Linux Kernel 6.2.13, Plasma 5.27.4, and WayDroid in default installation are just some of the new features offered by Nitrux 2.8.0.
Nitrux is a desktop-focused Linux distribution based on the Debian unstable branch, featuring a heavily modified KDE Plasma desktop environment called NX Desktop, the MauiKit application framework, and a unique approach to package management.
That means there will be no conventional package manager here. Instead, all the apps you need can be installed as Flatpak packages, AppImages, or inside Distrobox containers.
The just-released Nitrux 2.8.0 is full of surprises for the more advanced Linux users targeted by the distribution. So let’s take a look at them.
What’s New in Nitrux 2.8.0
Liquorix Kernel 6.2.13
Released a month and a half after the previous 2.7 version, Nitrux 2.8.0 ‘tf’ is powered by the most up-to-date Liquorix kernel 6.2.13, proclaimed itself “the better distro kernel,” which provides up-to-date drivers and hardware compatibility with most modern devices.
It is a custom Linux kernel designed for better performance, responsiveness, and overall system stability for desktop users, bringing an enhanced multimedia and gaming experience.
KDE Plasma 5.27.4
At the same time, Nitrux 2.8.0 ships with the latest and greatest from the Plasma desktop environment, KDE Plasma 5.27.4, accompanied by the KDE Frameworks 5.105.0 and the just-released KDE Gear 23.04 software collection maintained by the KDE community.
So, you get some exciting new features and a host of GUI enhancements improving the user experience, giving you more control over your desktop environment.
And while we’re still on the Plasma topic, we won’t fail to mention that this release makes the Plasma Wayland session fully work with the Nvidia proprietary driver.
WayDroid in the Default Nitrux 2.8.0 Installation
Adding WayDroid to the default installation is one of the most striking aspects of Nitrux 2.8.0. What exactly is it?
In short, it is an Android application compatibility layer for Linux-based operating systems, which allows running Android applications natively on top of Linux without using virtual machines or emulators. Sounds great.
However, we need to make some clarification. First and foremost, WayDroid only works in a Wayland session, not in X11. And second, please remember that when using the Nvidia proprietary drivers, WayDroid will not use hardware acceleration.
With these clarifications, we can only wish Nitrux users endless hours of fun on their exciting journey of using Android apps on Linux.
The Calamares installer has received much attention in the Nitrux 2.8.0 release, mainly concerning custom layout partitioning.
For example, users can now redo the layout to include only three partitions plus the ESP (EFI System Partition) rather than four partitions plus the ESP. On top of that, it is now possible to adjust the partition size ratio when using the automated partitioning options “Erase disk” and “Replace partition.”
And last but not least, Nitrux 2.8.0 also changes the updated partition layout related to what filesystems are used for which partitions. Of course, Nitrux’s devs continue to rely on using the XFS file system for the root (“/”) partition, but the “/home” and “/var/lib” has been switched to usage of F2FS instead of XFS.
Other Nitrux 2.8.0 Highlights
On the application side, Firefox has been updated to version 112 and now integrates better with touch inputs on X11 and Wayland. Moreover, MESA has been bumped to 23.2.
Maliit Keyboard, a flexible and cross-platform input method framework for mobile and embedded text input, has also been added for better integration with touch devices, but not enabled by default.
Finally, we will mention that the Sysctl parameters were tweaked with a custom file to improve performance slightly, the distro gets support for NFS shares, and the default ZSH configuration has also been updated.
You can refer to the release announcement for detailed information about all changes in Nitrux 2.8.0. In addition, the distro is available for immediate download, so if you want to try it right now, go to the project’s website and grab your installation ISO image.
Last but not least, be informed that the Nitrux devs recommend performing a fresh installation using the latest available media.