The first beta edition of what will become Elementary OS Luna has been released. Luna is a bold attempt to revamp and completely retool Jupiter, the distribution’s first edition. I got a first look at what Luna will bring to the table with the latest stable edition of Pear Linux, whose shell, Pear Shell, is based on Pantheon, the desktop environment and shell of Elementary OS.
From what I have so far observed about Elementary OS Luna, it is built atop Ubuntu Precise Pangolin, on Linux kernel 3.2. It uses a pre-Ubuntu 12.10 version of Ubiquity, Ubuntu’s graphical installation program, which means that it lacks support for LVM and full disk encryption.
While there is nothing new from the developers of this distribution at the installation stage, there is some fresh thinking and applications at the user interface level. This is a beta release, so I’m not going to pass any judgement here. What follows are a few screen shots from a test installation of this release.
Pantheon Greeter, the login screen, is built atop LightDM.
The default desktop. The (top) panel is called WingPanel. The dock is based on Plank.
The applications menu is Slingshot.
The second page of Slingshot.
The desktop showing the online activity indicator on WingPanel.
On the applications side, Geary is the email client. This is the settings window.
Noise is the name of the music player. Never really played anything with it, but sooner than later, I will.
The text editor is Scratch.
Scratch has a built-in terminal, just like Dolphin, KDE’s file manager.
What I especially like about the whole desktop is that every aspect is clean, uncluttered and very intuitive to use. This is definitely one distribution to keep an eye on. I think the final, stable edition should be released sometime next year, early next year. Download links for 32-bit and 64-bit version of Elementary OS Luna beta are available at the bottom of this page.