The next Neptune release will have the codename “Fluid”. It represents the fluid transition to 32-Bit/64-Bit Hybrid system.
Besides that we decided to officially change our name from “ZevenOS-Neptune” to the shorter name Neptune which also helps improving differntiating it from the ZevenOS distribution. The logo and the base design will only go through a small adjustment no big changes are planned for them. The website will be adapted to the new name in the coming weeks. A completely new webdesign is wished but currently we don’t have the man power to start this. (if you are interested in helping us out here and take responsibility to newly design the Neptune homepage, please contact us)
With this new version we will produce our last official LXDE (called Minimal) Edition system. To support LXDE even after our “Fluid” release we created a metapackage (called neptune-lxde-desktop) which should ensure that you can also install LXDE(with all the applications we ship currently in the Minimal Edition) on a base Neptune system.
KDE will be still our main desktop for the Neptune “Fluid” release. We will continue to ship it with changes and adjustments to the default settings that we consider useful. We also continue to ship the latest and greatest KDE release that is available with updates included.
One of the most impacting changes in the next version will be the switch to ‘Rolling-Release Minor Kernel Releases’. This means that you will get automatic updates of minor kernel releases on a normal update. So if you have kernel 3.3.3 installed and a bugfixed kernel 3.3.4 is coming out you will eventually (depending on the changes of the kernel and if we consider it worthful updating) get this new release with a online update. A version change from 3.3 to 3.4 will not result in a kernel upgrade on normal Neptune update. To ensure to have a working system a kernel update will not delete the older kernel so that you still have the possibility to boot the older kernel. But this also means you need to manually remove old kernels (we already ship the Grub2 configuration tool in systemsettings and a commandline tool ‘remove-oldkernel.sh’ which can be used to delete older kernel versions).
Automatic updating kernel for live media systems (i.e. usb sticks) is planned but currently not technically implemented and probably will not make it until the Neptune “Fluid” release. A manual upgrade is however (if there is the technical knowledge) possible.
Big changes need good testing. For this reason we will release a Beta version before the final release of Neptune “Fluid” which allows users to test out new features and us to bugfix the release.
All in all is the Neptune team is really working hard to get the latest and greatest out of the Neptune “Fluid” release and to provide the best desktop experience for linux users out there. The plan is to release Neptune in this month but this is depending on open and serious bugs and maybe delayed.