The Maui Shell: The Future of the Linux Desktop?
The future of Linux desktops has been the subject of many debates over the years, with each Linux desktop environment offering its own advantages and disadvantages. The latest contender in this battle is Maui Shell, which promises to overcome the worst shortcomings of existing desktop environments by adding key features such as multi-monitor support, better font management, and full system integration with one click installation of applications and codecs. Does Maui Shell have what it takes to unseat Gnome or KDE? Only time will tell… but if it delivers on even half of its promises, it will certainly make switching to Linux just that much easier!
An Introduction to The Maui Project
Maui is a universal desktop environment designed to enable new and/or infrequent computer users to enjoy using their computer with as little frustration as possible. It is an open-source project created by Canonical, which means it can be used in conjunction with various other free software. Other than being free, one of the great things about this environment is that it does not include any adware, bloatware or trial versions. As more and more people start to use this particular operating system (OS), we may well be on our way to solving a variety of common computing problems.
What are the project goals?
Maui is an experimental effort to design a desktop-like interface that’s tailored for touch. It is an open-source project developed by Intel with help from the Technical University of Berlin. This new shell can be used on any hardware, running any operating system that supports Linux.
Some major features include support for hover menus, slide panels and shortcuts as gestures on your keyboard. Traditional windows can still be interacted with, but with a different navigation style; that is, by pulling them in from the left side of your screen and releasing them at the top or bottom edge.
Why do we need a new shell?
The most popular shell today is BASH, but there are newer and more innovative shells out there. For example, when you install Ubuntu 16.04, it uses Dash to execute commands as opposed to BASH. Dash allows for a faster startup time and a better user experience when executing commands. Dash was created by Canonical and was quickly replaced by their new shell called Maui that is designed to be fast and responsive even on low-powered devices like smartphones.
There are many reasons why we need a new shell that focuses on innovation in order to meet modern computing demands. One such reason is that computers have become so powerful that they can run the traditional CLI (Command Line Interface) interface without any issues or lag. In fact, while computers continue to become more powerful over time, users would also benefit from an interface with a higher level of usability and accessibility. A major issue with this kind of system is figuring out how to access all these options while not being able to see them all at once (e.g., which menu did I click on?) – a problem that could easily be solved with Maui’s design principles.
Can I try it out?
While there are many great desktop environments, none offer the purity and simplicity that you get with just using a text-based shell. Running programs is as easy as opening up a terminal and typing them in, not worrying about any pesky window management or fiddling with menu bar applications. But Maui Shell has gone even further, with shortcuts to open files quickly, system tools that can be accessed without having to use a package manager like aptitude or yum. It’s much faster than most people would think a Linux shell would be, considering it doesn’t have a focus on user interface–it only does what it needs to do.
Where can I get it?
Maui is a shell that allows users to have easy access to run commands without having to go through a full terminal. It also offers a set of user-friendly features that has been attracting quite a bit of attention lately, particularly with its increased use on mobile platforms. Right now, Maui is still in beta and only available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or higher, but it looks like it will be receiving more development soon. There are some plans to make it open source later this year and even include a few UI improvements such as a tabbed interface for running multiple shells simultaneously. Some people are calling this change Maui-NG, so Maui could very well be the future of the Linux desktop!
How can I contribute?
Ever since it was announced, a lot of people have been waiting for this first modern shell in decades. Well, it’s finally here! I encourage you to try it out if you’re at all interested in contributing.
First off, some information about how to build and install Maui (or any other open-source project). Since this is our first time working with Maui, we need to find out where we can get the code from Github. It turns out that there are two repositories for Maui:
Next comes an optional step before compiling… checking to see if any prerequisites have been missed. A basic check will look like this:
# check_prereqs ./configure –prefix=/usr/local && make && sudo make install
This will not only tell us if anything has been overlooked, but also where to go next when those steps are completed.
Finally, Maui needs to be compiled and installed into the directory specified by PREFIX. After installation, there should be a shortcut on your desktop labeled Maui. Double click on it and voila! You’ve just booted up your new future favorite shell!
What else do I need: Most likely nothing, unless you want access to some proprietary software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader or Apple Quick time Player.