Over the last few years, the UBPorts version of Ubuntu Touch has started to diverge from the OS Canonical left behind by adding support for new devices and features.
Now the team has announced it’s renaming the desktop environment that powers Ubuntu touch. Goodbye Unity8. Hello Lomiri.
There are a couple of important reasons for the change:
- The new name won’t be easily confused for the Unity 3D game development platform.
- Many Unity8 packages still have “ubuntu” in the name, which can cause problems for developers looking to port the desktop environment to other GNU/Linux distributions (such as Debian and Fedora).
So the plan is to change packages that used the names “unity” or “ubuntu” to “lomiri” moving forward. It will likely take a while for the transition to be complete, but when it’s done… and right now the team is only changing the name of the desktop environment, not the operating system. So it’ll continue to be known as Ubuntu Touch… and users probably won’t see any real difference.
This is really more about branding of some under-the-hood components than anything else. But at a time when GNU/Linux phones are becoming real (albeit niche) products, it’s interesting to note that while Canonical may have given up on the dream of Ubuntu phones that can run mobile and desktop apps, the folks at UBPorts are continuing to keep that dream alive… and planning for the long-term future of the project.