Regolith Linux is not your typical Linux distribution. It sits somewhere between a distribution and a desktop environment as it is based on Ubuntu. And unlike most typical Linux distributions, Regolith does not need to be installed as a separate operating system. If you are already using Ubuntu as your operating system, you can install Regolith on top of it for a preconfigured i3 experience.
Why Regolith Linux?
Regolith allows you to set up the i3 window manager quickly and easily while enjoying all the benefits that Ubuntu and GNOME have to offer.
If you installed i3 manually, you would have to configure everything yourself. This can take some time depending on what you are trying to accomplish with it. Even then, this does not guarantee that you will be able to use GNOME applications and tools in conjunction with i3.
Regolith, however, is built in such a way that you don’t have to edit or modify anything to use it, while allowing you to use whatever GNOME application you use with standard Ubuntu.
Installing Regolith on Ubuntu
All you need to install Regolith is Ubuntu, a working internet connection, and the terminal.
First, add the Regolith repository in the form of a Personal Package Archive (PPA) by opening a terminal and typing the following command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:regolith-linux/release
This will permanently add the repository to your system so that you can install and update Regolith at any time.
You are now ready to install Regolith. However, it is important to note that the installation of Regolith depends on whether you are using a desktop or laptop.
On a desktop, you need the standard installation. Install this version with the following command:
sudo apt install regolith-desktop-standard
For laptops, you will need to install the mobile version:
sudo apt install regolith-desktop-mobile
The installation will continue as if you were installing any other software on Ubuntu. You will need to restart your computer to complete the installation.
After your computer has rebooted and you are at the Ubuntu login screen, open the gears menu by clicking the little gear to switch to Regolith.
After opening the menu, you will see an option for Regolith. Select it and log in as you normally would.
After logging in, you will be greeted with your new Regolith Linux installation!
Switching Back to Default Ubuntu
If for some reason you want to go back to GNOME, go back to the login screen and open the gears menu again. This time, just choose the Ubuntu option instead of Regolith. Once you are logged in, your system will revert to GNOME with everything it was in before Regolith was installed.
However, if you find that you don’t like Regolith and want to completely uninstall it, you should reverse the installation steps.
First log out of Regolith and switch to the standard Ubuntu session, then open a terminal and run the following command:
sudo apt purge regolith-desktop && sudo apt autoremove
This will uninstall Regolith and remove all associated files. You’ll also want to remove the PPA from your system:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:regolith-linux/release
Once done, you can safely delete the last remaining regolith directory:
rm -rf ~/.config/regolith
Now you can go back to the standard Ubuntu environment as if nothing has changed.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it possible to install Regolith Linux without installing Ubuntu first?
Yes sir. If you visit the official website for Regolith Linux, you can download the .iso version of Regolith and install it like any other Linux distribution.
2. Can I customize how Regolith looks?
Although Regolith is preconfigured by default, there are still many things you can customize. See the official documentation for customization instructions.
3. Does Regolith work with other Linux distributions?
No. Regolith uses Ubuntu as a base and requires Ubuntu and GNOME to be installed in order to use them as a framework.
Regolith offers an easy way to test a preconfigured version of an i3 window manager from the comfort of your Ubuntu system.