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Feren OS

Feren OS Next Release Candidate 2 has arrived!

Today, I’m proud to announce the release of the second (and probably final) Release Candidate of Feren OS Next. This build brings in a few final improvements to the OS before its completion.

Now all that remains, excluding any future bug fixes as new bugs are discovered, is finishing the User Guide, media stuff, website redesign and the Transition Tool for Cinnamon users (among 1 or 2 minor things) — finishing https://github.com/feren-OS/Bug-Reporting-Center/milestone/1 basically.

Unlike Release Candidate 1, this Release Candidate is true to its terminology and represents the first true candidate for a completed Feren OS Next. As such, it can now be used on daily driver hardware as long as you don’t mind checking for and reporting bugs (until the day it officially launches).

Let’s just get this out of the way before I state the changes and bug fixes and such that is usually said during these… It feels weird — in September last year I started the endeavour to make a Feren OS experience that is built atop KDE Plasma. Later that year I announced the move and from that day begun a relatively long-winded process of making sure everything that made Feren OS Feren OS was ported to work on Plasma too. That and also working on theming, patching in the usual Feren OS extensions to Cinnamon but to Plasma instead, and so on. It took over a year, but I’m happy to say it was worth it in the end. Thanks to all the testers of Feren OS Next, Feren OS Next can (hopefully) start off life as an extremely polished Feren OS experience that might just superseed even Feren OS (Cinnamon)’s polish when it’s officially launched.

That out of the way, I have a little something coming in the future for the launch date that testers can look forward to. Anyway, onto the good stuff:

Bug Fixes

Window Buttons now works again

A missing component in Window Buttons prevented the applet from working in RC1. This has been resolved in a package update and this update is included in RC2.

Ambiguous Shortcuts — Kate

Ambiguous shortcuts in Kate (keyboard shortcut conflicts with another keyboard shortcut) have now been fixed (for the ones that were found anyway) on new users. This means clean installs of RC2 should not have this issue now.

Ubuntu Unity Layout’s Desktop Icons grid has been ‘fixed’

The desktop icons grid that contains desktop icons in the Ubuntu Unity Layout has had a fix to prevent it from underlapping the Latte Dock on the left in that layout. However, due to the nature of the ‘fix’, the following things should be noted:

  • There is a panel behind the top panel that looks like a small-ish rectangle that has the same width as the Latte Dock on the left — this is how the desktop icons grid was fixed. (it can’t be seen when Blur is enabled)
  • If you want to move Latte elsewhere, it is highly recommended to also move that small panel to be in the same place as the Latte Dock. This can be done by moving the top panel out of the way and then moving the small panel, followed by moving the top panel back in place.

Latte is more consistent in changing layout when applying a Global Theme

Finally, Latte Dock’s layout changing has been made to be more consistent layout-changing-wise when applying a Global Theme, so it should not stay on the previous layout now as often if ever in RC2 when changing the Plasma Desktop layout via Global Theme.

Changes

All 3rd Party Applets are now at their latest available versions

All the 3rd-Party Applets that are pre-installed in Feren OS Next are now using their latest available versions in RC2. The major changes with them are below:

  • Tiled Menu: Design overhaul, I guess. Also it has some new settings tweaks in it to make it look a little more faithful by default while still fitting in Feren OS
  • Show Desktop (Win7): Major update — you can now change the colours of the Show Desktop button as well as tweak a few more things (also has a small patch in it for Feren OS that removes its alternative state for Unlocked Panels)
  • Window Buttons: You can now use the Plasma Theme’s colours to colour the window buttons with on supported window decorations, and there’s a bunch of other improvements and changes

All other 3rd-party pre-installed applets are already at their latest versions, so they do not have any changes to be mentioned here.

Theme Colouriser now recommends logging out and in again for new accent colours to take effect

Theme Colouriser will now, in RC2, recommend that you log out and in again when you apply a new accent colour so that the new accent colour can take effect via a harmless dialog that does not hold up the theme applying process in any way.

Global Theme’s “Use Desktop Layout From Theme” checkbox now automatically ticks itself when you select another Global Theme

Since the normal behaviour for ‘Use Desktop Layout From Theme’ and the tickbox associated with it seems to be confusing for most users, I decided on the second best option: Just make it tick itself when you select a new Global Theme. Hence, now, you’ll notice that the tickbox magically ticks itself when you select a Global Theme.

Don’t worry, you can still untick it afterwards and apply only the theming then from that Global Theme, but otherwise it makes it easier for users to discover the layouts functionality of Global Themes in Feren OS (especially since auto-ticking that checkbox brings up the notice too about it).

Also don’t tell anyone but it’s also because I’m kind of tired watching people be completely oblivious to that checkbox and wonder why their layout is not applying. No offence to anyone, just… yeah, thought I’d prevent that from happening in the future with RC2.

Consequently, Welcome Screen > Getting Started > Customisation got a small update to reflect this change in behaviour in its tip about applying layout and/or theming in Global Theme.

New Wallpaper Set

I’ve left the best for last. Feren OS Next Release Candidate 2 has a currently exclusive change in it that no other builds can obtain (yet — it’ll be obtainable closer to the launch date for all other users) in the form of the next snapshot’s wallpaper set.

Since the next snapshot will have a momentous change in it, the default wallpaper has been changed to a new one to mark the greatness of this change and the incoming start of a new era for Feren OS as a whole.

Feren OS Next with the new default background

Additionally, like every other snapshot there are plenty of new wallpapers from Unsplash, and these wallpapers are especially diverse in this set.

As for the default wallpaper, if it looks familiar to you, it may be because if you open Welcome Screen > Getting Started > System Specifications you may notice on the computer screen that this exact default wallpaper was silently revealed a little while ago as a small secret for anyone who had a keen eye to find.

Dates

I want to end this by mentioning planned dates for all things Feren OS and Feren OS Next. Currently I still have no confirmed ETA on Feren OS Next’s completion as that heavily depends on when all the remaining tasks are completed, but I can say for sure that I’m very likely going to delay the November 2019 Snapshot to be a December 2019 Snapshot instead. Apologies for postponing it again, but I want this Snapshot to be the snapshot to introduce the completed Feren OS Next to everyone even if it delaying it by two months.

Feren OS Next Release Date: To be confirmed and announced on the website

Feren OS November? 2019 Snapshot (Yttrium): Possibly December 2019

With that out of the way, see you in the future when I have new updates for Feren OS and Feren OS Next. Until then, see you in the usual places of the internet, I guess. You can get it from https://ferenos.weebly.com/get-feren-os.

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The Official Medium page for Feren OS, an Operating System built on Ubuntu designed for the people who want to take back control of their computer.

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