Elementary OS – The Linux Distro for Mac Users – My thoughts

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I made a post, but this one is a biggie. I decided I’d do a review of Elementary OS, because I’ve heard good things about it, but never used it. It seems it’s a distribution designed specifically to appeal to Mac users, much Linux Mint appeals to Windows users. I like Macs, so I thought it’d be nice to try it. This will be a typed-up review, but will also have little videos to demonstrate bits of the interface. Sorry if there’s a little flickering in those sections, I’ll try to fix that soon.

First Impressions of Elementary OS

So, I headed to https://elementary.io/ to download it, and it was pretty quick, I then installed it in a Virtualbox machine, and viola:

Elementary OS just after boot up.

Elementary OS just after boot up.

Okay, so I think it looks nice, and definitely reminiscent of macOS, what with the dock-like bat at the bottom. It’s also a little-bit GNOME 3-ish, but as you’ll see in a moment it looks quite nice. I was thinking GNOME 3 might ruin it, but they did a pretty good job with Pantheon. I thought Pantheon was a fork of GNOME 3, but it turns out it isn’t so I was wrong there XD

The Applications

I have heard that the App Store equivalent is quite nice, unlike Ubuntu Software Centre (in my opinion), so I was excited to give it a try. Here’s what it looks like:

The App Centre on Elementary OS

Yeah, it’s pretty nice 🙂 Seems like my system is having some trouble running it, but it’s probably some Virtualbox glitch. I also really like the menu, what do you think? The little numbered icon in the dock-bar is a nice touch too, and a lot of Linux distros don’t seem to have anything like that. Just a shame it has to be telling me I have updates XD

So, on to the other applications with another quick video:

Other applications on Elementary OS

Yeah, I think I must have messed up the Virtualbox guest additions setup. Eh. I might do a follow-up on real hardware later. That aside, the applications that come with Elementary OS are, I think, very well designed, and they jell really well with the rest of the experience. I didn’t cover all of them, because it’d take ages, but they seem pretty nice. The only point of complaint here is the dock, because I prefer docky, but that’s just personal preference really.

How customisable is it?

Well, I was going to do this next, but as you can see from the videos, it runs really badly, so I want to install it to bare-metal before I actually try that. I’ll also try using it for a few days as a daily driver, just to see how it is 🙂

So, sorry, but I’m going to have to cut this review short, but I will follow up in good time with the other half.

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About Hamish McIntyre-Bhatty

I'm currently studying for a Computing and IT degree with the Open University, and am a software developer as well. I enjoy coding in Python, C++ (still learning), and Java. Having written 4 open-source programs (hosted on launchpad.net), set up my own website, and started volunteering at Wimborne Model Town to work on their river control system, I still find the time to enjoy cycling, acting, photography, and playing bass guitar. I go climbing every now and then as well. As you may have guessed, I also enjoy blogging :)

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