Elementary OS is a Linux-based operating system designed for IoT devices. It offers a simple, yet powerful interface and a wide range of apps. It is lightweight and fast, while still being stable and secure. It’s used on all new development at Particle, the most successful IoT company in the world. Elementary OS is a Linux distribution designed for use by those who want a simple, efficient operating system for personal computers. It features a user-friendly graphical interface consistent with other aspects of the OS, as well as extensions and utilities that ensure ease of use. It is a Linux distribution that uses the Pantheon desktop environment as its default user interface. It is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and allows users to use a multitude of native applications and third-party applications from a pre-configured AppCenter store. If you want to develop IoT products, then Elementary OS will help you get started quickly and easily. The goal is for users to quickly pick up the necessary skills they need to start building, without getting bogged down in the details of the toolchain or learning how Linux works.
Elementary OS is one of the most popular Linux distributions available to consider. It is working with the aim to become a fast, modern and a good looking replacement to Mac OS and Windows OS. In fact, Elementary OS is looking forward to introducing the beautiful designs of Mac OS and deliver them to the users in an effective manner.
The fully comprehensive desktop offered by Elementary OS is the main reason behind its popularity. You will be provided with a unique look and feel with it. In addition to that, there are numerous custom-coded apps available to consider as well. A paid app store is available to use. Therefore, you can make sure that you will never run out of apps in order to get your work done.
History of Elementary OS
Elementary OS was created by Joe Walnes in 2015 with one goal: to offer programmers an easier way to get started with making connected products for the Internet of Things (IoT). Elementary was first released as version 0. 1 on May 27, 2012. Elementary OS Beta 1 was released on October 11, 2012. It was followed by beta 2, released on November 15, 2012. On December 10, 2012, the latest Beta 3 was released with a new theme and minor changes to the interface. The latest version of elementary OS is 1604 “nibbles”, which has been in beta since December 22, 2016. Elementary OS is a trademark of Jupiter Broadcasting Corporation in the United States and other countries.
With more than 2 billion connected devices worldwide and more than 1 billion new products expected to launch this year alone, there is no doubt that we are living in an era of unprecedented innovation fueled by IoT. It was only a matter of time before other people started using Elementary OS on their devices too.
How does it work?
Elementary OS is based on Ubuntu 14. 04 LTS, which will be supported until 2019. This means that, as users build more IoT products, they can use the same operating system on every device. All of this is managed and updated through the Elementary OS AppCenter, giving users complete control over which applications they want to use on their computer. The AppCenter offers users a curated store that allows them to find apps for all their needs, while still giving them the ability to add other repositories if needed. The Elementary OS developers also host some of their projects in the AppCenter, such as elementary-tweaks (a settings app for Elementary OS), Plank (a dock app), and more.
It is expected that Elementary OS will be open-source someday, but for now, it’s not quite there yet. The Elementary OS developers use an open-source license called 3-Clause BSD, which allows users to take the source code and run it on their devices. But this does not allow them to redistribute the source code or make modifications to it. To do those things, they’ll need a more permissive open-source license like the GPLv3.
Features of Elementary OS?
The concept is to make Linux easy for inexperienced users. The GUI runs on top of GNOME by default, with themes and plugins to change the look and feel. The default theme is “Aluminum.” A new theme can be selected through the Settings dialog by changing the active theme. A new icon set called “Elementary” was also introduced with version 1.0, making an appearance in its application launcher. The Arch User Repository (AUR) contains many applications including Emacs, Firefox, Thunderbird, Spotify, VirtualBox, Pidgin…
One of the most notable components of Elementary OS is the plugins based on GNOME Shell Extensions. Unlike GNOME shell extensions, Elementary OS plugins are written in Vala. They include network settings, fonts, themes, and other system-wide customizations.
Elementary OS applications
Elementary OS is available in 32-bit and 64-bit variants. An image for the ARM architecture is also in development. As of version 0.4 “Loki”, GNOME Shell is the default desktop environment, replacing Pantheon shell which was present in previous versions of Elementary OS. For backward compatibility, it also offers a Classic mode similar to that of previous versions.
The desktop edition of Elementary OS can be installed on PCs with up to 1 GB of RAM (1 GB RAM + swap size).
Elementary OS is based on Ubuntu LTS-based releases with long-term support. It uses the Linux kernel but may have minimal hardware requirements, making it accessible to older computers. Although Elementary OS is compatible with Ubuntu software repositories, it does not make use of its Update Manager to provide updates promptly. When updating using the built-in Update Manager, updates are applied in a specific order, typically starting with the most critical security updates and finishing by applying bug fixes. This is in contrast to most distributions which will apply all available updates when one update has been applied. The default shell is GNOME Terminal instead of bash. Elementary OS uses the Adwaita theme for GTK+, which is the default GNOME theme. Its icon set is called “elementary” and is not compatible with GNOME Shell or most other themes by default. However, the Elementary OS theme plugin allows users to use classic GNOME themes.
The OS uses font config to manage fonts, but additional font packages can be installed if desired. Elementary OS supports many languages including Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, and Russian out of the box with language packs being available for download on their website after installation of an OS version that supports your language. Appearances are also customizable by selecting new GTK+ themes in System Settings → Themes.
Elementary OS supports the following architectures:
- An image for the ARM architecture is in development.
- Elementary OS has repository support with an AUR package called ‘elementary-os-aur’ that enables easy package upgrades by using a simple command-line tool built into the elementary-os repo on AUR.
Here are some of the most prominent features that you can find in Elementary OS. You can go through these features and make the decision on whether you are going to move forward with Elementary OS or not.
- The desktop
You will be able to receive an excellent desktop with Elementary OS. This desktop is quite similar to the desktop that you can find in Mac OS. If you want to get the same look and feel, but don’t want to restrict the functionality, you should make the decision to move forward with Elementary OS. You will get attached to the overall user experience.
- Welcome screen
An excellent welcome screen is offered by Elementary OS as well. This is one of the best features that was introduced by the latest release of Elementary OS, On the other hand, you will be able to find numerous basic options such as setting up night light and location reporting with the help of it as well. If you are working for long hours, you should pick the night light mode. Then you will be able to overcome eye strain in an effective manner.
You can find a variety of applications available on the left-hand side of Elementary OS as well. They include the top panel centering the date. On the other hand, you can find a system tray on the right-hand side as well.
A large number of applications are available for you to use along with Elementary OS. In fact, numerous default applications come along with the operating system and they are in a position to make life easy for you. When you take a look at the applications, you will notice that most of them are geared towards minimalism and simplicity. Epiphany is the web browser that is provided along with Elementary OS. It can provide you with a great experience.
However, you should also keep in mind that the web browser that comes to you along with Elementary OS might not be the best. Therefore, you are encouraged to get your hands on another web browser as soon as you gain access to the Elementary OS operating system.
The email client that comes with Elementary OS is derived from Geary. However, numerous robust capabilities have been introduced to Elementary OS in order to make it better. The email client has a simple interface as well. Hence, it is ideal for most of the users to consider it.
Along with the email client, other installed applications that come along with Elementary OS include Photos, Terminal, Calendar, Files, Music, Video, and Many more. The unique feature of all the apps is that they are custom for the Elementary OS.
- System settings
System settings offered by Elementary OS are quite impressive as well. You will notice that there are many icons, which will be able to assist you with configuring the environment in an effective manner.
People are provided with the opportunity to take better control over the system with System settings that are offered by Elementary OS. Therefore, configuring this operating system and getting work done will never be an issue.
- App center
As mentioned earlier, Elementary OS comes along with a comprehensive app center. People who use Elementary OS will be able to get their hands on all software needed through the app center. Inside the app center, it is possible to find both free apps as well as paid apps.
Applications are available with Elementary OS for getting most of your basic work done. You just need to take a look at the app center and get hold of the apps. In the meantime, it is also important to keep in mind that all the apps that are available in the app center are open source.
Ease of use offered by Elementary OS
Elementary OS is a relatively easy operating system to use. If you are looking forward to getting your hands on the very first Linux operating system, Elementary OS will be an excellent choice that is available for you to get. You will also notice that there is a possibility to extend the functionality of the programs that are available with Elementary OS. Browser previewer and terminal emulator that comes along with Elementary OS have received a lot of attention.
The control center of Elementary OS is contributing a lot towards the functionality offered by Elementary OS. For example, you will be able to enable night light from the control center and deliver enhanced protection to the eyes against blue light. This will introduce a red color layer to the display.
The picture to Picture mode is an impressive feature available in Elementary OS. It will take a live scene from the workspace and you will be provided with the freedom to move to another workspace with it. This can deliver an enhanced experience to you at all times.
Keep these facts in your mind and get your hands on Elementary OS. You can explore the functionalities offered by it and understand how convenient this operating system is.
There are several alternatives to Elementary OS, but they either provide more features, a different graphical desktop environment, or a lower level of security on a CD iso file. These alternatives include Ubuntu Studio and SolusOS.