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Elementary OS: An Elegant and Functional Linux Distro

elementary-os-logoWhile there are lots of Linux distributions out there, most of them are just a respin in the few popular distro like Ubuntu, Fedora, etc. Change a fresh theme, start being active . additional software and you can get a fresh distro. However, once in a while, perform come across a Linux distro that is really unique and are available with some special features making it different from the others. Elementary OS is one of them. On the first glance, it may seem that it is yet another clone of Mac OS X, but when you have used it, you will find that it's more than just skin deep. Let’s check it out.

The latest version of elementary os (Luna) is founded on Ubuntu 12.04 (LTS) possesses taken over 2 years of heavy development to get to the stable final release. Much effort continues to be put in to ensure that it is both elegant and user-friendly. Elementary OS doesn’t promote itself as being a Linux distro. In fact, if you visit its homepage, you'll find the mention of “Linux” in the very end with the page and it really is only mentioned once. Other than that, it continues to be promoting itself as being a beautiful, open and speedy alternative OS to Windows and Mac OS X.

Downloading elementary os is free, but it will prompt you to definitely donate $10 (or even more) to guide its development. Unlike Ubuntu or Linux Mint, you don’t get many “favour” from the OS. There is merely one Elementary OS, readily available for both 32 and 64 bit.


The desktop environment used in elementary os is really a custom-built DE called Pantheon. It comes with a top-notch panel (Wingpanel) with decorative app icons. The date/time applet is in the center along with the Application menu is about the left corner. At the bottom is a dock (Plank) with applications.



The application menu, when clicked, show a popup window of your respective apps icons. You can either go through the page number to scroll over the apps, or seek out the app inside search bar. You can also go through the menu icon to show off the app category.


Unlike most distro that are included with many applications pre-installed, elementary os only features a basic necessary apps. The apps include:

  • Midori - browser

  • Files - file manager

  • Software Center

  • Noise - Music player

  • Totem - Movie Player

  • Empathy - IM client

  • Geary - Email client

  • Shotwell - image viewer and editor

Yes, missing from your list is often a proper Office suite. LibreOffice, or Abiword, is not installed automatically. This just isn't a big deal though, because you can easily install it through the Software Center.

To configure Elementary OS, the majority of its settings are centrally located on the System Settings (also called the Switchboard). Here is to configure anything from keyboard, Desktop, network to startup applications.


While using Elementary OS, there are some controversies you could possibly be happy, or annoyed with.

First coming from all, you won’t have the ability to place anything on the desktop. You won’t even locate a “Desktop” folder inside the file manager. Yes, you may create a “Desktop” folder manually, but placing files within it won’t make them show up for the Desktop. For those who love a clean desktop, this is useful, however for those who utilize desktop extensively to hold temporary files, this can not fit you.

Secondly, there is no maximize and minimize button for every app window. All you have is really a close button with the left corner plus a Full screen toggle button with the right corner. While they have a very reason to do this, a few will still be bothered with the lack of choice to bring the buttons back.


Thirdly, the file manager (Files) is heavily stripped down to provide just the essential stuff. You won’t find any menu or Preferences to configure it. No “Delete” option (only “Move to Trash”), no status bar no Desktop. There is also no options to bring it well.


Fourthly, it is pretty obvious that Workspace is just not an emphasis from the OS as it can be not visible and easily accessible anywhere within the OS. It is just not even mentioned anywhere in the OS or even the site. And should you try to use the default keyboard shortcut to modify workspace (Ctrl + Alt + arrow), you will see that it won’t act on all. The keyboard shortcuts are actually remapped for WorkSpace to resemble how Expose in Mac OS X works.


Also, instead of “Super” key, elementary os is employing the “Command” symbol in Mac OS X in place with the Super/Windows key. Using the unfamiliar shortcut key or perhaps the hot corner is the greatest way to use Workspace.



It is apparent that the developers of elementary os isn't keen to produce a distro that will please everyone. Just by looking with the changes they made for the OS, it can be clear that they have put in a lots of thoughts in it and implement the items that they think will manage to benefit the users. You may not agree with all the changes they implemented, but there's no denying that the result is really a beautiful, minimal but functional OS. One thing though, I still want to have icons on my own Desktop. What about you?

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