Four Methods elementary OS Nonetheless Falls Brief

elementary OS has come a long way from its humble beginnings. It's not just a free, open source operating system, it's a complete platform. There's a desktop to use apps, an app store to find them, along with all of the tools and instructions you need to create them.

But as good as the basic operating system has gotten, there are still some important areas that need work. You should consider these before deciding whether to install a basic operating system on your PC.

1. AppCenter is relatively empty

AppCenter is the name of the elementary OS app store. When you first launch the App Store, you will only see apps that are specifically designed for elementary OS.

In a way, it's a great experience. This means that unlike other Linux app stores, you don't have to search through dozens of options that may work but won't fit into your desktop environment. The downside is that there aren't that many apps out there yet. Finding a writing app may only yield a handful of results.

Also, many elementary OS apps are small, hyper-focused tools. For more powerful all-purpose software, you still have to turn to more popular apps. Think LibreOffice, GIMP, VLC or Kdenlive. These apps can run fine on elementary operating systems, but you need to turn to third-party Linux apps to get them.


Does this mean that elementary OS should preinstall a third party resource like Flathub instead of alerting users to it? Not necessarily.

Ultimately, people are used to the company providing an app store to do quality control of the apps inside, and the elementary team has no influence or control over the software in Flathub. This is one of the reasons elementary didn't do this.

But until the AppCenter is full, the initial experience can feel disruptive, especially if you're coming from an older version of the basic operating system.

2. Most of the apps have not been updated for "Odin"

Traditionally, with new versions of elementary operating systems, app developers have had to update and resubmit their apps to support the latest version. elementary OS 6.0 "Odin" uses the Flatpak format instead of DEBs to solve this problem. In the future, apps will work even if they are not updated for every version.

But at the moment there is still a large catalog of older elementary OS apps that are not yet available as a Flatpak for Odin. Long-time users of elementary operating systems, for example, may have an app they love but have to sacrifice to upgrade to the latest version of the operating system with no guarantee that their app will be updated at some point.

It's up to the original app developers, not the basic team, to update every app. Some developers just moved on to other things.

Some apps were released for "Loki" (version 0.4) and never received an update to "Juno" (5.0) or "Hera" (5.1). Great to see new apps for Odin, but it still hurts to see great software in the back catalog that just stopped working.

3. Full operating system upgrades require a clean install

Most elementary operating system updates come as notifications in the AppCenter. You open AppCenter, click the Installed tab, and tap the Update button. But when a new version of elementary OS comes out, you can't just install the update. Instead, you need to back up all of your data, erase your computer, and replace the entire operating system with the new version.

The elementary team says this is because there are so many moving parts that it cannot guarantee users a smooth upgrade.

Because users install different software configurations and sometimes make personal adjustments, there is no limit to the number of errors that users may encounter during an upgrade and users will ask for help. Without the exact same configuration of their desktops, developers would have no way of replicating the errors.

That's true, but at the same time, other Linux distributions have offered the option of upgrading to new versions for many years. At this point, the elementary operating system is the weirdo, an exception to the rule. But other distributions also recognize that system upgrades can lead to quirks over time, and clean installations offer the most predictable experience.

4. Too few hands for too much work

elementary is a very small team of paid individuals that is accompanied by a team of volunteers. As with other free software projects, including larger projects like GNOME and KDE, the majority of software development depends on volunteer contributions.

This can mean bugs that will persist for a long time because the staff lacks the expertise and a volunteer has not yet hired to fix them. It can mean new versions of the basic operating system take longer to roll out than a larger company.

It can also mean that Elementary might want to make changes, such as B. the transition to OSTree, which has not yet been carried out due to a lack of skills or manpower.

On the other hand, small teams often offer a passion that you don't get from large corporations. The elementary team is easy to reach and if they can't fix or change something they explain very transparently why. Being small isn't a scam, but it can take patience.

Should you be using a basic operating system?

elementary OS is a great desktop operating system. Keep in mind that some of the above issues are also present on major commercial desktops, if not worse. The Windows Store is honestly not overflowing with software. Chromebooks have an expiration date before you just can't upgrade to newer versions of Chrome OS. Some great apps don't work on newer versions of Android.

Thanks to the nature of free and open source software, the Elementary team doesn't have to be large or heavily funded to deliver one of the best computing experiences. That the above list is so short is testament to how great an elementary operating system has become.

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About the author

Bertel King
(338 published articles)

Bertel is a digital minimalist who works on a laptop with an elementary operating system and carries a Light Phone II with him. He enjoys helping others decide which technology to bring into their lives … and which to forego.

From Bertel King

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