Gigastrand OS 4 (to be known as Gigastrand 4) is happening with early development making headway quickly. A release date has not yet been set but will be announced soon.
Expect only small cosmetic changes to the OS with many of the changes happening on the back end. It should be similar to 3.6 in terms of software installed, however, we are going to try and trim the fat and make a smaller installation image.
Last year, we played with an idea that we called “modules”. This was realized with Zonealarm and Gigastrand NVR on a smaller scale. The idea was to do a very simple OS and allow the user to download the module they wanted so that they could easily customize the OS to do what they wanted. It installed a complimentary set of software related to what they wanted to do.
The issue, we discovered, is that only a few would be bothered to download ANY module. The stripped down OS did not appeal to the target market and the way we delivered the software was too difficult for most users to understand. Needless to say, the idea has merit, but will not be realized immediately in v4.0.
For the first time, Virtual box is playing a major role in the development with a “sandbox” image. This is an installation that is being used for experimental processes and procedures for development only. Already, several pitfalls have been uncovered and will be avoided with the production image. In the past, this required multiple physical hard drives on the production machine.
In anticipation of the development of Gigastrand 4, we upgraded much of our PC infrastructure. Our slowest PC is currently a Dual Core Pentium. Our sandbox machine is an 8-core Intel i7 HP laptop with 12Gb RAM. Our production image machine is a Quad-core AMD Phenom II recently upgraded from a single-core AMD Sempron.
Speaking of upgrading PCs, we are testing 8-core AMD Ryzen processors with Gigastrand OS 3.6. So far, the results are impressive with no compatibility or other issues. With new hardware, there is always the possibility of incompatibility in Linux. This is one of the reasons we try to keep our installation images up to date.
No date is being set for the release of Gigastrand 4, though, we are confident it will be out before September 1st, 2017. Pre-orders for physical media will begin once we have a solid release date.