Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 16:49

 (BlankOn Uluwatu with start menu and settings sidebar opened and Nautilus File Manager running on the middle)

BlankOn is a GNU/Linux system developed by YPLI group from Indonesia with its own desktop environment called Manokwari. Its latest release is XI under the name Uluwatu. However, this desktop system is not too well known in international community, although I've also been reviewed it in 2017, so I think it's my chance to present you how it looks like and what's inside of it you could try. Enjoy!

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About BlankOn

  • Current version: 11
  • Current codename: Uluwatu
  • Release date: 2018 
  • Architecture: 64-bit only
  • Derived from: Debian Stretch
  • Package manager: APT
  • Package format: DEB
  • Desktop environment: Manokwari
  • File manager: Nautilus
  • Developer: YPLI
  • Website:


Uluwatu is a place in Bali island, Indonesia. It is the eleventh codename released 2018 after Tambora, or BlankOn X, released 2017. Since this release BlankOn available only as 64-bit version.

(Detailed technical info about Uluwatu: Sources.list content, lsb_release and uname outputs)


Here's how BlankOn Uluwatu looks like. This desktop is called Manokwari. It's a typical MacOS-like interface but with left and right sidebars. Left sidebar appears when we click the "OI" start menu. Right sidebar, similar to Budgie Raven or Deepin Settings, appears when we touch the cursor to left edge of the screen. Technically, on Uluwatu, Manokwari included is version 1.0.20.

(A typical top panel and bottom dock desktop)

Some characteristics of it:
  • Tooltip bar, unique black additional panel under top panel when you hover the cursor to a running app.
  • Click running app = minimize.
  • Under start menu, right-click app > Add to Desktop =  add it to dock.
  • Drag app from dock to trash logo = remove it from dock.
  • No right-click on desktop.
  • No icons on wallpaper area.
  • No Super key to open start menu.

Theme and Icons

Built in ones are Bromo theme and Tebu-Flat icons set. Bromo, however, is actually a name of a volcano in East Java, Indonesia, and tebu is simply Indonesian for sugarcane. Apparently, Uluwatu includes GNOME Tweaks as its theme configuration tool. This means we can customize Manokwari desktop to use a lot of GTK3+ themes available online.

(An overview of several icons within Tebu Flat icon theme)

(Tweak Tool showing Bromo and Tebu-Flat icons enabled on Uluwatu desktop)


Portable application format for GNU/Linux, known as AppImage, runs very very well on BlankOn Uluwatu even in LiveCD mode under only 2GB RAM. If you didn't know, AppImage is similar to DMG on MacOS or EXE on Windows, in terms of applications running without installation. See below for example, I can run 3 different applications quickly by just double-clicking 3 .appimage files: Kdenlive Video Editor, Krita Digital Painter, and Peek Desktop Recorder. See also tooltip bar under top panel, it reads correctly logos and names of the three programs. This means you can work well with AppImages* on BlankOn XI.

(Left: Krita, middle: Peek, right: Kdenlive, bottom: Nautilus showing all AppImage files of those programs; top: hovered cursor shows the long tooltip bar)

*) Hundreds more AppImages like LibreOffice and GIMP are available at Probono's AppImageHub

Flatpak Support

One among biggest changes in BlankOn in this release is obviously Flatpak inclusion. If you didn't know, Flatpak is new way to install latest apps for GNU/Linux users across different distros. Since BlankOn includes GNOME Software Center by default along with Flatpak support, you can install, easily, thousands apps from BlankOn's repository and hundreds more latest apps from Flathub. However, Flatpak runtime included is version 0.10.4.

 (Firefox showing Flathub website and Software Center is ready to INSTALL GNU Octave mathematical simulator)

Download BlankOn

You can download ISO Images of Uluwatu at BlankOn CDimage server.

People's Posts About Uluwatu

Here's list of several interesting documents around Uluwatu, developers, and users we can find online.  However, they are all in Indonesian.

(Official release information of BlankOn Uluwatu)

Interested to Join the Development?

BlankOn Development is centered at its wiki. BlankOn Project uses Indonesian language in entire of its wiki and discussions. But you can contact them in English below:


My Commentary

I really like the yellow wallpaper in this release. The icon theme is great. And I just realized when writing this post that single-click on app minimizes it on Manokwari. I like that. Perhaps I dislike some features, like no Super key to open the menu, but right-panel is responsive, I don't need to click anything(unlike Raven) nor push it hard (unlike Deepin's panel). What impressed me more are the fact that AppImages run smoothly here and it includes Flatpak support built-it. Finally, I hope everybody could try BlankOn Uluwatu and give me thoughts about it. And we all waiting for next Blankon. Enjoy!   

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.