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Solus 4.2 Released

February 3, 2021 in News and Releases
2021 02 Solus 4.2 Featured

We are proud to announce the immediate availability of Solus 4.2, a new Solus 4 “Fortitude” series release. This release delivers new desktop environment updates, software stacks, and hardware enablement.

General

Default Applications

All of our editions feature:

  • Firefox 85.0
  • LibreOffice 7.0.4.2
  • Thunderbird 78.6.1

For audio and video multimedia playback, we offer software out-of-the-box that caters specifically to our desired experience for each 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 5.10.12, enabling us to provide support for a range of the newer hardware, such as:

  • Newer AMD Ryzen 5th generation processors, such as the 5600X to 5950X.
  • Newer Intel Comet Lake CPUs, such as the Intel Core i9-10850K.

Mesa has been upgraded to 20.3.3. This introduces support for new GPUs, Vulkan 1.2 API support, numerous fixes for the latest gaming titles, and ACO shader compilation is now enabled by default for the RADV Vulkan driver.

Solus 4.2 introduces support for many new features and hardware capabilities through our continuous kernel enablement, such as:

  • AMD RAPL MSR based Energy driver
  • AMD Renoir Audio Co-processor support
  • AMD SoC SPI controller driver support
  • Enabled ACPI and HID ambient light sensors
  • Enabled CONFIG_DRM_LOAD_EDID_FIRMWARE
  • Enabled NVMe hardware monitoring via CONFIG_NVME_HWMON
  • Enabled various modules required for software such as CTParental, Mininet, and ROCm
  • Enabled early KMS for amdgpu, i915, qxl, radeon, and virtio-gpu
  • Fast charge control for iOS devices.
  • Improved exFAT file system support
  • Intel Broxton PMICs
  • Intel Classmate accelerometer, backlight, and input device support
  • Intel Haswell and Broadcom support with I2S codec present
  • Intel Jasper Lake PCH pinctrl and GPIO drivers
  • Realtek 8723DE and 8821CD PCI wireless network adapters
  • Several new USB cameras
  • Support for setup / unlock / lock Locking ranges for SED devices using the Opal protocol.
  • Support for Solarflare NICs
  • Surface 3 battery platform driver support
  • XFS Online Repair
  • We have retained XFS v4 Format support to ensure compatibility with any existing XFS filesystems

Multimedia Upgrades

This release ships with ffmpeg 4.3.1, the latest in the 4.3 series. This enables us to provide support for:

  • AMD AMF Vulkan-based encoding
  • AV1 encoding via librav1e
  • Intel QSV-accelerated VP8 decoding
  • SoX resampler support
  • Support for TrueHD in MP4
  • VDPAU VP9 hardware acceleration
  • Vulkan-accelerated filters

Solus 4.2 ships with the latest dav1d AV1 decoder, version 0.8.1, offering significant performance improvements and optimizations for decoding compared to its original inclusion in Solus 4.1.

Solus ships with the latest release of gstreamer, 1.18.2. This release features many improvements and fixes, such as:

  • Enhancements to High Dynamic Range (HDR) representation and signaling
  • Improvements to playback rate changes.
  • Renegotiation support in webrtcbin
  • gstreamer plugins “good”: avidemux can handle now H.265 video

You can see all the latest news on GStreamer 1.18 here.

Solus 4.2 ships with Pulseaudio 14.1, which features some key improvements such as:

  • Automatic switching to HDMI being disabled by default
  • Support for more USB gaming headets
  • “flat volumes” being disabled by default

Budgie

Budgie

Solus ships with the latest release of our flagship desktop environment, Budgie 10.5.2.

Budgie 10.5.2 introduced budgie-desktop-view, our new desktop icons implementation. In releases dating back to the beginning of Budgie 10, we had been using Nautilus' (now legacy) desktop icons implementation to provide such support. When Nautilus removed their desktop icons support, Solus used an older version of Nautilus to retain it, while some other downstream consumers of Budgie used alternative file managers with similar features to that version of Nautilus, such as Nemo.

We recognized that Desktop Icons was an important part of the workflow of many users, so we spent considerable time during this development cycle ensuring there was a solution for them as well as our downstream users of Budgie. Expanding on this, Solus 4.2 defaults to having desktop icons enabled to make Solus more approachable to new users.

Budgie Menu has received various refinements:

  1. Budgie Menu introduces additional checks for an application’s DesktopAppInfo, ensuring that we consistently skip apps and exclude them from calculations when they have Hidden or NoDisplay set, as well as if the NotShowIn contains Budgie.
  2. Budgie Menu will no longer show empty categories, a common occurrence when installing applications via WINE.
  3. Budgie Menu will now alphabetically sort category names, which is useful when you have custom user desktop directories for applications. They are no longer forced to be below default system-wide desktop directories such as Internet / Networking, Office, Sound & Video, etc.
  4. Applications which utilize pkexec in their desktop info will now spawn an asynchronous process, with pkexec being the command and passing the rest of the command line content as arguments.

Budgie 10.5.2 saw a complete rewrite of its System Tray implementation. Since the days of Budgie 7 in 2017, Budgie had been using an na-tray implementation also seen in desktop environments such as Cinnamon for the creation and management of system tray icons. With our new System Trays implementation leveraging the XEmbed Protocol, we’ve been able to fix numerous issues such as:

  • Background icons not refreshing, resulting in instances where it may appear that multiple icons are overlapping.
  • Tray icons not consistently hiding when a panel hides (during “Intelligent” mode).
  • Tray icons blinking when panel transparency is set to “Dynamic”
  • Tray icons getting hidden when switching icon themes.

The Sound applet has seen a redesign and now features a dedicated button for mute toggling, as well as leveraging iconography for the System Settings button rather than text.

You can now choose which side of the screen Raven, our notification and widget center, appears. Prior to Budgie 10.5.2, Raven would always appear on the left side when the main panel and trigger were on the left, and appear on the right when the main panel was anywhere else. Users will be able to choose between this behaviour, called “Automatic”, as well as left and right sides!

There was so many other improvements and fixes in this new release. Check our our dedicated blog post for more information!

GNOME

Gnome

Solus 4.2 GNOME Edition ships with the latest release of the GNOME 3.38 Stack, 3.38.3. GNOME 3.38.3 introduces various fixes to the GNOME experience such as:

  • A brand new major release of Tracker, GNOME’s search engine and database for local and remote content.
  • Disks will now always show other filesystem format choices and has fixes for drive unmounting and partition creation.
  • GNOME Shell
    • “Boot Options” support to restart dialog.
    • Items can now be re-arranged in the app picker.
    • Restart has been moved into a separate menu item / dialog.
    • Screen recordings are now added to recent items.
  • Music has numerous bug fixes and a rework of art retrieval.
  • Mutter
    • Improvements to performance thanks to optimized resource scale computation, painting of backgrounds, offscreen effect cache invalidation, and more
      • Night Light fixes after DPMS (Display Power Management Signaling).
    • Support for custom keyboard layouts under $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/xkb.
    • Numerous X11 fixes for button scrolling, IM handling, overview key when using multiple keyboard layouts.
    • WINE copy & paste
  • Photos now has a new image filter called Trencin, similar to Instagram’s Clarendon filter.

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

Mate

Solus 4.2 MATE Edition ships with MATE 1.24, which contains numerous bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements. Some of the highlights include:

  • Caja can now show thumbnails in its list view.
  • Engrampa now has support for more formats.
  • MATE Control Center will now display its icons correctly on HiDPI displays.
  • New window decoration themes in Marco.
  • The alt+tab max columns is now configurable and considers window label width.
  • The Mouse app now supports acceleration profiles.
  • The Indicator applet has improved interaction with oddly-sized icons.
  • There is now a webp files eom-thumbnailer.
  • The window list applet now supports window thumbnails on hover.
  • Pluma plugins are now fully switched to Python 3.

Brisk Menu

Solus 4.2 also ships with Brisk Menu 0.6.2. This release features:

  • applet: Re-create applet menu when changing window-type
    • Currently changing window types (between ‘classic’ and ‘dash’) requires restarting Brisk Menu. This leads to software like MATE Tweak to have to kill the brisk-menu process to ensure a smooth transition between panel layouts.
  • backend: Hide menu when rebuilding menu items
    • Since we have a monitor to update the menu whenever the desktop files are updated, the list of filtered menu items can change while the user is actively navigating through it. This causes the GtkListBox filters to segfault. Hiding the menu whenever the GAppInfoMonitor fires the “changed” signal clears out the GtkListBox, and so no filtering is happening. This only happens when installing or removing applications while browsing the menu, so it should not be generally disruptive, and will prevent the menu from crashing.
  • frontend: Allow keyboard navigation
    • Instead of disabling focus, we reuse the rollover functionality to enable listening for focus events, then we activate the corresponding category.

Plasma

Plasma

Solus 4.2 Plasma Edition ships with the latest Plasma Desktop 5.20.5, KDE Frameworks 5.78, KDE Applications 20.12.1 and QT 5.15.2, which brings many new features, some highlighted below:

  • New System Tray layout
  • Switched the Task Manager default to Icons only
  • Night Color
  • Various improvements to System Settings & Info Center such as SMART support, improved layout, and highlighting of changed settings

The Solus-specific Plasma integration has received various refinements, specifically:

  • Fixes in SolusDark Coloring for better visibility
  • Solus Wallpaper in different sizes
  • A new Window will open where the mouse is
  • Change dolphin to always open in the HOME dir

Download

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


Changelog of ISO (Budgie)

Packages Added

  • budgie-desktop-branding-fortitude-plus
  • budgie-desktop-view
  • exfatprogs
  • graphviz
  • gts
  • iio-sensor-proxy
  • jbig2dec
  • libinstpatch
  • libmaxminddb
  • liburing
  • libuv
  • libxaw
  • network-manager-applet
  • network-manager-livecd
  • python-libevdev
  • raqm
  • srt
  • yt-dlc

Packages Removed

  • cmocka
  • exfat-utils
  • gnome-online-miners
  • gom
  • libgrss
  • libtelepathy-glib
  • libzapojit
  • vino
  • youtube-dl

Changes

ldb

gnome-doc-utils

libgeocode-glib

gnome-themes-extra

colord

less

budgie-desktop-branding

libheif

libwpe

qtstyleplugins

lz4

libxres

evince

gd

gstreamer-1.0-plugins-ugly

libnspr

gstreamer-1.0-plugins-good

x264

mesalib

libxshmfence

gstreamer-1.0-plugins-base

libglvnd

onboard

gpgme

vo-aacenc

gobject-introspection

gnome-bluetooth

libxdmcp

hunspell-en

libvisio

gstreamer-1.0

libmediaart

xset

sqlite3

gstreamer-1.0-libav

libxscrnsaver

mpg123

gdk-pixbuf

papirus-icon-theme

python-magic

solus-sc

gmp

libboost

volume_key

libmtp

squashfs-tools

libcdio-paranoia

python3-cairo

mpc

geoclue

glibmm

neon

python-dbus

tracker-miners

mpv

os-installer

libdrm

xorg-driver-video-intel

libglade

harfbuzz

libnotify

grep

pango

libgtk-3

atkmm

ca-certs

ffmpeg

osinfo-db

xorg-driver-video-nouveau

npth

ghostscript

python-packaging

libcairo

system-config-printer

xorg-server

dbus

talloc

gnome-screensaver

nvidia-390-glx-driver

libxcomposite

gnome-control-center

solus-artwork

gnome-system-monitor

gnome-online-accounts

flatpak

pangomm

libsm

wpebackend-fdo

orca

gnome-disk-utility

gspell

zstd

xcb-util-image

xhost

nautilus-python

bluez

ilmbase

libgxps

libzmf

libgtksourceview

totem-pl-parser

libspectre

libxau

glib-networking

udisks

cairomm

grilo-plugins

xorg-driver-video-fbdev

xdpyinfo

librest

glibc

libproxy

gegl

libice

enchant

libosinfo

tracker

libcdio

gnome-mpv

linux-firmware

gnome-screenshot

modem-manager

libxext

libtimezonemap

cups-pk-helper

libwebkit-gtk

libvte

imagemagick

gnupg

gnome-terminal

libgdata

python-cparser

libqmi

libxt

systemd

curl

libxv

gnome-user-docs

dmidecode

samba

libgnome-menus

freetype2

python-pyliblzma

libxft

libdazzle

libgcrypt

bash

libnss

xcb-util-keysyms

sdl2

seahorse

gfbgraph

hplip

baobab

libass

pyatspi2

libarchive

libxtst

xmodmap

accountsservice

bind-utils

libcdr

amtk

libgweather

lash

tepl

libxfont2

lsof

libical

at-spi2-atk

nano

firefox

mutter

tdb

libtiff

yelp-xsl

brotli

libxcursor

gnome-autoar

plata-theme

libgee

libxcb

wget

libjson-glib

cups

xorg-driver-video-qxl

gnome-photos

libx11

gpm

tevent

libmbim

qt5-base

glib2

attr

gvfs

lsb-release

baselayout

networkmanager-openvpn

perl

tzdata

python-pycurl

libxinerama

libgtop

libxrandr

libvdpau

libplacebo

libmspub

sudo

libgphoto2

nvidia-glx-driver

libxi

pulseaudio

file-roller

babl

libqxp

inxi

python3

libusb

xkbcomp

libreoffice

libde265

pyparsing

libjpeg-turbo

graphene

evolution-data-server

gnome-keyring

grilo

openssl-11

bubblewrap

python-pysmbc

faad

dav1d

libpeas

networkmanager-openconnect

gsound

pipewire

libepoxy

libxrender

upower

openssh

libxvmc

python-gobject

avahi

libcanberra

libe-book

alsa-utils

libfontenc

nautilus

qpdf

tar

intel-microcode

openexr

libxml2

lightdm

libxmu

xorg-driver-video-vmware

cups-filters

gedit

usbutils

fluidsynth

zenity

slick-greeter

gsettings-desktop-schemas

libgudev

gexiv2

libdmx

rhythmbox

twolame

xorg-driver-video-vesa

gcc

dconf

libgtkmm-3

linux-current

alsa-lib

libgnome-desktop

libnma

librsvg

budgie-desktop

gparted

network-manager

gcr

libsecret

dbus-glib

rav1e

ostree

libxdamage

libsoup

eog

libicu

gstreamer-1.0-plugins-bad

libgsf

libassuan

rubberband

aom

pinentry

gnome-calculator

adwaita-icon-theme

iproute2

gnome-settings-daemon

vulkan

libxfixes

libpsl

libwacom

gnome-color-manager

liblcms2

gnome-calendar

libxxf86dga

xorg-driver-input-wacom

libgnomekbd

thunderbird

alsa-firmware

expat

libksba

libxkbfile

vapoursynth

breeze

libxxf86vm

gnome-session

xdg-desktop-portal

alsa-plugins

yelp

at-spi2

xorg-driver-video-radeon

mpfr

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