Ubuntu Sway: new remix with the Sway window manager and without snaps

Ubuntu Sway Remix

It is surprising the number of Remixes that are appearing in recent years. The first Remix I knew was Ubuntu MATE, which I don't remember having that "last name". Yes, it was carried by the last to enter the Ubuntu family, Ubuntu Budgie, and since then Ubuntu Cinnamon, UbuntuDDE, Ubuntu Unity, Ubuntu Web and Ubuntu Lumina have appeared (the latter was never heard of). Now there's another new remix: Ubuntu Sway.

Window managers are very popular with those who try them. One of the most used is i3wm, but it is expected that they will end up abandoning it when Wayland takes more prominence. The evolution of it is Sway, another "window manager" that is mostly compatible with i3, but differs from it mainly in that use Wayland and not X11. In addition, it has a slightly more careful aesthetic, but it has not existed for so long and there are things that it has to improve.

Ubuntu Sway Remix, now available

Ubuntu Sway, of which the Jammy Jellyfish version is already available, bears the last name “Remix”, which means that it intends to enter the Canonical family. But it doesn't look like it. It's snap free, even Firefox is in the DEB version offered by Mozilla from its official repository. Although other flavors already do it, its installer is Calamares, a good decision on its part.

Many of the applications included in Ubuntu Sway are for the terminal, which is known as the CLI. Among them we can find Htop, which helps us to see the consumption of resources, among other things. It also includes others such as MPV, LibreOffice, Thunar or Thunderbird. It's Ubuntu inside, but with the Sway window manager and a choice of apps with performance in mindNot forgetting productivity.

Like i3, the Ubuntu Sway window manager works mostly (if not all) with the keyboard. This is a problem for those who don't know about it, but the problem is minimized when we have a cutlet as part of the wallpaper (can be removed). In it we see that we can open a terminal with GOAL + Intro, close any app with GOAL + Shift + Q or switch between desks with GOAL + Numbers. Among the shortcuts we also see how to take screenshots, both photos and videos.

Ubuntu Sway doesn't have a dock or anything like that, but it does have something like a top panel. From it we can access some widgets, such as the volume one, or switch between desktops with the mouse, something that I don't know if it will be necessary when you get the hang of it. For launch apps just look for them by pressing GOAL + D, or click on the rocket icon, which brings up the app drawer.

Does not have software center, but “Packages”, the GNOME package manager (several apps are from GNOME), with certain similarities with what we see in Synaptic or in what the Raspberry Pi OS uses. And speaking of the raspberry plate, there is an image for it to be used on it.

Best for advanced users

Although, to be faithful to the truth, I have found a bug that I did not like very much. When trying to install it in a virtual machine, although the Spanish keyboard is chosen and we see its distribution above, it does not apply in Calamares, so later you have to pull the terminal to put it in Spanish. This is what this type of window managers have, that there are configurations that are not made with tools with a user interface, so they can put some users off.

The good thing about Ubuntu Sway is that it is based on Ubuntu, and that right now we are facing the first version that has already been released with the numbering 20.04.1. It is certain that will improve over time. On the other hand, you have to take into account what these types of remixes are: although there are those that have a whole team behind them and offer good support, there are also those with small teams, and they could abandon the project at any time. An example is that of Lumina, and another that is hanging on a thread is that of UbuntuDDE, which has not yet released its Jammy Jellyfish version. Of course, for those who format every six months, they are an alternative, and who knows, they could become official.


Official project page.

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