Nitrux 3.5 Rolls Out with Important Updates

Systemd-free distro Nitrux 3.5 is here with Liquorix kernel 6.8, KDE Plasma 5.27.11, a new AMD Vulkan driver, critical security updates, and more.

Two months after the previous 3.4 release, powered by Liquorix kernel 6.8.12, Nitrux 3.5, codenamed “cx,” is finally here, packing a range of updates and new features that aim to boost performance, enhance security, and improve the overall user experience.

Nitrux 3.5 “cx”: Key Updates

Nitrux 3.5’s major components of the distribution have seen significant upgrades, with the main ones being:

  • Firefox has been updated to version 126.0.1, ensuring users have access to the latest browsing features and security updates.
  • The KDE Plasma desktop environment is now at version 5.27.11, and the KDE Frameworks are also updated to version 5.115.0, providing a more stable and responsive user interface.
  • NVIDIA Linux x64 display driver has advanced to version 555.42.02, which supports better graphics performance and stability.
  • AMD open-source driver for Vulkan has been bumped to version 2024.Q2.1.

If you’re curious about why Nitrux is using Plasma 5.27 instead of moving to version 6, here’s the reason: later this year, the distro plans to fully transition to using Maui Shell as its only desktop environment.

Until this change takes place, Nitrux will continue to provide the Plasma 5.27 desktop environment exclusively, with no plans to integrate version 6.

Nitrux 3.5 NX Desktop
Nitrux 3.5 NX Desktop

The new release brings updates to the “linux-firmware” package, including support for various hardware, from Bluetooth chips in Airoha devices to Intel’s QuickAssist Technology accelerators and MediaTek SoC firmware.

The Nitrux team has also introduced several modifications aimed at tightening security and boosting system efficiency:

  • Memory handling has been optimized to reduce overhead and improve responsiveness.
  • Security measures such as filling freed memory pages with zeroes and enhanced randomization of kernel stack offsets have been implemented to thwart potential data leaks and attacks.
  • The Sysctl settings have been fine-tuned to harden the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) JIT compiler against attacks.

The new version’s strong impression is the inclusion of “xpadneo” and “xone,” advanced Linux drivers for Xbox controllers, which enhance the gaming experience on the platform. Additional gaming optimizations include enabling Transparent Hugepages (THP) and reducing memory page fragmentation, which is especially beneficial for gaming workloads.

Introducing a new “async” runlevel in the OpenRC (Nitrux is a systemd-free distro) configuration aims to speed up boot times by deferring the initialization of non-essential services. Moreover, a new service script has been added to manage the NTPSec NTP server, improving time synchronization.

Lastly, Nitrux 3.5 now includes several Maui Apps as AppImages, such as Bonsai, Buho, and Pix, adding to the versatility of the available software. The NX Software Center has also received updates, fixing previous AppImage handling and installation issues.

For further details, refer to the release announcement. The ISO installation image is available here.

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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