Major changes in Drauger OS 7.5.1

As the end of January quickly approaches, we would like to announce some of the most major changes to Drauger OS coming in the next version, Drauger OS 7.5.1.

But first, all of us here at Drauger OS would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Mark Greaves, as well as the entire Peppermint OS community. Mark passed away on the 14th of January, and was the Peppermint OS project lead. While no one here at Drauger OS Development knew him on a personal or professional level, we still have a huge amount of respect for him as balancing a distro and a family are not easy. We are keeping Mark’s family and loved ones, as well as the entire Peppermint OS community, developers and users alike, in our thoughts as they go through this difficult time.

Even with such a somber note, the show must go on. And, while it we may be insensitive, we have a lot to cover in this blog post, so power on we shall!

First up, we are swapping out the default kernel in Drauger OS from the Liquorix kernel to a kernel we are building in-house. This new kernel will be based off the latest kernel in the Linux kernel GitHub repositories, so it will always be bleeding-edge in terms of security and performance. We aren’t changing any of the code from the Linux Kernel GitHub repository, so it’s about as vanilla as it gets.

Next up, we have ditched SystemBack. This tool was providing a back-up utility to Drauger OS, while also functioning as the system installation utility and the tool we were using to build the ISOs. To replace it we have:

  • Timeshift for backup
  • An in-house script to build our ISOs
    • This has resulted in about a 50% reduction in ISO size
  • An in-house tool for installing Drauger OS, simply called system-installer

Together, these changes should already make Drauger OS much more pleasurable to use. But, these aren’t even the most notable changes.

The first change you will notice after booting Drauger OS, is the Xfce layout.

The new Drauger OS Xfce Layout

In previous releases of Drauger OS, we received a lot of feedback from people saying they didn’t like our Xfce layout. Admittedly, this was made by someone with poor User Interface and User Experience design skills (which is to say, I was the one who made it). So, we got our in-house “Aesthetics Smartass”, Logan L Johnson, to remake it for us! He even provided a few other tips to make it look better, like changing the Terminal colors. So, after applying his new Xfce Layout and taking some of his advice, Drauger OS looks decidedly better and is easier to use.

For anyone who prefers the old layout, it is still available under Settings > Panel Profiles in Drauger OS, along with a backed up version of the new layout if you want to check out both of them, or export them to another Xfce machine.

We will be starting SERIOUS hardware testing soon for Alpha 3. In order for Drauger OS 7.5.1 to progress from Alpha 3 to Beta 1 it must meet a certain set of requirements:

  1. It must be installable, in practice, on machines with only UEFI (no Legacy mode), regardless of internet connection.
  2. It must be installable, in practice, on machines with only BIOS, regardless of internet connection.
  3. It must be installable, in practice, on machines with BOTH UEFI and BIOS, regardless of internet connection.
  4. It must not have any hardware- or configuration-induced kernel panics on any of the test machines
  5. It must be bootable on machines matching at least the Recommended System Requirements on our System Requirements page

So far, we have been meeting the bottom 3 requirements consistently. Unfortunately, The second requirement we have yet to be able to test outside of VirtualBox. So, we are unsure if we will meet it. While we do have the hardware to test the first requirement, it will be a while before we have a chance to test it as this machine is currently in use elsewhere.

So, in order to make it easier to test, we have been debating on opening up Alpha 3 to the public for this hardware testing process. Let us know what you think on our social media (linked below) or in a comment!

Finally, revisiting our post from 2 weeks ago, we have indeed got one of the partitioner scripts working. Now, auto-partitioning is working in system-installer. It takes up most of an entire drive when it is used, but most system installers do this, so it is to be expected. We even re-made our script for making swap files so it’s written in Python instead of Shell, potentially making it faster and more secure. This newly corrected functionality is already enabled and ready to go and known working for the most part. That being said, it is not without some bugs. But, for now it is working.

For the coming week, we plan to focus on ironing out any remaining bugs that we can find in Drauger OS overall, mainly in system-installer. But elsewhere in Drauger OS too.

Thanks for bearing with us through this massive blog post. We apologize for the lack of tact at the beginning and hope that we can better approach issues such as Mark’s untimely passing better in the future. For now, thank you for time and we hope to catch you next week.

Sincerely,

Thomas Castleman

Lead Dev, Founder

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