Marching On.. or simply, March Update!

It’s now been exactly a month since Beta 0.8 was released and I thought it was about time that I updated you all on the progress of the project. Some time ago, I posted that Chromixium should reach final stable status by the end of Quarter 1 of 2015. So that gives me 15 days to make the stable release! Whilst that time frame (albeit arbitrary) may slip, it should only be slightly as a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes over the course of the last month.

I expected a smooth transition from Beta 0.8 to 1.0, but as ever with the Open Source world, trying to pick a suitable point in time to snapshot, even on an LTS base, is basically impossible. The Chromixium base system is a mixture of technologies from different projects, each with their own development milestones and priorities. Sometimes an update to one of the core base components improves performance, often it actually breaks something (case in point the problems with Chromium and the Chrome Store). As a result, some of the non-Ubuntu PPAs that I have used to get updated packages will be removed for the stable release, effectively pinning the package at that version until or unless the official Ubuntu backport repos catch up. This should help users to maintain a stable Chromixium system.

Only last month, Ubuntu released an updated LTS kernel and hardware enablement stack (also known as HWE 14.04.02). This did improve graphical performance on my Intel-based machines, but the HWE does not get the full LTS support to 2019. In fact it expires in August 2016 after which users will be expected to upgrade to HWE 14.04.05 which will be supported to the end of life of 14.04 series (more information here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/LTSEnablementStack). As a result, Chromixium will continue to ship with the 3.13 series kernel, but an additional HWE ISO will also be released.

Thanks to all users who have tested and provided feedback. I do try and incorporate most of the feedback into future releases if possible, so you can expect a handful of small changes, improvements and bug fixes in the next version (oh and some updated icons to reflect changes in the upstream Chromium/Chrome OS).

The stable release will be announced on this website and on Google+ soon enough. The idea is that Chromixium 1.0 will stick around and remain relevant for a good few years but I have plenty of ideas for future development, and the future is definitely exciting for this project!

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