Goodbye GNOME ISO: CachyOS March Release Prioritizes Plasma 6

CachyOS's streamlined March 2024 release introduces Plasma 6 with Wayland, new CDNs, and refined filesystems.

CachyOS is an Arch-based rolling Linux distro that aims to provide users with improved performance while being simple. Betting on the XFS file system by default, it comes with an easy-to-use GUI installer (Calamares), making it an attractive choice for new users to the Arch ecosystem.

The March 2024 release of the distro introduces many updates and new features designed to enhance the user experience, so let’s look at them.

CachyOS March 2024 Release: A Leap Forward with Plasma 6

One of the notable changes in this release is the decision to discontinue the GNOME ISO variant of CachyOS. This move aims to streamline the user experience by reducing confusion around net installation options and supported desktop environments.

Thus, users can now enjoy a more straightforward process, with most desktop environments accessible directly through the netinstall feature.

In other words, if you want to use a desktop other than Plasma, CachyOS provides the entire range of choices that Linux users can imagine during installation. This includes GNOME, Xfce, MATE, LXQt, Openbox, the tiling window managers i3, Hyprland, Sway, bspwm, the less popular and exotic Wayfire, CuteFish, and others.

This release introduces Plasma 6 as the default desktop environment paired with Wayland, promising improved visual and operational performance for all users. Of course, the system maintains compatibility with X11 for a seamless transition.

CachyOS default desktop.

Moreover, CachyOS has integrated new Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) as the default options for downloading and installing the system to enhance the installation process.

With one hosted by Cloudflare R2 and another by a community user via Digital Ocean, users across the globe now can expect significantly faster netinstallation times, making the process more efficient and user-friendly.

The installer itself, Calamares, has been updated to version 3.3.5 and now utilizes QT6 over the previous QT5, aligning with the Plasma 6 desktop environment. This update ensures a more cohesive system aesthetic and functionality.

Furthermore, following recent changes by Arch Linux, CachyOS has adopted early microcode loading as a default feature, enhancing the system’s security and stability from the boot process onwards.

Another improvement is the expanded support for filesystems in the refind bootloader. In light of this, F2FS (Flash-Friendly File System) and ZFS are now available as options, including LUKS2 encryption. This broadens users’ choices regarding filesystems, catering to different preferences and requirements.

Lastly, CachyOS’s March release also includes updates to essential packages, such as Linux kernel 6.7, MESA 24.0.2, and zfs-utils 2.2.3, alongside a variety of bug fixes aimed at streamlining the installation process and ensuring a cleaner selection of installation options for the user.

The official announcement provides a complete list of changes. For those eager to experience the latest advancements in CachyOS, the March 2024 release is available for download from the SourceForge’s mirrors.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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