Monday, 7 January 2013

Elementary OS Luna review.

 Elementary OS Luna user Review

Elementary OS LogoLast Month Elementary OS released Luna version 0.2 Beta1, so i got my hands on it only yesterday and would like to write a quick review about it for future users who would want to use it when its finally revealed when ready.

So, Lets Start with hardware i used for VMware machine, i have an i7 @2.3GHz : so i used 2 cores with 2048 MB RAM and 25 GB hard-disk.

Installation: Very easy installation with no complicated steps, just select the option like if you are going to use it with an other OS or as a solo operating system, select your country and the installation will be done in around 5-6 minutes.
Boot Process: Boot up is very clean with no command line or some terminal, everything is hidden beneath the nice elementary logo animation which clearly is a mood enhancer.

User Interface: To be honest the user interface has a very much "Macintosh" feel to it, which is really a fresh whiff of creativity by Linux Distro makers Elementary OS, the Transition animations are smooth, the opening and closing of applications effects are springy and fast unlike any other OS you might have used, There is the Bottom customizable "Dock" which can be made to auto hide or hide intelligently, the icons can be magnified or made smaller to user's choice.
There is a Fresh new feature called "Hotcorners" - yeah i know the name is cheeky but feature is practical, using this feature you can assign all of the four corners of the desktop to a predefined Task like opening an Application, Launcher or terminal or whatever, this comes in handy when you get used to it, or don't accidentally like to move the cursor to corners :D.

Elementary os luna Desktop

Applications :
Internet Browser: Midori Browser given with the package is equipped with newest version of the 'webkit' which provides the fastest experience in css3 and HTML5 browsing, scripts load fast and there is no issue with any java-script or anything.

Luna os Midori browser
File Manager: Files are accessed using the Pantheon files manager which is powered using granite, which has got many of the gadgets and widgets to manage files and sidebar shortcuts to many of the frequently accessed locations.

Luna pantheon files manager

Interface and Engine: Pantheon is the Shell that powers Luna OS to its optimal state, it powers everything including the Dock, Greeter, Theme, Window manager and the 'Slingshot' which is used to display the current number of installed apps in either a Hierarchical way or as group in a 3x5 Grid.

Luna Os SlingShot Launcher

Pantheon Shell is really lightweight and after the initial start-up remains crouching in background to free up RAM and Processor.

Dock: The Dock is powered by plank and is completely rewritten in vala and LibUnity which enables it to show app statuses like the number of windows open, progress bars or any Notifications.  

Luna dock plank
Switchboard: it provides smooth interface for settings panes and customization windows,called plugs which allow open support for customizations.
Luna personalisation
Theme: The Theme is now more GTK3 based and CSS based which allows cool typography implementation in the in interface and Applications, which can be easily modified with any of the apps or more custom themes, GTK3 and CSS allow lightweight and pretty interface. Every care has been taken to ensure that all the apps use the maximum of GTK3 to make full use of the Theme.

Mail client: Geary excels in every aspect, be it the flawless rendering of text or attachment and images handling, its purely flawless, i expect it will be the same used in the final build of the OS.

Audio and Video: For the Audio player there is the Noise which is really versatile and good looking for a Linux audio player, and supports many formats including flac,ogg etc. and looks more good with songs with Album art on them. :D

Luna os Noise 

Totem Movie player is the inbuilt movie player which slightly disappoint with its limited codec support, we are thankful there is VLC for Linux.

Some of the other apps include the 'Maya' as calender client, 'Scratch' as the text editor-which is a really advanced one for that, it supports code highlighting support and also doubles up as the IDE for you,there is the Shotwell as the Image Viewer and last but not the least is the nifty 'Terminal' powered by Pantheon.

Verdict: It's been a week since i started to use this Beta OS and it just doesn't feel like beta, i encountered no serious bugs and was purely satisfied with the feel and performance of this OS. This is really an OS which is going to give the likes of Ubuntu and Kubuntu some competition when it comes out as the final build.

Related Review:  Why switch to Windows 8 ?

11 comments:

  1. personally I think it is very pretty, very polished, but wasn't happy with the applications they chose (and spent more time replacing those than I did on the install). Also question the 'we will release when were good n ready' approach in an environment where most of the prominent distros make their schedules very clear. Feel like they are currently at risk of falling behind even before they manage to get to market - even if that is just me being irrational since it is anchored to the 12.04 LTS. Also found myself pondering the pluses and minuses of just theming and replacing various cosmetic aspects of Lubuntu (so at least I feel comfortable in release cycles and updates) versus replacing the applications supplied under Elementary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah im too sharing your concern about them being late to the market even if they get it to market as final version, and yes its a polished one, and what apps are you NOT happy about?

      Delete
    2. Midori browser lasted one trip to Youtube before I was straight back to Chrome, Calendar and Email, straight back to Thunderbird with the calendar plugin to access Google calendar (couldn't see that anywhere) - no issue with Geary, I just like them all in one and Thunderbird does just fine for me. Plank was OK, but it went back to Docky as I like to put Docks on the left (have more horizontal space than vertical), VLC over Totem...um...what else is there?...the music player has survived so far, haha :)

      I just wonder if the developers are spending so long reinventing the wheel and taking it all on themselves with the all new suite of applications that they are missing the time to get the distro out.

      Still, I don't mean to be one of those dudes who sits on the internet, creates nothing, and bitches about the creations of others - i think this is really one of the sexiest looking distros I've ever seen, and I really hope it finds a place in the Linux-landscape...just I personally ended up replacing a lot of the components with things that were already existing and, to my mind, better.

      Delete
    3. Lets Hope They use this time to get some good improvements, maybe they are using this time to make their own apps, and yeah i know many guys who are saying that its the best looking distro they have seen :)

      Delete
  2. I have good eyes, always had, but this font size will change that soon i guess, LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, actually we were doing some customizations to the interface when you checked, its readable now :)

      Delete
  3. At least tell us what is latest version and which version of linux kernel based and more important thing that what type of installation it's support :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Latest Version is the Final one, its out now, its based on LTS 12.04 ubuntu so uses the same kernel version i.e. 3.8.8 and you shouldn't try to update like some guys pointed out in here -

      http://www.elementaryupdate.com/2013/05/upgrade-to-kernel-39-on-luna-beta-2.html

      Delete
  4. Hi I am new to Linux, is there anyway to change the dock size? (make it smaller)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah you can make it smaller by Going to System settings > Desktop > Dock (tab) and change dock icons size to small, if you didn't get it, i can give a screenshot too.

      Delete
  5. hey can we dual boot elentary OS luna with windows 8???if yes then how??

    ReplyDelete