Interview with Ikey Doherty - creator of SolusOS

SolusOS is a Debian-based distro that still uses Gnome2 as the desktop environment and it has gained a lot of attention of Linux users recently ( read my review for SolusOS ). 2 weeks ago, Burjans from sent me an interesting email about his interview with Ikey Doherty, the creator of SolusOS, about SolusOS and its future. The interview was originally done in Spanish but Burjans has already translated it into English. ( the interview was originally done in English :D) If you are a current user or someone who is interested in SolusOS, I hope you will like this interview. (read the interview in Spanish at

Ikey Doherty

Burjans: Hi Ikey, I would like to know more about SolusOS, can you answer some questions for me?

Ikey: Yep no problem

Burjans: What is the diference between Debian Stable and SolusOS?

Ikey: SolusOS is based on Debian Stable, but includes its own software repository as well as Debian backports. This gives it access to some very new applications (i.e. VLC2, LibreOffice, Firefox 12.0, etc) whilst being as stable as possible. We saw no need in having to chase a moving target with testing (rolling release), but rather supplement our own repositories to make the best combination possible.

Burjans: How long you will support this release? The question is very important because Red Hat will support Gnome 2 until 2010 but is not the same in Debian.

Ikey: We will support SolusOS 1 until Squeeze is no longer supported. However long before then we will have released SolusOS 2, Wheezy based, containing our modified Gnome 3. This will enhance fallback mode, with a patched gnome-session and gnome-panel, allowing traditional Gnome 2 behavior in Gnome 2. We've also had huge success in porting the old applet and panel bindings (i.e. python) to the new GTK3 and D-BUS API's, meaning for our users Gnome 3 will in every way act and look the same as Gnome 2, meaning we have absolutely no need to rely on forks, maintaining 100% compatibility.

Burjans: Do you work still on LMDE ?? I mean ... do you belong of the Linux Mint team or not? (if you said NO then) Why? (disagreements?)

Ikey: As much as others have said different, I left Linux Mint quite some time ago due to a couple of reasons. Some of them being my own personal reasons but I just didn't like the direction LMDE went. It was something I'd put a lot of effort in, and in my opinion the promises we had made weren't being delivered, hence SolusOS.

Burjans: Raphaƫl Hertzog built Debian including firmware .. what is the
diference between it and SolusOS?(

Ikey: There's quite a big difference between the linked ISO and our project. We include many recent applications, which are not found in stable, or backports. We provide a lot of the firmare, however we have custom utilities to make life easier. For example the FirstRunWizard will automatically install proprietary graphics drivers for you. We've got a lot of multimedia codecs provided too and we ship with a custom built 3.0 kernel that is highly optimized for desktop use. There are many base system customizations and special-builds of core packages, resulting in the very responsive and lightweight OS you see today

Burjans: A last question .. Have you think to include another desktop on SolusOS? ... maybe Xfce, LXDE or Openbox

Ikey: Sure! We're talking to guys from the community to do community editions. For instance we already have Openbox 3.5.0-3 in our repositories and we're looking to build XFCE 4.10 the first instance we can.

They will have to meet the standards of the main edition obviously, but it allows the community to further involve themselves in the project, and this way we don't have the worry of fragmentation of the project.

Any other questions I would be happy to answer

Burjans: Thanks for your time and your kindness to answer my questions

Best Regards

Ikey: No problem mate. Any more questions let me know.

Thank you very much for taking the time and consideration for our project!

Kind Regards
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