What’s New in elementary OS 6 “Odin”

elementary, Inc.

There are many Linux distributions (distros) that individuals declare are good replacements for Windows or macOS. But there are few which have that specific objective, aside from elementary OS, whose sixth main launch, whose sixth main launch, “Odin,” was released on August 10, 2021.

The focus with Odin is on empowering folks to be in management of their PC, together with further privateness controls, upgrades associated to ease-of-use and inclusivity, and different minor new options. If you’ve been serious about switching to Linux or searching for a brand new distro to name dwelling, listed here are the highlights of elementary OS 6.

Table of Contents

What Is elementary OS?

Elementary OS is one in all quite a few Linux distributions based mostly on Ubuntu, the traditional “starter” distro and one of the vital standard distributions for dwelling customers.

Elementary makes use of the most recent model of Ubuntu LTS (long-term help). In this case, which means Ubuntu 20.04, launched in April 2020. Ubuntu LTS variations are purported to be extra steady than different variations, whereas the builders refine Ubuntu in the releases main as much as every new LTS model.

Elementary OS then takes this Ubuntu base and provides its personal modifications to the OS to make it even simpler to make use of. On the floor, you actually wouldn’t know that elementary is predicated on Ubuntu. It has a very completely different visible interface utilizing a macOS-style dock versus the left-hand taskbar model of Ubuntu. The desktop atmosphere itself is named Pantheon and is elementary’s personal design.

Elementary OS additionally has its personal AppMiddle (the built-in app retailer), and most built-in apps are additionally custom-made. It has a custom-built textual content editor referred to as Code, for instance. Code is aimed toward builders, however anybody can use it with ease.

New Features in elementary OS “Odin”

While Ubuntu takes its model nicknames from animals, elementary OS borrows names from mythology. Odin is the principal god in Norse mythology and the daddy of two sons together with Thor, the God of Thunder. Prior to Odin, elementary launched variations of its OS underneath names akin to Hera, Juno, Loki, Freya, Luna, and Jupiter.

AppMiddle Using Flatpaks


With Odin, elementary has gone 100% Flatpak for apps in AppMiddle–an organization objective since April 2019. Flatpak is a package deal supervisor particularly for apps. Flatpak’s huge attraction is that it runs apps in sandboxed containers which might be separate from the remainder of the system–the same objective to Windows Store apps on Windows 10 and Mac App Store apps on macOS. The thought is that these sorts of apps enhance privateness and safety by proscribing how a lot they will work together with the remainder of the system.

When you put in a third-party app in elementary OS 6 through the AppMiddle, you’re utilizing the Flatpak container system. The firm says a number of built-in apps for the system are additionally Flatpak packages however doesn’t specify which of them.

If you want one thing that’s not out there as a Flatpak, the Terminal in elementary OS additionally has the Apt package manager built-in.

One factor to make clear is that whereas elementary OS makes use of Flatpak, it doesn’t use Flathub, which is the official third-party retailer for Flatpak functions. AppMiddle is a separate retailer with a curated choice particularly for this distro and instructed pricing set by the developer. You’re inspired to pay on AppMiddle, however you don’t should in the event you can’t afford it. Right now the AppMiddle choice is pretty small, and you would discover the necessity to flip to Flathub.

If you wish to set up one thing from Flathub it’s simply as straightforward as putting in one thing on macOS or Windows. elementary installs Flatpak apps with its Sideload utility, which isn’t a separate app however a part of the system.  When you double-click on a Flatpak set up file, Sideload begins up a lot the identical method that double-clicking an EXE file on Windows or a DMG file in macOS will launch an set up course of.

Portals: App Permissions for Linux

Elementary OS' settings app displaying the app permissions section.

Related to the brand new Flatpak apps is a brand new privacy-centric function referred to as Portals. This is discovered in Settings > Applications > Permissions. Here you’ll be able to see precisely which system entry permissions every app desires, after which flip them on or off as required. Portals cowl permissions for built-in apps, apps from AppMiddle, and something put in with the Sideload utility.

New Installer Method and Dark Style

The Dark Mode and Default Mode option window in Elementary OS 6.

Elementary OS has a brand new set up methodology, which is sort of good. The thought is to get the OS put in first earlier than worrying about issues like connectivity, consumer accounts, and updates. It doesn’t essentially make issues go any sooner, however it does imply you don’t actually have a lot to do till the set up is full.

Another helpful function in any OS is darkish mode, and elementary OS has bought one now. You can use it full-time, or you’ll be able to set the OS to go darkish mode at sundown, much like an evening gentle function. Third-party apps should not compelled to observe the darkish mode choice to keep away from unintended breakage, however they’re inspired to take action. The system and default apps, nevertheless, will observe the darkish mode setting. There are additionally 10 new shade accents, and you’ve got the brand new Odin wallpaper as seen on the high of this text.

Multi-Touch and Notifications

For laptops and tablets, elementary OS is rocking multi-touch for tablets and laptop computer touchpads. There’s nothing progressive right here, and that is principally about function catch-up with different platforms. A 3-finger swipe up, for instance, opens a multitasking view to see open apps and workspaces.

You also can use multi-touch to swipe via paged layouts, return in an online browser and different apps, or change customers on the login display screen. You can activate multi-touch by going to System Settings > Mouse & Touchpad > Gestures.

Desktop notifications additionally bought a lift in OS 6 with badges, and motion buttons that allow you to cope with your notification proper from the pop-up.

The Other Stuff

Elementary OS 6 desktop with web browser displaying HowToGeek.com

Those are the most important and most noticeable adjustments, however there are a ton of others in Odin. The net browser, recognized merely as Web, is now loaded with “intelligent tracking protection” and advert blocking—each are enabled by default. There’s additionally a brand new reader mode in the browser, and the mail app makes use of net course of sandboxing for every message lowering safety threats.

There’s a revamped Camera app. The elementary group has spent numerous time on it, as lots of the most up-to-date model updates have include new adjustments to Camera.

The Code textual content editor now has improved Git integration together with the flexibility to change and create branches. Code additionally has new and improved Vim instructions, for individuals who can’t kind a sentence with out first hitting the “i” key.

A red arrow pointing to the "Show in panel" button that activates the Universal Access indicator for Elementary OS 6.

There’s a brand new Universal Access indicator making it simpler to seek out these options on the desktop such because the display screen reader and on-screen keyboard. This isn’t activated by default, however you’ll be able to flip it on by going to System Settings > Universal Access > Show in Panel.

Other accessibility choices a brand new dyslexia-friendly textual content choice, in addition to extra textual content measurement scaling choices. There’s additionally a model new font referred to as Inter, by Rasmus Andersson, which elementary says is a typeface “designed for computer screens.”

Getting Started With Odin

Be certain to learn the official announcement for extra particulars on elementary OS 6.

Overall, Odin’s new additions are principally about making elementary OS work and look higher. It’s a wonderful distribution total and one properly value contemplating in the event you’re uninterested in your present distro, or simply wish to make the jump to Linux with out too many issues.

The solely wild factor to be careful for is that elementary OS doesn’t have a decrease button on its home windows if you wish to banish apps to the dock. Instead, you need to use Windows+H (for “hide”) to reduce.

Similar to AppMiddle, elementary gives a instructed pricing of $20 for elementary OS. Again, that is solely instructed pricing and never a requirement to start out utilizing this unbelievable Linux-based working system. You can change your buy value to zero in the event you choose, obtain the distro and write it to a USB, and check out it out!

RELATED: How to Install Linux

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