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Ubuntu Welcome Screen


Hardy, as an LTS, should really have a way to present basic functionalities to new users. Incorporating a "Welcome to Ubuntu" window at first startup could be an interesting option, for it would enhance the feel of an integrated environment and increase the visual appeal of the distro.

Release Note

The new user, booting Ubuntu for the first time, is greeted by a visually attractive window, presenting big icons and short explanatory text. This window contains links to help pages, shortcuts for Compiz, screencasts and other demos of how to use Ubuntu. This window could be re-opened once closed by an entry in the Accessories menu, or in Preferences.

The end user feels more at home than if he's launched alone in the wild, having to discover features by himself. Instead, short introductory videos show him how to use Tracker, Compiz, the panels, etc...


For a really good end-user experience, Ubuntu needs to be as easy to use as possible. A window explaining how to do some really basic things could eliminate the need to dive into menus and applets, and greatly reduce the learning curve.

Use Cases

John is new to Ubuntu. He wants to learn more from his Live CD on the basic manipulations.

Miranda is an IT manager. She needs to explain to her employees how to use Ubuntu. She saves time by showing them the window.


The Screencasts on Ubuntu Hardy spec should be incorported in order to give materials to this window, as the About Ubuntu spec.


Window design

The window should be half the screen size, with a banner on the top incorporating Ubuntu branding. Four or five icons should be displayed immediatly under the banner, at a huge size (64x64 seems good, maybe smaller). This icons would play as tabs. First of all: an About Ubuntu icon, giving access to the same-named window (see Hardy specs). A huge Ubuntu logo, or a nice computer icon should do the trick.

Secondly, an icon leading to screencasts (what icon to use?), allowing the user to play directly in the window (or outside with Totem?) some screencasts explaining the basics.

Third, a help icon, opening simply the help browser to its default page.

Finally, a shortcuts icon, allowing in a interactive way to use keybord to use Compiz, explain about the middle-mouse-button copy/paste, etc...

Maybe an icon for Windows-switchers, explaining that defrag is not mandatory anymore, etc...


A brown wave with orange highlights crosses the window from the top right corner to the bottom left. Then, the four or five icons/tabs fall from the banner and bounce one or two times (see Cairo-dock for animations with svg's?), then are highlighted one after another. Text fades in as the mouse pointer hovers them.


Using what THIS guy has done for the window animation

UI Changes

Should cover changes required to the UI, or specific UI that is required to implement this

Code Changes

Code changes should include an overview of what needs to change, and in some cases even the specific details.



  • data migration, if any
  • redirects from old URLs to new ones, if any
  • how users will be pointed to the new way of doing things, if necessary.

Test/Demo Plan

It's important that we are able to test new features, and demonstrate them to users. Use this section to describe a short plan that anybody can follow that demonstrates the feature is working. This can then be used during CD testing, and to show off after release.

This need not be added or completed until the specification is nearing beta.

Outstanding Issues

This should highlight any issues that should be addressed in further specifications, and not problems with the specification itself; since any specification with problems cannot be approved.

BoF agenda and discussion

Use this section to take notes during the BoF; if you keep it in the approved spec, use it for summarising what was discussed and note any options that were rejected.


UbuntuWelcomeScreen (last edited 2008-08-06 16:38:49 by localhost)