Nitrux Linux 2.6: A New Approach to Package Management

Nitrux Linux 2.6: A New Approach to Package Management

Nitrux 2.6 has arrived, featuring Plasma 5.26, Linux kernel 6.1, and a new approach to package management that does away with APT and DPKG commands.

Nitrux is a special Linux distribution. It is desktop-focused, based on the Debian unstable branch distro, featuring a heavily modified KDE Plasma desktop environment, the MauiKit application framework, and a unique approach to package management.

That means there will be no conventional package management here. Instead, all the apps you need can be installed as Flatpak packages, AppImages, or inside Distrobox containers.

However, the recently released Nitrux 2.6 goes even further in this effort. So, let’s see what’s changed.

What’s New in Nitrux 2.6

Nitrux 2.6 NX Desktop
Nitrux 2.6 NX Desktop

Nitrux 2.6 now defaults to Liquorix kernel v6.1. It is based on the Zen kernel, which includes several modifications and enhancements geared toward desktop users. In other words, it is a Linux kernel designed explicitly for improved desktop performance.

Liquorix is a distro kernel replacement built using the best configuration and kernel sources for desktop, multimedia, and gaming workloads.

This release includes the latest version of the KDE Plasma 5.26.4 desktop environment and the accompanying KDE Frameworks 5.101 and KDE Gear 22.12.

However, with Nitrux, you will receive a different Plasma experience than most Linux users are familiar with and expect. Instead, the desktop environment is greatly shaped to reflect the developers’ views.

Furthermore, several applications you are used to using are unavailable and have been replaced with others. For example, one of the essential Plasma apps, the Dolphin file manager, is missing here in favor of the MAUI app, Index, which looks like this:

MAUI Index App
MAUI Index App

The most significant change in Nitrux 2.6 is removing the well-known APT package manager, the dpkg command, and PackageKit. In other words, you can no longer install software on the operating system in the traditional manner. There is, of course, a reason for this.

Nitrux 2.6 sets the state of the root directory to be immutable using overlayroot – a tool that mounts an overlay filesystem over the root filesystem. This allows Nitrux developers to guarantee that no changes in the underlying operating system have happened that could lead to a conflict when providing a new version.

Furthermore, this ensures that users cannot install packages from sources other than the official Nitrux repositories, which could cause issues. So, to get the apps you want, install them as Flatpak packages or AppImage. On top of that, Nitrux 2.6 provides an additional, intriguing method using the Distrobox tool. Let me show you how.

Distrobox allows you to run containers of any Linux distribution inside Nitrux 2.6 to install the software you need, which you can then export to be available in Nitrux. For example, let’s install Debian 11.

distrobox-create --name debian11 --image debian:11
Installing Debian 11 container inside Nitrux 2.6
Installing Debian 11 container inside Nitrux 2.6

Then enter into the container, install the required application, for example, Inkscape, and export it to the underlying operating system.

distrobox-enter --name debian11
sudo apt install inkscape
distrobox-export --app inkscape

The app will be added to your Nitrux 2.6’s list of ones. For more information on the subject, click here.

NX Desktop Apps List
NX Desktop Apps List

Nitrux 2.6 includes a new PulseAudio Equalizer app to provide a better experience for audiophiles.

PulseAudio Equalizer
Pulseaudio Equalizer

Furthermore, the Plasma System Monitor’s default “Overview” view has been redesigned to show a list of processes rather than applications. The latter only works with systemd and hence does not work in Nitrux.

Plasma System Monitor
Plasma System Monitor

On the application side, Firefox has been updated to version 108.0.1, while MESA has been bumped to 23.0. Additionally, the Nitrux 2.6 Calamares installer has also changed. So, when you select “Erase disk,” it produces a custom layout. This arrangement is meant to accommodate the new update method; nonetheless, the default choice remains “Manual partitioning.”

You can refer to the official announcement for detailed information about all changes.

Download

Nitrux 2.6 is available for immediate download. If you want to try it right now, download the installation ISO image (nitrux-nx-desktop-d5c7cdff-amd64.iso) by clicking on the button below.

Last but not least, be informed that the Nitrux devs recommend performing a fresh installation using the latest available media.

Bobby Borisov
Bobby Borisov

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

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