Introduction

The Regolith Desktop Environment #

Productivity First #

Regolith runs i3: a popular, fast, and configurable tiling window manager which is great for fast keyboard-driven workflows. Regolith integrates i3 with other desktop components such as i3bar, rofication, gnome-flashback, and ilia to provide a complete desktop interface.

GNOME System Management #

By providing a gnome session with gnome-flashback, Regolith sidesteps much of the complexity of a typical gnome-shell based environment while providing simple and consistent system management capabilities.


Get Regolith 2.1 #

Regolith can be installed as system packages. This makes updating and removing easier and more consistent. The following steps (also available as a downloadable script) describe how to configure your system to read packages from the Regolith package repository and install the desktop package.

  1. Register the Regolith public key to your local apt:

    wget -qO - https://regolith-desktop.org/regolith.key | \
    gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/regolith-archive-keyring.gpg > /dev/null
    
  2. Add the repository URL to your local apt:

    echo deb "[arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/regolith-archive-keyring.gpg] \
    https://regolith-desktop.org/release-ubuntu-jammy-amd64 jammy main" | \
    sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/regolith.list
    
Substitute arm64 for amd64 in the two places in the above line to install on ARM-based systems.
  1. Update apt and install Regolith

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install regolith-desktop
    sudo apt upgrade
    
The regolith-desktop package installs a reasonable minimal configuration that should work on most hardware. To add additional package for a richer and more functional environment read Recommended Packages for New Users.
  1. System Restart

The login manager will need to be restarted for the new desktop session to be recognized. The easiest way of restarting it is to reboot your system.

The Regolith Desktop is very different from common desktop environments. By default it does not use docks, icon folders, or global drop-down menus. See the Getting Started guide for important details.

Regolith can be installed as system packages. This makes updating and removing easier and more consistent. The following steps (also available as a downloadable script) describe how to configure your system to read packages from the Regolith package repository and install the desktop package.

  1. Register the Regolith public key to your local apt:

    wget -qO - https://regolith-desktop.org/regolith.key | sudo apt-key add -
    
  2. Add the repository URL to your local apt:

    echo deb "[arch=amd64] https://regolith-desktop.org/release-ubuntu-focal-amd64 focal main" | \
    sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/regolith.list
    
Substitute arm64 for amd64 in the two places in the above line to install on ARM-based systems.
  1. Update apt and install Regolith

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install regolith-desktop
    sudo apt upgrade
    
The regolith-desktop package installs a reasonable minimal configuration that should work on most hardware. To add additional package for a richer and more functional environment read Recommended Packages for New Users.
  1. System Restart

The login manager will need to be restarted for the new desktop session to be recognized. The easiest way of restarting it is to reboot your system.

Regolith can be installed as system packages. This makes updating and removing easier and more consistent. The following steps (also available as a downloadable script) describe how to configure your system to read packages from the Regolith package repository and install the desktop package.

  1. Register the Regolith public key to your local apt:

    wget -qO - https://regolith-desktop.org/regolith.key | \
    gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/regolith-archive-keyring.gpg > /dev/null
    
  2. Add the repository URL to your local apt:

    echo deb "[arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/regolith-archive-keyring.gpg] \
    https://regolith-desktop.org/release-debian-bullseye-amd64 bullseye main" | \
    sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/regolith.list
    
Substitute arm64 for amd64 in the two places in the above line to install on ARM-based systems.
  1. Update apt and install Regolith

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install regolith-desktop
    sudo apt upgrade
    
The regolith-desktop package installs a reasonable minimal configuration that should work on most hardware. To add additional package for a richer and more functional environment read Recommended Packages for New Users.
  1. System Restart

The login manager will need to be restarted for the new desktop session to be recognized. The easiest way of restarting it is to reboot your system.

Regolith Linux is the Regolith Desktop environment installed into a customized Ubuntu 22.04 installer image. It allows one to boot from a USB drive to run Regolith without having to install it. It also allows to install the system onto a computer’s drive. Regolith Linux has the following features in addition to the Regolith Desktop:

  • Regolith-branded boot and login screens
  • Uses the lightdm display manager over gdm3 to avoid unneeded dependencies
  • The following packages are not installed: gdm3, gnome-shell, ubuntu-session, evolution-data-server, snapd. These packages may be installed as needed by the user.

The ISO comes in two forms, a “mini” ISO which includes a paired down experience and only includes the default look. The default ISO is somewhat bigger but includes built-in support for all official Looks and comes installed with a few more status indicators.

See the Regolith 2.1 release notes for more information.

The ISO can be written to a USB drive on Linux using dd, GNOME Disk Utility, or the KDE ISO Image Writer. On macOS, use Etcher. On Windows, use Rufus and write in DD mode.

To install Regolith 2 into an existing Ubuntu system that is upgrading to 22.04, follow these steps:

  1. Upgrade the system to all the latest packages on current release (either Ubuntu 20.04 or 21.10)

  2. Perform the Ubuntu system upgrade to 22.04, however DO NOT reboot as prompted until the following steps are completed

  3. After the 22.04 upgrade completes, add the Regolith 2 package repository:

    wget -qO - https://regolith-desktop.org/regolith.key | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/regolith-archive-keyring.gpg > /dev/null
    echo deb "[arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/regolith-archive-keyring.gpg] https://regolith-desktop.org/release-ubuntu-jammy-amd64 jammy main" | \
    sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/regolith.list
    sudo apt update
    
  4. Next install the Regolith 2 desktop package:

    sudo apt install regolith-desktop
    sudo apt dist-upgrade
    
The regolith-desktop package installs a reasonable minimal configuration that should work on most hardware. To add additional package for a richer and more functional environment read Recommended Packages for New Users.
  1. Now reboot the system and select the regolith session at the login screen

Custom configurations from Regolith 1.6 will need to be manually ported to Regolith 2. In order to make this upgrade simpler, Regolith 2 uses the user config directory of ~/.config/regolith2. It will not read files from the Regolith 1.x user config directory ~/.config/regolith. Please refer to the configuration page for more details.

Visual Tour #


Upon first login, an overlay (toggled anytime via super ?) presents the most important keybindings used with i3-wm.
For those that work in the terminal, pressing super enter is all it takes to get to business.
A single global app launcher is instantly available from anywhere to run your programs via super space.

Need more terminals? Create layouts on the fly by toggling between horizontal and vertical modes with super backspace followed by super enter. Navigate to windows positionally with super h j k l.
Toggle floating window mode with super F. Resize windows with super r and move them around with the mouse by pressing super.
Gnome Flashback provides consistent and simple system management. Tweak your UI, auto mount your USB drives, connect to wireless networks. Launch the control panel with super c.
Easily switch to Solarized or other looks with the regolith-look command. Because looks utilize the package manager, you only store theme resources that you’re using.
Got a lot going on? Quickly find the window you’re looking for via super ctrl space or navigate over workspaces with super [0 - 19].
Waste no space on frivolous UI and take advantage of every pixel without micro-managing your window layouts.
Desktop notifications do not compete for your attention, but rather can be managed via an on-screen dialog by pressing super n.

Interaction #

Discussion and Help #

Development #