Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Unity 5.6: What's new and a call for testing

We're getting closer! The unity design list has been ablaze with discussions on unity recently. It's been great to watch and read. With that in mind, the unity developers have pushed out another point release for us to preview and test. Here's what's new:

  • A lot of bug fixes, especially in areas surrounding the HUD!
  • Unity-2d now includes HUD.
  • Compiz fixes -- including this awesome performance increase by Daniel
  • Keybinding shortcut changes -- there was noise about switching the keybindings for switching workspace ones and moving windows. This has been reverted to the previous values again

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 ( 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 at the end of this week in order to give the unity developers time to finish fixing the bugs found. Then Unity 5.6 will be pushed to precise.

Filing Bugs
Apport should automatically allow you to file crashes for any issues you find during testing. Please mention any bug reports you file in the comments of the failed tests. If you need to report a bug that didn't cause a crash, simply type 'ubuntu-bug unity' into a terminal window and follow the normal process.

Giving Feedback
If you'd like to give feedback on design for unity, Check out the awesome 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. I read somewhere that it is recommended that we use the Guest session when running the Unity Checkbox tests.

    But when in guest session Checkbox will not accept the administrator password. And without it the tests cannot be done.

    This Checkbox utility needs to do what Synaptic does when an attempt is made to load it in a Guest session. It presents a menu where you can choose the administrator user whose password is then accepted and Synaptic loads.

    I also note that Checkbox is going to be used more and more in Ubuntu Q&A and this is good but testing in a default session is important. I do understand that but at present I cannot conform.



    1. Thanks for your feedback. I have opened this bug against checkbox to get this fixed. Please feel free to subscribe or comment.