The UKUI desktop used in Ubuntu Kylin is getting a major facelift — in Qt!

Admittedly it’s been while since I last wrote about this (formerly MATE-based) desktop environment, but it’s still out there, shipping as default experience in Ubuntu Kylin, doing its thing.

And that “thing”, to be rather blunt about it, is looking an awful lot like Windows 7 does (or did, I guess now Windows 7 support has ended):

UKUI Linux windows desktop
The MATE-based UKUI desktop environment

But not for much longer, it seems.

Based on an updated shared on Chinese social media, the UKUI team appear to be rebuilding UKUI using Qt. The plan, they say, is to stick to to the same “easy, excellent, expert, elaborate” mantra that the original UKUI desktop was (supposedly) built to.

But honestly? We’re talking major revamp territory here, with Linux Deepin-grade levels of visual showiness — Blur, bling, and a buttload of GUI appeal!

Ubuntu Kylin as a distro doesn’t get much coverage here in the west (at least not on the sites I read) but it has proven to be hugely popular in China, its target market.

It’s particularly nice to know that all those interesting integrations with China-based web services that are lost on me, aren’t lost on those they’re included for.

The start menu can go full screen

You can view a few videos of the UKUI 3.0 UI preview on the Chinese social networking site Bili Bili. I did try to embed the videos here but they refuse to render any larger than a postage stamp.

Update: the Taskbar vide preview is now on YouTube:

Despite my early assumption that all of these changes look like motion design (i.e. mockups) I’m told the videos do demo real working code.

Indeed, the UKUI code repos are so busy at the moment. I expect that the bods behind the China-focused Ubuntu-based distro are working on plenty more surprises to tease out over the coming weeks.

If Kylin can pull this new look off and make it as show-y as it looks in these screencasts, it could be the start of something very special indeed…

Trivia: “Kylin” is pronounced “Chee-lin”

Thanks Limy

qt ubuntu kylin ukui