Good News Everyone! Thanks to Ubuntu Gnome Community and Jeremy Bicha, it seems that the popular distribution will ship a flavor with a relatively pure GNOME experience, on the next release cycle, in October 18.
At this point the effort is community based, but hopefully GNOMEbuntu will make it as Canonical’s official spin, similar to Kubuntu, Xubuntu etc in 13.04 release.
This is the story. In Ubuntu Developer Summit in May some discussions are made towards the need of a Gnome spin. In August 13, Jeremy Bicha posted on Gnome ML’s about looking a name for the new Ubuntu derivative.
After that I had no news till Stinger gave us a thread in Ubuntu Forums. On there, Jeremy talks about working on an Alpha version! So I contact him and he verified that GNOMEbuntu will be released together with Ubuntu 12.10!
This thread is kinda large (6 pages), but it is worth to read it. Some noticeable info from Jeremy:
- Ubuntu One isn’t included at the moment. Its UI is a bit crazy and it depends on QT libraries which takes up extra space.
- Unity won’t be included
- Compiz is included, because GNOME Classic is currently included (with the indicators by the way because it makes the session far more useful by default)
- It’s currently using Rhythmbox and I don’t see a problem with including various music stores.
- I’m not sure whether it’ll use Ubuntu’s Software Center & Updater (update-manager) or gnome-packagekit (which will be called “Software” in the next release).
- As has been stated since May, we’re going to try shipping Epiphany & Abiword instead of Firefox & LibreOffice. “Documents” will not be included as it currently depends on LibreOffice.
- We’re even working to split out several customized Ubuntu settings to allow for a purer GNOME experience for those that want it.
- Although splitting gnome-control-center and ubuntu-control-center was a goal for this release, no one has stepped up to do it yet.
- As always, anyone can install other apps that they like after installing GNOMEbuntu.
Jeremy also says:
“The Nautilus fork for Ubuntu doesn’t exist yet. You could even say it’s a rumor. On the other hand, the rumor did start from the Canonical Desktop Team Tech Lead. But then again, Feature Freeze is this week so it would need a Feature Freeze Exception.
If a split were to happen, GNOMEbuntu would obviously stick to the upstream Nautilus“.
In general, Jeremy will try to keep it as much upstream as possible and this is great, specially for the Gnome Foundation because will get more feedback and bug reporting. Gnome Display Manager (GDM) and Gnome Shell will be obviously included!
Right now we cannot try it, but Jeremy will soon release an Alpha version for testing. Ooh and GNOMEbuntu is not the final name.
Everyone is happy with that move. Canonical/Ubuntu will restore the good relationships with Gnome communities, Gnome fans will get an extra option, Ubuntu fans will get a pure Gnome, Gnome Foundation will get a quality feedback and healthy competition among Gnome Distros will be increased.
I wish these guys good luck with it!