UPDATE 06/28/2020: Am reclaiming Media Library space by deleting old pics.

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1/31/20 Update: A great OS for having only been around since 12/27/2015, but it is no replacement for Ubuntu 18.04.3. I never cared for the standard “bleeding edge” buggy rolling release method, and this new “Curated rolling release” seems ‘asleep‘ or something (?!). Solus is new and apparently its repository is very limited – e.g. didn’t offer the KShutdown™ button. Solus also requires a 6 digit – or whatever – long password…tried to change it to zero or three, but it doesn’t allow it. Linux developers have no clue about actual desktop/laptop users, i.e. they are still stuck in the ‘DOS‘ keyboard ‘Age‘ on some remote server near Dagobah and want to force their version of a “secure” computer onto users. If a desktop/laptop computer user doesn’t want the ridiculously annoying password prompts, then they should be offered a simple setting to turn off all password prompts (e.g. like Microsoft Windows does!!!!). Also, even the Solus 4.1 GNOME version (see below for Budgie Wi-Fi problems) seems to have Wi-Fi ‘weird‘ problems like needing to be rebooted after a cold start in order to find the Wi-Fi connection again!? I will test it for a little longer, but have moved Solus 4.1 to the #10 spot on Karmi’s Top 10 Linux Distros page…for now.

First time that a Linux Distro has had two Desktop Environments (DE) make it into Karmi’s Top 10 Linux Distros, but I found this new Solus 4.1 Fortitude to be very fast, exciting, stable and reliable – especially the GNOME version. Solus has been in my Top 10 before, but the Top 10 gets “updated as needed” so some Distros come ‘n go.

Talk about ‘Hardware Recognition’ and Solus 4.1 has been absolutely amazing (Budgie DE seemed a ‘Tad’ buggy early on)! Had made a ‘Live’ USB for both the GNOME & Budgie DE versions and threw ‘Apevia’ and its Ryzen™ APU right at them both. Neither had any problems with the Ryzen™ APU (processor and graphics) so I went ahead and installed both DE’s to their own test 120GB SSD – probably the fastest Linux Distro installations I have ever seen*, with Budgie installing in less than 2 minutes, and GNOME installing in 2 minutes…note: I start timing after finishing up the required entry ‘stuff’ like country, time zone, name, password, etc. One thing that I didn’t like about Solus 4.1 was the loooooonnnnng password – apparently it had to be at least 7 ‘somethings’ & mine ended up being 1234567. One of these days I’ll figure out how to do away with the bothersome Linux password requirements at almost every turn … doing away with the login password requirement is easy on most Distros, but that sudo password for everything else seems impossible to get rid of.

I going to skip the installation process this time…will show some pics towards the end, of the system info on 3 different computers for the 2 DE’s, but mainly going to focus a little more on what Solus is about. Last time I reviewed Solus 4.0 in posts Solus 4.0 – Budgie vs Gnome & Solus 4.0– Install Today. Updates Forever was back in July and they seem to have made some big improvements since then. DistroWatch has Solus as the #7 in their Page Hit Rankings (which isn’t an accurate Distro ranking, but a “light-hearted” method used by DistroWatch), and I just moved Solus 4.1 GNOME DE ahead of BionicPup to the #2 spot. I’m going to do a lot more testing of the GNOME DE version over the next 2 weeks, and may end up placing it in a ‘Tie’ with Ubuntu 18.04.3 before these tests are over.

Here are a few quick Wikipedia notes on Solus:

  • Initial release was Solus 1.0 on December 27, 2015.
  • Solus is an independently developed desktop operating system based on the Linux kernel and using its own desktop environment derived from GNOME.
  • Solus is considered a curated rolling release. It is a rolling release in the sense that once installed, end-users are guaranteed to continuously receive security and software updates for their Solus installation. Updates become available every Friday.

I found the “Curated rolling release” info very interesting, since I haven’t been a fan of rolling release Distros Like Arch “DOS” Linux & its buggy Arch-based ‘Toy OS’ junk (see A-1 Linux *JUNK* page). From the Wikipedia page:

Curated rolling release

… snip … Compared to other rolling release operating systems such as Arch Linux – which provides bleeding edge software, i.e. software so new that there is a high risk that software breakages might occur and render the system partially or completely unusable, Solus takes a slightly more conservative approach to software updates, hence the term curated rolling release. In contrast to Arch, Software on Solus is commonly referred to as cutting edge, typically excluding beta software, and is released after a short period of testing (in the unstable software repository) to end users in order to provide a safer, more stable and reliable update experience. By prioritizing usability (curated rolling release) over availability (pure rolling release), Solus intends to make the operating system accessible to a wider target market than Arch Linux, which is mainly aimed at more advanced users possessing in-depth technical knowledge about their system … snip …

Yep, that infamous “bleeding edge software” that Arch/Archies like to brag about is nothing but problems…one of which is a constant hardware recognition problem. I didn’t know the meaning of “curated” so I looked it up: ‘carefully chosen and thoughtfully organized or presented.’ Hence the “Solus takes a slightly more conservative approach to software updates” statement, and also the difference between using “cutting edge” over “bleeding edge” for software updates. Also noted above, the Solus updates now come on Friday…interesting.

Some more quick notes … from the Solus 4.1 Fortitude site:

  • 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…
  • 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.
  • 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.

Definitely had no problems with the Ryzen™ APU this time…most Linux Distros are way behind on getting their AMD drivers working right. Both ‘Live’ USB Solus versions also had no hardware recognition problems on ‘Ace’ the Laptop’s AMD hardware either.

I have no idea what “Zstandard(zstd)” is, but like I had mentioned earlier – “probably the fastest Linux Distro installations I have ever seen* – the 2 ‘Live’ USB DE versions installed in 2 minutes or less! Yep, Solus 4.1 is blazingly fast at installing!

Here’s the download page: ‘Install today. Updates forever.

Here are some pics … ‘Ace’ the Laptop:

 

That was the Budgie system info – some Distros list what the DE is also, but Solus doesn’t – tho apparently Budgie is a Gnome 2 type of version, I think?!? Here is Solus GNOME on ‘Ace’ the Laptop:

 

Here are pics from Budgie & GNOME DE’s on ‘Antec Sr.’:

 

Same info basically, but here the GNOME version on ‘Antec Sr.’:

 

I’ve saved the ‘Apevia’ Ryzen™ pics for last, since they show some Gnome Dash to Dock comparisons with Gnome Dash to Panel. I also changed the wallpaper on the GNOME DE Solus 4.1 installation since I will be testing that SSD for a couple more weeks. Budgie system info first:

 

Here’s Budgie DE:

 

I had some weird problems with Budgie, tho they seem to be gone now. A couple of times I had to reboot the system to get the wireless mouse to work…Budgie also seemed to have earlier problems remembering the Wi-Fi connection and/or its security code, since it wouldn’t connect automatically…however, maybe Budgie is just slower at remembering the Wi-Fi than GNOME DE, and maybe a wait of a minute is required for it to remember. I dunno?! Too weird for me, but I still place it at #7 on my Top 10.

No problems with Solus GNOME at all…a wonderful OS, for sure! Here are the GNOME pics on ‘Apevia’:

 

The Dash to Dock default Solus GNOME desktop:

 

The Gnome Extension change to the Dash to Panel Solus desktop…the Dash to Panel is my favorite Linux desktop and/or extension:

 

Here is my wallpaper change:

 

That’s the Gnome 3.4 Adwaita night wallpaper, and means that Ubuntu 18.04.3 (*AND* future Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) best tighten up!