The all-new Feren OS is finally here.

The Feren OS Dev
Dec 25, 2019 · 10 min read

Today I’m proud to announce the release of Feren OS December 2019 Snapshot, codenamed ‘Yttrium’. This snapshot is one of the biggest snapshots in the history of Feren OS so far. It got delayed by two months, however this was so that the finalized product could be made as polished as possible for a first release.

Updating to December 2019 Snapshot

As always, it’s easy to update to the December 2019 Snapshot. To update to the December 2019 Snapshot open up Update Manager, hit ‘Refresh’, let it check for new updates and then update everything.

However, for Feren OS Classic users, an optional step was introduced in this snapshot to transform your installation into a Feren OS installation. However, that change is for later in this article.

For Feren OS Next Release Candidate 2 users, you’ll roll automatically onto Feren OS, however you’ll be missing some packages introduced in the final version. You’ll want to install these packages after updating everything: gamemode fonts-emojione

Finally, for Feren OS Next Release Candidate 2 users, you’ll want to run the following commands in Terminal to apply some last minute tweaks to your installations:

echo FRAMEBUFFER=y |sudo tee /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/splash

sed -i ‘/#DefaultTimeoutStopSec=/c\DefaultTimeoutStopSec=40s’ /etc/systemd/system.conf

Feren OS Classic? Wait, what’s that?

Now if you’re out of the loop you may be wondering what ‘Feren OS Classic’ is. Feren OS Classic, for those not yet informed, is the new name for Feren OS with Cinnamon (aka the original Feren OS and the only Feren OS version until this snapshot). Since calling both the Cinnamon and Plasma Feren OS versions ‘Feren OS’ was confusing I decided to rename the older version of Feren OS to this more appropriate name.

Changes in Feren OS

Since there’s a lot of changes to cover for Feren OS (the main version, not Classic), the changes have been split up into both changes in Feren OS and changes in Feren OS Classic. As such, here are the changes in Feren OS in this snapshot.

The first and most important change in this snapshot is the move to KDE Plasma. This means that Feren OS now has a completely different desktop environment to what it did before. KDE Plasma is an extremely stable and lightweight desktop environment by default in Feren OS, and it has way more support from the community naturally since it’s one of the major desktop environments available in Linux.

Now onto some cosmetic introductions. First of all Feren OS now includes a proper Light Mode theme option by default in the Themes area of System Settings. Simply apply it at any time from System Settings -> Themes -> Plasma Style or System Settings -> Themes -> Global Theme.

Secondly, the default Feren OS theme has had a bunch of minor visual tweaks. The most noticeable tweak is that menus are now dark and transparent rather than white and opaque. This, alongside Plasma’s blur effect, makes the desktop look way more sleek by default.

Furthermore, don’t worry about the menu camouflaging with black backgrounds — the menus are a very dark shade of grey instead of black so they will still pop out so that you can see where the menus start and end.

Thirdly, a new theme was introduced for Qt Applications, using the Kvantum theme engine, to make them look way more consistent with the default theming for GTK Applications.

I think you’ll find that applications now look way more consistent alongside each other in Feren OS by default (unless you include an Electron or similar application in the mix) because of this change. Furthermore, you can still make use of the ‘gtk2’ Application Style for Qt Applications if needed.

This change is also in Feren OS Classic, but either way as tradition has it Feren OS has a new wallpaper set this snapshot. This wallpaper set includes 3 new default wallpapers and a bunch of new Unsplash-provided wallpapers.

This snapshot also introduces Transfer Tool Version 2, the latest version of Transfer Tool. This update is a complete rewrite of the utility and allows for more reliable data backup from Windows than the previous version. Furthermore, the source code, for the wary, can now be easily accessed on our GitHub page and from in the application.

In the interest of presenting the browser in its intended form, Vivaldi has been stripped of all its Feren OS CSS modifications, excluding the title bar buttons. Outside of that the default themes have been updated to improve contrast, and DuckDuckGo has replaced StartPage as the default search engine.

To go alongside the change of the default desktop environment to KDE Plasma, the default application set has seen some major changes to compliment the new default desktop environment. These changes are:

  • Kate replaces Xed Text Editor
  • Okular replaces Evince Document Viewer
  • Ark replaces File Roller Archive Manager
  • XPad was removed as Plasma comes with a Sticky Notes Widget
  • Konsole replaces GNOME Terminal
  • Blueberry was removed as Plasma comes with Bluetooth management as a standard
  • Redshift was removed as Plasma has Night Color to replace this functionality
  • Spectacle replaces GNOME Screenshot
  • KSysGuard replaces GNOME System Monitor
  • Latte Dock replaces Docky
  • QApt Package Installer replaces GDebi Package Installer
  • KFontViewer replaces GNOME Font Viewer
  • Baobab Disk Usage Analyser, Conky, Seahorse Password Manager and MintReport were removed as they are no longer needed or have issues in Plasma

Another change that, while a backend change, is that Feren OS’s overall theme page in System Settings -> Themes in Feren OS Classic has been ported to Plasma as an expansion of Plasma’s Global Theme changer.

This ‘port’ takes the code for Global Theme in System Settings -> Global Theme in standard KDE Plasma bundled Operating Systems and expands on that to give Global Themes even more settings that can be changed, including the Files look and feel, GTK Theme and more.

A change that will make users of the early Feren OS versions happy is that Global Menu functionality makes its comeback thanks to Plasma including this functionality as a widget and also as an optional titlebar button.

This means that you can finally put your application menus back in the panel, or alternatively even as a button in the title bar of every window now.

The last time this feature was officially in Feren OS was all the way back in Feren OS 2017.0.

While on the subject of returning features, while not directly the resurrection of a feature that was removed in the past, Simple Menu, a Slingshot-style menu for Plasma, makes its entrance into Feren OS as the default menu for the default Feren OS layout.

Since it looks so similar to Slingshot, it’s technically the return of Slingshot from Cinnamon and I’m personally happy to see this menu style get a second chance once more. Feren OS has an extra small patch for Simple Menu by default to put the categories on the left instead of the right of the menu.

While on the subject of menus, Tiled Menu has replaced CinnVIIStarkMenu for the Familiar layout, since CinnVIIStarkMenu cannot be used in Plasma for obvious reasons. Tiled Menu is a grid-based menu that will look familiar to many Microsoft Windows users for how similar to a certain Microsoft Windows Start Menu it is. I still wish there was a Microsoft Windows 7 style menu for Plasma, but I guess I’ll have to go for second best for now.

Now for the layouts refinements in Plasma. The layouts roster was heavily stripped down to provide better focus on quality over quantity and to make it easier for the user to choose what layout they want. This means that only 6 layouts are now included by default (excluding KDE Plasma’s Breeze themes’ layout). These layouts cover the most common layout styles.

The 6 layouts are:

  • Cupertino Layout — your average panel and dock layout, complemented with global menus, left-sided window buttons and more
  • Familiar Layout — Redmond Layout except it’s modern
  • Redmond Layout —your average panel and menu style nostalgic layout
  • Feren OS — the default Feren OS layout
  • Tablet Mode — ‘Feren OS’ but the panel is bigger and I put a virtual keyboard button on the panel
  • Ubuntu Unity Layout — the layout that tests if you liked or hated Ubuntu’s Unity Desktop Environment

This does mean some layouts have gone, including the Windows 3.1 styled desktop layout, but at least the remaining layouts can guarantee an emphasis on quality.

Finally, patches and other edits were made to KDE Plasma and some of the newly introduced applications. There’s a lot of changes to discuss here for KDE Plasma, and a few to discuss for some of the newly introduced applications.

Since listing the changes made to Feren OS would make this article way too long and I’ve pre-empted for people asking just what even is different about Plasma in Feren OS, I decided to put a list of most of the changes made to Plasma in Feren OS here: https://ferenos.weebly.com/Changes-made-in-Feren-OS

Changes in Feren OS Classic

Now that the changes to Feren OS are out of the way, all that is left is the changes to Feren OS Classic in this snapshot.

This change is also in Feren OS, but either way as tradition has it Feren OS Classic has a new wallpaper set this snapshot. This wallpaper set includes 3 new default wallpapers and a bunch of new Unsplash-provided wallpapers.

This snapshot also introduces Transfer Tool Version 2, the latest version of Transfer Tool. This update is a complete rewrite of the utility and allows for more reliable data backup from Windows than the previous version. Furthermore, the source code, for the wary, can now be easily accessed on our GitHub page and from in the application.

In the interest of presenting the browser in its intended form, Vivaldi has been stripped of all its Feren OS CSS modifications, excluding the title bar buttons. Outside of that the default themes have been updated to improve contrast, and DuckDuckGo has replaced StartPage as the default search engine.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, a new ‘optional step’ was introduced in Feren OS Classic to transform your Feren OS Classic installation into a Feren OS one easily. This new transition utility provides the means of performing that step.

The transition utility provides a simple and painless way to transition Feren OS Classic to Feren OS without needing to reinstall the OS. Just go through its quick wizard, back up your configurations from Cinnamon if you would like and then hit the ‘Begin Transition’ button to begin the transition quick and painlessly. You will not be able to use Feren OS again until the transition is complete, though, so just be warned.

Overall

It took over a year to get the new Feren OS done, but it was worth it for sure. Seeing Feren OS like this and knowing what can come in the future for Feren OS makes me filled with joy and determination to make Feren OS even better than ever in the future.

Thank you to everyone who helped test Feren OS with Plasma while it was called ‘Feren OS Next’. Your bug reports, your suggestions, your support and more all helped make this possible.

Thank you to everyone who helped make Feren OS possible today, and those who have contributed to Feren OS in the past or recently, including those who have since unfortunately passed away after their contributions.

If you have not already, I’d strongly suggest watching the official release announcement video for Feren OS December 2019 Snapshot. It’s available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdHT4cGm3ho.

Finally, I hope everyone will be along for the ride to see where Feren OS goes from here. Make sure everyone who wants to know gets to hear about the all-new Feren OS, as well!

Either way, I’ll go back to being more social again, watching anime, playing games, and of course, developing Feren OS and Phoenix Linux further… after college work and other stuff that I still need to do.

This release of Feren OS is dedicated to my father

This release of Feren OS is dedicated to my father, who sadly passed away in 2016. Originally this snapshot was going to release on the day that marked the third year since his death, however this update was just not ready yet at that point and so it was delayed until today.

I’ll spare any more details, though. Don’t feel obliged to go easy on this release, however, just because of that.

Feren OS

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.

The Feren OS Dev

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Feren OS

Feren OS

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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