is proud to announce the availability of Solus 3, the latest release of its Linux-based operating system, which builds on its curated rolling release model. Solus offers users a free and modern alternative to commercial operating systems and provides users a safe and reliable vehicle to guide, guard and enable the user’s journey through a shifting tech world to their destination and beyond.
The latest iteration of Solus comes with improvements and upgrades. Firefox is updated to version 55, LibreOffice also is updated of version 22.214.171.124, Thunderbird to version 52.2.1 and Rhythmbox to version 3.4.1 with the latest release of the Alternative Toolbar extension. The Budgie and GNOME Desktop Editions ship with GNOME MPV 0.12 while the MATE Desktop Edition ships with VLC 2.2.6. This new major version of Solus is now based on the latest stable branch of the Linux kernel, 4.12.7. Let us take a look at some other core improvements.
This release features out-of-the-box support for snaps, universal software packages for Linux. This means developers can target a host of platforms including Solus without having to target them individually and users will also get a variety of software that will not be allowed by Solus previously.
Solus ships with the new Budgie 10.4 as well as the new default Adapta GTK theme and Papirus icon themes along with the Noto Sans Font. The main panel has also been moved from the top to the bottom of the display. The widget spacing has also been tweaked making the paned feel more spacious. Budgie 10.4 now has maximize and unmaximize animations for applications. The alt+tab switcher will now prefer the theme icon instead of the X11 icon where possible. Shift+Alt+Tab support has also been implemented, enabling you to go backward in the Alt+Tab dialog.
The Budgie Menu has been redesigned with inspiration from MATE’s Brisk Menu. Applications are grouped into categories for searching and provide a predictable, reasonable search mechanism.
Apart from moving the panel to the bottom of the screen, you can now move the pane either to the left or to the right. The side panels integrate quite well and with popovers and animations and applets. you will now also be able to control the panel transparency (via our new Settings app) with three modes including None(Opaque), Dynamic ( opaque when there is a maximized window on the workspace, or Raven is open, otherwise it’s transparent) and Always where the panel is always transparent.
The panels also include a Dock mode allowing you to put a dock on any side of the display. Developers can also easily implement custom styling as the dock supports a custom CSS class.
With Solus 3, settings have been moved out of Raven (side panel) into a full application. This improves the user experience of managing panels, applets, and their respective settings, as well as providing us the opportunity to describe what particular settings may do.
This release introduces a new applet, Night Light, which can help reduce eye strain by reducing your display’s blue light by making your screen “warmer”. This applet integrates into the Night Light functionality provided in Mutter 3.24.x and provides quick access to toggling Night Light on/off. You may also change the schedule between “Sunset to Sunrise” and “Manual”, temperature of the display when enabled and a one-click access to launch your Display settings
The Gnome Desktop Edition has also gotten a ton of improvements. The GNOME DE is updated to version 3.24 with new icon themes such as Adapta and Papirus. There is a searchable command palette (Plotinus) enabled out-of-the-box. Keyboard users will appreciate the speed and ease of searching menu items.
Other improvements include the reintroduction of the graphical option for “Enter Location” which was previously removed, ability to change passwords via the GNOME Control Center and an upgrade to the gnome-settings-daemon to resolve issues with disabled media shortcuts. You also get the latest improvements of Gnome 3.24 such as Nightlight, GNOME Online Accounts and Evolution Data Server which resolves issues for some users.
The MATE Desktop Edition also comes with general fixes and improvements. Caja has been patched to support whitelisting and trusting symlinked vendor-provided .desktop files allowing for the provision of default desktop icons for items such as the Installer.
The improvements to the Budgie desktop are quite many. Including things such as the improvements to the Places applet, multimedia upgrades with ffmpeg 3.3.3 and VAAPI-accelerated MPEG-2 and VP8 encoding as well as support in FFmpeg for cdio, openal, webp, and other libraries. Solus 3 also ships out-of-the-box with improved hardware support for printing and scanning, now shipping with sane-backends, hplip drivers, and Canon UFRII LT printer drivers.
The newest Solus releases are ready for download from here for installation on most modern Intel and AMD based personal computers. Remember that you can choose between Budgie, GNOME, and MATE desktop options. Thanks for reading and share your thoughts and comments with us.
Mohd Sohail is a web developer and a Linux sysAdmin. He also loves to write how-to articles, applications reviews and loves to use new Linux distributions.