By Josh Smith
A few weeks ago I sat down with Lead Developer Ken Moore of the TrueOS Project to get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Lumina Desktop from the open source community. Here is what he said on Lumina Desktop 2.0. Do you have a question for Ken and the rest of the team over at the TrueOS Project? Make sure to read the interview and comment below. We are glad to answer your questions!
Ken: Lumina Desktop 2.0 is a significant overhaul compared to Lumina 1.x. Almost every single subsystem of the desktop has been streamlined, resulting in a nearly-total conversion in many important areas.
With Lumina Desktop 2.0 we will finally achieve our long-term goal of turning Lumina into a complete, end-to-end management system for the graphical session and removing all the current runtime dependencies from Lumina 1.x (Fluxbox, xscreensaver, compton/xcompmgr). The functionality from those utilities is now provided by Lumina Desktop itself.
Going along with the session management changes, we have compressed the entire desktop into a single, multi-threaded binary. This means that if any rogue script or tool starts trying to muck about with the memory used by the desktop (probably even more relevant now than when we started working on this), the entire desktop session will close/crash rather than allowing targeted application crashes to bypass the session security mechanisms. By the same token, this also prevents “man-in-the-middle” type of attacks because the desktop does not use any sort of external messaging system to communicate (looking at you `dbus`). This also gives a large performance boost to Lumina Desktop
The entire system for how a user’s settings get saved and loaded has been completely redone, making it a “layered” settings system which allows the default settings (Lumina) to get transparently replaced by system settings (OS/Distributor/SysAdmin) which can get replaced by individual user settings. This results in the actual changes in the user setting files to be kept to a minimum and allows for a smooth transition between updates to the OS or Desktop. This also provides the ability to “restrict” a user’s desktop session (based on a system config file) to the default system settings and read-only user sessions for certain business applications.
The entire graphical interface has been written in QML in order to fully-utilize hardware-based GPU acceleration with OpenGL while the backend logic and management systems are still written entirely in C++. This results in blazing fast performance on the backend systems (myriad multi-threaded C++ objects) as well as a smooth and responsive graphical interface with all the bells and whistles (drag and drop, compositing, shading, etc).
Reprinted with permission from iXsystems.