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What is the difference between TLXOS 4.8.x and 4.9.x? Which do I need?


Short answer: The releases are functionally near-identical, the main difference is that 4.8.0 has older Citrix and VMware client versions; use 4.8.0 only if you need to, and 4.9.0 otherwise.

Long Answer:

We've been finding it increasingly difficult to reconcile the requirements of customers with old and unpatched servers who need era-appropriate client versions, and customers who need features or security fixes that are only available in the latest version clients.  Also, major changes such as changing the Debian version (as we recently did with TLXOS 4.9.x, based on Debian 10) inevitably results in additional bugs that affect some customers, and make some time for us to sort out.

For these reasons, starting with 4.8.0 we decided to do what many software providers are now doing and provide a "Long Term Stable" (LTS) alternative in addition to the latest release.  We'll endeavour to use the odds-and-evens convention whereby releases with an even minor version number (e.g. 4.8.x) are the conservative releases, and releases with an odd minor version number (e.g. 4.9.0) are the progressive releases.

TLXOS 4.8.0 is more-or-less a continuation of TLXOS 4.6.1, still based on Debian 8 (Jessie) and using an uncompressed Ext2 root filesystem base layer rather than the compressed (and therefore slower) Reiser4 filesystem that TLXOS 4.7.1 and later use (we had no choice but to do this, as it was the only way that larger Debian 9/10 releases would fit in the available space).  It has a newer 4.19 kernel, and in the TLXOS RPi case supports Raspberry Pi 4 (which the equivalent Raspbian release never did).  However, included software is generally old as Debian 8 is now about 4 years old and two releases out of date.

4.8.0 notably also has old versions of the Citrix (Receiver) and VMware (Horizon) clients.  4.8.0 includes Citrix Receiver 13.7.0, which interoperates safely with old XenApp / XenDesktop servers that use obsolete SSL ciphers, and is also the last release with which ThinLinX's Pi H.264 hardware decoder plugin (based on example Citrix code from the Platform Optimization SDK) is known to work reliably.  The RPi edition of 4.8.0 uses Horizon Client 4.5.0, which is the last version of Horizon Client for ARM Linux to support the PCoIP protocol (VMware dropped this in Horizon Client 4.6.0, on the ARM Linux platform only, for reasons they have never explained).  x86/x86_64 editions of TLXOS 4.8.0 use Horizon Client 5.0.0 (the last version to provide the "legacy" client only) instead.

If up until now you have been using Citrix and Horizon downgrade hotfixes, then TLXOS 4.8.0 is for you.  From now on we'll be pointing anyone with these requirements at 4.8.0 rather than creating downgrade hotifxes for every new TLXOS version.

TLXOS 4.9.0 is our latest release, based on Debian 10 (Buster) rather than Debian 9 (Stretch), which 4.7.x used.  Except where there were known problems (e.g. x86 version of Horizon Client 5.4.1), it includes the latest version of the major apps (Workspace App, Horizon Client, FreeRDP) that were available at the time of release.  We may continue to provide application upgrade hotfixes for 4.9.0 if 4.9.1 (or 4.11.0) is delayed for a long time.

We added a lot of new features in TMS 8.2.0, and in order for both 4.8.0 and 4.9.0 to support these we had to make more userspace changes than we normally would for a conservative release, so TLXOS 4.8.0 might prove to be a bit buggier than you feel that a "stable" release ought to be, but in future we'll endeavour to stick to tried-and-true code in the 4.8.x stream where possible.

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Article details
Article ID: 47
Category: Frequently Asked Questions
Date added: 2020-07-18 03:42:23
Views: 145

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