elementary OS

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elementary OS
Elementary logo.svg
Screenshot from 2013-08-11 15 57 35.png
elementary OS "Luna"
OS family Unix-like
Working state Current
Source model Open source
Initial release 31 March 2011; 4 years ago (2011-03-31)
Latest release 0.3 "Freya" / 11 April 2015; 9 days ago (2015-04-11)[1]
Latest preview 0.3 "Freya" BETA 2 / 8 February 2015; 2 months ago (2015-02-08)
Available in Multilingual
Update method apt-get (Ubuntu Software Center)
Package manager dpkg
Platforms x86, x86-64
Kernel type Monolithic
Default user interface Pantheon[2]
License GNU GPL, LGPL, and various other free software licenses
Official website elementary.io

elementary OS is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. It makes use of a desktop with its own shell named Pantheon,[2] and is deeply integrated with other elementary OS applications like Plank (a dock), Midori (the default web browser) and Scratch (a simple text editor). This distribution uses Gala as its window manager,[3] which is based on Mutter.[2]

The distribution initially started as a set of themes and applications designed for Ubuntu which later turned into its own Linux distro.[4] Being Ubuntu-based, it is compatible with its repositories and packages. It uses Ubuntu's own software center to handle installation/removal of software, though its own software center is in the making.[5] Its user interface aims at being intuitive for new users without consuming too many resources.[6]

Design Philosophy[edit]

The elementary OS project aims to solve a number of deficiencies in other GNU/Linux distributions, namely:

  • better global aesthetics by streamlining the user interface;
  • reduce software dependency by using core apps written in the C language or Vala;
  • diminish the need to access the terminal.

Although not contrary to the GNU philosophy,[7] these deliberate design choices run against what most Linux distributions opt for: a freedom to set up and customize ones own desktop environment. The Human Interface Guidelines of the elementary OS project focus instead on immediate usability with a gentle learning curve,[8] rather than full-fledged customization. The three core rules the developers set for themselves was "concision", "avoid configuration" and "minimal documentation".[9]

Since its inception, elementary OS has received criticism for it's design that closely resembles that of OS X — regarding both the visual design and the user experience.[10]

Software components[edit]


elementary OS is distributed free-of-charge (with an optional financial contribution to the development team) Live CD/USB, which allows users the choice to try the system out without the need to install it. The installer is Ubiquity, the default installer for Ubuntu and most of its derivatives.


0.1 Jupiter[edit]

The first stable version of elementary OS was Jupiter,[4] published in March 2011 and based on Ubuntu 10.10. Since October 2012, it is no longer supported and thus no longer available for download in elementary OS official web site apart from in a historical capacity.[11][12]

0.2 Luna[edit]

In November 2012, the first beta version of elementary OS code-named Luna was released, which uses Ubuntu 12.04 LTS as a base.[13] The second beta version of Luna was released on 6 May 2013, carrying more than 300 bug fixes and several changes such as improved support for multiple localizations, multiple display support and updated applications.[13][14] On 7 August 2013, a countdown clock appeared on the official website with a countdown to 10 August 2013.[15] The second stable version of elementary OS, Luna, was released that same day, along with a complete overhaul and redesign of the elementary OS website.[16]

0.3 Freya[edit]

The name of the third stable version of elementary OS, Isis, was proposed in August 2013 by Daniel Foré, the project leader.[17] It was later changed to Freya to avoid association with the terrorist group ISIS.[18] It is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, which was released in April 2014.[17] The first beta of Freya was released on 11 August 2014.[19] The second beta of Freya was released on 8 February 2015.[20] The final version was released on 11 April 2015, after a countdown clock appeared on the website 8 days before its release.

0.4 Loki[edit]

elementary OS 0.4 “Loki” will be based on Ubuntu 16.04, the next Long Term Support (LTS) release and will get updates until 2021. Wayland support is planned, providing support for HiDPI mode for many displays with much higher resolutions. Another important feature planned in elementary OS 0.4 will be an AppCenter, which will feature applications for elementary OS in one centralized place. A new possibility to connect with elementary services is also planned, using the upcoming elementary Account. It will be possible to connect to other users also with a new integrated IM client, to buy apps in the AppCenter and to sync system settings.[21]

A preview release is expected to be available at the end of 2016 and a final release somewhere on 2017.[22]


  1. ^ Fore, Daniel. "Freya is here!". Elementary OS. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Cassidy James (14 November 2012). "Hello, Luna Beta 1". elementary OS. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  3. ^ Daniel Foré, Sam Tate, Tom Beckmann, and Sergey Davidoff (15 September 2012). "Meet Gala: The Window Manager". elementary OS. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  4. ^ a b Vishal Gupta (19 April 2011). "elementary OS "Jupiter": Awesome Linux Distribution Based on Ubuntu". AskVG. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  5. ^ Mefrio and Daniel Foré (23 March 2013). "Introducing AppCenter". elementary OS. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  6. ^ Tom Nemec (13 August 2013). "elementary OS ‘Luna’: Eine Mac OS X ähnelnde Linux-Distribution" (in German). Weblogit. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  7. ^ "GNU philosophy". 2015-03-16. Retrieved 2015-04-16. 
  8. ^ Users will accomplish tasks more quickly because you will have a straight-forward interface design that isn't confusing or difficult."eOS Human Interface Guidelines". Retrieved 2015-04-16. 
  9. ^ "eOS Design Philisophy". Retrieved 2015-04-16. 
  10. ^ . 2013-08-11 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6193148. Retrieved 2015-04-20.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Javier Pastor Nóbrega (19 October 2012). "elementary OS "Jupiter" deja de estar disponible" (in Spanish). MuyLinux. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  12. ^ Alin Andrei (12 October 2012). "elementary OS Jupiter no longer available for download, makes room for Luna". Web Upd8. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  13. ^ a b Alin Andrei (14 November 2012). "elementary OS Luna beta 1 available for download". Web Upd8. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  14. ^ Michael Larabel (6 May 2013). "elementary OS Luna Beta 2 Released". Phoronix. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  15. ^ Robin Jacobs (9 August 2013). "Mysterious countdown appears on elementary OS website". Muktware. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  16. ^ Robin Jacobs (11 August 2013). "elementary OS Luna says Hello World". Muktware. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  17. ^ a b Daniel Foré (16 August 2013). "Luna+1's Name and Some Other Stuff". elementary-dev-community mailing list. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  18. ^ Cassidy James (22 June 2014). "elementary OS Isis is now Freya". elementary OS. Retrieved 2014-10-01. 
  19. ^ Daniel Foré (11 August 2014). "Freya Beta 1 Available for Developers & Testers". elementary OS. Retrieved 2014-08-12. 
  20. ^ Daniel Foré (8 February 2015). "Freya Beta 2 is here!". elementary OS. Retrieved 2015-02-09. 
  21. ^ Loki, elementary os loki. "elementary OS 0.4". http://www.elementarynow.com. Sören Richter. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  22. ^ beta 1, Elementary OS loki. "Elementary OS loki beta 1". Elementary LLC. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 


  1. ^ "Pantheon Login Screen in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  2. ^ "Wingpanel in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  3. ^ "Slingshot in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  4. ^ "Plank in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  5. ^ "Plank readme". Launchpad.net. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  6. ^ "Switchboard in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  7. ^ "Midori in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  8. ^ "Geary". Yorba. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  9. ^ "Maya in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  10. ^ "Noise in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  11. ^ "Scratch in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  12. ^ "Pantheon Terminal in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  13. ^ "Files in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  14. ^ "Pantheon Files readme". Launchpad.net. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 

External links[edit]