Nitrux 3.4.0 now released: NX Desktop will remain on KDE Plasma 5.

Published distribution release Nitrux 3.4.0built on Debian package base, KDE technologies and init system OpenRC. The project offers its own desktop NX Desktop, which is an add-on for KDE Plasma. Library based Maui for the distribution is developing kit typical user applications that can be used on both desktop systems and mobile devices. To install additional applications, a system of self-contained AppImages packages is being promoted. Full size boot image is 3.4 GB. Project developments spread under free licenses.

The NX Desktop offers a different style, its own implementation of the system tray, notification center and various plasmoids, such as a network connection configurator and a multimedia applet for adjusting the volume and controlling the playback of multimedia content. From applications created using the framework MauiKitwe can mention the file manager Index (you can also use Dolphin), the Note text editor, the Station terminal emulator, the VVave music player, the Clip video player, the NX Software Center and the Pix image viewer.

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NX Desktop user environment will continue use the KDE Plasma 5.27 branch and will not migrate to KDE Plasma 6. NX Desktop is a set of add-ons heavily tied to the Plasma 5 branch. Migrating from KDE Plasma 5 to KDE Plasma 6 would require a lot of work, as many widgets would have to be adapted to changes in the new branch. Due to the fact that NX Desktop is not a priority project, it was decided not to waste time porting it to KDE 6, but to focus on bringing the Maui Shell to the desired state. Towards the end of the year, it was decided to switch the default distribution to the Maui Shell environment, which has already been ported to Qt6.

User environment Maui Shell is developing in accordance with the “Convergence” concept, which implies the ability to work with the same applications both on the touch screens of smartphones and tablets, and on large screens of laptops and PCs. Maui Shell automatically adapts to screen size and available input methods, and can be used not only on desktop systems, but also on smartphones and tablets. The project code is written in C++ and QML, and distributed by licensed under LGPL 3.0.

Maui Shell uses components to build GUIs MauiKit and the Kirigami framework, which are developed by the KDE community. Kirigami is a superstructure on elements Qt Quick Controls 2, and MauiKit offers ready-made interface element templates that allow you to create applications very quickly. The project also uses components such as BlueDevil (Bluetooth management), Plasma-nm (network management), KIO, PowerDevil (power management), KSolid and PulseAudio.

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Information output is provided using its composite manager Zpace, which is responsible for displaying and placing windows and processing virtual desktops. The Wayland protocol is used as the main protocol, which is worked with using the Qt Wayland Compositor API. Running on top of Zpace is the Cask shell, which implements a container that covers the entire contents of the screen, and also provides basic implementations of elements such as the top bar, pop-up dialogs, screen maps, notification areas, dock panel, shortcuts, program calling interface, etc.

The same shell can be used for desktop systems, smartphones and tablets, without the need to create separate versions for devices with different form factors. When working on regular monitors, the shell operates in desktop mode, with a panel fixed on top, the ability to open an arbitrary number of windows and control with the mouse. If you have a touch screen, the shell works in tablet mode with a vertical layout of elements and opening windows to fill the entire screen or a side-by-side layout similar to tiled window managers. On smartphones, panel elements and applications expand to full screen, just like traditional mobile platforms.

Changes in Nitrux 3.4:

  • By default, the Linux kernel 6.7.11 with patches is used Liquorix.
  • Updated package versions, including Firefox 124.0.1, Distrobox 1.7.0.1, Touchegg 2.0.17.
  • New versions of the AMD Vulkan driver 2024.Q1.3 have been proposed.
  • Updated microcode for AMD and Intel processors. New firmware for many drivers for wireless adapters, GPUs and sound cards has been added to the linux-firmware package.
  • Before version 3.3.0 The MauiKit library with components for building user interfaces has been updated, which is used as the basis for the Maui Shell and MauiApps applications. It includes components such as MauiKit Accounts, MauiKit FileBrowsing, MauiKit TextEditor, MauiKit Calendar, MauiKit Documents and MauiKit Terminal.

  • Release involved 2.1.3 tools NUTS (Nitrux Update Tool System), used to update the distribution.
  • Added a setting to the desktop-config utility that allows you to enable or disable opening directories in Maui Apps by double-clicking.
  • The System Monitor application has added a display of processor temperature and frequency, and the page with GPU parameters has been updated.
  • New applications are included: saferm (a wrapper over rm that protects against deletion of the root and home directory), ethtool (a utility for managing Ethernet devices), Powercap (a utility for accessing the powercap kernel subsystem), GeoClue (a D-Bus service for accessing to location data).
  • Changed to using packages with KDE components from the Debian repositories, rather than from the KDE Neon project repositories.
  • Removed Agenda (Calendar Maui App) due to unresolved stability issues.
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