First Look at Ubuntu Lomiri: Ubuntu Touch’s Mobile Desktop Arrives on PC

A new Ubuntu flavor based on Ubuntu 24.04 LTS that features the Lomiri (Unity 8) UI from the Ubuntu Touch mobile OS.
Ubuntu Lomiri

Ubuntu Unity maintainer Rudra Saraswat informs 9to5Linux today about the availability for public testing of the first ISO images of what looks like a new Ubuntu flavor, Ubuntu Lomiri.

For those not in the know, Lomiri is the continuation of the Unity 8 desktop environment that Canonical, the maker of the Ubuntu distribution, abandoned a few years ago along with their Ubuntu Touch mobile OS. The UBports Foundation took over the development of Ubuntu Touch and turned Unity 8 into Lomiri.

Lomiri is successfully used on Ubuntu Touch and features convergence, which means that it lets you turn your mobile device into a desktop when connected to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. But, for some time, the UBports Foundation was working hard to bring Lomiri to the desktop, and Rudra Saraswat took the opportunity to build a live/installable ISO image and create Ubuntu Lomiri.

“Over the past few years, the UBports team have been hard at work, improving desktop compatibility and getting every single one of the Lomiri packages into the Debian repositories, and subsequently, they made their way into the Ubuntu repositories too. Following which, we decided it would be a good idea to build an installable, daily-driveable ISO, for your testing pleasure,” said Rudra Saraswat.

So, long story short, on the occasion of the launch of Ubuntu 24.04 LTS (Noble Numbat) today, you can now download and try the Ubuntu Lomiri 24.04 distribution featuring the Lomiri (Unity 8) desktop. As you can imagine, even though it was ported to work on desktop computers, at the end of the day Lomiri is still a mobile desktop.

Ubuntu Lomiri comes with pretty much the same as Ubuntu 24.04 LTS and the same core components. The only difference from Ubuntu 24.04 LTS is that it uses Lomiri rather than the GNOME desktop. I’m sure that those of you who tried Ubuntu Touch on a smartphone or tablet should feel at home.

While it may look complex on mobile devices, Lomiri is pretty simple on the desktop. It features an application dash on the left, which you can activate with the Super key, and a notifications center on the left with Ayatana indicators, from where you can configure various aspects of the desktop.

Since this is a mobile desktop, you can imagine that not all the options in the notifications center will work. Probably only the volume and brightness levels and the calendar are the only features you’ll be using.

According to Rudra Saraswat, Ubuntu Lomiri is quite stable and can be installed on real hardware. However, please try to keep in mind that this is a pre-release version, which means that you may encounter occasional crashes, which will probably depend on your hardware.

I’ve tested it on a virtual machine (to make the screenshots), but also on bare metal. Unfortunately, the distro didn’t work on my Lenovo IdeaPad 3 laptop, but Rudra Saraswat told me that it works pretty well on his HP Stream laptop except for brightness. If you do test it, do report in the comments below if it worked for you.

Last updated 4 weeks ago

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