There is a new light on the Ubuntu horizon, Revamp is a newly released distribution that aims to offer extremely rich graphical effects, and everything you would expect from a full featured desktop environment.
About Revamp Linux
Though this version of Revamp is still in the experimental stages I was very impressed by the stability, and the effects are mind-blowing. Revamp 12 is based on Ubuntu 11.10 and uses the full power of Compiz along with many plugins to add effects for even the smallest of desktop actions.
Revamp is also running on Deuce-Visage or Two Face, which means that you can login to the Revamp-Compiz desktop, or Gnome Shell.
You can begin your Revamp 12 installation by clicking the installer icon that sits on the desktop when using the live CD. First you can select the language you wish to use for the installer, or read the release notes.
Then you can go through the installation checklist and decide if you want to install third party software or download updates while installing. You can then setup you file system and partitions and begin installation.
You will also need to select your basic timezone settings, then add your username and password. You will then have a minute to sit back and enjoy the slideshow while you wait for the installation to finish.
Everyone has already seen and used Gnome Shell, so here I will focus on the new and customized Revamp-Compiz desktop environment. From the login screen you can choose which desktop environment you would like to use for each session.
The Revamp-Compiz desktop features a very simple interface, that is extremely rich in effects. You will have several desktop icons which you can use to launch files or applications.
More Desktop Features
On the right hand side of the desktop you will see several cool Screenlets which can be used to display information on your desktop. At the bottom of the screen is Cairo Dock which will contain all the items you need to interact with your system.
When using the new Revamp-Compiz desktop you can reach your main menu by clicking on the Revamp menu icon inside Cairo Dock. The main menu functions much like the Gnome Shell activities window, though it is a compressed version.
All of your application categories are listed at the top of the Revamp menu, you can select the category you want to see more related items. You can also find your user session options here, as well as all of your system tools.
Find Files And Folders
You can also find a places category where you will find shortcuts to several important locations on your system.
Cairo Dock is the only panel used on the Revamp-Compiz desktop. There are shortcuts to the Revamp menu, and there is a sub-dock that holds several system shortcuts. There are even a few useful application launchers and a shortcut to show the desktop.
There is also a launcher for your Screenlets settings manager, where you can launch or add extra desktop Screenlets. For convenience there are also system notification icons for the network manager, audio manager, and display manager.
Panel Weather Applet
A weather monitor applet has also been added to Cairo Dock, though it will need to be configured to display the local weather.
Synaptic package manager is the default method for installing software when using Revamp 12. To find Synaptic simply open the Revamp menu inside Cairo Dock, then click on the system tools tab and look for Synaptic package manager.
For anyone unfamiliar with Synaptic, it is very easy to use. You can install new software, update your system, or manage your repositories all from one easy to use interface. If Synaptic is not your friend you can always use the Ubuntu software center, the gdebi package installed, or Mintupdate.
Faster Software Updates
Apt-fast is also installed which is a script designed to speed up the apt-get tool using axel.
There are several ways to launch the default file manager which happens to be Nautilus, one of my favorites. You can simply double click on one of the folder or location icons that sit on the desktop, or you can look inside the places tab or the Revamp menu.
About Revamp And Nautilus
The Revamp menu places tab will hold many important locations on your system that you can quickly jump to. Nautilus is a wonderful file manager, the interface is quite simple, but highly customizable.
All of your favorite locations are stored inside the left hand panel, all of your file and folders will be displayed on the right. Nautilus also features tabbed folder browsing which is convenient.
Revamp 12 uses the same theme and wallpaper interface as you will find in Ubuntu 11.10. The default themes are not very spectacular, they are the same themes you have all seen a million times before.
But all of the fantastic effects made possible by Compiz easily make up for anything that is lacking. The wonderful part is that all of these effects are available by default, even on the live CD, no setup required.
More Desktop Customization
If you are not happy with the default themes, you can always install additional ones. Of course to change the look of the Cairo Dock you will have to refer to the Cairo Dock configuration window where you can also try several themes for your dock.
I was impressed by the decent selection of wallpapers Revamp 12 had to offer, there are several landscape and nature backgrounds to choose from. All of the available wallpapers are very high quality, I think Revamp needs a customized wallpaper displaying their cool logo of course.
But because this project is still in the relatively early stages it is probably good that they focused on the tech side first. As usual wallpaper options can be accessed simply by right clicking on the desktop background.
Everything is running on GTK3, but there are still a few proprietary software issues to work out in the coming releases. Revamp 12 introduces Openjdk to replace Sun Java, but there are still a few steps to go before Revamp 12 is completely open source.
Unfortunately this project has been dismantled so no links are available, sorry.