The team behind the Free Software Foundation (FSF)-endorsed Linux distribution, Trisquel, has announced the first alpha builds of version 8 AKA Flidas. For now, they’re only available in the 32-bit (i686) and 64-bit (amd64) architectures. According to a forum post, “the image has many of the basic components that will be the base for Flidas.”
The release is powered by the Linux-Libre 4.4 kernel, what makes this different from your average Linux kernel is that is has been stripped of proprietary ‘blobs’ which enable some proprietary hardware to work. Additionally, the development team decided to switch to MATE 1.12.1, a fork of the GNOME 2 desktop environment.
Remarking on the switch from GNOME 3 to MATE, Ruben Rodriguez, Trisquel’s project leader, said:
“This decision comes from the current editions of GNOME requiring 3D acceleration even in a fallback mode, a requirement that in many cases forces the user to choose between a degraded user experience and performance, or the usage of non-free graphics drivers. Instead, we aim to provide a fully functional, highly performing desktop for all users.”
The main tasks that remain for the team include:
- Picking the default programs including which need preserving, replacing, or adding. Where new programs are added, the team wants to make sure not to bloat the distribution by having two programs which do the same thing.
- Adding programs still missing from the latest image, such as Pidgin and GIMP.
- Polishing up the MATE desktop to iron out quirks in the GTK theme.
- Fixing well-known faults affecting Trisquel 7
- Creation of a live installer.
- Creation of the netinst/text-mode installer.
- Set up of alternative architecture build jails allowing for images on a greater range of devices.
- Designing new artwork.
A lot of people that have used Linux usually cite Ubuntu as the easiest to get started with. Trisquel is equivalent to this when it comes to Free Software Foundation-endorsed distributions. If a distribution is endorsed by the FSF, it means that the distribution respects the ‘four freedoms’ which essentially gives users maximum control over the software they use. Over the last few years, Richard Stallman, head of the GNU project, began using Trisquel on a heavily customised ThinkPad.