The Solus project is proud to announce the availability of Solus 1.2.1, delivered in the form of our main edition, which provides an unrivaled Budgie experience, as well as a new and welcomed addition to the Solus family, Solus 1.2.1 MATE edition. While Solus 1.2.1 is the first release to have a new addition, it is also the last of our traditional releases as we shift towards the ISO snapshot model, which better reflects our agility and iteration speed.
Solus 1.2.1 is the first place to experience the latest Budgie 10.2.8, which introduces a multitude of new features and fixes! Budgie 10.2.8 ships on our primary ISO, alongside a fresh set of artwork graciously provided by Twisted Pixels Photography.
Budgie 10.2.8 delivers IBUS (Intelligent Input Bus) support to enable multi-lingual input, most commonly leveraged by Asian input method editors. This will enable Budgie to be accessible to a broader set of our user base across a broader set of languages.
Budgie 10.2.8 introduces a new Budgie applet for use via the Budgie panel, called the Places Indicator Applet. The Places Indicator Applet not only enables quick access to a User’s Documents, Downloads, Music, etc. but the ability to open, mount, and unmount removable media and network shares.
The design of our On-Screen Displays for Brightness and Sound have received improvements to design, making them more spacious and increasing the size of the iconography.
We have introduced a volume popover for the volume applet. While this may initially appear redundant, it is important to remember that Budgie is interacted in several different ways. While mouse users can scroll on the applet to adjust the volume, this isn’t always easy, nor is it always intuitive or discoverable, when using a touchpad.
Another issue that arose post-10.2.7 was the “indicator-like” volume applet had no function. Therefore to increase consistency and usability, we provide a popover widget when left clicking the volume icon, with an adjustment scale and buttons similar to those found in media players, to make it very simple to control the system volume on the current stream.
Alongside all the goodies above, a plethora of bug fixes and other improvements have been made, such as:
We’re really happy to be introducing MATE into the Solus family, providing a stellar out-of-the-box and a dedicated “Solus 1.2.1 MATE” ISO. MATE receives the same treatment under Solus as our primary Budgie experience, such as proper integration, statelessness and sane defaults. Our MATE edition delivers a unique yet familiar traditional experience and even ships with exclusive artwork provided by Marius Nestor.
First off, the MATE Project is another forward-thinking endeavor with a fantastic community-based upstream. In MATE 1.16, which ships on our Mate edition, we’re able to leverage the work they’ve done to provide a GTK3-based experience.
Secondly, providing MATE enables our more advanced users to create an environment with more granularity. MATE is also a great choice for those with resource-constrained hardware, as specific aspects of MATE, such as its window manager marco, are lighter than Mutter.
Integration into Solus is key when we’re delivering software and MATE is no exception. Out-of-the-box, the MATE Control Center properly integrates with our hardware tool, DoFlicky, as well as our Software Center.
Our MATE experience ships with a custom, distro-agnostic notification theme, aptly named mate-notification-theme-solus, that is designed to be clean, modern, familiar to our existing users; identical to the Arc-styled Budgie Desktop notifications.
One of the ongoing development goals of Solus is to achieve a completely stateless system, as per the Clear Linux project. The idea is to ensure a complete and clean separation between the operating system, data, and configuration.
To enable this, we’re ensuring our packages will all have “sane defaults”, and operate in the absence of user configuration. As an example of this, we’ve recently altered our lightdm package to ship all of its configuration in vendor directories, allowing it, and the greeter, to operate without any files in /etc/, using our sane defaults. Thus, the user is free to make minor alterations without fear of breaking the upstream configuration. As an added benefit, this complete separation makes updates much more fluid, because there is no conflicting configuration files to deal with, merge with or mend.
A side effect of a fully stateless system, is that the user can simply purge all of their own administrative configuration changes to perform a factory reset. Not all packages are stateless yet in Solus, but it’s an ongoing goal that we’re committed to delivering to ensure problem free upgrades and maintainence of Solus systems.
Logical Volume Manager (LVM) and encryption via LUKS are now a mere couple clicks away in the new Installer. This is a great addition for businesses that enforce an encryption policy, the privacy conscious, or simply those that don’t want their large collections of I Can Haz Cheezeburger cat photos to be at risk in the event of theft. After enabling encryption, you will be prompted to provide your passphrase during boot and prior to the login screen, to perform decryption.
Aside from landing encryption and LVM support, we’ve landed a multitude of other improvements, such as:
The Software Center saw numerous improvements for the Solus 1.2.1. For starters, upon launching the Software Center, you will now automatically receive the latest index of the repository.
The Software Center has also received an updates checker that notifies you on available updates. The Solus Update Checker runs in the background and will check for updates to your system. We offer granular control over if / when the update checker runs. Alongside the ability to disable the checker, we also provide the following options:
You can now install a wider variety of software from our Third Party repository via the Software Center, namely:
Under the hood, Solus ships with the latest stable kernel, 4.8.2. We have also put effort into hardware enablement between 220.127.116.11 and 1.2.1, such as:
Edit: This post was edited on October 21st, to acknowledge that this is preliminary support for a specification, and that the drivers, and Solus, have not undergone official testing required to be OpenGL 4.5 compatible.
We welcome you to download Solus 1.2.1 via our dedicated Download page and give it a shot!