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Monday, January 27, 2020

Solus 4.1 Fortitude Released!


2020/01/Solus 4.1 Featured

Solus 4.1 Fortitude Released

January 25, 2020 in News and Releases

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.


Default Applications

All our editions feature:
  • Firefox 72.0.2
  • LibreOffice
  • 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.



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.



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


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.



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.


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

Changelog of ISO (Budgie)


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Elementary OS vs MacOS and the video editor for the win!

elementary OS 5.1 Hera desktop

Ok, I will be the first to admit it, but....I own an Apple computer. It is a Mid2011 Apple Mac Mini with a Dual Core i5 2.3 Ghz processor and  16gb of ram. As of last year Apple stopped supporting all Mid 2011 Mac Mini's, not because it was a pain to do so, but because they were no longer selling computers. Why? Because it is a known fact that Macs last forever, and I even had A Power Mac G4 AGP Sawtooth that as of last year was still receiving regular updates.

I do not know about any of you but I am not rich by any means and if I take out a loan for anything it will be for a new car, not an over priced computer "designed in Cupertino California and then built China for $80 and sold for $800.

Yes, yes I hear you. I paid that for the first one, and while this is true I thought it would last forever. That is until Steve Jobs died and like everyone else that owned Apple equipment ...we all said at the same time...I am so screwed. Steve Jobs was the only thing that was keeping the people who owned stock in the company from forcing 5 year old computer from running out of date.

Its true, they were hit with a ton of back lash and had to slide it back to 7 years and then your out of date, all on a computer that could run forever. Just ask my Power Mac G4. It is running Sierra on it. Greedy Bastards. I refuse to give them any more of my money...besides needing a new mouse. I would rather buy a knock off mouse or a used one than give them another dollar.

Now enter Elementary OS. the Mac like experience. So after this weekend of swearing and stomping around and yelling on the phone with so called geniuses,(people who read from a script and call them self a Genius on a Apple system,laughable..I know) I decided that I was going to reformat the pickled hard drive and install Elementary OS on this fine machine encased in brushed anodized aluminium case, and turn it into the Mac Mini it deserves to be. My only issue is that I use iMovie to edit my movies, so I will have to quickly find a movie program that will let me edit movies just as quickly and easily.

There are a few video editors out there. I just wish Sony Vegas was on Linux.



It is made more for the professional but at home users can find it surprisingly powerful to use. It looks just like iMovie if you have ever used it before, but behaves a slight bit off. I will have to admit that I have not used it in its last 3 releases so I will have to give this one another go.


Lightworks is a powerful editor and is free, but only if you dont want to make your videos above 720p. 1080 and 4k will require a $25 monthly license , $175 yearly or an out right purchase of $437.
Honestly it will have to be the best video editor in Linux in order for me to even think about springing that much on it.


Main window

So Pitvi so far looks like the easiest iMovie replacement so far, just in interface alone. Even on their site they make sure to state that "Pitivi respects your freedom and keeps getting better with each new release. It will never require licensing fees or use DRM to prevent you from using it whenever, wherever and however you like. Developed collaboratively by people from all around the world, its sole purpose is to be a fantastic video editor to empower people to express themselves through video. Like GStreamer and GES, Pitivi is distributed under LGPL."

I think I like that. I have even watched some of the videos they have on their site of video editing in process and it is much like iMovie. If I can download this for free along with Elemntary OS, you bet I will help sponsor the projects. If it is something that I like and something that I believe in, the I will give it a go.

So on that note I will give it a shot and post some screen grabs of when I am editing my video and post them here om the web page under a whole new article.

Have a nice night.

New intro for The Linux Minute


Let me know what you think of the video intro for the new You Tube series!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Podcasting, Linux and a microphone

You can easily start a podcast using your computer, but what everyone does not realize is that even linux can record a podcast in near perfect quality with the base app.

Every one owns a podcast device and they do not realize it. Their cell phone. Many times just the on board microphone in the modern phones(5 years and newer) are advanced enough to record properly. You would just need to download a audio recording software or if you are lucky, you already have one on your phone. There are also many which are free and reputable.

If you have a Samsung device you can download Voice Recorder by Samsung electronics in the Galaxy store. This app records in "Interview mode" by utilizing both mics on the ends of the Samsung Galaxy phones. Even my old Galaxy 5s Has them.

If you have a Google Phone, you can download Voice Recorder by SplendApps. It can record in stereo as well or what you could call an interview mode.

For Motorola I think my Droid had a voice recorder app on it, but if not then the Voice Recorder by SplendApps is just as good. Dont listen to peoples reviews, because you have to go into the settings in the app and change the audio quality sample rate from 8kHz (old Dial Based Phone quality) to 44kHz (CD quality).

Now that I wrote this long winded post/review on it,which I will just copy and paste to my website. I think I will now buy the app. The app is only $3.15 USD and that removes all ads that it displays at the bottom.

So basically anyone can start a podcast and they already have the equipment to do it as well.

If you want a stand alone device the one that I use was moderately priced and has 3 levels of conversation you can select as well. Interview,voice dictation and crowd. The recording device is a Olympus VN-541PC. It accepts the 1/8th or 3.5mm microphone jacks. You can even buy a lapel mic that plugs into the device or a cell phone for $12 on Amazon.

So I hope that was not too long. Just some things from my experiences.

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