Feren OS's news area has a new home on Medium! From now on you can get news about Feren OS there:
A second refresh to the January 2019 Snapshot ISOs is now available, bringing with it all the improvements and updates made to Feren OS since the last ISO refresh was released, as well as re-doing the ISOs on the latest Mint base.
As current Feren OS users may have noticed, there have been some issues happening lately with the SourceForge Repositories for Feren OS, which have been going on for about over a week now, where the Packages file and potentially other files that APT tries to retrieve on an apt update appear to return 404 Errors, and therefore 'fail' to download, even though they exist. Due to this issue being random at first before getting as bad as it has now and not showing any signs of stopping, alongside other issues happening with the SourceForge Repository that are less than desirable, I am now slowly transitioning the Feren OS PPAs to a new location, before entirely retiring the old ones on SourceForge.
This won't, however, mean that the Feren OS ISO pages on SourceForge are being retired - only the Feren OS Repositories page will be getting 'retired' from SourceForge soon.
This is just a quick blog post to say that the Feren OS Stock i386 ('x32') and Feren OS Stock amd64 ('x64') ISO Download Links have been updated to bring the January 2019 Snapshot to the latest package versions. There is not much in terms of differences here, but the differences that are here are quite significant for new users.
All the packages that are update-able to their latest versions on the Ubuntu 18.04 base have been updated to their latest versions, meaning you will not have to do as many updates upon installing the OS than you will have to with the original January 2019 Snapshot ISOs.
As well as this, Weather (Applet) has been updated to make it work again as well as bring its latest available features, thanks to version 2.1.2.
Meet the New 'Welcome to Feren OS' Screen:
As well as these updates, another program was recently made for Feren OS that all Feren OS Machines will now come with by default (current users may have noticed it being installed with updates) that will only show initially for new users. The 'Welcome to Feren OS' screen, also known as 'feren-oobe', is a screen that appears initially on all new user accounts on Feren OS and allows the user to set up a few parts of the Feren OS experience right from the get-go before they begin using Feren OS:
More options might come soon to this 'OOBE' (Out Of Box Experience) Screen, such as picking your Accent Colour, and more, but this will be sure to make Feren OS a lot better for new users that may not like small details such as the theme mode (light/dark), the clock placement, and/or the other tiny details. This 'OOBE' will also be ported over to Plasma in the future as an initial Feren OS 'OOBE' screen for Feren OS Next now that Feren OS Next has a Themer equivalent for it.
In conclusion, I hope new users and current users alike will love the changes made to the January 2019 Snapshot ISOs to improve the initial experience of Feren OS greatly, and I hope you are enjoying and/or will enjoy Feren OS!
The download link remains the same, have fun.
The Feren OS Dev
UPDATE: The ISOs have now been completely uploaded, thanks for waiting
So, I'm going to be blunt starting things off: 2018 was a huge year for Feren OS, and also me (The Developer) alike, for many reasons. Because of this reason, I'm more-so going to be doing a general(ish) review of 2018, albeit with the biggest focus being on Feren OS-related events. To put it short, there were many great happenings in 2018 for Feren OS and GNU/Linux in general as an OS Family, however, as many will have already known by now, it was not all sunshine and rainbows this year. We lost some pretty significant people in regards to my childhood and very likely many others', for starters, and secondly things were not all too easy at times, and mistakes were made, and I'm not going to deny that.
In wake of the immediate availability of Linux Mint 19.1's Repositories to Feren OS Users done earlier today, both the 32 Bit Feren OS ISO and the 64 Bit Feren OS ISO have been updated, with Feren OS 'KDE Experimental' getting an update of its own at a later time and date. The ISOs can be downloaded at the same place as they have always been available at, and all the MD5SUMs and SHA256SUMs have been updated on the 'Get It' page of the website.
Here's what has been changed in the ISOs:
You've heard this correctly, Feren OS's Linux Mint Repositories can now be easily upgraded to those of Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa, meaning that Feren OS can now have Cinnamon 4.0, Nemo 4.0, and all the other changes for non-Feren-OS components reflected onto its experience.
Updating is as simple as can be, just update 'feren-os-ppa-settings' to the latest version, Refresh the APT Cache by hitting 'Refresh' in Update Manager, and then update everything as the Mint 19.1 Repositories should then take effect the moment feren-os-ppa-settings is installed and the APT Cache refreshed.
Anyway, since it's simple enough to update, let's see what has changed:
So, if you haven't heard yet, Linux Mint 19.1 has had a BETA released for it which includes Cinnamon 4.0, and all the other latest additions and such for it, and here's how things are right now with getting Feren OS ready for Cinnamon 4.0:
Minor Updates are now available for Feren OS (x32), Feren OS (x64), and Feren OS (x64 KDE Experimental) ISOs
There are now new updates to the Feren OS ISOs available, which bring with them urgent fixes for potential installation failure vectors, as well as updating everything possible to the latest versions.
Here's the changelogs for each ISO:
Updated to fix misinformation.
So, after the poll on the Google+ over the desired choice of Desktop Environment for the 'Emergency Desktop Environment', sparked by the potential desire of Linux Mint Team to kill off Metacity support in Cinnamon (Metacity is the Window Dressings around windows, which includes the Close, Maximise, Minimise and Menu buttons, and the borders around windows), the word from the community of Feren OS Users who participated made their call, with the options being either KDE Plasma or GNOME. Due to a more than overwhelming response in support of using the Plasma Desktop Environment as the next DE, and due to a number of other reasons as well, Feren OS is about to change, for the better.
Every day I'm always trying to make improvements and features and improve existing features in order to make the Feren OS Experience as great as possible... this can also mean that issues may arise and so I want to try and make sure that the issues are as lacking and rare as possible, but quite recently that has slipped a bit, and some noticeable cracks have shown in the updates Feren OS has had in recent time, before eventually being fixed, within Feren OS and Feren OS's packages alone. Here's an apology for the inconvenience those issues might've then caused, as well as me explaining what I've put in place since that has happened.
The ISO was updated yesterday to hopefully fix EFI-boot Installation Failures.
Known Bugs/Issues for 1/1/2019 Update:
- 'Login Window', aka 'lightdm-settings', is left-over from when LightDM was still the DM for Next
- displaymanager.conf has been re-added to the Calamares Installer (caused LightDM Initialisation Failure issues for some users) for SDDM Configuration, but I'm not entirely sure about whether it will work fine for everyone now or not.
- Default Favourites will only display once the menu has been swapped out for an 'Alternative' menu, due to a slightly glitchy value for the default favourites value (don't know what causes it, but looking into it)...
- Some Open With defaults are completely wrong, such as Text Files opening in Okular rather than Kate by default, these will be ironed out near the end of development, most likely
- Potentially more minor niggles
Changelog...? Check the January 2018 Snapshot Announcement Blog Post for that...
Too big an ISO for you? Well... Have a look at the size of Kubuntu 18.04's ISO, for comparison... and then put that on top of the fact that removing XFCE from Xubuntu and installing the Standard Kubuntu KDE Package makes the Xubuntu ISO then made A LOT BIGGER... yeah, Plasma's great for resource usage... just not so great for ISO Size... eh, I'll figure out ISO Size Optimisation closer to the Stable Release of this thing... that's a promise, I will try to make it near to the Feren OS with Cinnamon ISO Size, or 0.1GB bigger than that, at least, by release. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So, I got hold of Issue 241 of Linux Format from a local store after hearing that there was a review of Feren OS in it, meaning it'd be good for me to check it out, on top of the fact that I usually get Linux Format anyway, to then find out that they NOT ONLY did a review of the OS, BUT ALSO a full-fledged article on Feren OS, namely getting started with the OS! Cheers for that, by the way, if you're reading this, you people that made those the review and the article, but I thought I might spend a blog post clarifying some things up that seem to have been confused regarding Feren OS in 2018.
So, for all those who want to translate Feren OS to other languages, you can now obtain the POT files for the strings in Feren OS Programs and Additions to other applications (for bits that'd otherwise be in English no matter what locale's chosen), from this GitLab Repository:
- Please follow the instructions on the Repository Description in order to contribute translations
- It'd be preferred if you DO add po and mo files in the specified locale's folder, based on the main POT File, you can use programs such as 'poedit' to create the 'po' file, and then you can make the 'mo' file with commands such as 'msgfmt -v namehere.po -o namehere.mo'.
- The repo, at the time of writing this, is currently sparce. The repo will gain more and more POT files as the OS gets more and more packages updated in order to add translate-ability to them, as so far only Layout Manager has translate-ability in-code. (2018.07.0.0.1)
The Feren OS Dev
So, a little bit of a short blog post, but, there's two things I'd like to highlight:
1. The upgrade path for Feren OS on 16.04 users
- The upgrade path, as promised, for Feren OS on 16.04 users to update to an 18.04 base, has now been unblocked once more, because of a promise I made that upon the release of Ubuntu 18.04.1 the path would be unblocked once more, as well as the fact that, obviously, Ubuntu 18.04.1 got released officially. With the latest updates to the Major Updater, future Major Updaters also now have better protection against errors that could be caused from issues such as not being able to access the Feren OS Repositories, etc, now too, with a package check for a package on the Feren OS Repositories failing then causing the program to stop Major Updating before the process gets to the point where things aren't easily undone, as an extra pre-Update check.
2. Contributions for Translating
- So, about Translations: I know a lot of you have been sending me emails about wanting to contribute translations to Feren OS, and for that, I'll say right now: Sorry for not replying, and I'll, once done with a big change that I'm working on for Feren OS Live, for the standard OS usage path (More Details Soon), I'll work on adding in translation support for Feren OS Additions, as well as add a repository on my GitLab with all the English Strings, and then have all the locales I know of separated in there as branches, with all the strings, in files, so that translators can then fork, translate, and pull request the translations for different locales, so that I can then attempt to add in translations for non-English languages in Feren OS.
The Feren OS Dev
Applies to: 2018 October Snapshot (Codename: Titanium) and later snapshots (Updated)
It has come to my attention thanks to Clem at Linux Mint that there's currently a Major issue with the upgrade paths of EVERYTHING for 16.04 > 18.04, and so with this I warn everyone, DO NOT INSTALL THE MAJOR UPDATE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
So, the problem here is as follows:
In 16.04, MESA got an update that makes it NEWER than the version on 18.04 (a backport), which creates MASSIVE APT Dependency Issues which, upon a person taking the upgrade path, can result in the removal of Desktop Environments, Libraries, Zenity, WebKitGTK, in other words, YOUR INSTALLATION WILL GET TRASHED IF THIS HAPPENS TO YOU.
The source comment is here: https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3615#comment-144157
Clem has confirmed that he's in talks with the MESA team at Canonical to try and get this fixed as fast as possible, but I thought I'd also warn you people too, as his post is merely a comment on the situation and so won't get noticed fairly well.
So, what now?
It's a little too late in the day now for me to react to this situation, but tomorrow I promise that, because of the fact that the Major Update process requires an internet connection as is, I'll make use of the Major update scripts GitLab to add a blocker file which then prevents the Major Update from being commited if the file is found on the repo, and will then get the script to download it and print the message inside of it as to what's going on, for those who may be unaware.
Also, businesses, like I said, schedule it for some time LATE in the year, so that there's enough time for bugs like this to be ironed out before your computers get the brunt of this set of updates.
The Feren OS Dev
It's great making something for the community that might become quite big and remain for a very long time to continue serving the community and helping Linux as a result.