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How To Try The Manokwari Desktop On Ubuntu

Manokwari is a replacement shell for Gnome on the Linux desktop. It takes a lot of the Gnome Shell technologies and organizes them into a neat, Windows-like user interface. While it’s not the first desktop environment to re-organize Gnome, it’s still worth checking out, if you’re searching for a new desktop to use on Ubuntu.

Ubuntu users have access to the Manokwari desktop environment thanks to a Launchpad PPA. The trouble is, this PPA isn’t ready to use on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and future releases. As it stands, only 16.04 LTS and 17.04 have support.

Some tinkering is necessary to get Manokwari working on modern systems. It’s possible to install the desktop on recent Ubuntu releases, with a few changes to the official software sources file.

Before We Begin

Getting Manowarki on modern versions of Ubuntu is easy, but potentially risky. That’s why it’s imperative you create a full backup of your original Ubuntu sources file. That way if problems arise, reverting the changes is easy.

To create a backup of your Ubuntu app sources, run the cp command in a terminal window.

sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list ~/Documents/sources.list.bak

Keep this file in your Documents folder on Ubuntu for safe keeping. Alternatively, consider taking this file and uploading it to Dropbox, Google Drive, or another online cloud storage system for safe keeping.

Restore the backup with:

sudo -s

rm /etc/apt/sources.list

mv /home/username/Documents/sources.list.bak  sources.list

mv /home/username/Documents/sources.list /etc/apt/

Add Manokwari PPA To Ubuntu

With the backup complete, the modification can begin. Start by adding “#Manokwari Shell” to the sources file. Adding this line will allow you to quickly identify where the  Manokwari software sources are in the sources file.

sudo -s
echo '#Manokwari Shell' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

echo ' ' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

After adding the Manokwari label to /etc/apt/sources.list, you’ll have to add the PPA to the sources file. To add it, return to the terminal window and execute the echo command.

Note: this PPA must be added to Ubuntu manually. Do not attempt to use the standard add-apt-repository command. Adding the PPA software source in this way allows the user to specify an older version of Ubuntu, which is essential to get Manokwari working on modern systems.

echo 'deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/dotovr/manokwari/ubuntu xenial main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

echo 'deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/dotovr/manokwari/ubuntu xenial main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

Finish up the Manokwari PPA setup process by manually adding in the PPA key to your Ubuntu PC.

apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com EF54E20E465FF80C

Add Ubuntu 16.04 Package Archive

The 16.04 version of the Manokwari PPA is working. The next step is to add in the official Ubuntu 16.04 package archive. Without this archive, Manokwari will not be able to install the necessary dependency files it needs, and the installation will fail.

echo ' ' >> /etc/apt/sources.list
echo '#Ubuntu 16.04 packages' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

echo ' ' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

echo 'deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ xenial main universe multiverse restricted' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

Now that all the necessary software sources are set up on Ubuntu, the modification process is complete. Finish up by running the update command.

apt update

Install Manokwari

To get Manokwari installed on Ubuntu, launch a terminal window. In the terminal, use the Apt package manager to get the desktop installed.

sudo apt install manokwari

For a complete experience, consider also installing the extra packages:

sudo apt install tebu-flat-icon-theme bromo-theme

Uninstalling Manokwari

Tried out Manokwari but not happy with it? Want to uninstall it! Here’s how! First, gain a root shell in a terminal window by executing the sudo -s command.

sudo -s

With root access, replace your sources.list file with the backup made at the beginning of the tutorial:

rm /etc/apt/sources.list

mv /home/username/Documents/sources.list.bak  sources.list

mv /home/username/Documents/sources.list /etc/apt/

Run an Ubuntu update to finalize the changes to sources.list.

apt update

Uninstall the Manokwari desktop environment from Ubuntu. Be sure to use the purge switch to delete all traces of it from your system.

apt remove manokwari --purge

Get rid of all dependencies on your Ubuntu PC by running the autoremove command.

apt autoremove

Finally, reboot your Linux PC. Upon reboot, Manokwari will be gone entirely from Ubuntu!

Log Into Manokwari

The Manokwari desktop environment borrows a lot from Gnome Shell, so there should be no issue logging into it with the standard Ubuntu login manager. Log out of your current session to return to the login manager. Locate the gear icon and select it to view available desktop environments.

In the desktop sessions list, select “Manokwari.” Then, choose your username, enter the password to your user account and press the Enter key to log in to Manokwari. To log out of the desktop, click the Ubuntu icon, then click the power button under settings.

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