Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Unity 5.4: What's new and a call for testing

Another couple weeks, and another Unity point release. The unity developers have been doing a great job of shipping us updates to try out on a regular cycle. Kudos to them. This means you and I get to preview the coming attractions and help test.
Unity 5.4 sees the reunion of HUD and unity again. This means HUD is going to be getting exposed to everyone running precise after this round of testing. You'll also happily notice the HUD has a much more appealing theme and set of testcases!

Prerequisites: Make sure you are running the latest version of precise, and all your packages are up to date. Unfortunately this cannot be installed on oneiric or any previous ubuntu release. 

1) Add the unity ppa (https://launchpad.net/~unity-team/+archive/ppa). You can do this by issuing the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:unity-team/ppa

2) Update apt and run a dist upgrade -- this should prompt you to upgrade unity and some indicators as well as install checkbox-unity.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

3) Restart your unity session by logging out and logging back in again.

Ok, hopefully the upgrade went smooth for you, but if not, head over to freenode #ubuntu-unity channel and let folks know what went wrong.

So, now that your up and running you can run the through the manual tests the unity team has prepared. Open the dash and type 'unity testing'. The Checkbox Unity Tests should launch. Checkbox will gather some information on your system and then ask you which tests you wish to run. Once complete you will see a link containing your system report and an option to publish it to launchpad. Use the text box below the link to enter your launchpad email address and then hit submit. This will ensure your results and feedback go to the unity developers.

Please ensure you have finished and submitted your testing results ASAP. As usual, the testing window will be closed this Thursday at 8am UTC, in order to give the unity developers time to finish fixing the bugs found. Then Unity 5.4 will be pushed to precise.

Filing Bugs
Please file bugs against unity package in launchpad (https://bugs.launchpad.net/unity/+filebug). When filing, please make sure to tag your bug '5.4-rc1' and mention your running Unity 5.4-rc1 in your description.

Giving Feedback
If you'd like to give feedback on design for unity, Check out the awesome http://unity.ubuntu.com/getinvolved/ site. If your wanting to contribute code or patches, visit the folks on the #ubuntu-unity on freenode.

Getting Help
Don't hesitate to reach out to the wonderful folks on freenode @ #ubuntu-unity, the unity web site, the ubuntu+1 forums, or myself if you have questions. Thanks for helping test ubuntu!


  1. So are the HUD merge, theme and testcases the only new things? (Imagine I said that in a non-rude way, as it was meant that way ;) )

    1. Yes, other than bug fixes, HUD is the primary piece of this release. Some of the other commented on changes are already implemented in precise, such as removing dodge https://lists.launchpad.net/unity-design/msg07662.html

  2. May I ask if Unity 5.4 is already being packaged and released for precise since it is thursday today? Or can you perhaps give an estimate of when it would be released? Eagerly waiting for it :). And yes, I did do the Unity 5.4RC testing but nonetheless I like to see it released as an official update.

    Also do new versions of Unity come every Thursday? I remember Unity 5.2 coming out last week around this time.

    1. Yes, the schedule for this cycle has been testing a new point point release every 2 weeks, with call for testing generally coming around Tuesday and landing into precise on Thursday/Friday. For unity 5.4, this will stay the same. Unity 5.4 should hit the archive this Friday.