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2023.4: Enhancing the Experience, and looking towards 2024

After a long development period we're ready to finish off the year with a stellar release, as well as inform you, the community, of what to expect in 2024.

This development period was substantially longer than our previous releases, which can be attributed to the start of a new semester. If you wish to contribute to Rhino Linux and help us push out amazing upgrades faster, consider joining either our Matrix or Discord.

Release notes:

To upgrade to 2023.4 please run: rpk update -y.

The Unicorn Desktop

Unicorn #39 has finally been merged, bringing optional auto-tiling to Unicorn. After updating and rebooting, a new applet will appear in the top right section of the panel. To kick start your tiling window experience, you can select the new applet, which will bring up a toggle to enable/disable tiling mode.

• uLauncher now appears more rounded, and has a slightly different background colour.


• If Nala is installed, rhino-pkg update no longer auto-removes packages by default.

• To clean up unneeded packages or broken dependencies on a system, users can run the new rhino-pkg cleanup command.

• Beginning with Pacstall 4.3.0, packages may now use Debian’s priority flag. As such, rhino-core and variants are now tagged essential, marking them unremovable to the system. Additionally, Unicorn will no longer automatically be removed when switching between the rhino*-core family. To remove unicorn-desktop or unicorn-mobile, users must first switch to rhino-ubxi-core or rhino-server-core; they will then be able to safely remove the package. This step is also needed if one is switching between rhino-core and rhino-pine-core.


• Modem stability fixes have been shipped to both the PinePhone and the PinePhone Pro, as well as GPS support enablement.

• The PineTab2 now features a more user-friendly experimental WiFi module enablement.

• All PinePhones and PineTabs now offer flashlight support.

All of these changes were brought over directly from Oren Klopfer's Ubuntu Touch port.

Other new features

• The "Your System" application now displays the version number as a pill, and can be copied to the clipboard on click.

pacstall-qa is now introduced as a new default package. pacstall-qa is a tool developed by Pacstall as a tool to test pascripts from PR's locally. You can read more about pacstall-qa here.

• During the 2023.4 development cycle we announced the launch of the The Unicorn Beyond XFCE initiative as a way to create official ports of Unicorn to other desktop environments.

• The installed kernels for this release are 6.6.7-generic for desktop, 6.7.0-rc5-okpine on Pine64 devices and 6.5.0-raspi for Raspberry Pi.

Bug fixes

• An issue regarding Bluetooth support has been resolved, with our full transition from pulseaudio to pipewire.

• The bug causing the "Your System" application to be stuck in light mode has finally been resolved.

• Connecting to WiFi on embedded devices has also been fixed.

What to expect in 2024

One of the larger things to expect in 2024, is the debut of our new icon pack! We've been hard at work designing an icon pack that is both visualy appealing whilst keeping the essence of the original artwork.

As we mentioned before about the Unicorn Beyond XFCE Initiative, in 2024 we will be aiding the development and creation of UBXI ports.

rhino-pkg is in the process of being rewritten in nushell. This change will be a complete overhaul of the program, aiming to make it faster, more accurate, more precise, and introducing several new functions, like the ability to sync repositories without upgrading, display descriptions in search results, and more.

Pacstall 5.0.0 will be releasing in 2024, which will bring significantly closer pacscript parity to PKGBUILDs.

We are still exploring the prospects of Unicorn switching to Wayland in the future. Progress on xfwm4-wayland has not moved for the majority of our development this year, and so we are considering alternative compositing options. UBXI projects may help largely with this process, so we encourage you to contribute!

Some other things to expect in 2024 are support for offline installations, as well as improved documentation on our Rhino Linux wiki.

• Many thanks, and happy holidays, from the Rhino Linux team.

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