Today, the Solus developers have officially released version 4.4 of the Linux-based operating system. Code-named “Harmony,” this new version of the distribution provides updates for its desktop environments, software stacks, and hardware enablement.
All Solus editions — Budgie, GNOME, MATE, and KDE Plasma — ship with default applications like Firefox 114.0.1, LibreOffice 126.96.36.199, and Thunderbird 102.12.0. Each edition has a distinct audio-video multimedia playback software, providing a catered user experience.
The Budgie edition of Solus 4.4, shipping with Budgie 10.7.2, now defaults to the Nemo file manager over Nautilus. This move follows changes in Nautilus that deviated from the desktop environment’s look and feel. This edition also introduces bug fixes, performance improvements, and an enhanced user experience via a new power dialog for session management, dual-GPU support in Budgie Menu, and an improved Budgie Screenshot application.
The GNOME version comes with the latest GNOME 43 series release, GNOME 43.5. It now defaults to dark mode and has introduced changes to the shell theme. Improvements include updated system UI styling, a redesigned system status menu, and an improved screenshot experience. File indexing in Tracker has also seen enhancements for better startup times and reduced memory usage.
The Plasma variant now ships with Plasma Desktop 5.27.5, KDE Frameworks 5.106.0, and KDE Gear 23.04.2. This release offers new customization options, gesture support for touchpads and touchscreens, floating panel support, and enhanced window tiling support. System widgets have seen improvements, and the Wayland Session is now available out of the box.
With the MATE edition shipping with the latest MATE 1.27 series release, the Solus team has announced its plans to sunset the MATE Edition. As the project’s Wayland strategy and overall development progress fail to keep up with the modern desktop landscape’s needs, Solus 4.4 will be the last to ship a MATE edition ISO. However, Solus reassures users that they will continue to support existing MATE installations and are planning a seamless upgrade path to Xfce.
Underpinning these changes, Solus 4.4 ships with the Linux kernel 6.3.8, providing support for a wider range of hardware, from AMD Radeon and Intel Arc cards to NVMe controllers defaulting to RAID mode on laptops. Users will also find zram enabled by default and Firewalld/nftables working due to the enablement of CONFIG_NFT_FIB_INET.
The Mesa upgrade to 23.0.3 introduces various improvements, including Nouveau 3D support for NVIDIA 30 series GPUs and optimizations for Intel Arc / DG2 graphics.
The Solus team’s continuous commitment to hardware enablement, software improvements, and refined user experience reaffirms its dedication to its user base. As the curtain falls on the MATE edition, the future looks promising with Solus 4.4 marking a significant stride towards a more harmonious Linux experience. You can download an ISO here now.