Saturday, August 6, 2011

Elementery OS Jupiter Review

I've been using Elementary OS  on my home development machine and netbook for a couple of months now and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with it.  The current Elementary OS is based on Ubuntu 10.10 and is bought to you by the same team that creates the highly popular elementary themes and nautlius customisations for Ubuntu.  I guess I woud call Elementary more of an Ubuntu remix than a full fledged distro, it's essentially the Ubuntu core with a different set of default installed apps and all the elementary team's sweet eye-candy and themes pre-installed and configured.

The default desktop configuration, looking minimal and quite spartan.

You'll get smaller set of installed apps compared to a regular Ubuntu install but the software center is pre-installed so you can install anything you want in just a couple of clicks.  One of the things that lets the current release down in the default browser which is Midori, it looks nice and is webkit based but just isn't ready for general use yet, it has a ton of bugs and felt really unstable.  No problem though you can just install Chrome, Chromium or Firefox easily.

Ubuntu Software Center in Elementary OS

The choice of colours and icons in Elementary makes it look a little like OSX which I was put off by at first, being a big fan of dark themes.  Fortunately the rest of the Elementary configuration is very similar to the way I like to customise my Ubuntu setup anyway, with a minimal look, Docky, desktop icons turned off and elementary nautilus etc.  However the Elementary theme gives the whole OS a light and breezy feel which makes it a pleasure to use and somehow seems much snappier than a standard Ubuntu install.  Perhaps due to the smaller number of pre-installed apps.  Although after a while you notice the similarity to OSX is only slight and that the UI/UX is actually quite different.  I also added compiz to my setup for some extra bells and whistles and as you would expect everything works flawlessly.

Compiz widow switching in Elementary OS

Compiz workspace switcher Elementary OS

While the current 'Jupiter' release is bassed on Ubuntu 10.10 the new 'Luna' release will be based on Ubuntu 11.10 and should be arriving around November.  The upcoming 'Luna' release will bring a whole bunch if improvements including Elementary's very own app launcher alled 'Slingshot'.

Overall the first release of Elementary OS is a great start and even though it is a first release it is very stable and I have been using it every day with no issues.  So if you want a fast, pretty and lightweight version of Ubuntu then give Elementary OS a try.

No comments:

Post a Comment