Release: SymphonyOS 15.0

I am pleased to announce the release of SymphonyOS 15.0. This release continues improvements to the Mezzo 4 desktop bringing it to a much more stable state.

SymphonyOS 15.0

This release includes the following bugfixes:

  • Improvements to window management removing the maximized defaults and generally imrproving usability
  • Functional Lock screen, Log out, Reboot and Shutdown commands in the session tab.
  • Updates to app launching from the apps and settings menus
  • Visual improvements to the menus and an improved support for statusbar applets.
  • Chromium has been replaced with the lightweight Midori Web Browser.

Additionally the following new features are included.

  • Functional installer that properly creates user accounts on install. This new installer, based on the simple remastersys installer is functional but will continue to be improved. Currently it requires disk partitioning be done in gparted durring the installation process.
  • Addition of the symphony-community webapp. Currently this app acts as a client to the #symphonyos IRC channel on freenode but further improvements are planned.
  • Kiosk Mode - This release introduces Kiosk Mode in the Mezzo Desktop. By creating a .kiosk file in your home directory with a URL (either remote or local) the next time you log in, rather than loading the full desktop environment a fullscreen Webkit webview is loaded with your URL.
  • Apt Repository - Beginning with this release the Mezzo Desktop is available in an apt repository and we will be releasing incremental updates as new improvements and features are launched.

Following the relase of SymphonyOS 14.1 the 4.x series of Mezzo was finally stable enough to use on a daily basis and throughout the development of 15.0 I have been running Mezzo as my full time desktop environment both for work and home use. Numerous minor improvements to stability have been implemented thanks to this and SymphonyOS 15.0 is now stable enough for use on a daily basis. Despite this improved performance we still caution against using SymphonyOS for mission critical operations as individual testing by one person is not sufficient to consider the distribution truly stable. We hope that this caveat will no longer be necessary by the time we reach 15.1.

Today we have also launched a new website providing a simple experience making it easier to find the information you need and to interact with us. This includes a re-vamped Community Page. We have also adopted the use of Uservoice for bug reports and feature requests and we encourage all users of SymphonyOS to let us know how we can continue to improve your experience.

What's Next?

Following this release we will be continuing to focus on our web app framework, introducing javascript libraries to allow your web apps to access system functions, execute programs, open and save files. These functions will be available for both local and remote web apps. With the release of these tools we will also be creating a simple web app packaging service allowing you to quickly and easily generate deb packages for your Mezzo web apps.

One of these new web apps which did not make it into this release is our AppLibrary. This interface will allow you to browse available applications and easily install and uninstall them. This app was originally designed to function with apturl but as this Ubuntu created application is not available for Debian the app is not yet fully functional. A new apt wrapper is being created to integrate these functions directly within the web app. While not yet functional, the symphony-applibrary package is available for preview in our apt repository.

The ISO released today is our first 64 bit release. We have plans for releases in our 15.x series targetting both i686 and ARM architectures as well.

Download SymphonyOS 15.0 beta

The default wallpaper for this release "Reflection" can be found here.