to add/remove shortcuts to system applications in the desktop folder with one click.
– New backgrounds wallpapers and project logo (courtesy of iXsystems).
NOTE: Users of the older versions of the Lumina desktop will have their configuration files returned to the defaults after logging in to the new version for the first time.
The new file manager (lumina-fm, also called “Insight”):
– Browse the system and allow the bookmarking of favorite directories
– Simple multimedia player to allow playing/previewing multimedia files
– Image slideshow viewer for previewing image files
– Full ZFS file/directory restore functionality if ZFS snapshots are available
– Menu shortcuts to quickly browse attached/mounted devices
– Tabbing support for browsing multiple directories at once
– Standard file/directory management (copy/paste/delete/create)
– Supported multimedia and image formats are auto-detected on start, so if a particular file is not recognized, you just need to install the appropriate library or plugin on your system to provide support (none required by default).
The new screenshot utility (lumina-screenshot):
– Simple utility to create/save screenshots on the system.
– Can capture the entire system, or individual windows.
– Can delay the image capture for a few seconds as necessary
– Automatically assigned to the “Print Screen” keyboard shortcut by default, but also listed in the application registry under utilities.
The configuration utility (lumina-config):
– Competely new implementation
– Configure desktop appearance (background image, add desktop plugins)
– Configure panels (location, color/transparency, size, manage plugins, up to 2 panels supported per screen)
– Configure right-click menu plugins
– Manage/set global keyboard shortcuts (including shortcuts for adjusting audio volume or screen brightness)
– Manage/set default applications for the system by categories or individually
– Manage session options (enable numlock on log in, play audio chimes)
– Manage/set applications/files to be launched on log in
– Manage window system options (appearance, mouse focus policy, window placement policy, number of workspaces)
The application/file opener utility (lumina-open):
– Update the overall appearance of the application selector window.
– Fully support registered mime-types on the system now, and recommend those applications as appropriate.