The Solus team announced the second point release of its 4.0 series – Solus 4.2 code-named “Fortitude”. Here’s what’s new.
Solus is an independent Linux distribution that brings the traditional desktop experience with a modern take. The current Solus 4.0 series follows the rolling release method to deliver packages to your desktop. It has its own package manager
eopkg which makes it very easy to install software on Solus desktop. Targeted at desktop users, Solus brings four popular desktop environments. Its flagship desktop is Budgie and also offers GNOME, KDE Plasma, and MATE desktop spin as well.
This release of Solus 4.2 updates respective packages, desktops to their stable versions. Being a rolling release, Solus is still conservative while making packages available to its users, unlike Arch Linux. It releases only stable versions of packages after some user testing by the Solus team. This itself makes it a more stable distro of choice while being a rolling release based one.
Solus 4.2 – What’s New
Solus 4.2 is powered by Linux Kernel 5.10.12 (which is the current stable Kernel as of writing). Linux Kernel 5.10 series are the current LTS Kernel. It brings many new hardware and device supports across vendors. Some major CPU supports include Intel Rocket Lake CPUs, AMD Zen 3 CPUs. This Kernel also brings more support for AMD RDNA 2, Radeon RX 600 cards as well. You can check out the full Linux Kernel 5.10 features here.
The default application stack also upgraded to their respective releases:
- Firefox 85.0
- LibreOffice 188.8.131.52
- Thunderbird 78.6.1
Being a desktop centric only distroibution, SOlus pre-loads many multimedia codecs. The following packages are updated to their respective versions:
- ffmpeg 4.3.1
- dav1d AV1 decoder, version 0.8.1
- gstreamer, 1.18.2.
- Pulseaudio 14.1
Desktop Environment Updates
Solus 4.2 features the latest Budgie 10.5.2 version. With this release, Budgie desktop brings back the desktop icons. You can have the desktop icons with Nautilas support natively.
Along with that, the Budgie menu brings some improvements on its display, categories view.
The Budgie system tray rewritten completely in this release based on XEmbed protocol which brings uniform system tray behaviour for desktop users.
The GNOME edition of Solus 4.2 features the latest stable GNOME 3.38.3 desktop environment. GNOME 3.38.3 brings many bug fixes on top of the GNOME 3.38 release which brings many new features.
Although the GNOME 3.38 is old considering the GNOME 40 chatter these days, you can still go through the features are here.
The Solus GNOME edition specifically provides the ‘Dash to Dock’, ‘Drive Menu’, ‘Impatience’ and ‘Top icons’.
Solus 4.2 MATE edition features MATE 1.24 desktop version which brings mostly bug fixes and minor changes. They are across the MATE desktop and in its components. The Caja file manager now show humbnails in list view, more format supported by Engrampa archiver. Other viausl change includes – the window list applet now show thumbnails and the mouse app now supports acceleration profiles.
The Solus 4.2 Plasma edition brings the Plasma Desktop 5.20.5, KDE Frameworks 5.78, KDE Applications 20.12.1, and QT 5.15.2. This is the current extended support release of the KDE Plasma 5.20 series although KDE Plasma 5.21 is nearing release. Although KDE Plasma provides all options for customizations, some Solus-specific customizations are also included in this release such as Dolphin always opens the HOME directory, new open opens on the mouse pointer location, etc.
You can download all the Solus 4.2 desktop flavors from the below link. Grab your favorite desktop flavor .iso from the below link.
Solus team brings another stable release with the latest stable desktop versions and packages. Although the versions are not bleeding-edge versions being a rolling release. However, as it is specifically personal computing and desktop-oriented Linux distribution, it is always good to have stable versions of packages for general users. In that sense, Solus 4.2 is a good release and won’t surprise users when updated. I wish there are an Xfce flavor of Solus. That would be really nice and a very good flavor to opt for.