Unity 8 is Ubuntu’s next-gen …everything

A new video shows off yet more progress on getting Unity 8 ship-shape for desktop usage. 

This time it’s the Unity 8 Greeter – the screen you see when you log in – in the spotlight.

Canonical developer Joshua Arenson demos how seamless the Unity 8 Greeter currently works across devices with narrow, wide and full size displays.

But more interestingly than that is the technical hoopla happening in the background.

The Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu tablet don’t use LightDM to power their log-in screens. Instead, they interact with PAM (Pluggable Authentication Module) directly. This is referred to as an ‘integrated lock-screen’ in Unity 8 speak.

On the desktop where Home folders are encrypted, and session switching and multi-user logins are a thing, a more capable greeter is needed. Something more like that which exists today.

So, in Unity 8 on a desktop, the same appears at log-in but is, in fact, linked to a proper LightDM session.

This means you will be able to use the Unity 8 Greeter to log in to Unity 7, KDE, Xfce, Pantheon, and so on.

The Unity 8 Greeter is even available to test on your 15.04 or 15.10 desktop today though a PPA – although this is not recommended and will likely break your ability to log in to anything!

Keep in mind that the Unity 8 Greeter seen below is a work in progress. The design, code, UX flow, etc shown off by Joshua is not final, lacks features and is subject to change.

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