Solus 4.1 “Fortitude” available for download now

Solus 4.1 is the Solus team's first release since the Solus 4.0 release in March of last year.  Solus ranks 7th on distrowatch.org and enjoys an average user rating of 8.6 (out of 10). 

The Solus team announced the release of Solus 4.1 “Fortitude,” the latest in their Solus 4 “Fortitude” series.  According to the official release announcement, this release “delivers a brand new desktop experience, updated software stacks, and hardware enablement.”

The FOSS Linux Solus distro independently developed and uses its desktop environment, Budgie, derived from GNOME.  In 2016, the Solus development team abandoned its fixed point release approach and adopted a curated rolling release model with the slogan “Install Today. Updates Forever”.

Solus 4.1 Budgie, Solus' flagship desktop environment.
Solus 4.1 Budgie, Solus’ flagship desktop environment

Solus 4.1 comes in four separate editions, including Budgie, GNOME, MATE, and KDE Plasma.  All editions include Firefox 72.0.2, LibreOffice 6.3.4.2, and Thunderbird 68.4.1.

Audio and video multimedia playback differs with out-of-the-box software chosen explicitly for the best experience in a particular environment.  Budgie, GNOME, and MATE editions use Rhythmbox for audio playback, with the latest release of the Alternate Toolbar extension, while KDE Plasma uses Elisa for audio playback.  KDE uses SMPlayer for video playback, while MATE ships with VLC and Budgie and GNOME utilize GNOME MPV.

What’s New in Solus 4.1

Changes and updates abound in the new version. Here are the most significant:

  • Linux kernel is now 5.4.12 to support a broader range of hardware from AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA
  • Mesa upgraded to the latest release, 19.3.2
  • Uses Zstandard (zstd) compression for the SquashFS images
  • ffmpeg upgraded to 4.2.2, the latest in the 4.2 series
  • Includes the latest version of GStreamer, 1.16.2
  • Many other library updates including libogg, libpng, libvdpau, and libwebp
  • Consists of the newest release of systemd, v244
  • Cloudflare DNS now fallback to Google DNS
  • Newer features in systemd-resolved (DNS-over-TLS)
  • Raised file limits to enable ESync support makes gaming much easier
  • And many more enhancements

There are a plethora of improvements specific to the special edition of Solus 4.1 “Fortitude.”  For a complete list of these and other updates and changes, read the Solus team’s official release announcement.

The Solus 4.1 MATE Edition now includes a new utility for user and group management, MATE User Manager.
The Solus 4.1 MATE Edition now includes a new utility for user and group management, MATE User Manager

Reception From the Linux Community

The response from the Linux community has been overwhelmingly positive, encouraging, and supportive of the latest release from the Solus team.

One Redditor commented in the /r/linux sub concerning the Solus 4.1 release:

“Solus has insanely good defaults. It’s the only distribution where I can install and start using it without any tweaking or changes. I genuinely think it’s one of the best experiences one can have on Linux. I only miss one thing, quarter tiling! With that said, guess I’m installing Solus today.”

Another Redditor alluding to Solus 4.1 KDE Plasma wondered aloud if “… we now finally declare this the best KDE experience since it’s official now?”

Conclusion

Solus 4.1 is the Solus team’s first release since the Solus 4.0 release in March of last year.  Solus ranks 7th on distrowatch.org and enjoys an average user rating of 8.6 (out of 10).  FOSS Linux users wishing to try out Solus, and we strongly encourage you to, can download the latest release from the official Solus website where the Solus flavors Budgie, GNOME, MATE, and KDE Plasma is available.

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