Drauger OS 7.5.1 Beta 1 Is Here — What’s New?

We’re happy to announce the release of Drauger OS 7.5.1 Beta 1! Here are a few noteworthy changes from 7.4.1.

Now Based On Ubuntu 20.04

First, Thomas upgraded and changed the base distribution from Xubuntu 18.04 to Ubuntu 20.04. The new release is still using the Xfce desktop environment (DE) though; more details regarding what has changed there will be described later.

Kernel Changes

One of the benefits of using Drauger OS, is that we have access to bleeding-edge software, from the kernel to the open-source Mesa drivers. Instead of opting for the Liquorix kernel, Drauger OS has moved to the vanilla, mainline Linux kernel. Specifically, 5.6-release candidate 6. Features included in kernel 5.6 are as follows:

  • increased hardware/driver support, particularly for AMD users
  • WireGuard VPN integration
  • USB4 support
  • EXT4 performance fixes
  • enhanced virtualization support
  • amongst many other behind-the-scenes changes.

Check out the article from Phoronix for a more detailed overview of the features coming to 5.6.

The difference that Thomas made to the kernel with Drauger OS in particular, is that the kernel has been compiled with low latency enabled. In addition, the scheduling frequency has been changed from 250 Hz to 1,000 Hz. This should result in less time to render any given frame, meaning:

  • increased frame rates for games
  • more stabilized performance
  • reduced screen tearing or artifacts

All of this depends on what game the user is playing. Games running via WINE or Proton should particularly benefit from these changes. But some titles may not reap any advantages.

For even better framerates, one can make use of Feral Gamemode. Thomas has an article for instructions on how to use Gamemode.

Graphics Drivers

Drauger OS 7.5.1 ships with Mesa version 20.1. Due to legal reasons, the proprietary driver from NVIDIA cannot be included with the ISO. To install the NVIDIA driver post-installation, go to the terminal (CTRL + ALT + T) and enter:

sudo apt install nvidia-driver-x

Replace “x” with the driver version to install. As of the time of writing this, 440 is the latest.

Alternatively, press the “Additional Drivers” button on the Welcome screen, or in the applications menu in the top left corner, and change drivers from there. This is the preferred method as it handles disabling Nouveau for the user.

The Drauger OS Installer

SystemBack has been removed and replaced with a dedicated system installer. According to the installer’s GitHub page, installation of Drauger OS can take as little as two minutes, so a great benefit here is a faster installation process.

Smaller Image Size

Using compression techniques and a script that builds the image file for Drauger OS, the result has produced an ISO that’s roughly half the size of 7.4.1. So now it’s about 2 GB.

Updated Interface

The Xfce DE has been changed. Instead of the large two black bars stretching across the screen, one has been placed on the top as the taskbar; the second, on the left with the installed applications. This will look familiar to those of us who have used GNOME, while still reaping the benefits of the trimmed resources that Xfce offers.

So it went from this:

Drauger OS 7.4.1 Live Desktop

To this:

Drauger OS 7.5.1 Live Desktop

In case users may want to revert to the former look, it is still available as one of the Xfce panel profiles (right-click the top taskbar, select “Panel Profiles”).

Some pre-installed applications have received an under-the-hood user interface overhaul. Windows should not disappear and reappear as they did before, and the overall desktop experience should be more pleasurable. The terminal has also been updated — in terms of background and text color — to make it fit more in line with the desktop wallpaper and Drauger OS logo:

Drauger OS 7.4.1 vs Drauger OS 7.5.1

Added Software

Three new pieces of software have been added with 7.5.1:

TimeShift allows the user to safely backup their system and restore it as needed. For those that aren’t aware, Bleachbit “can free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn’t know was there.” Lastly, GameHub makes the organization of all of the users’ games in one place easier.

Personal Package Archives (PPAs)

Some PPAs that weren’t necessary for Drauger OS have been removed. Now only Drauger OS repositories are included. This will enable better security; unintended packages won’t be installed or updated.

For a more complete list of changes, view the changelog.

Users will be happy to know that Drauger OS is no longer hosted on SourceForge and the ISO will now be available for download on the Drauger OS web server itself.

Beta 2 will be released in May. So in the meantime, we look forward to hearing your feedback on Beta 1! Press kit materials are available on the Contact page (under “Media”).

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