Sculpt OS release 23.10 Oct 26, 2023

Modern PCs provide plenty of metering and power-management options. Version 23.10 of the Genode-based Sculpt operating system makes these features available via an interactive user interface. One can watch the temperature of each CPU core, monitor the individual CPU frequencies, switch between power profiles, and reveal details about power draw.

Our official documentation introduces Sculpt as an operating system that puts the user in the position of full control. With the new release, this promise is taken to the precise control and monitoring of physical CPU parameters.

Besides restricting workloads to specific CPU cores, each individual core can be interactively parametrized, e.g., by balancing performance against power efficiency. The effects of changing these parameters become immediately visible by the monitored frequencies, temperature, and power draw. The new knobs add plenty of play value and an entirely new sense of control to the user experience. You can find the new power-control feature described in a dedicated article.

The advanced power-control abilities are accompanied with generally improved support for modern laptops. E.g., on the Framework Gen 12 laptop, features like battery monitoring, keyboard backlight control, and external displays just work now.

Like the previous release, Sculpt OS is available for both PCs and the PinePhone. The PinePhone version received several usability improvements motivated by the feedback we got from the Pine64 community. Most importantly, a new screensaver reduces the power draw to less than 40%, making the device more viable in practice. Under the hood, Sculpt completely removes the drivers for the display and the touchscreen while the screen is blanked. Those drivers are restarted when pressing the power button. Furthermore, the volume buttons have become functional, and the dial pad has become more flexible.

Beside the user-visible improvements, the underpinnings of Sculpt OS received a number of improvements. The entire software is now consistently built with GCC 12.3. The former iPXE-based network driver has been replaced by driver code of the Linux kernel 6.1.20, which works nicely on modern machines. The new version also introduces the principle mechanisms needed for on-target debugging, switches to a much revised virtualization interface, and replaces the block-encryption engine of the file vault. Users of the latter should follow the documented migration steps.

Sculpt OS 23.10 for PC and PinePhone is available as ready-to-use system image at the Sculpt download page accompanied with updated documentation. Seasoned Sculpt users can conveniently switch to the new version via the system-update dialog.