Freya Beta 1 Available for Developers & Testersby Daniel Foré

It’s been exactly one year since the release of the second version of elementary OS. On this, the day of our Lunaversary, we’re proud to make the first beta of elementary OS Freya publicly available for developers and testers.

What’s a Beta?

Beta is a stage in software development where we expose our progress to a group of brave testers. Allow us to quote Wikipedia here:

“Software in the beta phase will generally have many more bugs in it than completed software, as well as speed/performance issues and may still cause crashes or data loss. The focus of beta testing is reducing impacts to users […] this is typically the first time that the software is available outside of the organization that developed it.”

As tempting as it might be, we strongly recommend against using this beta in a production environment. A few more stages remain in the development process wherein we’ll be addressing serious bugs before the final release. That said, this post is going to be more technical and focus on things that are important to developers. We’ll save announcing all the cool new user-facing features for our final release.

Improved Hardware Support and Updated Libraries

Freya inherits core components from Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS such as the Linux kernel (version 3.13), hardware drivers, and graphics stack. This includes support for EFI stub-loading, which is a kernel feature that enables booting directly from (U)EFI, without the need for an additional bootloader such as GRUB. Ubiquity does not yet have support for this configuration, but one of our developers has created a guide for a GRUB-free install of Freya on modern Mac computers using rEFInd.

Additionally, we’re shipping the latest stable GTK+ release, 3.12, rather than Ubuntu 14.04’s outdated 3.10. This beta release brings a number of new features including new widgets and an improved GtkCSSProvider. Vala has been updated to version 0.24 bringing an incredible number of new bindings to elementary OS including Gstreamer 1.0, GeoCode, and more.

Online Accounts Integration

We’re debuting a GSignon-based online accounts system called Pantheon Online Accounts. Unlike Ubuntu online accounts, it’s GLib based, and unlike GNOME online accounts, it’s fully extensible. With Pantheon Online Accounts you get the best of both worlds. Out of the box, we’re aiming to support Facebook, Fastmail, Google+, Microsoft, and Yahoo accounts. Some integration work needs to happen to get apps actually using the service, but the foundation is set! At the moment, adding (for example) your google account will not sync your accounts with Calendar or Maya. Though the work on making that possible is underway.

Slingshot Search Improvements

Slingshot search is now powered by Synapse plugins. So far, we’ve only introduced one new plugin in addition to app search (calculator), but work has begun on a unit conversion plugin. We’re excited to see some handy functionality added for keyboard-driven users. You can now search for Switchboard plugs in Slingshot as well.

Client-Side Decorations

One of the great new features of GTK+ 3.12 is the ability to use client-side window decorations and we make extensive use of the feature. Every GTK+ 3 window in Freya is decorated on the client side with no extra work needed from app developers. This means consistent iconography, shadows, and sharply rendered borders over dark backgrounds. The most notable use of CSD is of course with the new Gtk.Headerbar, but you’ll also see Terminal and Photos using the new “.titlebar” GtkCSS class and Gtk.Dialog getting its own style as well.

Updated Theme

Gone are the days of Unico engine and mysterious pink widget bugs. The theme is now completely handled by GtkCSSProvider. We’ve added better support for .linked widgets, :backdrop states, “destructive-action” and “suggested-action” classes for buttons, better looking tabs, symbolic icon coloring in headerbars, and many more improvements based on feedback from users and third party developers. A brand new dark theme is also now available for app developers.

Granite Changes

GTK+ has improved tremendously since we released Luna (we <3 you, GTK+ hackers!), and many components of Granite have become deprecated as a result. Among those superseded by new widgets in GTK+ are:

  • DecoratedWindow is no longer necessary due to GTK+ Client-side Decorations
  • HintedEntry is replaced by Gtk.Entry.set_placeholder_text
  • Popover is replaced by Gtk.Popover
  • SearchEntry is replaced by Gtk.SearchEntry
  • Statusbar is replaced by Gtk.ActionBar
  • StaticNotebook is replaced by Gtk.Stack and Gtk.StackSwitcher

And a Few Hundred Other Things

We’ve closed literally hundreds of bug reports this cycle ranging from new features to better translations and support for right-to-left languages, fixes for annoying issues, and more. Here are a few of the “little big things”:

  • Maya now handles CalDav syncing (and thus Google Calendar).
  • You can now search in Files using the shortcut “Ctrl + F”.
  • Animations have been greatly improved through the use of Gtk.Stack and Gtk.Revealer. Many UI elements now slide in and out of view instead of popping up abruptly.
  • Switchboard plugs now use GModule instead of Xembed, giving us a nice speed boost and prepping us for a future on Wayland.
  • Greeter now respects the LightDM configuration which allows deactivating the guest-account and manual logins.
  • Many icons have moved from a glossy style to a flatter, matte style.

Known Bugs

It wouldn’t be a true beta without a few bugs. We have a good number assigned to the freya-beta2 milestone on Launchpad, but here are some highlights. Remember, these are all bugs we need to fix before we can release Freya:

If you encounter bugs while testing Freya Beta, make sure to report them in Launchpad. We have a guide about reporting good bugs here.

We Need Your Help!

Over $5,000 worth of bounties remain unclaimed on Bountysource. Anyone can contribute fixes to earn these bounties. It’s simple: just assign yourself to the bug you want to tackle, create a merge request with the fix, and once a team member reviews and merges your code, you’ll get paid via Bountysource! If you’re not a developer, you can create a new bounty or add to an existing one to back someone who can fix it.

Many apps are already translated in over 50 languages, but there are still gaps in some of the translations. If you are multi-lingual, consider giving us a hand with bringing elementary OS to speakers of your native language. You can view all elementary-related translations here in Launchpad.

Okay Okay Give Us The Link Already!

Please remember that this is a beta and is not indicative of the final version. We respectfully ask any press to make this clear if they decide to write about this beta. We’re pushing this beta out to get wider testing and feedback before our final release and as such, it is not intended for typical end users. Happy testing!

Freya Beta 32bit | Torrent | md5: 1d9a9f75cfa5bbccee3afdff85e4086e

Freya Beta 64bit | Torrent | md5: a5ae72c134ad3d7e214e6397145f846d

Published August 11th, 2014


Akshar Patel 1 day ago

I am desperately waiting for the stable release. It has been so many days since you started developing freya. is it going to release or not? or You guys have given up? I was considering to recommend elementary os as the best linux distribution to my college but now I have to rethink because you guys are taking so much time for releasing freya. Please release stable version as soon as possible.

koto 1 day ago

This is a small team of people providing something amazing for free. So don’t be so damn self-entitled.

Alisultanvi 2 days ago

Всем привет, как обновиться с Луна?

Schufner 1 day ago

Пытался по разному, но так и ничего не вышло =)

Alex-O-Donnell 2 days ago

i will use freya if you add the minimize button. and even contibude to developers…..

supreethms 2 days ago

If you could Google it up, you would have already start using Freya and will have contributed to the developers by now.

Install a small package called “Elementary Tweaks” and you can add a minimize button move the minimize button wherever you want.

Bryan Gonve 3 days ago

He probado esta Beta y es excelente pero como toda Beta tiene sus errores.
No me es muy cómoda, quisiera que tuviera un aspecto mas similar a la versión Luna.
E instalado la versión Luna y no me detecta las redes (no tengo Internet en Luna)
E probado la Beta y el Internet me funciona perfectamente.
Si pudieran hacer que tenga un aspecto mas similar a la versión Luna me cambio de Windows (que es el sistema que tengo actualmente) a Linux :)

ivanymathias 13 hours ago

Hola ojalas que puedas encontrar el error en el internet, yo tengo instalado Ubuntu 14.04, Deepin 2014 y Luna…..este ultimo es imprecionante y simple. Si tubiera que formatear mi maquina por algo lo instalaria de nuevo sin pensarlo. Si puedes instalalo de nuevo a Luna para ver si nesecita re instalacion. En mi caso funciona tan bien que ni quiero probar Freya. Saludos

MrBill59 5 days ago

This is an awsome OS.  I have done some research, done a few changes.  I am running the 3.16 kernel and uefi machine.  It runs fantastic. All of you that wish to bash eOS can leave.

Czanat 4 days ago

MrBill59, would you like to share with us the changes you did with Freya and how you did that?
My biggest problem is the inability of the Wingpanel to autohide, so to use Freya in a normal way, I installed Gnome-flashback to get the auto-hiding Gnome-panel, and got the Wingpanel stay out of the way. It is not a problem to get the Slingshot-launcher integrated to the Gnome-panel and to the Plank dock. There is also a way to install the Xfce-panel and get the indicators, logout, shutoff in a floating panel, a small square like in Haiku.
By the way, Elementary Devs, Freya is quite a nice distro

MrBill59 3 days ago

The two things that that I have changed are grub common to grub-efi-amd64 and I am running with the 3.16 kernel rather than the kernel that is used as default.  The kernel upgrade cured many of my problems.

Momfer 4 days ago

Hear, hear !  I agree ! eOS is awsome. I can’t wait for the definite version, so i’ve installed this beta which is stable enough to try.

David Vartanian 6 days ago

Hi guys, this OS is awesome!
I’ve got a question, using the 0.2 version I could set up a world clock but I cannot find the same option in 0.3. Could be possible set up different world times in 0.3?

rifsta 6 days ago

I find it amazing how some people who have little knowledge of Linux downloaded and installed this beta release, then complained that this and that didn’t work and screaming how do I fix this issue? Leave it to the devs and senior users and wait for the stable to be released. I know we’re all anxious to try but be patient. It will NOT disappoint us.

David Sims 6 days ago

I agree!  It is insulting for people to complain about the quality of a beta 1 “Developers and Testers” release of an OS.  What would Microsoft think if people installed Windows 9 developers preview, and
immediately start complaining how much it is broken!  There is a difference between constructive criticism, and negative complaining!

If you encouter a bug or other problem, then report it through the proper channels.  Otherwise you are bashing an OS that is not ready for production use!  If you read the full text of this post, they even tell you not to use this release except for testing and development only.

cuccos19 6 days ago

Is it possibile to add ‘automatically move the mouse pointer to the dialog box’ in Freya (or even add to Luna as well)?

andreaslang 1 week ago

Freya Beta 1 is great work!
Fast, almost stable and by the way … beautiful.
Can’t wait for stable release! Go forward.
I’d like to help with translation to german, which isn’t perfect at the moment…

Ptj 1 week ago

When installing on UEFI board with GPT, grub fails to install. I inspected a little and found out grub-efi-amd64 conflict with ubuntu’s one and pulling some 386 packages; grub-pc does not see Win. Pls fix ASAP so we can easier roll it on real machine. If u ask me this is RC not beta, really good job!

LKuich 1 week ago

Very impressed so far, awesome work! :)
I used to run Luna, but I thought it was just lacking in a few areas, and I could never get it to work right on my hardware. I’m using a new build, and am very much looking forward to a stable release so I can ditch Ubuntu/Unity!

lrcaballero 1 week ago

elementary OS is getting better and better, amazing GUI, fast, secure and robust all around, pleasant for a day to day use OS.

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