blendOS v4 arrives with support for separate containers, improvements and more

screenshot of blendOS v4

The release of the new version of BlendOS 4, the innovative distribution from Rudra Saraswat (the maintainer of Ubuntu Unity and the Unity desktop environment) that uuses container insulation to allow the coexistence of packages from different Linux distributions on the same system.

The new version that is presented of blendOS v4 It is positioned as the first version that is completely declarative And one of the important changes that stands out is the ability to use a single file to define everything in the system.

With the introduction of the «declarative description of filling", A single file called “/system.yaml” has been implemented. This allows the user to define the packages, desktop environments, Linux kernel versions, and drivers required for installation on the base system from the Arch Linux repository. Although the atomic nature of the base system is preserved, additional packages expand it.

We are delighted to introduce blendOS v4, a groundbreaking release that redefines blendOS as a highly flexible, immutable, and atomic variant of Arch Linux. blendOS retains the flexibility of traditional Linux distributions (unlike other immutable Linux distributions) thanks to its declarative nature.

An example of previous configuration shared by Rudra Saraswat, allows the following on a blendOS installation with: GNOME, Firefox, the Caddy web server, and Visual Studio Code.

# A sample /system.yaml repo: '' impl: '' track: 'default-gnome ' packages: - 'micro' # the best text editor out there, truly ;) - 'firefox' - 'caddy' - 'nvidia-dkms' aur-packages: - 'visual-studio-code-bin' services: - ' caddy

Another of the changes that stands out in this new version of blendOS v4 are the "containers for packages from different repositories." With this, packages from the Fedora, Debian, CentOS Stream and Ubuntu repositories can now be installed in separate containers, activated through the system configurator or from the command line. When trying to open packages in DEB, RPM and APK formats, a container is automatically created with everything necessary from the distribution for that package. The decision about which version of the application to run is based on the priority set by installing identical applications in different containers.

In addition to this, blendOS v4 highlights the «containerized application integration. It is mentioned that containerized applications are integrated with the main system through a toolset similar to Distrobox. These tools mount the user's home directory into containers, configure access to the X11 and Wayland server to run graphical applications from the container, organize audio output, and perform integration at the D-Bus and udev level.

On the other hand, another of the new features that the new version presents is the «Android support through WayDroid", which allows you to create an isolated environment on a standard Linux distribution to load the full system image of the Android platform. Running Android applications is only supported in Wayland-based graphical environments such as GNOME and KDE Plasma.

Finally if you are interested in knowing more about it, I invite you to visit the website of the project where you can find information about its use.

Download and get blendOS

For those interested in trying this new Linux distribution, You can get the installation image from its official website and among the different desktop environments offered we can find: GNOME, KDE, Xfce, MATE, Budgie, Cinnamon and LXQt.The link is this.

It is worth mentioning that although the base of the system is built on Arch Linux, blendOS allows the installation of packages from other distributions such as Fedora 39, Debian 13 (test branch), CentOS Stream and Ubuntu 22.04, through containers. In addition to universal packages in Flatpak format, blendOS also offers an environment for installing and running Android applications from the Google Play and F-Droid repositories.

At the time of installation, the initial configuration is simple, it is only recommended to do it with the included First Setup application.

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