Solus 4.2 | The Beautiful Budgie Desktop Environment

Solus have just released a new update to their Fortitude series of distributions bringing us up to version 4.2. Solus is known for its flagship desktop of Budgie but they also offer 3 other desktop environments to choose from which are GNOME, MATE and KDE Plasma. Some of the new features to make it to this release are updated desktop environments, software stacks and hardware enablement.

All versions of Solus 4.2 ship with ;

  • Firefox 85.0
  • LibreOffice 7.0.4.2
  • Thunderbird 78.6.1

For media playback all versions except for their KDE Plasma version ship with Rhythmbox for music where as KDE uses Elisa instead. For video playback GNOME and Budgie ships with GNOME MPV, MATE ships with VLC and KDE Plasma ships with SMPlayer. To read the full release notes of Solus 4.2 click here.

The desktop we’re going to be taking a look at today is their flagship Budgie which is shipping with the latest version of Budgie 10.5.2 which you can read more about here. The ISO is around 1.8GB in size and was installed natively on my machine in under 10 minutes. Once the installation process is finished you’re greeted with a clean and modern looking desktop. By default it uses a single panel layout which is positioned at the bottom of the screen. In this newer version of Budie (10.5.2) Solus have implemented their new way of handling desktop icons with Budgie Desktop View. Prior to this they were using Nautilus’s desktop icons implementation.

On the right side of the panel you’ll find the trigger to summon Raven which is Budgies side panel to display things like notifications and widgets. You can now set the default position Raven opens up now using the Budgie Desktop Settings application. You can choose from three options which are Automatic, Left or Right.

Solus uses its own package manager called eopkg. Eopkg should feel pretty familiar to anyone who has used Linux for some time and prefers managing their packages via the command line. To install a new package simply type ‘sudo eopkg install’ followed by the package name of your desired application. The same goes for removing packages, searching for packages etc. For a breakdown of the commands available for eopkg type ‘eopkg help’

Overall I think this is an excellent release of Solus where they have built upon an already top notch independent rolling release distribution. It’s quick and nicely polished and should provide near enough everything a user would need to get up and running. During my time with it I didn’t notice any bugs or suffer any crashes. It was a smooth experience from start to finish. 

What do you think of Solus and their latest release of 4.2? Let me know in the comments below!

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