Features

The Lumina® desktop is designed to be fast, easy to customize, flexible, require few resources and work in many different environments. Lumina® should work just as well in multi-monitor configurations as it does on single-screen laptops or tablets.

Lumina is also designed to require fewer dependencies than most other desktop environments. The Lumina® desktop does not require PolicyKit, HAL or systemd, for example. This makes Lumina® very portable and the desktop can be run on most flavors of BSD and GNU/Linux.

End-User Features
  • Easily customized/personalized appearance
    • Change wallpaper image for each monitor or set lists of wallpapers to rotate between (with a defined time between rotations).
    • Switch theme or color scheme by selecting from the pre-defined list.
    • Quickly customize a theme or color scheme by using the editors which are built-in to the Lumina® configuration utility.
    • Quickly select from any of the installed icon theme packs.
    • Instantly change the font/size to be used for the entire desktop
  • Easily open system files with various applications
    • Provides the “lumina-open” command-line utility for opening files and directories (the counterpart to the “xdg-open” utility for applications to open files/dirs in a cross-desktop fashion).
    • Will check if a default application has been registered for that particular type of file (based on XDG mimetypes), and instantly use it if available.
    • If no default is found (or if the registered default is no longer installed), prompt the user to select one of the applications installed on the system (with recommendations for that particular type of file).
    • Allow the user to simply set a checkbox in this selection dialog for automatically registering that application as the new default.
  • Fully configurable interface
    • Absolutely everything can be changed using the built-in plugin system and the simple-to-use configuration utility.
      • Right-click context menu for instant access.
      • Embedded desktop utilities for shortcuts or commonly-used functionality (notepads, calendars, etc).
      • Floating panel(s) for things that should always be visible
    • Support for loading custom QML scripts as desktop plugins.
    • Power-users can easily setup or change things like keyboard shortcuts and default applications through the configuration utility.
    • It is possible to (almost completely) reproduce the layout of other common desktop systems (both proprietary and open-source) in just a couple minutes. No need to re-learn a completely new system if you are used to a specific type of interface!
    • Make your system interface as busy or as minimalist as you like!

View some sample screenshots

  • Extremely Lightweight
    • Can be used on systems with 1GB of memory (Lumina® typically uses less than 150MB of memory)
    • Multi-core CPU utilization
    • Fast and responsive – designed to help users get things done instead of getting in the way.
  • Multi-Monitor Support
    • Each monitor is treated independently from the others (for wallpaper, interface, etc)
    • Additional monitors may be quickly added/removed using the small lumina-xconfig utility (graphical front-end to xrandr). This is great for people who need to give presentations on a temporary screen!
  • Consistent Interface
    • On every login, Lumina® will compare your previous monitor resolution with the current monitor, and re-scale the interface as necessary to ensure a consistent appearance every time.
    • This is great for users who move their configuration between systems (such as a PC-BSD®/TrueOS® PersonaCrypt user), or somebody who changes their monitor(s).
    • Monitors of any resolution are supported (including 4K monitors). All the interface calculations are performed as percentages of the total screen size in each dimension – resulting in support for any resolution or aspect ratio.
  • Easily configure your system through the “System Dashboard” panel plugin
    • Change your screen brightness (if supported by your OS and monitor).
    • Change your audio volume
    • View your battery status (if you have one). Also provide unobtrusive warning about low battery power (plugin will occasionally flash the “low-battery” icon when below 15% or constantly show the “no-power” icon when below 5%)
    • Switch to other virtual workspaces
    • Switch to a different system locale (version 0.8.6+, requires the translation files for Lumina® to be installed)
    • Show the “Log Out” options (close session, restart/shutdown computer, lock screen, suspend system)
Additional Desktop Utilities/Features
  • Insight File Manager (the “lumina-fm” binary)
    • Full file browsing/modification utility (view/cut/copy/paste/rename/delete/run/etc…)
    • Open multiple directories in different tabs
    • View items as a detailed list, basic list, or icons.
    • View directory statistics (number of files/directories, size on disk, filesystem capacity)
    • Set/use bookmarks for commonly-used directories
    • Add items to your personal favorites (for quick access in the desktop interface itself)
    • If ZFS snapshots are available of the current directory, provide a “time-slider” ability to view and restore files or directories from those snapshots.
    • If supported by the OS, provide links to currently-mounted devices.
    • If there are images in the directory, allow the user to view them in a slideshow (with remove/rotation capabilities).
    • If there are multimedia files in the directory, allow the user to play them directly from the file manager.
  • Search Capabilities (through the “lumina-search” utility)
    • Quickly find and launch applications/files based on name or extension
    • Excluded directories may be quickly set up (permanent or temporary), increasing the speed of common searches
    • On-Demand Search: No background daemon eating up memory when you are not using it.
    • When installed, has shortcuts in the “User Button” panel plugin for starting a search in a particular directory – allowing the user to quickly focus their search parameters.
    • Tied to the “Alt-F2” keyboard shortcut by default
    • Also available in the “Utilities” application category.
  • Snapshot Capabilities (through the “lumina-screenshot” utility)
    • Instantly take a screenshot of the entire session, or quickly refine the parameters to focus on a particular window.
    • Set a delay in the snapshot, allowing the user to open menus or other temporary windows before the snapshot is taken.
    • Tied to the “Print Screen” key by default.
    • Also available in the “Utilities” application category.
  • View File Properties (through the “lumina-fileinfo” utility)
    • General Info: file size, owner/group, current permissions, dates created and last modified, associated mimetype.
    • If an application shortcut (“.desktop” extension), also provide a simple shortcut editor:
      • Name, Icon, Comment
      • Command to execute
      • Set/change working directory
      • Enable startup notification or run it within a terminal
    • If installed, then shortcuts are provided to open any file shown on the desktop within this utility.
Distribution/Packaging Features
  • Available under the 3-clause BSD license
  • Designed for TrueOS® and specifically targeted at the BSD community at large (although it is easily ported to any Unix-like OS, including Linux distributions).
  • Does not try to replace OS functionality – instead it uses a simple OS compatibility class for particular functionality that the desktop may need but the OS actually performs/manages.
  • Very small list of dependencies (various Qt5 modules, Fluxbox, and some small X11/XCB libraries).
  • Does not require any of the commonly-used Linux desktop standardization frameworks (DBUS, policykit, consolekit, systemd, HALD, etc..).
  • Does not come bundled with any “end-user” applications (web browsers, email clients, multimedia software, office suites, etc..). The only other utilities that Lumina brings to the table by default are the ones listed above, which are written specifically for the project and are generally for background/utilitarian functionality (and which require no additional dependencies).
    • This allows the distributor of the OS to decide which applications are pre-installed for their particular distribution, rather than forcing large and unnecessary dependency chains on both the distributor and end-user.
  • Simple text-based configuration file for setting system-wide defaults for new users. This allows distributors of the desktop to easily pre-set the system defaults/interface so it “just works” for the end user.

NOTE FOR DEVELOPERS: The Lumina desktop environment is not an application development toolkit/framework – it is only a system interface. If you want to create applications for users of the Lumina® desktop, simply create/install the registration file(s) for your application according to the XDG/FreeDesktop standards (the desktop entry, menu, and autostart specifications in particular – depending on the needs of your application). If you wish to reduce the number of additional dependencies for your application on a Lumina® system, simply write it using the Qt5 graphical toolkit and not the KDE-based variant/offshoot of Qt.