The first release candidate of Feren OS Next is here!

The Feren OS Dev
Nov 9, 2019 · 5 min read

Today, I’m proud to announce the release of the first Release Candidate of Feren OS Next. This build brings in a whole bunch of improvements and now inches Feren OS Next so close to completion I can see the release date coming.

Now, this build is not your traditional Release Candidate. Traditionally an RC is a finished product under final testing before release, but for RC1 there are still a few small niggles that I want to fix before releasing the finished product. For the next release candidate and onwards however the use of the term ‘Release Candidate’ will be used in its traditional sense.

That being said, these bugs won’t affect Feren OS’s stability in overall (or should not anyway) so if you feel like being an earlybird you can now start using Feren OS Next as if it’s completed from this build onwards.

Anyway, I’ll cut to the chase and mention the changes in this build and where to download it, and all the other usual stuff.

Bug Fixes

First of all, this build fixes one of the most annoying issues in Feren OS: You could not successfully install Feren OS without an internet connection if your machine was using UEFI.

You should now be able to safely install Feren OS Next from this Release Candidate onwards on UEFI machines and have a fully working Feren OS installation at the end of it (minus fully installed language packs).

Another bug fix is that Feren OS Plasma VM Adjuster has been modified to now use ‘virt-what’ to determine Virtual Machine hardware. This greatly speeds up its checking process at boot time, making Feren OS Next take way less time to boot up if your machine is fast enough to load everything else during boot-up first.

Release Candidate 1 also correctly sets the default system locale to en_GB UTF-8 by default. The locale that was used beforehand was C (the fallback locale). This locale will be used by default in the Live Session if you have not chosen a different language beforehand.

Another bug fix in this RC is that Login Window’s shortcut in the Applications Menu now no longer prompts for a password using KDESu (which doesn’t work). It will instead now immediately prompt for a password through PKEXEC and work that way.

xdg-user-dirs-gtk has been properly implemented into Feren OS Next in this build, with the appropriate dialog for renaming Home Folders now appearing if the language changes. As well as this, the places sidebar in KDialog and similar applications now properly lists the folders with the correct translations (mostly) and correct URI conversions for certain symbols in certain languages.

In other words, KDialog is now more consistent when the language is changed with Nemo’s Places sidebar.

Fixing offline installations is not the only fix made to Calamares in this Release Candidate. Another fix introduced in this RC is that the Hard Drive disk space expectations now align with Feren OS Next’s disk space requirements (with a bit of extra leniency, for making sure you can do stuff on Feren OS once it’s installed, added).

The last noticeable bug fix made in this build is that the default Splash Screen and Lock Screen will now scale properly on DPIs higher than 1.0 without any oddities. Beforehand the Splash Screen’s spinning circle would be misplaced on screen and the Lock Screen’s input field would be outside of the input box for it.

Changes

The Lock Screen has seen small refinements in this build:

  • The wallpaper darkening effect on the default lock screen now looks sleeker and fits more on dark wallpapers as well
  • The input box now themes according to your Plasma Theme
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The refined Lock Screen in action

The ‘Window Decorations’ page in System Settings now has a small patch added to it. All this patch does is, like in Global Theme, toggles the Shadows Workaround Window Rule depending on the window borders theme selected.

Another change made is that Login Window and MintLocale have been edited slightly to fit better. Login Window now lacks the non-working (under Plasma) ‘Use user wallpaper’ option and MintLocale’s Input Method dialog now uses a titlebar-toolbar design instead of a headerbar.

Both of these modified packages can be installed by installing ‘ferenlocale-plasma’ and ‘lightdm-settings-feren-plasma’.

As the text above states, Welcome Screen has been updated to update the Keyboard Shortcuts page to make it reflect the final configuration for Feren OS keyboard shortcuts.

Metapackages are now pre-installed to manage packages in Feren OS including ones to manage some system packages, application packages and Plasma itself in Feren OS Next.

To add them yourself to Beta 4 or older installations, simply install ‘feren-os-plasma’.

As well as these changes, Plasma 5.17.2 has been introduced in Feren OS Next in this Release Candidate alongside all the same patches done to 5.16.X but done to 5.17.X. Furthermore, everything has been updated to the latest versions available when the ISO was made.

Finally, mentions of Feren OS Next Beta have been removed in this build including:

  • No more WIP Dialog at all
  • No more ‘Work In Progress’ default wallpaper

Conclusion

That’s it for the main changes in this Release Candidate. We’re nearly done but this is not the finish line just yet — https://github.com/feren-OS/Bug-Reporting-Center/milestone/1 is still waiting to be marked as complete, with only the Cinnamon -> Plasma Transitioning Tool and small changes remaining.

As always you can download Feren OS Next RC1 at https://ferenos.weebly.com/get-it, but otherwise keep those bug reports coming in, and let’s all make Feren OS Next as great as it can be on launch. Until next time when I announce the release of Feren OS Next Release Candidate 2, however, I’ll see you on the internet on the usual places.

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