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Additionally, we’re shipping the latest stable GTK+ release, 3.12, rather than Ubuntu 14.04’s outdated 3.10.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


Seth 13 hours ago

elementary RIP?

Ilmar Burzynski 13 hours ago

It looks like that.
With Bodhi Linux was same scenario, roadmap, weekly reports about progress, and then lightning strike from clear sky - developer post message, why he decide leave it, 5 minutes before birth.

evo_ 13 hours ago

Nope, how did you conclude this? There is a steady progress on launchpad.

Tarogato 12 hours ago

This journal is obviously not the place to look for minute-by-minute updates. Instead, try or for current information.

Tarogato 12 hours ago

foolish post

Hojung Jeong 2 hours ago

Let’s be polite. Just tell Seth that this journal is not for minute-by-minute news and updates. Elementary os Launchpad is where he/she should visit

ceciliasp 16 hours ago

I’m currently running Luna, could I upgrade to Freya through the update manager or would I need to make a fresh install? Does Freya solved the touchscreen issue? And the slow wifi issue?

Hojung Jeong 2 hours ago

You can do that like Ubuntu (which gives distro upgrades constantly). However, fresh install is always recommended. I recommend you to have seperate home partition, and just replace root partition whenever you want to upgrade to new versions

kanishkdudeja 1 day ago

Want to ask a question. The daily bugs which are being fixed until beta 2 is released, how do I get the fixes for those updates until the beta 2 is released? Do I simply keep on updating my system. Also, there are 2 kinds of fix status in launchpad: fix committed and fix released. Does that mean only ‘fix released’ bugs will get fixed during the updates?

Hojung Jeong 20 hours ago

You can simple update the system using Software Updater
launching these commands
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade (might not necessary now because Freya is the latest version)
You will get all of the updates and upgrades until the support for Freya ends (still 5 years remain). This is why I use Freya from daily computing to development (even though the elementary os team does not recommend it. Their work is so great that even beta is quite good for everything)

and the second question… I think yes. fix committed bugs are probably freshly-baked fixes which may cause other problems, and fix released bugs are fixes that have passed short-time, basic testing. Because humans are not perfect. I always get bunch of bugs if I write my code and check it after writing all of them. So I debug, test, debug, test, and debug until everything works and stabilised.

Hojung Jeong 20 hours ago

And I realised that I didn’t answer the first question. Yes you do. You will constantly get updates even if next version of beta has not been released

kanishkdudeja 16 hours ago

Thank you so much for the informative reply! :)

goyodiaz 12 hours ago

Fix commited: the fix has been commited to the source code.
Fix released: a version of the software which contains the fix has been released.

Does that mean only ‘fix released’ bugs will get fixed during the updates?

It depends on what’s in your repositories. I do not know what repositories are enabled by default or what’s the policy of elementary packagers.

diego gaxiola 1 day ago

tomen en cuenta los diseño en deviantart de elementary os. son muy interesantes las propuestas de diseño para mejorar algunas aplicaciones. ademas deverian hacer nativas por defecto algunas aplicaciones como lo hace mac os x. asi sera mucho mejor elementary os que para mi gusto es de los mejores.

diego gaxiola 1 day ago

deverian agregar mas opciones a pantheon-files. y un tags en el sidebar para los colores que uno le puede poner a los archivos…

DiRtuZ 1 day ago

When this version is avable for everyone, for example I have elementary os 0.2 luna and i want to install the beta version 0.3, How can i do it??

Hojung Jeong 1 day ago

You can dual boot Luna and Freya from same machine (even triple or qaudruple boot is possible). Just install Luna or Freya (anything you want to install first) on a machine, and when installing the other version of Elementary OS, choose to install it alongside the existing version. Everything else is same

kesali 1 day ago

I have been using freya since frank builds, which i found on youtube with my other lenovo g550. I have switched to asus x555ln everything works except my wireless a bit funky.

Broadcom Corporation BCM43142 802.11b/g/n

Tried to install with driver updater that comes with freya. picked up right model but signal strength was so weak.

Upgraded from ubuntu archive for latest deb. It is now able to connect my home router but at my work keep disconnecting.

Irfan Quazi 2 days ago

Why you guys don’t bundle Firefox with Elementary? Is it solely because of choosing design over technological superiority?

dimitrakhs1 6 days ago

I have HP Pavilion 15 n221sv.I have installed several linux distros,mostly based on Ubuntu including Ubuntu 14.10 AND Freya.Still no Bluetooth,Nvidia and i’m not even talking about DTS sound.I’m only hoping for Bluetooth

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