Elementary OS, Reviews

elementary OS 0.4 Loki

elementary OS is a Linux desktop distribution that’s based on Ubuntu. The project’s goal is crafting a “fast and open replacement for Windows and macOS”.

The latest, stable edition, with a core that’s based on Ubuntu 16.04, is elementary OS 0.4, code-named Loki.

This article provides a walk-through of the distribution’s most important features.

The distribution’s login screen. By default, a guest account is enabled.

elementary OS 0.4 Loki login screen
Figure 1: elementary OS 0.4 Loki login screen

A flick on the mouse scroll wheel brings the Guess account into focus.

elementary OS 0.4 guest account
Figure 2: elementary OS 0.4 guest account

Nothing flashy about the desktop, but it also not cluttered either. The dock on the bottom edge holds icons for your favorite applications.

elementary OS 0.4 Loki desktop
Figure 3: elementary OS 0.4 Loki desktop

At the top-left corner is the application menu. It’s somewhere between a classic menu and a full-screen application dashboard. This is the default view.

elementary OS desktop menu
Figure 4: Application menu of elementary OS 0.4 Loki

An alternate is a classic view.

elementary OS 0.4 Loki
Figure 5: Classic view of the application menu on elementary OS 0.4 Loki

Take another look at Figure 4. The total number of icons you see in that image, plus one not shown, represent the total number of installed applications. So elementary OS is a very minimalistic distribution – when it comes to the number of applications installed out of the box. But that’s not a problem, because hundreds of other applications can be installed easily using the application manager.

elementary OS application manager
Figure 6: Application manager for elementary OS 0.4 Loki

Using the same application manager, installing system and application updates is just as easy.

System updates elementary OS
Figure 7: System updates on elementary OS 0.4 Loki

With the Multitasking View icon on the dock, you can add many more workspaces, or virtual desktops.

elementary OS Multitasking View
Figure 8: Multitasking View on elementary OS 0.4 Loki

The distribution’s System Settings. It has some nice features you won’t find on the equivalent application on Ubuntu.

elementary OS System Settings
Figure 9: System Settings of elementary OS 0.4 Loki

Like an integrated firewall in the Security & Privacy module.

elementary OS Settings firewall ufw
Figure 10: UFW firewall is integrated in System Settings of elementary OS 0.4 Loki

And parental control with Internet and application settings.

Parental Control Linux desktop
Figure 11: Parental Control is integrated in System Settings of elementary OS 0.4 Loki

Hot Corners are also a feature, but they’re all disabled by default.

Hot Corners elementary OS
Figure 12: Hot Corners on elementary OS 0.4 Loki

Just three online accounts are supported by default.

Online Accounts elementary OS 0.4
Figure 13: Online Accounts on System Settings of elementary OS 0.4 Loki

In general, the elementary OS desktop is really nice, but the absence of a Minimize button on the titlebar of application windows is an oddity that makes it slightly not-very user-friendly. Why the close and maximize buttons are on opposite ends of the titlebar beats me, too.

elementary OS Minimize titlebar button
Figure 14: No Minimize titlebar button on elementary OS 0.4 Loki application windows

I don’t call this a review, but I think it gives you an idea of what the elementary OS 0.4 has to offer. If you can ignore the absence of a minimize button on the titlebar, this is a recommended distribution. The desktop is much nicer than that of Ubuntu. And that of Windows 10 too. So you may consider switching (from Windows 10). The installation image offers a Live desktop, so test-driving before switching is easy. Access to that installation image is available from here.

Related Post:  Dual-boot elementary OS 0.4, Windows 10 on a computer with UEFI firmware
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