It has been a really busy 2023.
We would like to take a moment to update the community about what is to come with Peppermint OS.
First off thank you so much! to those who have helped and still continue to help test the upcoming releases of Peppermint, your support has enabled us to find and fix bugs.
The list of things that have been found and /or fixed is located here
The idea with this ongoing new chapter of Peppermint is to provide choice as well as give the user a starting point where in general the system will work with most hardware, but they also have just the very basic tools so that the user can immediately begin to build the system to their needs. That is the core reason we ship with little to no additional software packages.
Lets take and break-down each build we will be releasing and discuss what changes to expect.
Debian/Devuan desktop builds
These are the mainline desktop builds, typically they run about 1.4 to 1.5 gb in size, they both will come in 64/32 bit when released. As far as a schedule when they will be available, as Debian is officially out shortly after we do plan to release the Debian builds. Then as Devuan becomes official we will release the Devuan builds.
Debian based systems will use systemd while the Devuan based systems will use sysvinit although you can change this as needed for Devuan…it does support using different init systems you can read about that here
Changes that we have done so far:
- Branding – as we begin to break away from the classic Peppermint OS you will notice that our branding has been updated, and in some cases we have moved away from over branding such as the Menu icon is not needed, and we have a more simplistic neofetch configuration, most noticeable is, we have moved away from the sweet logo, you can read more about the branding here.
- Welcome – has been adjusted, meaning that we reorganized it to simplify things to get directly to the point of its purpose.
In general the Welcome looks the same, but the Welcome to Peppermint OS section has the following:
– Suggested – lets you select suggested packages we recommend
– Peppermint Hub – opens the Peppermint Hub
– Pep Docs – opens the Peppermint Documentation
– Build Logs – opens the build log on Sourceforge so you can review the changes.
– Then in the Community section we took out Reddit, because that is maintained by community members its not really an official channel that we own and maintain, the official things that the Peppermint Team does own and maintain is Sourceforge, matrix, Codeberg, and Mastodon.
- Suggested(tool) – This tool was adjusted, it is the window where you would check packages you wanted and then click the Install Selected button to install them.
We got feedback from the community that mentioned the flow was bit confusing so again we simplified it with two sections (Suggested Software) and (Suggested Web Browsers) with install buttons.
The reason for this tool is, it lists things that community users have mentioned they use frequently. The web browsers are only the browsers that are listed in the Debian repositories. The thought is, rather than terminal installing things or searching for things in Synaptic if what you use is listed in the suggested window you can easily click a button. It is by no means a replacement for a software store or Synaptic.
- Peppermint Hub – The hub pretty much remained the same, we did remove some applications based on feedback from the community, Kumo was moved to the menu that way you do not need to open the hub to use it. A few questions were asked about snap, flatpak, and Gnome store, out of the box those button are SSBs that take you to their website. If you install snapd the Snap Store button will use the local client side store and not the SSB, and if you install flatpak and Gnome Store the flatpak SSB is hidden as the GnomeStore will be used to manage and install flatpaks.
We do get questions for the purpose of the Peppermint Hub, the XFCE desktop does not include all the general utilities, in the XFCE Settings panel. With the hub we pretty much include the things we custom use and other tools that provide value to a user that are not listed in the XFCE Settings. Keeping it simple and straight forward is the idea. This tool is using tkinter which is its own platform for python.
It does function on other desktop environments.
If you are not using XFCE the XFCE settings will be hidden from view.
- Kumo – has also had a lot of changes. With the on going popularity of PWA‘s most of the chromium based browsers already support them, it comes down to whether or not the owner of the website or someone has created a PWA supported application for that site.
The question then becomes what is the value of a SSB native application?
We started thinking what value add can Kumo bring, and what were the issues we saw with ICE. ICE needed to have FireFox, Chromium, Vivalidi or any other browser that the developers at the time added support for. The catch was you had to use one of the supported browsers. If you did not want to use any of the supported browsers then you could not get value from ICE, in other words it in a way was forcing a user to install some specific type of browser that they may or may not choose to use. The other problem we wanted to solve with ICE was backup and importing ICE Apps to be shared or moved to another computer. The value that we think Kumo brings is, versatility and, it will generally supply a SSB experience on most if not all websites.
The upcoming changes that you will see with Kumo are:
– We moved away from adding launchers to the whisker menu or any system menu etc…. Kumo will now function more like a SSB launcher rather than a tool to create launchers. Meaning you can create your SSB and save its address to a local database, and use the same window to launch the SSB.
– Kumo uses lua for its SSB browsing its very minimum(6mb) and is a great starting point to build upon for future iterations.
Those are the bulk of the changes we have made, xDaily is still there its a basic shell script that updates your system, you can read about that here
Debian/Devuan mini builds
The idea with these builds is for those users who really want to build their system their way, it runs about 174mb it uses the Debian installer to perform a net install. The release schedule for this can be similar as the desktop mainline assuming testing has been satisfied. These do allow different desktops but ONLY the XFCE desktop environment is configured the “Peppermint way” but the Peppermint Tools work on all environments.
A small mention about the Devuan mini at some point during the install you can choose what init system you prefer,
Debian / Devuan ARM builds
These builds will be available as testing is satisfied after their based systems are officially released. They have similar configurations as the mainline builds with a live session available. ( A note about these is, they are UEFI-only)
They run about 1.3 to 1.4 gb in size.
Debian / Devuan Server Builds
Debian is often used for server related functions, with the Peppermint Server builds we configure SELinux, also we add in Cockpit(Debian Only), SSHGuard as well as other options that will be useful for server needs. This is a big one that we are working on and will probably be the last of all the builds we release this year, the release date on these will be TBD
That is what we have been up to in 2023 and we hope that kind of gives an idea of what to expect in the coming months.
If there are any questions please feel free to reach out to us through any of our avenues