Beginner-friendly Linux distro SolusOS to shut down

Lead developer announces project's end, encourages forks

Developer Ikey Doherty announced this week that work on SolusOS, a Debian-based distro aimed at beginning Linux users, would come to a halt.

The solo nature of the project eventually became too much for Doherty, he wrote in an official blog post. He is employed full-time as a software engineer at Intel.

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“Simply put, there is no longer enough manpower to fulfill the vision,” he said. “What began as a Debian derivative evolved into an independent distribution, without the large development team required to back such an effort.”

The various websites related to SolusOS would be shut down in the coming days, according to Doherty, who noted that the solusos.com domain name would become available in December. All tools used to create the operating system are headed for GitHub and RepoHub, and databases for publicly accessible services (i.e. login information for the project's forums) will be destroyed for the sake of privacy.

Doherty released version 1.0 of SolusOS, dubbed “Eveline,” in May 2012. The distro won praise for being a relatively intuitive, straightforward Linux operating system with few obvious downsides or headaches. It used the well-liked GNOME 2 desktop environment by default, and boasted a well-rounded suite of everyday apps, as well as PlayOnLinux, a “wrapper” designed to run Windows-based games.

Doherty – a well-known figure in the free and open-source software community – said he has no plans to ratchet back his involvement in other projects.

“I already contribute to various open source projects via my job and this enables me to be a good FOSS citizen,” he said. “I do not intend to disappear from the FOSS world, rather the opposite. Consider me a free agent in terms of advice and assistance. Instead of helping just one small project, I can now help many, and perhaps guide projects with more critical mass in a detached capacity.”

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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