Endless OS 4 makes the jump to Debian 11, strengthens Flatpak and improves privacy

Endless OS 4 has been published to continue the mission of the foundation that develops it to reduce the digital divide in the world . This time we find another operating system based on excellent Debian 11 Bullseye , which incorporates more applications in Flatpak format and which maintains the atomic update system OSTree as one of its main pillars.

As a derivative of Debian 11 Bullseye that it is, Endless OS 4 inherits many of the characteristics of the operating system on which it is based, but the first novelty highlighted by those responsible for the distribution is the possibility of being able to quickly switch between users without logging out.

The second novelty mentioned by the foundation is the printing support without drivers thanks to IPP-over-USB , which treats any device connected by USB (in this case, printers) as if it were working through a network, thus making it dispensable. , at least initially, the use of drivers. Endless warns that updating to version 4 of your system will delete all the printers that the user has configured.

As a kernel, Endless OS 4 brings Linux 5.11 with the updated ‘linux-firmware’ package to support a wider range of hardware. Continuing with the support for the tangible parts of the computer, version 460.91.03 of the official NVIDIA driver is also present.

Other new features of the system at hand are the support for L2TP and OpenConnect / AnyConnect VPNs, the incorporation of OSTree 2020.8 and Flatpak 1.10.2, the change from ‘fake-hwclock’ and ‘ntpd’ to ‘systemd-timesyncd’ for the monotonous clock and time synchronization, support for the Raspberry Pi 4B with 8GB RAM, plus some updated bootloader components.

As a desktop environment there is the mature GNOME 3.38 , to which the icons have been reverted to use Adwaita by default. This decision has been made with the purpose of supporting higher resolutions and offering greater consistency across the interface. On the other hand, Rhythmbox and Cheese are now supplied in Flatpak format and the repositories for the operating system and Flatpak applications have been separated.

In order to improve the confidentiality of the metrics , some changes have been made in Endless OS 4 to make the data points not “associated with the particular computer that sent them . Instead, they are associated with that computer’s distribution channel, identified by the build ID of the installation image, which is typically shared among thousands of systems. Endless OS 4 also doesn’t send many data points that were sent by previous versions of Endless OS ” . Regardless, metrics can always be disabled in Settings> Privacy> Metrics.

Finally, we find the parts that have been removed, which are the integrated remote desktop viewer, shared accounts, integrated shortcuts for websites and the automatic download of Google Chrome. Depending on the hardware used, it may be appropriate to completely reinstall the operating system rather than upgrade from a previous version.

Endless OS 4 can be downloaded for free from the corresponding section on the project’s official website . Full details of this release are available via the release notes .

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