By now I think you all know what’s coming. Another exciting release of Reborn OS! As usual, this release brings numerous new, exciting features to you – whether you have yet to install or have done so already. So let’s get started!
To begin it all, we are excited to announce that Cnchi has been fully updated to a brand new version – courtesy of the Antergos developers for their continued commitment to pushing out new Cnchi versions on Github. With this new version, Cnchi not only ranks the Arch mirrors in the installation process, but also their own Antergos mirrors – ensuring a more stable install. In addition, some changes were made to support the new changes to Python that have ensued after its creator resigned, as well as some more subtle code changes to a few of its installation pages.
But what’s the good, bad, and ugly about all this as far as Reborn itself is concerned? Well, let’s start with the good news! Cnchi is now more thorough in ranking mirrors, an obvious bonus to the installer. The bad? Due to this new change in the code, Cnchi’s Ranking Mirrors… popup box was now hanging in the installer indefinitely. It would come up, and then… just stay there. Even after completion. After messing with Cnchi’s code a bit, I asked the Antergos devs for some insight into this peculiar issue, and it turns out they were as stumped as we were! We went back and forth, getting nowhere in the end. As such, I eventually decided that it might be best if we created our own popup box rather than focusing our efforts and time on getting Cnchi’s one fixed. With this in mind, I created a simple popup box using the program YAD and added it to our ISO. This new popup box, while simple, is possibly even more reliable than Cnchi’s ever was due to the way it works in the background. Rather than relying on any complex functions, it simply waits for /tmp/cnchi.log to output a line that reads, “Cnchi is ranking mirrors..” and then activates. The moment a new line is added to Cnchi’s logfile that states that “Cnchi is done ranking mirrors”, it reports that the process of ranking mirrors is “Done” for you. With this, it can be relied on to act quickly and allow you to move on in the installer at the soonest possible moment.
As for the ugly? Don’t got any! But we do have more good news for you. For instance, thanks to the extensive testing done by both Badmem and Rafael, Cnchi is now immensely more stable! They tested everything, giving Reborn’s Cnchi a real work-over. From each and every feature to even keyboard layouts, they did it all! And it was a good thing too. In the course of their testing, they discovered two major things. The first was that all Office Suites in the Features page of Cnchi were experiencing issues with the spell checking software, known as Hunspell. Thanks to some subtle renaming of the Spanish language spell checking service within that software, LibreOffice and WPS Office were experiencing issues when installed through Cnchi. Furthermore, KDE had removed their special keyboard packages! With this discovered, we quickly moved to patch things up and get Cnchi back in tip-top shape. And now, it is working better than ever before with a more stable experience for all!
And Now for Some Random News
First off, Reborn OS new offers partial Android app support! You heard that right. From here on out, you can now experience your mobile apps on Reborn using the latest Anbox technology. Granted, I say partial support because of the way Anbox works. Instead of spinning up a Virtual Machine ( VM ) and running Android as a separate system, Anbox runs more like WINE does. It integrates all installed apps directly into your system. So just as WINE makes Windows programs directly compatible with Linux, Anbox makes Android apps directly compatible. However, here’s here’s the catch. Just like WINE still relies on your hardware, so does Anbox. For instance, installing 32-bit software for Windows using WINE on a 64-bit system (or anything not 32-bit) might yield some issues. In the same way, trying to run Android apps that only offer ARM support (the standard for mobile devices) on a 64-bit system might yield some issues. The good news here is that some apps out there include 64-bit support as well! So if you’re using a 64-bit machine (as I bet most of us here are) you may still be in luck. And for those of you who are in fact using an ARM machine instead, then Anbox will work perfectly for you! To get Anbox all set up and running for Reborn, just install our new package anbox-reborn from your Software Center of choice (by default, this would be Pamac). From there, you can launch a simple application that will get you all set up and ready to go with the mere click of a button!
Last but not least, thanks to our newest addition to the team, Azaiel, we now finally have Reborn ported to the Raspberry Pi! While still in Pre-Alpha phase, it is at least available for all you who are feeling adventurous. After all, the only way to become more stable is through testing. And testing is something that you can be a part of! So if you are interested, please feel free to give it a try. If you are merely curious about this new endeavor, Azaiel’s official statement regarding his work can be found here. With more testers and further development, I am sure this project can progress to its intended vision – an easy OS for the Raspberry Pi that rivals that of Raspbian – with Reborn, and thus Arch Linux, as its base.
As you can see, the future is bright for Reborn OS! With a revamped Cnchi, new Android capabilities, and a ported version of Reborn for the Raspberry Pi, things can only get better from here. Like you, I cannot wait to see what the future holds!