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Additionally, we’re shipping the latest stable GTK+ release, 3.12, rather than Ubuntu 14.04’s outdated 3.10.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

431 Comments


SilasRech
Silas Rech 1 hour ago

How do I install the Beta over my existing 0.2.1 “Luna” system?


otavioppp 4 hours ago

I’m using the beta.  I will need to format after release the stable or my beta will receive the updates to stable?


MiasmicTaco
Cody Roboski 1 day ago

I switched from Windows to eOS months ago (tried Arch, Ubuntu, XFCE, just wasn’t satisfied)  and haven’t looked back; hoping Freya is as promising as it looks.

Only issues I have encountered with eOS is notifications from different applications showing on the Wingpanel. Only displays system. (have yet to find a solid solution).


Seth 2 days ago

elementary RIP !!!!


sergiouve 2 days ago

You know… It’s been said several times in this comment section, you just have to check the launchpad page of elementary OS (https://launchpad.net/elementary/+milestone/freya-beta2) to see that there is progress being made, so before writing things like that and misinform anyone who wants to get information about this project, you should try to either just wait while the developers work to offer you an excellent, free OS or, even better, try to contribute to the community by any ways you are capable of.


Akhar 2 days ago

http://stats.elementaryos.org/


yesongs 1 day ago

also: https://twitter.com/elementaryfixes


Kester1993

Siempre e utilizado Linux, desde ubuntu 7.04 aprox, pero desde que comencé a utilizar luna, a crecido un amor hacia esta versión de linux, ahora por temas de drivers en la tarjeta gráfica cometí el error de volver a ubuntu 14.04 pero ahora estoy desesperado por volver a elementary, daré un paso adelante y descargare Elementary OS freya, esperemos que ande todo bien ya que básicamente actualizo el sistema operativo por la versión de kernel. Amigos desarrolladores de Elementary hacen un trabajo increíble, espero que sigan así y muchas gracias. Saludos desde Chile.


Terry 6 days ago

I really hope it supports Nvidia Graphic cards out of box :D

I’m really looking forward the final release, I check the Journal daily :P


pioj 1 week ago

I suggest you to move from grub to Burg and use the ‘Metro’ theme, totally a new experience.  Other than that, Freya is almost perfect and I only miss fully support for usb3 hdd’s…


jeonghojung
Hojung Jeong 6 days ago

Then, how about suggesting it on Launchpad? Actually, this journal is not for suggestions. It’s better to suggest things on Elementary OS launchpad. Anyhow, I will try Burg bootloader on myself


element-array
element-array 4 days ago

I like BURG very much, in fact i just installed it on a dual boot elementaryOS/Win7 setup.
But, and thats just my oppinion, why would we use the Windows Metro style theme?
I dont think this would add to the elementary look. Better go with lightness, its the perfect minimalistic theme, only you would have to add the elementary icon to it.

I’ll have a look now if pioj already suggested burg on launchpad, if not i’ll do so.


ruso
ruso 1 week ago

I want to congratulate all of the Elementray OS Team for making such a great distro! thanks a lot, cheers from Mexico


Carmine 1 week ago

I just installed Freya 3.0 on My laptop. It is lightning fast. All the developers are doing an awesome job. This is the best distro…. I have ever installed,or used. I have noticed a few flaws,nothing major. Be careful typing “Unity” into the applications search box,I found a few bugs. I had it happen after installing “Unity tweak” in this new system….went to search for it in applications search box. It partially switched Me over to “Unity"popped up login screen. had to delete,& restart to reset the computer. it seems to be working fine now. This Os doesn’t need themes or anythings fancy….Love the dock set up! This is the best os out there….Awesome!!


pipocazeda 1 week ago

Hi Carmine, where can I download Freya 3.0 ? U suppose the link above is for Freya 1.0 ?


MilesDavenport 1 week ago

No, He’s talking about Elementary OS Version 3.0 However, Freya (3rd Version) is in it’s beta stages. There are 2 betas for Freya, Beta 1 and 2. This is Beta 1. So basically Elementary OS 3.0 Freya Beta 1.


Hollandhook 1 week ago

Are we getting wingpanel-slim in Freya? My Beta works perfectly. I just miss slim. Thanks.


KISHORE R 1 week ago

Hi, will i be able to upgrade to stable final version when released directly without wiping my beta version of Elementary?


jeonghojung
Hojung Jeong 1 week ago

Yes you can. If you update your system constantly with Software Updater
OR
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
commands in terminal. It will be latest “Freya”. This is public beta, so I think the Elementary OS team only added repositories that they will use for stable software after the release of stable Freya.
So, just install the Beta version, constantly update the system until next version of Elementary OS is released (around 2 years left)


Orleans
Orleans 2 weeks ago

Latest features added to freya makes me feel like I’m using an operating system from future.

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