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Solus 4.1 Fortitude Released

January 25, 2020 in News and Releases
2020/01/Solus 4.1 Featured

We are proud to announce the immediate availability of Solus 4.1 Fortitude, a new Solus 4 series release. This release delivers a brand new desktop experience, updated software stacks, and hardware enablement.

General

Default Applications

All our editions feature:

  • Firefox 72.0.2
  • LibreOffice 6.3.4.2
  • Thunderbird 68.4.1

For audio and video multimedia playback, we offer software out-of-the-box that caters specifically to our desired experience for that edition.

  • Budgie, GNOME, and MATE editions all ship with Rhythmbox for audio playback, with the latest release of the Alternate Toolbar extension to provide a more modern user experience.
  • Budgie and GNOME ship with GNOME MPV for video playback.
  • MATE ships with VLC for video playback.
  • Plasma ships with Elisa for audio playback and SMPlayer for video playback.

Hardware and Kernel Enablement

This release of Solus ships with Linux kernel 5.4.12, enabling us to provide support for a wide range of new hardware from AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA, such as:

  • Newer AMD Radeon RX graphics cards, such as the 5700 and 5700XT.
  • Newer AMD Ryzen 3rd generation processors, such as the 3600 and 3900X.
  • Newer Intel Comet Lake and Ice Lake CPUs.
  • Newer NVIDIA GPUs such as RTX 2080Ti.

Mesa has been upgraded to the latest release, 19.3.2. Mesa 19.3 introduces OpenGL 4.6 support (for supported cards) and enables the new experimental ACO shader compiler, in addition to a wide variety of improvements for AMD APUs (Raven Ridge) and Intel Iris Pro Graphics.

Zstandard, Meet Solus

Solus 4.1 is the first ISO release to feature the use of Zstandard(zstd) compression for the SquashFS images. Compared to the XZ compressed ISOs from previous releases, the ztsd compressed size is a little bit larger. But as a result, the decompression times are significantly improved (3-4x), leading to a much faster installation process than ever previously achieved. In most cases, you can expect to spend more time filling out the questions in the installation wizard than it will actually take to copy everything to disk. We hope you are just as surprised as we were at just how fast this process has become.

Multimedia Upgrades

This release ships with ffmpeg 4.2.2, the latest in the 4.2 series. This release has enabled us to deliver faster AV1 decoding by making dav1d the preferred ffmpeg AV1 decoder.

Solus ships with the latest release of gstreamer, 1.16.2. This release features numerous bug fixes such as:

  • CineForm video support in AVI
  • VAAPI H265 decoder fixes
  • VP9 decoding fixes
  • Various MPEG-TS and RTSP fixes

Other libraries have seen minor updates as well, such as:

  • libogg has been updated to 1.3.4 and features faster slice-by-8 CRC32 implementation.
  • libpng now has SSE3 optimizations to increase decode performance, as much as 41% depending on image size and type.
  • libvdpau features VP9 decode support, HEVC 444 support, and new frame and field mode chroma types.
  • libwebp features lossless encode / decode performance improvements.
  • x265 features encoder enhancements for improving the quality of frames following dark scenes in ABR mode.

Upgraded systemd

Solus 4.1 ships with the latest release of systemd, v244. systemd v244 introduces a bunch of desired features by our users as well as paves the way for future improvements to Solus around EFI support.

  • Cloudflare DNS is now used as a fallback secondary to Google
  • Improved security on 64-bit systems to reduce PID collisions
  • Newer features in systemd-resolved for DNS-over-TLS

We have also taken care to ensure that software which currently only supports cgroups v1, such as Docker and podman (when leveraging runc, as opposed to crun) continue to work. So if you utilize Docker or podman in your development workflow, you’ll feel right at home under Solus with no additional effort around kernel command-line flags required!

Other Improvements

ESync Support

Gaming under Solus just got even simpler! Solus 4.1 now ships with raised file limits to enable ESync support, raising the file limits in our PAM package to Lutris’ suggested value, so you can spend less time configuring your system and more time playing games!

Improved AOT Compiler for AppArmor Profiles

Solus develops an ahead-of-timer compiler for AppArmor profiles called aa-lsm-hook, which we utilize to compile AppArmor profiles leveraged by software such as snapd and improve boot performance by loading from our generated cache. During this release cycle, aa-lsm-hook was completely rewritten in Go for simplicity and long-term maintenance, as well as enabling us to support newer versions of AppArmor which have changed cache directory locations. A benefit of this new support is the end user should no longer encounter issues where some of their snaps fail to launch after a reboot!

Updated NetworkManager and wpa_supplicant

Solus ships with NetworkManager 1.22.4. Since the release of Solus 4 and its shipped NetworkManager 1.10.10, new features and fixes such as the following have been added:

  • Added an ‘802-1x.optional’ property to consider the wired 802.1X authentication as optional.
  • Don’t disable PMF on Wi-Fi connections using SAE.
  • Handle ReachableTime and RetransTimer from IPv6 Router Advertisements.
  • Use the Network Cost Wi-Fi information element to determine metered device state.
  • tui: support WPA3-Personal (SAE).

wpa_supplicant has been updated to 2.9, which enables support for WPA3-SAE and OWE. WPA3-SAE is set to supersede WPA2-PSK eventually with wifi access points now starting to provide a WPA2/WPA3 mixed mode. OWE (Opportunistic Wireless Encryption) uses SAE (Simultaneous Authentication of Equals) to encrypt open wifi networks where possible.

Budgie

Budgie

Solus ships with the latest release of our flagship desktop environment, Budgie 10.5.1. Released last October, this release introduced fixes and quality of life improvements such as:

  • Budgie Menu
    • Menu artificating (such as window borders still showing in some cases) is now fixed.
    • Menu items are now sorted using locale linguist rules.
  • IconTasklist
    • If you have a single window open for a given IconButton in the Icon Tasklist, we will now update the tooltip when you hover over.
    • Fixed the ability to move non-favorited running applications / windows in IconTasklist across grouping and non-grouping modes. These are now allowed to intermingle with your favorited applications without concern for a panel crash. We’re doing this by more heavily leveraging our AbominationRunningApp to provide more consistent window-specific IDs.
  • Budgie Desktop Settings
    • Hinting and anti-aliasing settings are now available in our Fonts section of Budgie Desktop Settings, allowing you even more flexibility with how document, interface, monospace, and window title fonts render. Hinting and anti-aliasing support will vary in impact based on the font chosen by the user.
  • Raven
    • Application controls in the Sound applet will now handle Gvc ChannelMap changes. This is useful since some applications do not provide accurate GvcStream volume immediately when creating their stream, such as Firefox when starting a video. We’ll now ensure we’re updating those values and ensuring applications like Firefox more accurately reflect muted states over Gvc.
  • Workspaces
    • You can now create persistent workspaces created at the launch of Budgie, with a configurable amount of default workspaces. Under the Desktop section of Budgie Desktop Settings, you’ll find a new option called “Number of virtual desktops”, where you can go from just having one workspace up to eight!
  • Window Manager
    • We now enforce an instant auto raise of windows when the focus-mode is set to mouse over / mouse focus and 250ms on click, resulting in speedy window raising.

GNOME

G N O M E

Solus 4.1 GNOME Edition ships with the latest release of the GNOME 3.34 Stack, 3.34.3. GNOME 3.34.3 introduces various fixes to the GNOME experience such as:

  • Ensuring the user is able to create application folders in GNOME Shell (by drag and dropping application icons on top of each other) when no folders existed previously.
  • Fixes to KMS freezing after pageflip.
  • Fixes to window recording on HiDPI monitors.
  • Seahorse contains a fix for a crash when deleting a subkey.

Solus GNOME Edition continues to ship with our curated out-of-the-box experience leveraging a multitude of extensions, such as:

  • Dash to Dock for quick and easy access to favorited and running applications
  • Drive Menu for quick access to plugged-in devices (such as USB thumb drives)
  • Impatience for faster animations
  • Top Icons for system tray icon support out-of-the-box

MATE

M a T E

Solus 4.1 MATE Edition ships with the latest release of the MATE 1.22 series, with contains numerous bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements. Some of the highlights include:

  • MATE Applets improvements
    • The Display Applet got a full revamp, allowing for better monitor control directly from the panel.
    • The Timer applet now has much better mouse interaction.
  • The window and desktop switchers have been modernized to make them more visually appealing.
  • The session manager now properly terminates all processes on systemd. Additionally, apps can now be auto-started after a user-selected delay.
  • The Caja file manager can now optionally display desktop notifications for long-running file operations.
  • Eye of MATE has a reworked sidebar and better image metadata support.
  • Tabs in Pluma now have the ability to be switched with keyboard shortcuts and mouse scrolling.
  • Calculator can now support up to 15 characters of accuracy. Copy/paste support was also improved a bit.
  • Engrampa adds support for several new compression formats, as well as a new pause/restart functionality.
  • A few new key shortcuts have been added, including support for different types of media keys like Bluetooth, WiFi, touchpads, and global killswitches.

Brisk Menu

Solus MATE Edition ships with the latest release of our Brisk Menu implementation, 0.6.1. The 0.6 series features various fixes and improvements, such as:

  • Added a new “dash” style menu.
  • MATE 1.22 support.
  • Prioritizing Favorites.
  • Fixing key-binder from consuming Super+Mouse events.
  • Translations in over 20 languages, such as: Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, French, German, Irish, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.
  • Unsetting Lock key masks when closing the menu.

MATE User Manager

2020/01/Mate User Admin

Solus MATE Edition now ships with a new utility for user and groups management called MATE User Manager, replacing the previous group and user management functionality in MATE Control Center.

Plasma

Plasma

We’re proud to announce a new addition to the Solus family: Solus Plasma Edition. Solus Plasma Edition has been a long sought after experience by current and prospective users alike, melding our ability to create a curated out-of-the-box experience with the sophistication of the Plasma Desktop experience.

Solus 4.1 Plasma Edition features Plasma Desktop 5.17.5, the latest of 5.17 series, and is complemented by KDE Frameworks 5.66, KDE Applications 19.12.1 and QT 5.13.2.

Solus Plasma Edition refines the Plasma Desktop experience by:

  • Introducing Solus Dark Theme, which is a custom theme that is darker than Breeze-Dark, bringing it closer to the style of the other Solus Editions, which are using the Plata GTK theme as their default.
  • Changing the position of the Show Desktop widget inside the system tray.
  • Creating a custom layout of the Digital Clock widget.
  • Shortening the timeout for logout from 30 to 10 seconds.

Solus Plasma Edition ships with Solus-specific integrations for KDE Applications and Frameworks, such as:

  • Baloo only performs basic indexing and excludes common folders such as the snap directory.
  • Breeze size grip and titlebar separators are disabled by default.
  • Klipper will not ignore images.
  • Kwin will default to centering windows.
  • Line numbers in Kate are enabled by default.
  • Single-click is enabled by default.
  • Tap-to-click is enable by default for Synaptic touchpads.

Solus Plasma Edition ships with the following default applications (outside of the usual Solus Edition defaults such as Firefox and Thunderbird):

Thank You

We would like to thank everyone that has supported and contributed to Solus and its endeavors. It’s you, our community, that has made this release possible. Whether you’ve filed bugs, fixed software, contributed code, translated Budgie Desktop, validated testing ISOs, or shared Solus releases with your colleagues, friends, and family: you’ve helped shape this release and improved the project for everyone.

Thank you for believing in our shared vision for the project. We look forward to working alongside all of you on more releases this year.

Download

To download our latest Editions, you can go to our Download page, where direct links and torrents are available!


Changelog of ISO (Budgie)

less

lz4

libvpx

libxtst

libnspr

x264

x265

gdbm

gstreamer-1.0-plugins-base

libglvnd

pango

gobject-introspection

systemd

libxdmcp

libnss

gstreamer-1.0

grub2

inxi

gmp

mpc

python

python-dbus

aa-lsm-hook

bash-completion

libbluray

libdrm

libgtk-2

util-linux

ca-certs

libp11-kit

libcairo

dbus

libxcomposite

findutils

parted

json-c

sed

libwebp

libssh

libxshmfence

libxau

libicu

v4l-utils

nano

xdpyinfo

hwdata

elfutils

inotify-tools

libice

linux-firmware

libpng

modem-manager

libxext

libcap2

libqmi

gawk

libxv

dmidecode

libxft

libgcrypt

bash

libedit

sdl2

openssh

openssl

isl

glib2

libxxf86vm

cryptsetup

mesalib

libtiff

wpa_supplicant

harfbuzz

libxcursor

xz

font-droid-ttf

libxcb

perl

curl

libssh2

openal-soft

gdk-pixbuf

libva

tzdata

nghttp2

libxinerama

libxrandr

libvdpau

libdmx

expat

ncurses

libxi

kerberos

grep

ffmpeg

faad

linux-current

libtasn1

coreutils

libxrender

libjpeg-turbo

avahi

alsa-utils

man-db

sudo

file

libgudev

wavpack

gcc

lame

libflac

alsa-lib

gettext

network-manager

usysconf

libatk

sqlite3

libxdamage

pam

llvm

cups

zimg

bzip2

xrandr

libogg

libxfixes

audit

libxxf86dga

iso-codes

libx11

usbutils

binutils

pciutils

glibc

mpfr

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