Solus 4.5 Arrives with Powerful Features and Upgrades

4 min

Explore the latest Solus 4.5 release, featuring Calamares installer, upgraded default apps, Pipewire integration, ROCm support, and cutting-edge kernel advancements.

The Solus team has unveiled the latest point release, Solus 4.5 “Resilience”. This release solidifies Solus as a robust and user-friendly Linux distribution, packed with updates, enhancements, and new features. Let’s dive into the exciting developments that come with Solus 4.5.

Solus 4.5 Budgie edition
Solus 4.5 Budgie edition

Solus 4.5: What’s New

Core updates

The highlight of Solus 4.5 is the introduction of the Calamares installer, making the installation process seamless. This simplifies the installation using filesystems like BTRFS and allows users to specify their partition layout directly in the installer.

Solus 4.5 installer
Solus 4.5 installer

Additionally, this marks a significant step away from Python 2, showcasing the team’s commitment to modernizing the distribution. The revamped installation experience promises a smoother setup for everyone.

In addition to the above, following modern tech, Solus adopts Pipewire as the default audio framework, replacing PulseAudio and JACK. So, if you are into audio production, use Bluetooth headsets, microphones and so on – you should experience performance improvements.

Solus 4.5 also brings the latest version ROCm 5.5 from AMD, providing GPU acceleration for applications like Blender and facilitating hardware-accelerated machine learning. The team has extended ROCm compatibility, even for some hardware not officially supported by AMD. Excitingly, ROCm 6.0 is on the horizon, promising further performance enhancements for GPU-accelerated workflows.

All the above changes are powered by Linux Kernel 6.6.9, which is the latest mainline Kernel available.

Now, let’s round up the key updates on the desktop environments.

Desktop environment updates

Solus 4.5 features Budgie desktop as the flagship edition. This release brings several improvements to the latest Budgie desktop (10.8.2). This is the current upstream version of this stunning desktop. With Budgie 10.8.2, you get to experience the more integrated dark theme for desktop & apps, better trash management via the Budgie Trash applet, Scalable system tray icons, notification system improvements, fuzzy search in Budgie Menu/Run Dialog and many more great features.

You can read those in detail in the official Budgie 10.8.2 change log.

Solus Plasma Edition
Solus Plasma Edition

Solus 4.5 also comes with GNOME and KDE Plasma edition. Both the desktop gets their latest stable version refresh. KDE Plasma 5.27.10, KDE gear 23.08.4, and Qt 5.15 are the key core version upgrades in the KDE edition of Solus 4.5. It’s worth mentioning that the KDE Plasma 6 may come later to Solus, considering huge porting effort and other regressions.

Solus GNOME edition
Solus GNOME edition

The GNOME edition features GNOME 45.2, which is the latest stable release of this time. If you were using the prior Solus 4.4 GNOME edition, then you might expect many new updates. Because Solus 4.4 had GNOME 43. Some of the cool things that GNOME 45 bring are the new improvements to Files, grid view in File Chooser, improved accessibility and many more features. If you want to dive deeper into GNOME 45 features, you may check out my detailed feature guide.

That said, Solus 4.5 is also dropping the MATE desktop environment in favour of the Xfce desktop environment. For the first time, you get the Solus Xfce edition, which features the Xfce 4.18 desktop (Current stable version) with Thunar and associated Xfce apps. If you plan to adopt the Xfce desktop, note that it is currently tagged as “beta”, although it should work fine.

Solus Xfce edition
Solus Xfce edition

Default applications

Solus 4.5 includes updated default applications across all editions:

  • Firefox 121.0
  • LibreOffice
  • Thunderbird 115.6.0
  • Mesa 23.3
  • Python 3.10

The Multimedia playback experience is tailored for each edition:

  • Budgie and GNOME feature Rhythmbox for audio and Celluloid for video playback.
  • XFCE ships with Parole for multimedia playback.
  • KDE Plasma brings Elisa for audio and Haruna for video playback.

As per I remember, the prior Solus version used to feature dnf package manager. However, historically Solus uses “eopkg” package manager and this release as well. It’s worth knowing if you are planning to use Solus.

The software is delivered by Solus’s own repository, which is carefully packed. Also, Flatpak is pre-installed in all variants of Solus.

So, that’s the summary of this release.


Solus 4.5 (Budgie) uses around 850 MB of RAM in VirtualBox, which is quite impressive. Also, this edition takes 7GB of disk space for the default installation. The metric should be in a similar order if you use it in a physical system.

That said, it is an impressive performance for a modern distribution.

Solus 4.5 Budgie performance
Solus 4.5 Budgie performance

Closing notes

Solus, being an independent distribution continues to evolve, and this release sets the stage for an exciting future for this distribution. The team is working on the major release of Solus 5, which would be a completely different update.

Don’t forget to share your experiences with Solus 4.5 in the comments below.

You can download all the above variants on the official download page.


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