Recently I switched my Linux distro to try out a new workflow. It turns out I didn’t have to go very far. Crap, for me it wasn’t even a huge switch, as my main stack workflow is done through Ubuntu. Yet I still wanted  to try out a change. So I made the switch. At least to try.

Welcome to Elementary OS. So far, its been a beautiful change of scenery.

 

I’ve been waiting to be able to try this out, as for a while I frankly haven’t been able to. Well, I could but couldn’t be fucked. It would work on my old back up PC, but over the summer I switched to a new Ryzen based PC for video editing and gaming work. New architecture woo. So that meant no easy way for me to run the 4.9 based elementary OS 0.4.1 Loki. What can I say, I’m lazy. Especially once quick updates came out for what Elementary OS’s base originated from- Ubuntu.

Apps running in Elementary OS
Apps running in Elementary OS

Now that I’ve finally switched, thank god. The UI is beyond gorgeous, not even in the Linux world but in general. Borrowing from previous ideas, the flow from the terminal to the apps are fantastic. And don’t get me started on the beauty that is that fucking terminal. It’s beyond great, from having multiple windows always open, to a sizeable beautiful window, to them acting together wonderfully. It has one of the best copy paste functions I’ve seen, as well as allowing notifications. It even has a great design language that’s beyond easy to notice the differences in legibility. Elementary OS has killed it here, and this terminal has quickly become my go to terminal on any machine I can get it on.

The built-in app store works great, and while is still limited in the sense a Linux app store always will be, it has some surprisingly good options. Ones I would highlight are productivity apps such as tomato, a timer app that keeps me focused on my time spent working. A similar version of sticky notes is also great for quick copy pastes. There’s also some great apps for to do lists, that I keep on a second monitor at all times, as well as system monitoring apps.  The best features of the app store however, are the paid apps available.

It does feel a little weird that there are paid apps in a Linux distro. It’s a bit more of a rarity nowadays since I haven’t tried out new ones in a while. But they’re good. And all of them are cheap. None of it’s a money grab. Devs deserve to get paid, and most of the ones I’ve tried are completely worth the two or three dollars asked. On top of that elementary provides easy tools for others to build their own for the store, making it completely clear that all of them are a seventy thirty split in favor for the developers. So not only can you help a Dev out, but also encourage the continuation of the operating system for the long-term. While that might seem like an obvious thing to support, it’s only paid Devs $197 in one year.

The Elementary OS App Store
The Elementary OS App Store

The more I’ve used it, the more I want to support it. While it’s based on Ubuntu so a vast amount of libraries of various open source projects are supported, they’ve done fantastic work creating it into their own. They even use their own shell, that they’ve created from the better ideas of gnome. Pantheon is a fantastic UI, and shell. If you take a hop over to their website as well, they have open access to almost everything so that you can take it all apart and see how it all works, as its built on the Vala language as well as their apps being made with it providing a sense of unity. Coming in the next big update, 0.5 Juno, as well they’ve teased major changes to what is currently their text editor, scratch. By renaming it code and using decent design theory they are making it into what is seeming to be a very nice code editor. Needless to say I’m definitely intrigued to try it out, especially if it is anywhere as close to being as great as their terminal.

Overall, a few days into setting up elementary OS, I’m having a blast. I’ll hold off on doing anything such as a review until I’ve spent more time with it, as while these last few days have me hyped I can’t really give anything super in-depth yet. I wouldn’t expect to write about any updates until at least the major 0.5 Juno update unless I hit a brick wall and continue testing out other distros. For right now though, If you have a weekend to spend messing around with a new operating system, I would have no hesitation suggesting giving Elementary OS a try.

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