elementary OS has a reputation for being great for newbies to Linux, but in some ways the operating system is running out of it. There are many reasons for experienced, dedicated Linux users to try basic operating systems as well. It's one of the most exciting free desktops available, and here are just a few reasons it is worth checking out.
1. A consistent and attractive design
Traditional desktop Linux tries to build a functional desktop from different components, all from different developers and projects. Most options have evolved well since the beginning, but even on the most popular Linux desktops, you can still find vast differences in how apps look and function.
Under elementary operating systems, there is a way that app icons should look, a way to design app windows, and a proper way to use colors. The project has a very detailed set of Human Interface Guidelines that developers and app designers use as a guide.
Although calling a desktop beautiful is inherently subjective, even critics notice the effort the elemental team put into bringing every aspect of the desktop together into a cohesive whole. You don't have to be a novice to appreciate good design.
2. Minimize distractions
Longtime Linux users will likely want to use the same desktop for their work that they use for their personal computers. elementary OS can help you focus by minimizing distractions. There's a built-in Please do not disturb Mode for disabling notifications, sure, but removing distractions on elementary operating systems goes much deeper.
In elementary operating systems there are far fewer ways to customize your desktop. It doesn't contain themes or built-in ways to customize most aspects of the user interface. Unlike various other Linux desktops that expect you to spend time tweaking your user interface just the way you want it, Elementary OS treats such features as a distraction and a sign of bad design.
For some people, this is a deal breaker. For others, it helps them get to work without spending hours getting every font, widget, and panel pixel perfect.
3. The right balance between stability and new software
elementary OS is based on a stable Ubuntu LTS base that only changes every two years. However, the desktop above is regularly upgraded.
Sometimes these tweaks are subtle, while sometimes there are major improvements. Meanwhile, new apps are constantly infiltrating. Thanks to the stable foundation, however, there is no chance that an update will destroy your system or that important background components will be lost.
This arrangement is ideal for Linux users who want the stability that a slow distribution like Debian or Ubuntu LTS can provide without being stuck with outdated desktop software. This is especially the case now, as elementary has enthusiastically embraced the Flatpak format for distributing apps.
4. A wealth of innovative apps
The elementary OS AppCenter has a plethora of little apps that focus on getting a task done in unique and sometimes quirky ways. Badger reminds you to move different parts of the body at regular intervals. Reminduck is a nice way not to forget about your tasks. Clips is a clipboard manager that manages to be stylish. Fondo downloads wallpapers from Unsplash without opening a browser.
Many apps complement the desktop functionality that we may be more likely to see on mobile devices. Others perform tasks aimed at power users. Resizer is one of the fastest ways to resize an image. Frog can extract text from a PDF or image.
TextShine helps you convert or convert text in batches without the need of a terminal. Minder helps you plan and visualize ideas. Cinema is a great way to organize and watch your local video files, while Norka is both a minimalist and feature-rich approach to taking notes or writing in Markdown.
AppCenter apps may not eliminate your need for established programs like Audacity, Krita, or LibreOffice, but adding so many of them to your workflow can still be a joy.
5. elementary OS is a complete platform
Desktop Linux is a very fragmented business. If you tell someone you are using Linux, they can't just go to Linux.com and download Linux. When they do an image search for Linux they may get even more confused. To get started, you first need to choose a Linux distribution and possibly a desktop environment as well.
If you want to develop for Linux, which distributions do you support? Are you ready to put your software in so many places and, what is even more difficult, continuously support each one? Instead, opt for a universal package format and in this case which one: Flatpak, Snap or AppImage?
In contrast, Elementary OS is a full platform. elementary provides guidelines for creating and submitting apps, a single app store for distributing those apps, and a single operating system to run those apps on. The pipeline is very straightforward, which improves the experience for developers and users alike.
Technically, elementary OS is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, but you don't need to know that any more than you don't need to know that Chrome OS is a Linux distribution based on Gentoo.
6. AppCenter can assist you in helping developers
When you first switch to Linux, you might immediately fall in love with the fact that most things are free. However, after a while, you may find that many of the projects you know and love are in dire need of cash. How the open source world can be funded is an ongoing conversation involving many forms of experimentation.
elementary OS has adopted the Pay What You Want model. You can pay developers directly in the AppCenter. Some apps have a suggested price, but you can change this number to whatever you want.
You can also pay by downloading the basic operating system yourself. You need to, do you need to? No, this software remains free for everyone. However, the approach reduces your chances of forgetting to make a donation while also showing you how to make a donation.
Is Elementary Operating System Right For You?
No desktop is perfect for everyone. Not Windows, not macOS, and not any version of Linux. But elementary OS can be just the right combination of style and substance that long-time users have been waiting for years to deliver Linux. Instead of optimizing your computer, the basic operating system allows you to focus, have fun, and get things done.
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About the author
(335 published articles)
Bertel is a digital minimalist who writes from a laptop with physical privacy switches and an operating system recommended by the Free Software Foundation. He values ethics over functions and helps others take control of their digital lives.
From Bertel King
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