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Announcing Friend OS Hydrogen

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Hydrogen is the new LTS version of Friend, and the first version that applies our new naming scheme – picking names from the periodic table. Hydrogen will see updates for the next two years – released as patches to this branch.


Friend Core updates

  • New networking engine – ultra fast and reliable HTTP connections and more reliable socket connections with less packet errors. This has sped up all networking in Friend. Additionally, server-to-server connections now all use SSL.
  • Even faster websockets – real-time, persistent Friend server connections. We updated to the latest Libwebsockets version, which in concert with our rewritten network engine has seen great improvements in speed and reliability.
  • Support for 2+GB uploads – start migrating large archives to Friend drives.

Friend Chat improvements

  • Follow speaker mode now allows for a larger amount of participants in peer-to-peer video conferences.
  • Mobile support has been improved.
  • Support for iOS have been introduced.
  • Many bug fixes!

For further details check out github:FriendChat and github:Presence

Friend Workspace

  • We have refactored the file manager and added a gallery mode for large thumbnails.
  • We added icon labels for virtual desktops.
  • Further improved Workspace notifications with a fixed height, to avoid layout problems on some screens.
  • Removed popup-windows on mobile and instead implemented mobile widgets.
  • Faster start-up times for launching applications.
  • Improved caching of frequently used assets and javascript code blocks.
  • Improved mobile apps for iOS and Android.


  • Introduced new Shared drive that allows users to share any file with any workgroup or user.
  • Now supporting public files (publish on web) for both Home drives as well as Workgroup drives.

Misc improvements

  • Improved Admin app for managing Friend user accounts, workgroups and templates.
  • My account got support for unicode characters for avatars.
  • Security improvements.
  • Stability improvements.
  • And lots more!

Friend OS Hydrogen got changes to many of its bundled apps, like Notes, Friend Jukebox, My account, Friend Create, Friend Shell.

Please check the release page here.

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I can't wait to get testing this new release!! A lot has changed since the early days of Friend and I for one am extremely excited to see whats in the pipeline for the next few months!

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