ROSA Desktop Fresh R4 Is Out!

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The ROSA company is happy to present the long waited ROSA Desktop Fresh R4, the number 4 in the "R" lineup of the free ROSA distros with the KDE desktop as a main graphical environment. The distro presents a vast collection of games and emulators and the Steam platform package along with standard suite of audio and video communications software including the newest version of Skype. All modern video formats are supported. The distribution includes the fresh LibreOffice v4.3.1, the full TeX suite for true nerds as well along with best Linux desktop publishing, text editing and polygraphy WYSISYG software. The LAMP/C++/… enviroment packages are waiting to be installed by true hackers.

The R4 distribution is recommended for both the home users who want to communicate and surf the web and for the experienced ones who'd like to tweak the system their own way. ROSA Fresh R4 is based on a new rosa2014.1 platform which will be supported for 2 years and will serve as a base for several future releases.

Unlike R1, R2 and R3 releases, this release uses different repositories based on a new rosa2014.1 platform. All users of previous ROSA Desktop Fresh releases are highly encouraged to migrate to R4 release, since old releases are no longer supported. We recommend to install R4 over existing system from ISO image (if you have a separate /home partition, you can reuse it to save all your data), but it is also possible to update existing systems without re-installation.



Changes in technical part in comparison with previous release

Installer Improvements

  • Support for installation on machines with EFI.
  • Support for encrypted root partition.

Desktop Environment

  • The main Desktop Environment — KDE — has been updated to version 4.13.3 (KDE Backports repository contains KDE 4.14.1, but we plan to officially migrate to 4.14.x only after 4.14.3 release)
  • Phonon 4.8.0
  • Phonon-GSteamer and Qt-GStreamer now use GStreamer API 1.0
  • By default Plasma NM is now used to manage network connections (old knetworkmanager is still available in repositories).
  • By default kscreen is used to manage displays.
  • TimeFrame has been rewritten to use Baloo framework which superseeded Nepomuk in modern KDE.
  • In SimpleWelcome rarely used programs are now joined into groups.

User-level software updates

Popular user applications were updated to their latest versions:

  • Firefox 32.0.2 (Firefox ESR 24.8.0 with classic interface is also available in repositories)
  • Chromium 37
  • Mozilla Thunderbird 31.0
  • Clementime 1.2.3 (built with VKontakte support)
  • VLC 2.1.5
  • XBMC 13.2
  • Digikam 4.3.0
  • LibreOffice 4.3.1
  • FFmpeg codecs used by ROSA Media Player were updated to version 2.3.3
  • Restricted repositories now provide Pipelight package that can be used to render Silverlight contents in browsers (requires additional setup after installation - acceptance of license agreement and so on)
  • Contrib repositories contain experimental builds of Fresh Player Plugin which allows to use Chrome Pepper Flash plugin in Firefox and other browsers.

System Components

  • GCC 4.9.2_2014.08 Linaro
  • Glibc 2.19
  • FPC 2.6.4
  • Lazarus 1.2.4
  • LLVM/Clang 3.5
  • Lua 5.2
  • OCaml 4.01.0
  • Perl 5.18.2
  • Python 2.7.8
  • Python3 3.4.1
  • Ruby 2.1.2
  • NetworkManager 0.9.10
  • ModemManager 1.4.0
  • Samba 4.1.9
  • Graphical subsystem now uses Xorg 1.15 and Mesa 10.2.7
  • ROSA now uses MariaDB instead of MySQL

The distribution includes experimental version of ROSA Freeze — a tool to automatically rollback all changes performed by user during his session.

Kernel and Drivers

  • LTS Kernel 3.14.15 is used with support for BFQ 7r5.
  • Fresh R4 repositories provide three versions of proprietary drivers for Nvidia video cards: 340.x, 304.x, 173.x. XFdrake tool is responsible for graphical subsystem configuration chooses the proper driver automatically.
  • Improved support for hybrid Nvidia+Intel graphics.

System Requirements

Starting with this release, for KDE edition we recommend to use at least 2GB of RAM for 64bit version andd 1.2 GB for 32bit version. Users who want to run ROSA Desktop Fresh R4 on weaker machines, are encouraged to read our Optimization Advises.

[ List view ]Comments

For update existing systems on 64-bit R3, following the steps, at the first urpmi.addmedia command, 32-bit repos are added:

  1. urpmi.addmedia --distrib

adding medium "main" adding medium "main updates" adding medium "main testing" (ignored by default) adding medium "Main32" adding medium "Main32 Updates" adding medium "main32 testing" (ignored by default) adding medium "contrib" adding medium "contrib updates" adding medium "non-free" adding medium "non-free updates" adding medium "Non-free32" adding medium "Non-free32 Updates" adding medium "restricted" adding medium "restricted updates" adding medium "Restricted32" adding medium "Restricted32 Updates" ..

That would seem to make the subsequent steps:

  1. urpmi.addmedia main32_release
  2. urpmi.addmedia main32_updates


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