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Unity 8 Desktop Session Arrives in Ubuntu 16.10

unity-8-greeter-entry

Unity 8 option in the session switcher

The latest updates to Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak add a Unity8 desktop session to the Ubuntu login screen.

Not that many of you will be surprised to hear that.

We mentioned that a Unity 8 session was going to ship as part of the Yakkety release in our list of things to expect in Ubuntu 16.10.

Unity 8 Session Is Entirely Optional

Added to the Ubuntu meta package, the new Unity 8 desktop session will be available to try on all new installs and upgrades of Ubuntu 16.10, but only as an alternate login session to Unity 7.  Unity 8 is not — repeat: not — going to be the default session in this release.

Shipping it as a preview session is a great idea. It means to try Unity 8 on Ubuntu 16.10 you won’t  need to install a set of packages, or faff around with special set-up, or add a PPA.

When at the Unity Greeter (aka the login screen) just click the session selector button, followed by ‘Unity 8’, and then proceed to login as normal.

Whether Unity 8 actually loads for you after you ‘log in’ will depend, largely, on which graphics card you have and which drivers you use with it. Unity 8 (or rather Mir, the display server that Unity 8 runs on) only plays nice with open-source Nvidia (nouveau) and open-source Intel GPU drivers.

Your milage with virtual machines will also vary. Unity 8 doesn’t work in Virtualbox, but some say it does work with VMWare Fusion.

If you give it a whirl in the next couple of weeks do share your feedback in the comments here, and on our social media pages.

Thanks to Thibaut