Solus, an operating system with a rather colorful history as Solus OS, having been based on Debian at one point, is now released as a rolling distribution, most recently in the form of Solus 4.0 Fortitude. Solus 4.0 took a while to reach release due to changes in project management and various other matters. Solus 4.0 uses the latest software packages and updates in a timely fashion. The software that comes pre-installed is very sparse, meaning that users should go into Solus expecting to install other software. The package manager is a forked version of Pisi which is called Eopkg. Eopkg is not based on deb or rpm package managers so getting deb files to work might be a bit of a hassle, nevertheless, most software that newer users might find useful should be either within the standard Solus repository or the ever growing third-party repository. Snapd is also pre-installed and readily available for those who want software that isn’t in either of these. Solus 4.0 also uses one of the latest lts branch kernels. The distribution has three main desktop environments, including Mate, Gnome and Budgie with KDE Plasma in development. One of the most notable changes is the new standard dark theme in this new release. As a rolling distro, Solus doesn’t require existing users to reinstall, simply running updates should suffice, however, if you feel like you need to refresh an existing partition with a new piece of eye candy, this release will definitely cater to that. With budgie being bumped to 10.5, there is better usability and more customization to Raven and the panel. The team behind the distro released this version to tie into the new Budgie version 11 coming later this year. Budgie 11 will be a complete rewrite using qt elements in place of Gnome or gtk ones. For those Gnome lovers out there, don’t be worried, Gnome will upgrade to 3.30 by then as well. As with the previous release, the default browser of choice in this distribution is Firefox, however, users who want to use an optional one may choose from either Vivaldi, Vivaldi-Snapshot, Google-Chrome or Google-Chrome-beta which are all present in the repositories, but also you can install unsupported browsers like Waterfox, Basilisk and Pale Moon. The distribution is based out of Ireland and is independent and from scratch. Users of this distribution will be happy on Intel and AMD cpu’s and gpu’s as these are directly supported. Nvidia in my own experience, especially older systems are harder to install to, but don’t let that discourage you from trying. Solus is a great distribution and is off to a really good and fresh new start with all the changes taking place.

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