After a year of development, the launch of the new version of the Linux distribution Endless OS 4.0 whose objective is to create an easy-to-use system in which you can quickly select the applications to your liking. The applications are distributed as separate packages in Flatpak format.
The distribution does not use traditional package managers, instead of which offers a minimal, atomically upgradeable, read-only base system built using the OSTree toolkit (system image is atomically updated from a Git-like repository).
Endless OS is one of the distributions that drives innovation among Linux systems of the user. The desktop environment in Endless OS relies on a significantly redesigned GNOME fork. At the same time, Endless developers actively participate in the development of upstream projects and pass on their best practices to them.
Top New in Endless OS 4
Endless OS 4 is marked as a long-lasting version with updates that will be generated over several years with which will be supported for some time after the appearance of the Endless OS 5 branch, which will be released in 2-3 years and is based on Debian 12 (Endless OS 5 release time depends on when Debian 12 was released).
As for the changes that stand out in this new version, we can find that distribution components are in sync with the Debian 11 branch (Endless OS 3.x was based on Debian 10), plus Linux kernel has been updated to version 5.11, as well as the updated driver versions for NVIDIA (460.91.03), OSTree 2020.8 and flatpak 1.10.2.
Another important change is that the distribution construction process has been changed, instead of rebuilding the sources of the Debian packages on your side, In Endless OS 4 common Debian binary packages are now downloaded directly from Debian repositories when forming the distribution. The number of Endless OS specific packages containing changes has been reduced to 120.
The bootloader has added support for the SBAT mechanism (UEFI Secure Boot Advanced Targeting), which resolves issues with certificate revocation for UEFI Secure Boot.
OS components and Flatpak applications are separate and are now stored in separate repositories (previously they were processed in an OSTree repository on disk). The change is noted to have improved the stability and performance of the package installation.
Also added support for Raspberry Pi 4B boards with 8GB of RAM (previously models with 2GB and 4GB of RAM were supported), along with which also the graphics and WiFi performance have been improved for all Raspberry Pi 4B models. Support for the ARM64 platform is still experimental.
Also to simplify navigation through the list of installed applications, which can be divided into multiple pages, arrows have been added to the side of the icon block to move to the next and previous page and a visual indicator of the total number of pages has been added to the bottom of the list, where each page corresponds to a point.
Furthermore, the ability to quickly switch to another user without terminating the current session was provided. The user switch interface can be accessed through the menu or on the screen lock page.
The modernization of the printing system has been carried out. To work with printers, you no longer need to install separate drivers, and the IPP Everywhere protocol is used to print and discover printers directly connected or accessible on the local network.
Instead of fake-hwclock and ntpd, the systemd-timesyncd service is used to set the system clock and synchronize the exact time.
The delivery of the application for the remote control of the vinegar desktop has been discontinued and the authors have stopped supporting it. Alternatively, it is suggested to use the Connections (RDP, VNC), Remmina (RDP, VNC, NX, Spice, SSH) or Thincast (RDP) programs.
The Rhythmbox music player and the Cheese webcam application have been migrated for installation using Flatpak packages (Previously, Rhythmbox and Cheese were included in the base distribution and could not be uninstalled or disabled using parental control tools.) After the update, the user should move their playlists from the directory "~ / .local / share / rhythmbox /" to "~ / .var / app / org.gnome.Rhythmbox3 / data / rhythmbox /".
Of the other changes that stand out:
- Removed desktop web shortcuts to quickly open Duolingo, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, WhatsApp, and YouTube.
- The "Word of the Day" and "Quote of the Day" apps were removed and lost their meaning after the removal of the Discovery Feed feature in the latest version.
- Chromium is offered as the default browser, instead of the previously used stub that automatically installs Google Chrome on the first network connection.
- The icons used in the layout have been replaced by the standard GNOME icons, which are better suited for displays with high pixel density.
Finally, if you want to know more about it about this new version of the distribution, you can check the details in the following link.
Download and try Endless OS 4.0
For those who are interested in being able to download this new version of the distribution, install it or test it in a virtual machine You can go directly to the official website of the project where you can find the system image in its download section.
The link is this.
You can save the image with the help of Etcher on a USB.