Vanilla OS makes its much-anticipated maiden debut with its first release: Vanilla OS 22.10.
Vanilla OS’s maiden release is finally out, bringing a new way of computing with Linux distribution. It has been under development and followed by a closed beta for the last few months. And finally, the team officially released Vanilla OS 22.10 “Kinetic” as their first-ever release.
So, why it’s unique? It’s not just another fork of popular Linux distribution. It has been developed from the ground up with some specific things in mind.
Unique Features of Vanilla OS
The core of the distribution is its own package manager & subsystem called apx. When you install Vanilla OS, the apx subsystem creates a container behind the scenes with restricted core OS packages. So that you or any user application doesn’t modify core operating system packages, bringing solid stability.
In a way, you may think of it as Fedora Silverblue or other immutable distributions. While apx isolates the critical packages, you as a user can still use all the drivers and core apps like you used to do in normal Ubuntu or Fedora distribution.
You may not see the difference on the first go if you are a normal user.
One of the best advantages of apx is that it enables you to install packages from other distributions’ repo. For example, if you want to install something from Arch User Repository (AUR), you can do it in Vanilla OS, even though it’s based on Ubuntu. When you do that, Vanilla OS creates a separate standalone container for Arch Linux, which integrates with the base system. You, as an end user, the entire process is seamless and streamlined.
Furthermore, a new system update tech called ABRoot enables you to update your system most safely.
ABRoot achieves this by transacting between 2 root file systems: A and B. Let’s give an example. Let’s say you want to install a new package. ABRoot will check which partition is the present root partition (i.e A), then it will mount an overlay on top of it and perform the transaction. If the transaction succeeds, the overlay will be merged with the future root partition (i.e B). On your next boot, the system will automatically switch to the new root partition (B). In case of failure, the overlay will be discarded and the system will boot normally, without any changes to either partition.Vanilla OS team
Yet, another goodie that comes with this first release of Vanilla OS is Smart updates by its tool called Vanilla System Operator (VSO). The VSO polls your system and makes the updates behind the scene when your system is light in load, well charged up, and the internet connection is stable. This feature is so useful for the end user that you fall in love with it.
So, what’s inside Vanilla OS 22.10?
Vanilla OS 22.10: What’s New
At its core, it is based on Ubuntu releases and features the GNOME desktop environment. All I can say, it’s the cleanest form of Ubuntu without the stuff that Canonical pushes inside Ubuntu for their commercial offerings.
So, you get a stable Ubuntu base with the latest GNOME desktop experience. This first release of Vanilla OS is based on the recently released Ubuntu 22.10 Kinetic Kudu and GNOME 43. In addition, the necessary apps are pre-installed with built-in support for Flatpak out of the box and the option to set up the AppImage via the welcome app.
Closing Notes & Download Vanilla OS 22.10
All of these goodies with so many possibilities in the maiden release of a Linux distribution are rare. Thanks to the devs & team who worked hard to bring us the best Ubuntu+GNOME experience for all the end users.
Stay tuned for my detailed writeup, performance benchmark and in-depth review of Vanilla OS soon; In the meantime, you can download it from the official website and enjoy a new way of computing.
Note: Try not to use it the first time in your production hardware because of the partition and GRUB-related issues. You should try it in a test system/virtual machine with at least 50 GB of disk space.
Finally, what’s your opinion about Vanilla OS 22.10? Let me know in the comment box.