Sep 14, 2009

Karmic Status and Artwork Update

Although nothing is set in stone just yet, it looks like the Ubuntu Karmic boot demo and proposed GDM theme iteration 3 (created by Otto Greenslade, Mat Tomaszewski, Mark Shuttleworth, Michael Forrest, Kenneth Wimer), is the direction the final look and feel will take. At the moment (Alpha 5), the boot experience is still pretty much a mess and the new GDM is yet to receive it's new look. There's a PPA for x-splash with the Iteration 3 artwork (YouTube demo), but because of a version numbering error the update fails for a lot of people.

Recently Phoronix was checking in on Ubuntu Karmic's boot time, which was just a waste of time, since the work Scott James Remnant (the Ubuntu Developer Manager) is doing on boot performance won't land until the BETA release. In case you've missed it, Scott James Remnant recently wrote a blogpost that thoroughly explains why the new splash screen in Ubuntu 9.10 will use X-splash and not Usplash or Plymouth

As you might have noticed in Alpha 5, the new design I created for the ubiquity slideshow has now landed! Hooray! Although I only created the background and added some SVG icons (mostly from Breathe), this is my first contribution that will land inside Ubuntu - and not just in a PPA or on a website somewhere.
The Canonical DX team are working hard to meet the Karmic deadline. Sadly, the graphical OS selector and the option to install updates on shutdown has been deferred. The DX team does not have the time nor resources to implement this in time for Karmic. I was also sad to see that the pre-unpacking of packages during download was deferred. The good thing is that all these projects will have a good chance of making it into Karmic+1.
Many people complain about the lack of a completely new theme to replace the brown Human theme. To me it makes perfect sense for Canonical to wait for the Gnome 3 transition before committing resources to the project.

At the end of my quest to contribute to the new boot splash look, there's now (thanks to knn (Nikola Kovacs
), Darkshade and others from the a .PNG throbber that can replace the default one in x-splash. The preview below would properly look better with a black/dark background, like my mockup suggestion had.

Grab the .PNG image here...

My fifth suggestion (the fiery letters) also worked out pretty well, but this one requires a black background.

Grab the .PNG image here...

If you need help modify x-splash's appearance visit either:

You can find more information about new features in Karmic here...


  1. Last time I checked, the Ubuntu promise wasn't in the ubiquity slideshow. Could you get it in there? Pretty please?

  2. I'll probably stick it in the first slide, Flimm. There is a wee bit of space we need to fill with something warm and cuddly :)

  3. @Dylan: Thanks! It's great to be heard.

  4. How did you manage to do throbbers???
    Is there a trick to do them faster??

  5. Found it (, you need imagemagick... But is it possible to say to xsplash not to reload always the throbber? And is it possible to set the speed of the animation?