Endless OS 4.0.0 was released on November 22nd, 2021. Download it from our website. Most existing Endless OS 3 systems can be upgraded as with any other OS release.
If your computer takes a long time to start after upgrading to Endless OS 4, please click this link for help.
Since Endless OS 3.9, all apps installed on your system have been shown on the desktop across two or more pages of icons. We have heard feedback that it is hard to discover and switch between pages: many users were not aware there is more than one page.
To address this, Endless OS 4 adds clickable arrows to navigate between pages, and makes the row of dots indicating the number of pages more visible, even against complicated wallpapers.
As seen above, Endless OS 4 includes a new default wallpaper: scenery of mountain canyon by Ashim D’Silva. New users and existing users who have not changed their wallpaper will see this new wallpaper; it is also available in Settings → Background for existing users.
It’s now possible to switch to a different user while another user is still logged in, by choosing a button on the lock screen or in the user menu.
All configured printers are removed as part of the upgrade to Endless OS 4. Instead, printers which are connected to your computer or are on the same local network should now be automatically discovered, provided they support Internet Printing Protocol. You can manually readd your printer using Settings → Printers if you have issues.
Some applications may show the same printer more than once in the print dialog. This is a known issue. Both of the entries should work.
Further documentation on printing in Endless OS is available here.
With Endless OS 4, we are introducing a long-term support version of the OS, which will be supported for a number of years even after Endless OS 5 is released.
By default, Endless OS 4 systems will automatically update to Endless OS 5 when it is released, as with all past versions of the OS. However, it is now possible to remain on Endless OS 4 and continue to receive critical bug fixes and security updates even after Endless OS 5 is released, keeping the same OS functionality and appearance for several years.
Please see the Long-Term Support documentation for more details, including how to configure a system to use the LTS version of Endless OS.
We have updated our low-level software platform, for improved hardware support, performance, and stability
ARM64 support is still considered to be in a preview state.
Before Endless OS 4, we at Endless OS Foundation used to copy the source packages for all the packages we used to construct Endless OS to our infrastructure (OBS), and build them ourselves. This would happen when we started working on a new Endless OS series (e.g. Endless OS 3.9), and then updated several times along the lifecycle of each series. While this approach gave ultimate control of what goes into each version of Endless OS we built, with 4091 packages for Endless OS 3.9 -- plus another 69 we maintain as git repositories -- it was very time-consuming, even with mom's help.
For Endless OS 4 we revised this approach and decided to pull packages we do not modify directly from Debian, instead of building every single package ourselves. While we still have to keep the same infrastructure, only building the packages we need to customize for Endless OS, together with a team-wide effort to minimize our upstream divergency, reduced the number of packages we need to maintain for Endless OS 4 to around 120.
This move reduces the level of control we will have over every bit that is included on each release of Endless OS. However, it frees up valuable engineering time from deciding whether we should update to the latest version from
gzip, then potentially spending time looking into why some of these builds failed (spoiler, most of the time is some silly dependency issue). Additionally, rebuilding code that has already been built hoping to get the exact same output that is already publicly available is just wasteful and does not feel right.
Luckly, Debian offers a very sturdy and stable base, so we don't expect the loss of control mentioned in the previous paragraph to become a problem. Also, since Debian Bullseye has just been released as stable, we can expect fixes for security vulnerabilities and critical bugs to be backported to the Bullseye packages, which we can then bring to Endless OS simply by building a new release.
The Shared Account is not longer created by default on new systems. This account was not widely used and it interacted badly with Parental Controls being configured in initial setup.
On existing systems which upgrade to Endless OS 4, the Shared Account will be preserved, but it will no longer have its Chromium profile and trash cleared between sessions, and Chromium will no longer be configured not to save passwords. (In fact, removing the Chromium profile had already stopped working in 3.9.2 when Chromium was moved to a Flatpak.)
Previous versions of Endless OS had a Remote Desktop Viewer app (codenamed 'vinagre') built into the OS. This app is no longer maintained by its authors and has been removed from Endless OS 4. There are several alternatives available in the app center, including:
Support for sharing your desktop over VNC on the local network continues to be built-in. It can be configured from Settings → Sharing → Screen Sharing.
Endless OS 3.9.x had desktop shortcuts for Duolingo, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, WhatsApp, and YouTube built-in. While convenient if you use these services, these shortcuts could not be removed from the desktop icon grid if you wanted. These have been removed in Endless OS 4 and will only be added to the desktop if you choose to.
In some cases there may be apps in the App Center that you can install for these services; otherwise, you can add a shortcut to the desktop using the Chrome or Chromium browsers. To add new shortcuts using Chrome or Chromium, first launch the browser and navigate to the website you want to add a shortcut for, then click on ⋮ Menu > More Tools > Create Shortcut.
The IBus-Chewing input method for Chinese Zhuyin was removed as it is no longer actively developed. Users should reconfigure their input methods to use ibus-libzhuyin instead, which continues to be included in Endless OS.
Previous versions of Endless OS had their default browser set to Google Chrome. For licensing reasons, we cannot pre-install Google Chrome in Endless OS, so it was automatically installed when the computer was connected to the internet for the first time. Because of this feature, the Chrome app icon was already present in the desktop, even if the computer was not connected to the internet yet.
In all new Endless OS 4 installations, Chromium (the open-source version of Chrome) is the default browser, and it comes pre-installed. Chromium provides essentially the same feature-set as Chrome, except for Chrome Sync which Google does not support in third-party builds.
On Endless OS 4, Chrome will never be automatically downloaded. The Chrome icon will be present on the desktop only when it is installed by the user, just like any other app in the App Center.
In systems where Chrome is already the default browser, this setting will not be changed to Chromium when you upgrade to Endless OS 4.
Rhythmbox is now installed as a Flatpak. Previously, this music player app was distributed as part of the OS, and could not be uninstalled or disabled through Parental Controls. Once the upgrade to Endless OS 4 is done, any playlist you had will be lost. We recommend that, if you want to keep them, make a copy of your playlists from the following hidden directory:
.local/share/rhythmbox/. Once the update to Endless OS 4 is performed, you can copy them to the following directory:
Cheese is now installed as a Flatpak. This fun webcam app was previously labeled “Selfie”. This change means it can be uninstalled, disabled through Parental Controls, and updated separately to the rest of the OS.
Icons reverted to GNOME's defaults. This brings higher-resolution icons and better visual consistency among apps from the GNOME family.
If the first boot into Endless OS 4 takes more than 10 minutes, please follow these instructions to help us diagnose the problem.
Endless OS 4 gives you the capability of customizing your own Endless OS installation image. These customizations include but not limited to:
This feature is available for anyone with specific deployment requirements like:
For more information about the Endless OS image builder, please consult the Endless OS Image Builder documentation.
Building your own OSTree is not yet supported, so your custom OS images can only use the official Endless OS OSTree for now. We intend to make this tool available in due course, but do not have a timeline at present.
Endless OS now includes podman 3.0.1, compared to podman 1.5 in previous versions of Endless OS.
This upgrade comes with some backward-incompatible changes:
dockercommand which was simply an alias for the
podmancontainer tool included in Endless OS. This alias is no longer provided; all the same functionality continues to be provided by the
podmancommand. You can create your own alias with:
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/bin sudo ln -s /usr/bin/podman /usr/local/bin/docker
podman container stop --all podman container rm --all -f podman image rm --all -f podman system prune # select y[es] when asked
Endless OS Foundation would like to thank Endless OS community members Bryan Quigley and Egon Rath, as well as current and past Endless OS Foundation team members, for their contributions to Endless OS 4.