The Linux landscape constantly evolves, with new distributions emerging while others fade away, failing to stand the test of time. If Ultramarine Linux is unfamiliar to you, that’s completely understandable – it’s a relatively recent addition to the ecosystem.
So, before diving into its latest release updates, let’s first clarify what this distribution entails.
What’s Ultramarine Linux
Ultramarine is a Fedora-based Linux distro aimed at desktop users. It’s a spiritual successor to Korora Linux, crafted to provide a superior desktop experience right out of the box, where everything functions seamlessly.
The distro comes in four different editions: Ultramarine Flagship, GNOME, Pantheon, and KDE. As can be judged by the names, the difference is in the desktop environment they offer, as the Flagship edition, notably the most popular, relies on Budgie.
Additionally, on top of the main Fedora repos, Ultramarine features some extra package repositories enabled by default, such as RPM Fusion, Terra, and multimedia codecs. In other words, unlike the clean Fedora experience, you get some extra components preinstalled and ready to use here.
With those points clarified, let’s explore what the newly released version offers.
What’s New in Ultramarine Linux 39
Powered by Linux kernel 6.5 and betting on Z Shell instead of Bash, Ultramarine Linux 39 is now rebased on Fedora 39, ensuring users benefit from all the latest updates and security patches.
It should be noted that the build process for this release no longer depends on Red Hat’s Live Image Creator. The development team has introduced “Katsu,” their in-house builder, streamlining the development process and enhancing the overall efficiency and reliability of the system.
Users will notice a variety of fixes and updates that elevate the overall experience of using Ultramarine Linux 39. In light of this, the live image startup scripts have been refined, ensuring a smoother and more reliable boot process. The distro has also moved away from Speech Dispatcher for Text to Speech, opting for more efficient alternatives.
On the desktop side, the Flagship edition offers the latest Budgie 10.8.2. However, Nemo has taken the place of the Nautilus file manager, which is dictated by the developers’ views that “It’s more powerful and looks more coherent with Flagship edition.“
In the GNOME edition you get the latest GNOME 45, which comes with all the improvements that the desktop environment brings. More details here.
The Pantheon edition has received multiple fixes, enhancing stability and usability. Moreover, users of elementary OS apps can now install some directly from the AppCenter as Flatpak packages.
A standout feature of this release is Stellar, Ultramarine Linux’s automatic post-install driver manager. It simplifies installing necessary drivers, currently focusing on NVIDIA GPUs. When such is detected, Stellar automatically installs the appropriate drivers, ensuring optimal performance and ease of use.
Finally, Ultramarine Linux 39 is now available in more formats than the traditional bootable ISO. The Minimal image is offered as a RAW disk image, and there’s an ARM edition specifically designed for the Raspberry Pi. It’s also possible to convert your current Fedora 39 installation to Ultramarine.
Refer to the announcement for detailed instructions on how to do this and information about all changes in the new release.