wasta-linux

Wasta-Layout: Desktop Layout Settings Utility

What is it?

Wasta-Layout is a simple utility for changing the layout of the panel (taskbar) and other items of the desktop interface in Cinnamon (the default desktop interface of Wasta-Linux).  Different preset layout configurations have been added to Wasta-Layout to provide different user experiences for Cinnamon.

How do I use it?

Here is a screenshot of the Wasta-Layout dialog:

wasta-layout


Simply select the desired layout and click OK.  An administrative password will be required as the desired layout is not only set for the current user, but is also set as the system-wide default desktop layout.  To not annoy other existing users on the system, Wasta-Layout will not change their existing desktop layouts.  Any newly created users will use the selected Wasta-Layout default desktop layout.

Below are descriptions and screen prints of the various Wasta-Layout desktop layouts:

Default

The 'default' option of Wasta-Layout largely matches the defaults directly from the Cinnamon development team.  Notable items include:
  • The bottom panel and Main Menu are similar to Windows XP / 7
  • Application windows are not grouped

default-1

default-2

Redmond7

The 'redmond7' layout is meant to match Windows 7's interface more closely than the Cinnamon default layout.
Notable differences compared to the 'default' layout include:
  • Application windows are grouped together, with a number in the top left of showing the number of running windows for each application.
  • The bottom panel is slightly taller in order to give larger panel icons

redmond7

Cupertino

The 'cupertino' layout is meant to loosely match Apple's macOS / OSX interface.

Notable differences compared to the 'default' layout include:
  • The panel is placed at the top
  • A 'dock' is placed at the bottom: it will hide automatically when windows are placed over it.
Notable shortcomings compared to Apple's macOS / OSX interface:
  • There is no 'Global AppMenu' (application menus will show in the application's own window rather than in the main system panel)
cupertino

Unity

The 'unity' layout is inspired by Ubuntu's Unity interface, which was Ubuntu's default from 2011 through 2017.

Notable differences compared to the 'default' layout include:

  • The panel is placed at the top
  • A non-hiding 'dock' is placed on the left side.
  • The Main Menu is the top item in the dock, and has the shutdown menu and favorites removed.
  • The shutdown menu is in the top right.
  • The panel and dock are semi-transparent

Notable shortcomings compared to Ubuntu Unity's interface:

  • There is no 'Global AppMenu' (application menus will show in the application window rather than in the main system panel)
  • There is no 'HUD' ("heads up display"): this is the ability in Unity to quickly find application menu items by pressing ALT then typing to search for the desired setting.  The global menu is required for this functionality, and at this time there is no easy way to add a global menu to Cinnamon.
  • The end result is that the topbar in the Wasta-Layout Unity interface is largely unused (except for the right side).  So unfortunately this means that vertical space is not as efficiently used as under Unity.

unity-1

unity-2

Installing Wasta-Layout in Wasta-Linux 16.04

Wasta-Layout has been developed for Wasta-Linux 18.04(+), since it uses Cinnamon features that are only available in Cinnamon 3.4(+), and, by default, Wasta-Linux 16.04 has Cinnamon version 3.0 installed.  However, Wasta-Linux 16.04 users can upgrade their Cinnamon version and install Wasta-Layout by following these steps:

1. Make sure your wasta-cinnamon-xenial version is at least version 1.1.8

    • You can confirm the version number using Synaptic Package Manager and searching for wasta-cinnamon-xenial.

2. Run wasta-cinnamon-upgrade script

    • Terminal command:  sudo wasta-cinnamon-upgrade

This script will perform the following steps to upgrade Cinnamon to version 3.6 and also install Wasta-Layout:

    • Add the Cinnamon-3-6 software repository (PPA)

    • Upgrade wasta-cinnamon-xenial

    • Install wasta-cinnamon-layout-3-6

    • Perform a 'dist-upgrade' in order to install the newest version of Cinnamon and ensure all system updates are done.

Questions or comments?

Leave any questions or comments on the Wasta-Linux Users Forum should you need any help.