First Experience with new Pos_OS! cosmic desktop

The rust Pop_OS! cosmic desktop app written in Rust by the team an system 76 is currently in pre alpha but you can test it out. It’s probably not ready to use as your daily driver at present. Many thanks to Levi Portenier for his help via the Mattermost chat to allow me to get started with this.


make sure your system is up to date using the command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Enable Wayland by editing the /etc/gdm3/custom.conf and place a ‘#’ at the beginning of the line that reads WaylandEnable=false. Log out and select your username there should be a cog in the bottom right corner of the password entry page clicking on that should give the option for Pop on Wayland at the time I tested this it was not very stable and the tiled desktop did not work.

Once wayland has been enabled you can install the desktop from the standard repos using the command:

sudo apt install cosmic*

Log out and click on your user name, the cog on bottom right of the password entry screen now has a COSMIC option. Select that and enter your password.

At the time of writing there’s no dock available, the initial screen is quite minimal. At present keyboard control is required. Here are the shortcut I found (or was pointed to by Levi).

Keyboard shortcuts

Super + / – Open the launcher and to run an application by typing it’s name

Super + A – Open the App Library

Super + B – Open the default browser

Super + F – Open the file Manager

Super + G – In Tiled mode (see Super + Y) pop the current window out of the tiled framework. I could not see any way to send the window to the background at present, even when the background window is active.

Super + H – Move workspace to the left

Super + J – When windows are tiled vertically (see Super + O) move to the window above

Super + K – When windows are tiled vertically (see Super + O) move to the window below

Super + L – Move workspace to the right

Super + M – Toggle Maximise the current window

Super + O – Toggle horizontal or vertical tiling

Super + Q – Close the current window

Super + T – Open a terminal

Super + W – Display workspaces

Super + Y – Toggle tiled window

Clicking on the Power button displays a menu from there you can log out, power off and access the Cosmic Settings app (this is still in very early development so options are limited). There does not appear to be any way to adjust the resolution of the screen. I tested this in a VM and could not see any way to make the screen larger than 1024 x 768. According to Levi, this can be configured in /etc/cosmic-comp/config.ron but the default version does not contain any settings for resolution. The standard Gnome Settings app is still available from the application library but as you would expect the settings are not applied to the COSMIC desktop.

The window chrome does not have a maximise button – you can maximise by double clicking on the title bar. However maximised at present seems to cover the top bar.

The default keyboard layout seems to English US. I could not see a way to change this.

Salt Configuration Management Cheat sheet

Delete a user:

sudo salt ‘minion-name’ user.delete username remove=True force=True

Test states:

sudo salt ‘minion-name’ state.test

Useful master configuration

sudo vim /etc/salt/master.d/state-verbose.conf

state_verbose: False

sudo vim /etc/salt/master.d/timeout.conf

timeout: 15


Run minion in debug mode

sudo systemctl stop salt-minion

sudo salt-minion -l debug

Can’t perform a sudo salt ‘minion-name’

Log on to minion and set to run in debug if no communication from master check the value of `source address` in /etc/salt/minion.d/base.conf

Upgrading to Onedir (on Ubuntu)

Salt classic is being retired – it will not longer be packaged after version 3005. Onedir (which packages everything, including python, required to run salt in one directory) is the future. To upgrade a new gpg key is required.