I have a Lenovo x61 tablet PC running Ubuntu 10.04. I've got Karol Krizka's auto-rotate daemon working, along with a variety of other applications like cellwriter, though for some reason even when it's working properly, it needed a fix for me. There's a host of other applications I use such as

  • xournal, for general notetaking
  • mypaint, for drawing
  • easystroke, for gesture recognition

probably others that I forget at the moment...

But I was wondering if there are any good tablet-oriented desktop environments for Ubuntu?


There really isn't any out there currently - but what you may want to install is the new UNE (Ubuntu Netbox Edition) which provides the new launcher application on the destkop itself. Should make using a tablet a lot more effective.

To get this to work you'll need to add this [ppa]: ppa:netbook-remix-team/ppa to your system and install the relavant packages. It took me quite some time to hunt down this repository for some reason. I believe you'll then want to execute sudo apt-get install unity ubuntu-netbook-unity-default-settings and any other packages listed.

  • 1
    It is also worth to watch the talk held by Mark Shuttleworth at Debconf 10: penta.debconf.org/dc10_schedule/events/531.en.html
    – qbi
    Aug 10 '10 at 20:56
  • You can also go to application > ubuntu software center and search for ubuntu-netbook and install it that way (I couldn't get the ppa to work) Sep 10 '10 at 20:46
  • Thank you for the update Wayne - it appears that repository is used for the "preview" release, since 10.04 the official release is packaged as ubuntu-netbook
    – Marco Ceppi
    Sep 10 '10 at 22:23

gnome-shell looks like it's going to be a serious contender for tablet interfaces. Other than that, I'd try out the various netbook-orientated environments like Ubuntu Netbook Edition.

To test out gnome-shell I recommend not using the repo version which is a very long way behind the current development version and instead use a PPA like so:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ricotz/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

To use it just fire off:

gnome-shell --replace

To turn it off:

metacity --replace

To remove it:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge -p testing ricotz

For a touch interface, you could use LXDE + lxlauncher or the GNOME + netbook-launcher (the launcher from the current (10.04) netbook edition).

To add to your applications list you could use fennec, a touch oriented browser. Also look here for a list of applications bundled with a touch oriented OS (most, but not all, will be available for Ubuntu).


The new ubuntu touch ui is well supported on the tablet . But it is not completed yet

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