Last November we shared the news that developers plan to drop the current Ubuntu Software Center from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and replace it with GNOME Software, an upstream alternative.
But anyone taking the Xenial Xerus for a pre-emptive spin since that news broke could be forgiven for thinking Canonical had changed their mind!
Not only is the “old” app store still installed by default, but its upstream replacement isn’t even available to install from the Xenial archive.
That changes today, as migration to and testing of GNOME Software and its package-kit backend begins.
Test GNOME Software in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
If you’re a bug-hungry beta tester or just a plain ol’ nosey so-and-so, you can help test the Ubuntu software Center replacement on your own machine.
You need to a) be using Ubuntu 16.04 and b) be willing to add a PPA that has buggy, incomplete software.
Up for it?
Testing PPA for Xenial Users
Add the GNOME Software PPA to Software Sources, install the required packages, and then watch as the creaky old Ubuntu Software Center gets kicked in to the long grass by a leaner upstream replacement.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-desktop/gnome-
software sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gnome-software packagekit
This testing PPA holds PackageKit 1.0 and a patched version of GNOME Software that is able to pull in app reviews from the Ubuntu app servers.
(Once installed may need/want to run this script as root. This will fetch, populate and update the appstream data in the app. But please note: depending on when you read this article this step may no longer be necessary.)
Keep In Mind That This Is Still Work In Progress
Ubuntu One support for leaving reviews is a work-in-progress. You should expect missing features, application crashes and random bugs along the way.
Any kernel-crunching, hair-pulling errors you meet should get filed against the gnome-software package on Launchpad.