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Sunsetting theShell

· 3 min read
Victor Tran

After 7 years, it's finally time to say goodbye to theShell.

A bit of history

theShell started as a project back in 2016 when I was in high school, and as I was discovering how to write code for Linux using Qt and C++. It was theShell that taught me how desktop Linux worked behind the scenes, and set the foundations for all of my future Linux desktop projects - theDesk, theBeat (and the rest of the software suite)

Unfortunately, as all first projects are, the code quality of theShell was not up to scratch, and hard to maintain. Adding features kept getting harder, and the performance of theShell noticably tanked the more I added to it. As a result, I started working on a completely new desktop environment in 2020 - theDesk.

Now that theDesk is finally released, it's time to close the curtains on theShell and look forward with theDesk.

What this means for theShell

theShell will not receive any more functional or security updates. The source code of theShell will remain available, as always, on GitHub, but it will be archived.

The way forward

If you've been using theShell, now is a great time to move over to theDesk - it's been designed for theShell users to feel right at home, whilst being more stable and easier to maintain.

Victor :)

The Status Center in theShell 2.0 (2016)
Notifications in theShell 2.0 (2016)
The Bar in theShell 2.0 (2016)
theShell documentation from 2016
A screenshot of theShell 6.0, taken in April 2017
System Settings in theShell 6.0 (2017)
The status bar, introduced in theShell 6.0
The power off sequence from 2017
Initial setup welcome animation from theShell 8.0 (2018)
The status center in theShell 8 (from 2018)
The light theme in theShell 8 (from 2018)
Wind animation from theShell Blueprint that was never released