Strong encryption has always been a hallmark of Linux and the open source community in general. Solus, for example, offers full-disk encryption during the installation process using LUKS. This means that once installed, LUKS requires a separate password at startup before decrypting and mounting the user’s hard drive. But what if you are legally prohibited from encrypting your hard drive? In some U.S. states, judges impose restrictions on the use of encryption as a condition of probation in criminal cases.
August 15 marked the release of Solus 3, which is so numbered because it is the “third iteration” of the Linux-based operating system since its move to a “rolling” release model in 2016. This release comes with the latest version of the Budgie Desktop (10.4) and also provides built-in support for Snaps, the self-contained packaging format sponsored by Canonical Ltd., the parent company of Ubuntu. Solus 3 also represents a shift away from default installation of the long-term support branch of the Linux kernel (4.
According to my /var/log/eopkg.log file, I installed Solus on this computer–my main work machine–on October 19 of last year. After more than nine months in production, it’s safe to say that I’m highly satisfied with how Solus has performed. Indeed, I have not given serious consideration to switching to another Linux distribution since I made the move to Solus. Like many Linux users, my first distribution was Ubuntu, specifically the recently expired 12.
People hate using strong passwords. I know plenty of professionals who use their children’s names to secure computers containing valuable client data. Nobody likes dealing with passwords, but you have a responsibility to take “digital hygiene” seriously. Personally, I use a simple tool called pwgen whenever I need to create a new password. Pwgen is a command-line utility that basically spits out a list of “human readable” passwords. That is to say, they are easy to memorize relative to a truly random string of characters.
Solus has a number of very simple tools that enhance your desktop computing experience. One of the best is Neofetch, a program written in Bash, the basic command language interpreter used by all Linux-based operating systems. When you run Neofetch from inside a terminal, it displays two things: a list of basic information about your system, and a rendering of your operating system’s logo in ASCII art, i.e. text characters.
Leading up to (and after) the release of the new Solus snapshots last week, there were complaints from some quarters of the Linux media that Solus was still “not ready” because it lacked sufficient software packages to satisfy user demand. According to this worldview, if even one user might find a program useful, Solus has an obligation to include it in its repositories. To these folks, a good Linux operating system is like a 24-hour diner where you have to keep hundreds of dishes on the menu at all times, regardless of quality or the amount of kitchen staff.
Today the Solus Project released new installation snapshots for its Budgie and MATE editions, as well as its first GNOME-based version. Solus concurrently released Budgie Desktop 10.3, the last major update before the developers begin work on Budgie 11. Obviously, free software is not free to produce or maintain. Ikey Doherty and the Solus team have put hundreds of hours into this latest update. To help out with the costs of getting today’s snapshots to the public, I’ve set up a separate download mirror for all three versions.
If you’ve read other posts on this blog–or visited any social media feed where someone is talking about desktop Linux–you recognize the importance of the screenshot. In addition to showing off your customized desktops–aka UnixPorn, screenshots are useful when trying to explain how to execute a particular task or diagnose a problem. Full Control Over Your Screenshots Budgie, the principal Solus desktop environment, has its own native screenshot tool called, appropriately enough, Budgie Screenshot Applet.
The Solus Project confirmed that it is adding a third edition based on the GNOME 3 desktop, according to a report published today by Softpedia. Ikey Doherty, the creator and lead developer of Solus, told Softpedia’s Marius Nestor the new GNOME edition “will be using a mostly vanilla shell with some extensions enabled.” Solus plans to release its new GNOME version together with updated “snapshot” releases of its existing Budgie and MATE desktop editions “in the coming weeks,” according to Softpedia.
I was implementing a new template for my professional website last week and needed to crop some images. I’ve never been terribly good with image software, but fortunately I found a fairly straightforward program called Fotoxx in the Solus Software Center. Fotoxx is really geared towards photo management, but it works well as a basic image editor. Simple Interface, Complex Tools Fotoxx has a very simple interface. An icon bar on the left side of the screen functions as the menu.