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Ubuntu GUI Open Source Operating Systems Linux

Ubuntu-Based Elementary OS 0.4 'Loki' Achieves Stable Release (elementary.io) 72

"Today, Elementary 0.4 (code-named 'Loki'), achieves stable status," BetaNews reported Friday, applauding the "clean and functional" app tiles in its software center. Elementary OS (stylized as elementary OS) isn't the most popular Linux distro, and it certainly isn't the best. However, this Ubuntu-based operating system is focusing on something that some competitors do not -- user interface, which ultimately contributes to the overall user experience. It is because of this that Elementary is so important to the Linux community -- it matters.
Developers focused on internationalization for this release, part of an effort to "grow the market" for open-souce software, according to the elementary blog, which proudly points out that 73% of the 1.2 million downloads for their "design-oriented" OS came from closed-source operating systems.
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Ubuntu-Based Elementary OS 0.4 'Loki' Achieves Stable Release

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  • Never heard of them and while that doesn't mean much, unless their work gets picked up by other distribs or ends up becoming a major disturb by itself, they don't matter.

  • Sorry but I am not going to buy an unknown alternative to an OS I already own.

    • by KozmoStevnNaut ( 630146 ) on Sunday September 11, 2016 @04:13PM (#52867213)

      You can put in $0 and download it for free.

    • While, as noted, you can enter $0 and download it for free, I see that they have used their UI-creating skills to do their best to imply that you have to give them money. Pretty sneaky.

      • Re:Buy it? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by allo ( 1728082 ) on Sunday September 11, 2016 @05:57PM (#52867741)

        Dark Patterns. And not even the cheapest option selected by default.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday September 11, 2016 @04:11PM (#52867205) Homepage

    Would someone please shoot all the UI designers who think they have the one answer to rule them all. How hard is it to abstract away the task bar/start menu/system tray/hot corners/file dialog and create a configurable system that'll look like Gnome or KDE or Windows or Mac or any combination you want? Haven't we more or less numbered all the variations now and can just stuff it in a config file, instead of reinventing the wheel over and over?

  • They named a release after my dog! [youtube.com]
  • The Elementary crew gained a poor rep by "forcing" downloaders to enter a price (even $0.00, which was allowed). Shaming/guilting people into paying for something they hadn't even had the opportunity to try didn't go down well.
  • Honest opinion (Score:5, Informative)

    by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Sunday September 11, 2016 @05:21PM (#52867567)
    I have been using elementary OS for a few months now, and I like it. I've put it on my development laptop, my media centers and a few very underpowered machines we have around. One of my kids was overjoyed to be able to play Minecraft on their older laptop, which was too slow on Mint. Previously I used Linux Mint but found it a little more glitchy then elementary and quite a bit more resource heavy. The only distro I have found to be similarly light was Lubuntu but the interface in elementary is more modern; and I am most definitely NOT a mac fan. I hate files and replaced it with nemo, but otherwise the menu is simple and to the point and the dock does what it is supposed to do. For everything else, it is basically Ubuntu so you get the huge software repository.
    • I'm pretty sure Elementary is what I put on my 2006 Mac Mini (that I purchased on eBay last year). I agree, it is nice and runs well on antiquated hardware. I'm looking forward to updating to the latest version when I get back to the states. This looks nice.
    • I've been using it on one of my desktops for over a year without any problems. One headache is that they have no upgrade option between major releases beyond back up and reinstall. So I'm going to set aside a few hours to replace 0.3 Freya with 0.4 Loki.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    In other news, Nuclear Power Station OS 0.02-preview9-git05be29a3 based on Ubuntu 16.10-nightly-20160912 achieves stable status, ready for production use.

  • I've used it. It's not bad, but so far it's not really enough to pull me from Ubuntu (or Debian on servers). I have tried lots of distros and if you want a Linux that "just works", thus far I have found nothing as complete the original Ubuntu. Eventually I'll give them another shake, but I'll probably wait a few more releases.

  • by DMFNR ( 1986182 ) on Sunday September 11, 2016 @11:17PM (#52868827)
    I understand the project is young and has a long way to go, but elementary OS feels more like someone's high school project than the innovative, streamlined environment it's being sold as. I would be massively disappointed if I paid any sort of money for the software equivalent of Duplo Blocks they are providing. I tried a pretty recent development release and I came across so many little things that just screamed out "amateur hour". Maybe this was on account of it being a testing release and everything has been fixed and cleaned up in the past two weeks, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I doubt it.

    First thing that bugged me was in the Pantheon Greeter was how there were big bold placeholder pictures next to each username, but in order to select one you have to click directly on the text of the name. Right off the bat I'm already frustrated because on my first use I have to make three separate clicks to actually enter a password. There's no reason for it, each username and picture had a whole segment of the screen, for something that's sold as being "simple" how come the first thing I am drawn to click on isn't even an active component? It's a small qualm to have, but again, the focus here is on the UI and I already feel like the coding is simply lazy.

    Once I get in to the desktop I see this dorky rip off of the OSX launcher. Now I've used various Unixes for a long time, I don't necessarily expect beauty, a functional Motif app is better than a broken QT program any day of the week, but if you're going to rip something off, especially something as snazzy as the OSX dock, at least get some cool looking icons or something. Otherwise to anyone using it its going to feel like they got the toy version. It's Christmas 1994 all over again and I got the Megazord that doesn't break down in to separate pieces, the cheap one. Most of the elementary OS specific programs felt this way, it always felt like things were missing. Midori for a default browser? Come on! This is an OS that's pretty much designed for people who don't do much with their computers, and the one thing everyone of those people is actually going to want and need, a full featured browser isn't even there by default. I read an explanation that Midori is used being Firefox and Chromium don't use the native toolkit and elementary is all about "fit and finish". And I agree, if what they mean by that is "poor fit and finish". Even trying to bring up a terminal was a pain, it took my eyes quite a bit to see the free floating "Applications" text in the upper left corner. It doesn't even look like a launcher or something you can click on, I don't know what I thought, but it took me a few seconds to figure out, "Oh, I have to click that!".

    A lot of the desktop components are written in Vala, which isn't a language I really care for, but it seems to work. One thing it doesn't have is any sort of community around it at all. It looks like they have a chinsy little IDE you can use, and I'm sure most of the other common text editors program have syntax highlighting options for it is well. One thing I will give elementary OS credit for in the Pantheon desktop codebase is super simple, it's very easy to set up the very minimal development environment. It's something a novice hobbyist programmer could set up and actually have a shot at hunting down a bug or adding a feature. I only looked at a few files, but they seemed to be written in a clean style and well commented. The online documentation itself seemed rather poor an incomplete, and the Launchpad development tracker page was decidedly unprofessional. In my quick run through I noticed a lot of commits had cryptic and silly reasons ("fixed crap", "fixed some more crap", etc, stuff like that). Doesn't inspire much confidence for something that is trying to be "paid" software.

    The one place I will defend elementary OS is their choice to ask for payment by default. It seems there's a contingent of the Linux community that doesn't understand what "Free Software" actually means a
  • Never has a bacronym been so easy to create, and never has it described the user of the system in question so perfectly.

    • And I should probably read one story at a time, so I don't post in the wrong thread. *sigh*

      Or at least I shouldn't post before I had my coffee.

  • Too bad UI designers seem to have completely forgotten that "UI" shouldn't be primarily about looking cool, but about increasing both functionality and productivity with usability. Looks only come after that. Which is why IBM's Workplace Shell [wikipedia.org] IMHO is still the best "desktop"-metaphor UI implementation there was, so far.

A bug in the hand is better than one as yet undetected.