blendOS v3 “Bhatura” has now been released, with a host of new features, including the ability to switch between 7 desktop environments with
system track, seamless atomic background updates, support for 10 container distributions and Nix, reproducible systems (containers and dotfiles), new developer-friendly CLI utilities for system and user operations and a lot more.
Download and install: https://docs.blendos.co/guides/installation-guide/#mirror-list
Unlike traditional Linux distributions, blendOS uses ISOs for updates, with your system being rebuilt on an update. Thanks to zsync, the update download size usually hovers around 10-100 MiBs, contrary to what you might have assumed.
Updates are downloaded in the background, and on the next boot, replace the current root filesystem while keeping any custom system packages you install (more on that later).
This update architecture resolves a major flaw with rolling-release distributions like Arch Linux, and allows us to confirm an update isn’t going to render your system unusable prior to rolling it out, thus providing a great deal of stability.
blendOS now supports 7 desktop environments, including GNOME, KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, XFCE, Deepin, MATE and LXQt. You can switch between desktop environments easily and instantaneously with
You can submit one of your own by adding it to https://github.com/blend-os/manifests/blob/main/default.xml and submitting a pull request. Here’s what the GNOME profile looks like, for example:
<profile name="gnome" dm="gdm"> <!-- WayDroid --> <pkg>waydroid-blend-git</pkg> <pkg>waydroid-image</pkg> <!-- GNOME packages --> <pkg>gnome</pkg> <pkg>adw-gtk3</pkg> <pkg>gnome-software</pkg> <pkg>gnome-shell-extension-blur-my-shell</pkg> <pkg>gnome-shell-extension-appindicator</pkg> </profile>
It now allows you to reproduce your dotfiles, containers and associations through a simple YAML configuration file, like the one below:
modules: ssh: enabled: true allowed_keys:  gnome: enabled: true style: light gtk-theme: 'adw-gtk3' icon-theme: 'Adwaita' titlebar: button-placement: 'right' double-click-action: 'toggle-maximize' middle-click-action: 'minimize' right-click-action: 'menu' containers: # Containers go here ubuntu: distro: ubuntu-23.04 packages: - brz - devscripts commands: - 'echo "info: commands provided as strings, like this one, are run with bash"' debian: distro: debian packages: - git - cowsay - live-build commands: - sudo ln -sf ../../games/cowsay /usr/bin/cowsay - sudo ln -sf ../../games/cowthink /usr/bin/cowthink - ['cowsay', 'commands provided in the form of a list, like this one, are executed directly inside containers'] kali: distro: kali-linux packages: - metasploit-framework associations: # Associations go here apt: ubuntu hello: ubuntu debuild: ubuntu git: debian lb: debian msfconsole: kali
The above configuration can be saved to a file named
~/Downloads/user.yaml and imported with
user cadre ~/Downloads/user.yaml, for example.
Simplified application installation
Now, you can simply double-click a DEB, RPM, pkg.tar.zst or an APK to install it to a container. (for APKs, you need to initialize Android app support from the blendOS Settings app)
New CLI utilities
blendOS v3 introduces two new command line utilities,
user, and both of these are designed to make the lives of developers much, much easier.
system allows you to install packages on the host itself, such as drivers and virtualization software from the Arch Linux repositories (
system install and
system remove). Speaking of which, unlike quite a few other immutable distributions, blendOS supports software such as VirtualBox if installed on the host.
user is a replacement for the old
blend CLI (was deprecated in v2). It allows you to create and manage containers and associatiions, as well as generate and move dotfiles and containers between different blendOS machines, as touched upon in the previous section.
The following distributions are now supported for containers, and you can use Nix too with a single/multi-user installation, just like on any regular Linux distribution:
- AlmaLinux 9
- Crystal Linux
- Fedora 38
- Kali Linux (rolling)
- Neurodebian Bookworm
- Rocky Linux
- Ubuntu 22.04
- Ubuntu 23.04
Just like with the previous release, this one is named after another popular dish (or to be precise, bread) in the Indian subcontinent, the “bhatura” (my personal favorite, and something most Indians are probably familiar with).
Special thanks to Ray Vermey, our community moderator and QA lead/“Master Chief Tester” for testing the ISOs thoroughly, Asterisk for helping with docs and infra, Noa Himesaka for helping with testing and creating the T2 Linux variant of blendOS, SvGaming for helping with docs, and last but not the least, Tobiyo Kuujikai, our community moderator.