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Solus 4.4: The Long-Awaited Return with Refreshed Desktop Experience

After two years, Solus 4.4 “Harmony” hits the shelves with impressive improvements.

A new Solus 4 series release named Solus 4.4 “Harmony” has finally arrived, putting an end to a two-year gap in releases. This eagerly anticipated release comes with a slew of updates to the desktop environment, software stacks, and hardware enablement, marking an important milestone for the Solus project.

Over the past two years, the Solus project has undergone several changes in direction, leaving users eagerly awaiting the latest release. Now, the wait is over, and Solus enthusiasts can rejoice as the new release is now available.

Solus 4.4 Budgie Desktop

As a continuation of the previous 4.3 release, Solus 4.4 significantly upgrades core applications and desktop environment offerings. Regardless of the edition you choose – Budgie, GNOME, MATE, or KDE Plasma – each comes packed with default applications such as Firefox 114.0.1, LibreOffice, and Thunderbird 102.12.0. Moreover, each edition offers unique audio-video multimedia playback software, delivering a tailored user experience.

The Budgie edition of Solus 4.4, featuring Budgie 10.7.2, now makes Nemo file manager the default choice over Nautilus. This change was prompted by alterations in Nautilus that diverged from the desktop environment’s intended look and feel. Additionally, the Budgie edition introduces bug fixes, performance improvements, and an enhanced user experience through a new power dialog for session management, dual-GPU support in Budgie Menu, and an improved Budgie Screenshot application.

In the GNOME version, users will find the latest GNOME 43 series release, GNOME 43.5. Dark mode is now the default, and there have been changes to the shell theme. Notable improvements include updated system UI styling, a redesigned system status menu, and an improved screenshot experience. Tracker, responsible for file indexing, has also received enhancements to improve startup times and reduce memory usage.

For the Plasma variant, Solus 4.4 ships with Plasma Desktop 5.27.5, KDE Frameworks 5.106.0, and KDE Gear 23.04.2. This release introduces new customization options, gesture support for touchpads and touchscreens, floating panel support, and enhanced window tiling functionality. System widgets have improved, and the Wayland Session is now available out of the box.

The MATE edition comes with the latest MATE 1.27 series release; however, the Solus team has announced plans to sunset the MATE Edition. Due to the project’s Wayland strategy and overall development progress lagging behind the demands of the modern desktop landscape, Solus 4.4 will be the final release to include a MATE edition ISO. Nevertheless, Solus assures users that existing MATE installations will continue to receive support, and they are actively planning a seamless upgrade path to Xfce.

To experience all the exciting features of Solus 4.4, simply download the latest version from the link provided below.

Looking ahead, the future holds even more promise for Solus with the upcoming Solus V (Solus 5). The team has announced a major upgrade in the works, as Solus V will be based on Serpent OS and will bring additional updates. You can visit this blog post for more information on Solus 5.

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