Rebuilt on the base of Debian 11 Bullseye, Endless OS 4.0 is here with improved app grid navigation, fast user switching, and many other improvements.
The developers of Endless OS have just announced the release of Endless OS 4.0. It is a major update and focuses mainly on helping users take advantage of their internet connection when they have it.
What’s Endless OS
Endless OS is built from Debian Linux, and its primary goal is to create a global platform for digital literacy. The distro provides a simplified and streamlined user experience using a customized desktop environment forked from GNOME Shell. In addition, it is fully equipped with essential apps to learn, play, work, and connect.
The Endless OS desktop feels like the combination of a mobile device with a traditional desktop.
Endless OS is a distribution oriented mainly to novice users who want to pay the slightest attention to the installation and configuration process. Instead, they look for something ready with all the basic applications they need.
Unlike most Linux distributions, Endless OS uses a read-only root file system. On top of this read-only file system, Endless OS uses OSTree and Flatpak to manage the system and user applications. In addition, many of its applications are available offline, so Endless has everything you need to take full advantage of your computer.
Endless OS 4.0 Highlights
Endless OS 4 is built directly against Debian 11 Bullseye and introduces a long-term support (LTS) version of the OS, which will be supported for several years even after Endless OS 5 is released.
By default, Endless OS 4 systems will automatically update to Endless OS 5 when it is released, as with all past versions of the OS. However, it is now possible to remain on Endless OS 4 and continue to receive critical bug fixes and security updates even after Endless OS 5 is released, keeping the same OS functionality and appearance for several years.
The new version makes it possible to switch to a different user while another user is still logged in by choosing a button on the lock screen or in the user menu.
Since Endless OS 3.9, all apps installed on the system have been shown on the desktop across two or more pages of icons. Endless OS 4 adds clickable arrows to navigate between pages and makes the row of dots indicating the number of pages more visible, even against complicated wallpapers.
It’s important to note that all configured printers are removed as part of the upgrade to Endless OS 4. Instead, printers connected to your computer or on the same local network should now be automatically discovered. Of course, if you have issues, you can manually re-add your printer using “Settings” -> “Printers.”
Under the hood, Endless OS 4 ships with Linux kernel 5.11 and an updated linux-firmware package. NVIDIA driver has also been updated to version 460.91.03, adding support for new NVIDIA graphics cards. On top of that, Raspberry Pi 4B 8GB RAM is now supported. Previously the distro only had support for the 2GB and 4GB RAM models. In addition, graphics and WiFi performance are improved across all Raspberry Pi 4B models.
Among other things, the shared account has been removed in Endless OS 4, and it’s no longer created by default on new systems because it interacted badly with Parental Controls being configured in the initial setup.
On existing systems that upgrade to Endless OS 4, the Shared Account will be preserved, but it will no longer have its Chromium profile and trash cleared between sessions, and Chromium will no longer be configured not to save passwords.
Downloading the Endless OS 4 ISO file may be the only confusing part of using Endless OS. You have two options, a base version that comes under 4GB and a full version closer to 17GB. The full version comes with more than 100 apps preinstalled, allowing you to run without an internet connection.
The ISO file (available on PC only) corresponds to the Endless USB Stick, a bootable version of Endless OS which will present you with the choice of either evaluating Endless OS from the USB disk or installing it on your computer. This is what most users will aim for.
The Virtual Machine OVF image is useful if you wish to run Endless OS as a virtual machine within another operating system.