Netbook Launcher now available for Maverick!

Posted in Programming and Technical, Ubuntu on May 18th, 2011 by doctormo

OK so yes, this looks a bit weird but hear me out. The netbook-launcher package was the old clutter based user interface for the Intrepid to Lucid netbook editions of Ubuntu, which was supplemented by the netbook-launcher-efl package that used enlightenment for anyone who didn’t have 3D. After Lucid, the code for the non-efl hasn’t been development and now everything from Maverick onwards is Unity only.

The efl package is still available, but that has it’s own problems…

I always liked the netbook-launcher, I always put it on other people’s computers (especially for the elderly who need big icons) because it filled the screen and everything was right there on the desktop. Perfect.

Screenshot of Netbook-launcher working on Maverick

It wasn’t really available in maverick until tonight, when prompted by a friend who is delivering 10 new Ubuntu computers to the local working-class community. The plan had always been to use the netbook interface and the machines won’t run Unity. So here’s where I step in, I downloaded the Lucid code for liblauncher and netbook-launcher and have fixed the gtk bitrot errors and published the results on a new PPA.

I had to change the name of the clutter package because of the hatchet job done on the netbook-launcher package to upgrade people from Lucid to Unity/Maverick. This means that when you try to install netbook-launcher, you get unity instead. That aside packages are available here:

My friend probably wants to use the efl version which is still in development (by the heroic mterry no less, is there any cool project that guy isn’t involved with?). The problem with the shipped version is that it recommends the old ‘netbook-launcher’ package which pulls in unity. So I’ve built a new version of that without that dependency problem and I’ll try and get mterry to update the package for Oneric.

To use/test this branch try this:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:doctormo/netbook-launcher
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install yeold-netbook-launcher netbook-launcher-efl

I hope this ppa will be useful to a few people and do let me know below if you would like a natty version of the package…

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GDM Greeter First User Interface

Posted in Programming and Technical, Ubuntu on April 14th, 2011 by doctormo

Update from my previous post: Here we have a branch containing a working gdm greeter user interface with a nice python module set for interacting with the gdm greeter service.

What’s nice about this code is how little of it you need to hack on the gdm. Binding up the username and password box to the events pretty much does everything. Most of the original functionality is simple to do.

The design isn’t final, there are gtk limitations and since gdm doesn’t really do clutter or opengl, it’d be impossible to do anything more interesting unfortunately.

The difference in functionality here is that you enter your full name (not your username) and it suggests people to you. The idea with this is that if you type in your name and you’re not a user, the next screen you see will be a register screen.

I selected my name from the list and then entered my passphrase:

Then it will log you in exactly as it should. Have a look at the code and see if you can hack on the gdm, it’s really very easy if you know a bit of python and gtk.

Comment if you do anything interesting.

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