Distrowatch did a fairly comprehensive review of Solus 4 here.
Some of their issues:
- Partitioning is a little awkward since we need to use a third-party tool to divide up the disk, but otherwise I found the installer to be quite friendly and easy to use.
I agree that the mix of gparted for partitioning and the Installer for partition assignment (or using our other "disk strategies") can be awkward. In the case of gparted and requiring occasional reboots, this is actually because the kernel is still reporting the previous disk configuration to gparted, gparted floats that issue up to us. I'd like to see this get remedied in some form when we begin our installer work, which we intend on splitting up into two stages to simplify the installation process and push some of it to post-installed Solus where we have a bit more control of the environment.
- Something I noticed early on in my trial was the screen would automatically turn off and lock after five minutes. We can adjust the delay or disable this power saving feature in the main settings panel.
I do agree that 5 minutes is way too short. Something like 15min OOTB would be more reasonable. Fortunately that's as easy as a gschema patch to the gnome-settings-daemon schemas.
- My one concern with running Solus in VirtualBox was the distribution used more of my host system's CPU. Typically, a Linux distribution sitting idle at the desktop uses around 4% of my host's CPU (according to top). Solus used three times this, idling at 12%. This did not have a significant impact on either the host or the guest system.
Meh. I don't really care about VirtualBox performance. It's mainly targeted at distro "reviewers" like this one. Real world, bare-metal installation is what we target. I'm not saying the additional overhead is entirely acceptable, there's certainly stuff we can do along the lines of nuking tracker off the face of the Earth that'd almost guarantee to claw back CPU usage in the majority of cases.
- One item I found in the menu that seemed out of place was the Help program. Clicking the Help icon opens the GNOME documentation, which is sometimes helpful for dealing with a few GNOME components installed on the system, but it feels out of place (and even misleading) on the Budgie desktop since the two desktops do not share the same layout or controls.
Unfortunately not much we can do on that front beside just not providing any YELP-based documentation to begin with, but then you'd just get errors if you click on the Help menu items for applications, and we'd have to patch every single one. I guarantee you upstream GNOME would reject documentation improvements that document how do you do x, y, and z under Budgie since they just care about GNOME Shell.
- I made some other observations during my time running Solus. One of them is that non-admin users cannot install software packages, perform updates or run commands through sudo. This may seem obvious, but I have run a couple of operating systems so far this year where non-privileged users could do just about anything on a system and it was refreshing to see Solus enforces users' roles.
I didn't even really think about that. Seems kinda abnormal to allow non-admins to perform admin capabilities, surely.
- There were some side-effects of the dark theme though. Sometimes I had trouble telling where one window stopped and another began since the windows were all dark and did not have distinct borders. I also found the icons in some programs looked faded, as if they were disabled, though they could be clicked.
Well, seeing as I'm going to have to fork Plata-Theme to re-introduce MATE support, this is something I can work on.
- This cuts down on the need for translations, but it results in more trial and error when exploring what controls do.
I mean, a star for favoriting is pretty universal. I'm sure I could pull up dozens of Android apps and native desktop apps that use those icons if I had the time.
- Ideally I would have preferred one settings panel instead of two. The GNOME panel offers many more options and deals with operating system configuration while the Budgie panel deals specifically with the user interface. However, there is some overlap between the two and that sometimes meant it took longer for me to find settings I wanted to tweak. That being said, the Budgie settings panel is beautiful in its explanations and simplicity; other desktops could learn from Budgie's example.
If it was easy, it would've been done already. But it's going to take having our own window manager, our own settings daemon that is much more comprehensive than our current one, and actually implementing a lot of the functionality GNOME Control Center does (e.g. display configuration, network management, user management, region & language (I want it to be two separate sections, your measurements and units shouldn't have to be tied to your language, some of us are multi-lingual and prefer using our native language but different units).
Overall quite positive, which is refreshing. This user sounds like they actually get Solus and as they said:
I was happy with my experiences with Solus 4.0 and think it will definitely appeal to new Linux users and more experienced users who want to install their system and just have it work.
Our target is not the same people that would want to customize the hell our of their system, build loads of packages from scratch just because they can, have minimal installs, etc. Those people can install Arch or Gentoo. As I've mentioned before, our market is not the 1% that already uses Linux (or trying to woo a few percentage of that 1%), it's the 99% that doesn't.