As you may know, Mark Shuttleworth’s goal is to create the first convergent system, and Unity 8 and Mir are two important pieces, in achieving this.
Unity 8 and Mir are used by default on Ubuntu Touch, the mobile version of Ubuntu, and Ubuntu Desktop Next, a flavor created to test the latest features, before they get used on the regular versions of the system.
Recently, Canonical has created a special PPA that permits everybody to install and test Unity 8 and Mir, on the newest Ubuntu versions: Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf, Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet, Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn and Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr.
So, to install Unity 8 and Mir on your Ubuntu system, do the following:
$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:unity8-desktop-session-team/unity8-preview-lxc
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
$ sudo apt-get install unity8-lxc
$ sudo unity8-lxc-setup
This installation is done via LXC, which is a virtualization environment. Basically, the unity8-lxc package installs the entire Ubuntu Next OS, permitting the users to choose it as default, via the LightDM greeter.
For more information about this, see the official wiki.
This is pretty much it. There are only a few things that need to be mentioned. A slightly modified LightDM version will be installed, and it will take a while until the process is completed. Also, a restart is required.
Please check the official wiki for more details about this process.
As it turns out, this simple installation procedure has been available for quite some time, but it wasn’t properly announced, and very few people knew about it, mostly developers did. Fortunately, there is a very helpful wiki in place if you want more details about it, but we can summarize the procedure right here. It should work like a charm, no matter what Ubuntu system you are running (as long it’s still supported).