3 April 2017

Solus - A world apart

Solus, an operating system that has been gradually catching the attention of the Linux world.

This project, had a quite shaken development on its history. From changing the name of the project due to legal reasons, to the frequent updates and changes on their core work environment, Budgie Desktop... - Its for sure a world apart! 

This logo is under "Copyright © 2016-2017 Solus Project, Ikey Doherty" license.
Represent the GNU / Linux operating system, Solus.
Source: Solus

Brief biography of Solus

In 2011, Solus OS appears initially as a spin-off of Debian with the GNOME 2.x desktop. Later on, by Ikey Doherty ( project leader ) decision, the project stopped completely and the images (ISO) were no longer available.

In 2014, Ikey returned by launching to the world, the newest Linux based operating system, "Evolve OS". Afterwards, due legal reasons, they were forced to change the name to Solus ( from what I could understand and contrary what you might think, the legal question falls on the acronym OS and not the Evolve name ).

The new project has little or nothing to do with the previous one, has only the name and project leader.
Initially Solus relied heavily on Gnome 3.x packages, but in time the distribution has been moving away from this dependency, and even announced that will switch to QT as base platform for its core environment, Budgie Desktop ( as we announced ).

At first, Solus only had Budgie Desktop, but by the end of 2016, they also adopted Mate Desktop as a way to captivate potential users that weren't big fans of Budgie.

The image represent Solus with Budgie Desktop. It is under CC BY-SA 4.0 license. Source: Wikipedia

What is Solus?

Solus is an operating system designed to be user-friendly but minimalist, and offers a modern design and layout on both versions. It is an independent GNU / Linux distribution with its own repositories, or rather, isn't based on another distribution such as Debian, Ubuntu or Fedora. The package management system is eopkg, and recently the team opted for a roling release update scheme, which means that the distribution is updated over time, and the images (ISO) are updated periodically to allow new users install or test, the latest software available.

Unfortunately, it's been a trend in recent times, Solus is available for 64-bit processors only.

The image represent Solus with Mate Desktop. All rights to the image belonging to the Solus Project. Source: Solus

Solus Package Manager

Well, where to begin?

Originally Solus adopted the PiSi package management system, which is no longer supported, then the team forked it and called it eopkg. Now they'll drop the eopkg, and replace it with sol... Confused ?! - Me too, in the beginning!

I will try to give a crystal clear image, as possible;

  • When Solus came out as Evolve OS, they adopted the PiSi package manager, originally developed by Pardus Linux. Unfortunately, this package manager is no longer supported.
  • Solus team, in anticipation forked PiSi, and integrated on the system designating it eopkg.
  • In late 2016, Ikey Doherty the project leader announced that, the project will drop eopkg and replaced by another package manager that will be completely written in C, and named sol.
  • At this very moment when I write the article, Solus still uses eopkg !!!

It seems a bit confusing and with no resolution in sight, but it starts to be a very own characteristic of Solus team. They adopt a system or software package that best fits the project, and they evolve it, make it faster, practical and efficient. That's what seems to be the case of the new package manager. Once again everything is changing on Solus, and this will be surely another step towards consolidation.

The image represents Solus with Budgie Desktop. All rights to the image belonging to the Solus Project. Source: Solus

Why a world apart?

Why leads me to say, that Solus is a world apart?  - Is exactly what I expected to see on a GNU/Linux project. Solus is taking strides with new features, new functionalities. I give you as an example, the software center that doesn't waste the precious time of the user, and makes trivial the simple action to install with one click, a package or application... - And that, it's for sure an achievement in the Linux world.

However, it's not only the software center and its packages, I can also refer the latest driver manager or LDM, and also the continuous adaptation of Budgie Desktop to the real needs of the user ( I am not talking about themes and icons). In this particular issue, I mention the attention given to the usability, speed and interaction between what we seen on the screen, and whole processing necessary to run the software.

With the transition from Gnome to Qt as Budgie's base, we will certainly have more modularity, speed, and why not to say, an appealing interface that QT integration itself allows in terms of design.

The system isn't perfect, obviously. The project has flaws and errors like the rest of the distributions, but the approach given to the bugs and failures and the way the fixes are implemented, is unusual between Linux distros.
The same thing happens with the integration of some applications, that often have lot of obstacles to run in the GNU/Linux systems, distinguish Solus from other OS, as it was in the case of Steam.

It's in these small ( big ) differences that put Solus into a category of its own, in a world of its own.

Solus Links

  • Official website
  • Downoad's webpage
  • Solus wiki page
    • Solus Project Wiki

Publication Update: Solus Wiki page has been replaced by Solus Help Center

If you install this Operative System, install at your own risk.


  1. Great review...

  2. I don't read a lot of reviews. But Solus does peak my interest everytime they update/refine the operative system. It's not always visible but the technical details when hearing it is always interesting. Regardless, great review.