Once upon a time, Elementary OS was my go-to Linux desktop distro. But when I bought my first System76 desktop, I went from Elementary OS to Pop!_OS and never looked back. Sure, there are times when I crave the elegance, simplicity, and seamless look of the Elementary OS desktop (Pantheon), but there are certain aspects I haven’t considered going back.
One problem was the unreliable sound when using serious recording hardware. Of course, this was not an underlying OS issue, but a PulseAudio issue. Unfortunately, Elementary OS 7 seems to stick with PulseAudio for now. this is, Pact information command, the output includes:
Server name: pulseaudio
Now, I’m not going to judge Elementary OS for maintaining a problematic sound server. Instead, I’d like to examine what it offers to new users.
In that sense, Elementary OS is a great desktop operating system for users of all skill levels.
Also: Is Elementary OS the best first Linux distribution for you?
However, there are issues most likely due to this being the first release in the 7.x series. Let’s highlight these a little.
What is Elementary OS?
I know this isn’t a popular comparison in the Linux community, but Elementary OS is as close to MacOS as anything the open source world has ever seen.
Essentially, Elementary OS is an Ubuntu-based desktop operating system that traces its own path. It’s one of the best-designed Linux desktop operating systems on the market. With a more user-friendly UI than most operating systems, Elementary OS is incredibly easy to use. Not only is it easy to operate, it is also beautiful.
The reference to MacOS is intentional, as Elementary OS’s desktop environment, Pantheon, closely resembles that of Apple’s desktop operating systems. It has a dock, top bar, desktop menu, and system tray. All these elements combine to create a well-balanced and easy-to-use interface.
The good news is that the developers behind Elementary OS chose not to make drastic changes to the desktop with version 7. In fact, at first glance, Elementary 7 could easily be mistaken for previous releases. For those already obsessed with the OS, this is welcome news. For those who have never tried Elementary OS, fun awaits.
What is the difference in version 7?
Simply put… not a lot, but enough. Many of the changes are incremental, such as AppCenter improvements, better app descriptions, and easier updates to the latest versions of the tools you use. It also makes it easier to sideload apps using alternative sources such as Flatpak. Luckily, Flatpak can be installed quickly. The only caveat to this is that Flatpak is not integrated into his AppCenter. Therefore, all Flatpak installations must be done via the command line.
Another very welcome new feature is the addition of GNOME Web 43. This includes support for creating web apps that appear in the application menu. To use this feature, open a web browser, point to the site where you want to create a web app, click the gear icon, select[サイトを Web アプリケーションとしてインストール]Click. Once created, you can open the web app from the application menu.
Other improvements include:
- Reduced the number of installation screens.
- Auto-detects mouse usage and offers to automatically switch to left-handed usage.
- The Mail app now offers a flatter, more modern look and also supports Microsoft 365 accounts.
- The Tasks app now supports offline.
- File manager now supports multiple click modes.
- The Music app has been completely rewritten from the ground up for faster queuing and playback of audio files.
- Power profile management is now available in performance mode on devices that support it.
- Custom terminal commands can be configured for hot corners.
- The Welcome app has been redesigned to let you choose your desktop appearance, enable Night Light, configure housekeeping (automatically delete downloaded files, old temporary files, and trashed files), and edit your online accounts. Includes help with connecting, browsing AppCenter, enabling auto-updates, and quick updates. Access to system settings.
How does Elementary OS 7 work?
One thing to keep in mind is that I ran Elementary OS 7 as a virtual machine. This is not an ideal test environment. Still, the OS performed like a champ. The app opened quickly and smoothly, updated quickly, and had very smooth animations. As far as performance goes, the difference between Elementary OS 6 and 7 is obvious, with 7 running much smoother and faster.
There is one caveat to using Elementary OS that has plagued distros for some time. There is no application in AppCenter. When I open the AppCenter I can’t find anything like LibreOffice. In fact, you won’t find much in the way of an office suite in the Office section of AppCenter. Also, LibreOffice isn’t available as a Flatpak app, so there are only two options for installing the most popular open source office suite: Snap (which doesn’t install out of the box) and manual.
Also: PikaOS is a next generation Linux distribution especially for gamers.
This also causes the problem I was having. AppCenter crashed continuously after the first upgrade. It paused and then crashed every time I clicked one of the categories. And after a while the AppCenter wouldn’t open at all. AppCenter still did not work after rebooting. I was able to search and click on individual apps, but curated categories were a failure.
Go back to LibreOffice. My way to install it went like this:
- Install Snaps sudo apt-get install snapd -y.
- Install LibreOffice with sudo snap install libreoffice.
- Logout and login again (if the LibreOffice entry is[アプリケーション]menu).
Installation is easy if you are comfortable using the command line. However, it doesn’t take much to install an office suite. The team recommends including Snap in the next release and integrating it (and Flatpak) into his AppCenter, or simply making LibreOffice available in his AppCenter. Either way, an office suite should be considered a must (although most people use cloud-based tools today).
Aside from that one caveat, I found Elementary OS 7 to be an absolute joy to use. Given my longevity with the OS, this makes sense. The development team was in a “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” situation, and they did exactly what was asked of them. His seventh iteration of Elementary OS is an absolute gem of a desktop operating system suitable for users of all skill levels (especially if you don’t rely on traditional client-based office suites).
If you’re interested in trying out Elementary OS 7, download the ISO, burn it to a USB drive using tools like Unetbootin, and install it for the simplicity of one of the most sophisticated desktop operating systems on the market. Please enjoy.