elementary OS in 2019

I installed elementary OS on my new laptop
six months ago and after using elementary OS for some time I would like to share my
thoughts on this Linux distro. I will start with how and why I installed
elementary OS alongside Windows 10. Tell you about my first impression right after
the installation And then I will go into more details by explaining
what I liked and disliked about elementary OS Finally, I will also point out some points
which are worth mentioning. They are neutral for me, but maybe crucial
for you. Installation
I installed elementary OS along the Windows 10 which was pre-installed on my Acer Swift
1 laptop. I used GParted to shrink the Windows partition
and then installed elementary OS on the newly created free space. It was the EFI installation. Elementary OS installed fine and I can boot
into elementary OS or Windows 10 through the GRUB menu without any problems The elementary OS installer is reliable, intuitive to use and has all the necessary tools. Elementary OS is not new for me. I installed elementary OS Loki on my wife’s
laptop 3 years ago. Elementary OS Loki worked really well on it. So, I was excited to try elementary OS Juno. Right after the installation, I had a positive
impression of Juno. All hardware, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth,
worked out of the box. Moreover, unlike some other distros, it also
scaled well on my 13 inches 1080 screen. I was also pleased to see a lot of improvements
since Loki. The desktop and elementary apps are more polished
now. The apps feel even more integrated into the
desktop ecosystem. AppCenter seems to work faster than before. I felt very happy that I installed elementary
OS, and not Debian XFCE that I usually choose for low specs laptops. But after using elementary OS Juno for some
time, my positive impression about this OS started to deteriorate. But before going into negatives, let me list
what I like in elementaryOS. elementary OS is beautiful. This is probably the number one reason people
install elementary OS. I also really like that this beauty doesn’t
come with the cost of speed. Being beautiful, elementary OS is also snappy
on low specs computers. This the hardware I run elementary OS on. Elementary OS based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and
this simplifies many things. First, the LTS base guarantees more stability. Second, even if some problems arise, it is
easy to find a solution online because of the huge Ubuntu user-base. Third, almost all third-party apps have a
Deb package tailored for Ubuntu, so finding and installing software in elementary OS is
also easy. Elementary OS is the only OS that makes me
like minimalism. I usually need many features and a lot of
settings. That’s why Plasma 5 is my favorite desktop
ever. However, the simplicity of elementary OS somehow
makes me relaxed. I probably would not be able to use elementary
OS 10 hours a day 7 days a week, but as a laptop OS that is not used every day, it is
really good for me. The menu is large and easy to navigate with
the touch-pad. There is also a search bar that makes opening
apps even easier. You can also use the search bar to find some
setting right from the menu Dock is also very useful. You can pin the most frequently used apps
to the dock. By default, the dock is auto-hiding, which
is perfect for a laptop. You can quickly glance at the shortcuts by
pressing the Super key. These shortcuts can also be modified in the
settings. I also think it is really good for new users
to name applications with names that indicate what they do. Files, Code, Music, Videos, Photos are the
standard elementary apps. Elementary OS is also the only Linux distro
that provides a real picture in picture mode. If you still have not tried it, watch my video
on how to use the picture in picture mode in elementary OS. I also appreciate the multitasking view of
elementary OS. It provides a nice overview of the open apps. You can easily switch between desktops from
here. And you can move apps across desktops. Settings options are minimal but they provide
all the essential options. Moreover, I was surprised to find a Firewall
option in the Settings. Not many Linux distros include an option to
enable firewall in such a simple way. BTW, if you are thinking about whether you
need a firewall in Linux, watch the video you see on the card right now. It will give you an answer. I was also pleased to find the Housekeeping
tab that allows you to enable automatic cleaning of temporary files and trash. There are also many other small cool features
elementary OS provides. For example, I like that Files, Terminal,
and Code open in the last closed state. Now, let me introduce you some less positive things about elementary OS. Not everything I am going to describe should
be classified as a disadvantage, but some issues of elementary OS are worth considering
before you install it. Major problems
And we will start with the major problems. The first problem I experienced was the Mail
app. I use two-factor authentication for my Gmail
account. But not only Mail doesn’t support two-factor
authentication, but you also need to enable less secure apps in your Gmail settings to
make Mail work. So, Mail is not the most secure email client. I suggest to use the Web interface for email
work, or install Thunderbird. Similarly to Mail, Epiphany web browser is
also a weak app. It fails to play some full HD videos. The video player just freezes every 2-3 seconds. Epiphany is also in general slower than Firefox. So, replaced it with Firefox. I also do not like the concept of removing
the Minimize button and keeping only Close and Maximize buttons. The elementary team argues that Apps would
open and close instantly and even better because they would save their state before closing. But this applies only to elementary apps,
other apps won’t behave this way. So, I added the minimize button. If you also need the minimize button, what
my video on 15 things to do after installing elementary OS. There is one more thing where elementary OS
is too innovative. They change the tray so many third-party apps
won’t have tray icons. For example, I use Dropbox and I prefer to
see its icon in the tray to know when it syncs. But you will not see the Dropbox icon in the
elementary tray by default. It is possible to enable tray icons for Dropbox,
Skype and other third-party apps in elementary OS, but it requires some extra steps. Again, I showed how to do that in my video
on things to do after installing elementary os See the link in the description. The same day I installed elementary OS, I
noticed that the cursor is not always in the password field at the login screen. So, you cannot just start typing the password. You need to use the mouse/touchpad to navigate
to the password field and tap there to be able to enter the password and log in the
system. This is annoying. I also have some problems with using Suspend. Suspend works fine, but often 10-20 minutes
after waking up, Wi-Fi connection drops and the only way to re-connect is to reboot the
system. Speaking about connections, I usually disable
Bluetooth because I seldom use it. But I noticed that sometimes it turns on on
itself after log out and log in. It is not a big deal to disable it again,
but it is not how the system should work. Since Suspend doesn’t work well, I shut
down my laptop almost every time I finish using it. Unfortunately, the shutdown is slow sometimes. It is annoying because when I am on the go,
I want to shut down my computer quickly and go, but I have to wait until I see that the
system has turned off. Also, the Camera app stopped recognizing my
webcam after some time. When I installed elementary OS it
worked fine But probably after some update, it stopped
working correctly. I installed Cheese, another app for webcam,
and it works fine. So, the issue is definitely with the Camera
app. I also hate that Files have the same view
for all folders. You cannot have the Icon View for the Pictures
folder, and ListView for the Documents folder. This is a problem of many files manages and
I do not understand why such a key feature is not implemented even in GNOME. Multiple windows do not work on click in Dock. If you have, for example, two LibreOffice
documents open, they will be united under one icon in Dock. You can barely see that with the indicators
in Dock. When you click on the icons, it will open
you the last open window of LibreOffice, the second click will result in minimizing that
LibreOffice window. Because of that, I often even did not notice
that I had two windows open. In other desktops, you are usually presented
with both windows on a click. In elementary, to see multiple windows, you
need to either use the right-click or Multitasking view. There were also some small issues that I can complain about but it is possible to live
with them. Files, the file manager, works with a single
click to open files and folders. This concept is used in some Linux distros,
but I do not get it. I need a single click to select and double-click
to open a file or a folder. So, I disabled the single click for Files. Watch m video on things to do after installing
elementary OS for instructions. Search in Files freezes sometimes. I believe it is because it indexes new files
on the first open. It is also sensitive to typos. If you misspell a file name, it may not work. For example, it finds a file word-count but
it fails to find the same file if you type words-count. So, you can use search but it is not perfect. Photos doesn’t play GIF animations. It just opens it as an image using the first
image from the animation. I solved this problem by opening GIF in Firefox. Terminal uses the natural Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V
copy and paste shortcuts. I understand that it may be better for new
users, but these short-cuts are not standard for a terminal app. I am used to traditional Ctrl+Shift+C and
Ctrl+Shift+V shortcuts and I believe new users should learn them too. So, I disabled the natural copy-paste in Terminal. When you make an application full screen,
it is moved to a new workspace. I do not understand this behavior and I find
it annoying. Why can’t this app just stay on the same dekstop My final wish to improve elementary OS would
be to have a dark theme included by default. Moreover, I would like to have an option to
change themes because these are the only appearance settings in elementary OS by default. I would like to list a few more things which I believe are worth mentioning but I do not
have a strong option on them. Overall, elementary OS has a very simple design
and I think sometimes it is oversimplified. For example, Files have not Settings at all. There is simply no Settings button, you can
change only what you see. I believe you can do some settings, but you
either need to use some third-party apps like Dconf-editor or you need to edit the configuration
files manually. Terminal has more settings: scale and color. That’s it. No way to change the font or create different
profiles. I also would like to stop on Elementary OS
payment system. It works with the model “Pay as much as
you want”. You can pay 0 too. On the one hand, I like this move and I think
all distro should provide a similar option. This will help to support the developers and
eventually both the developers and the users benefit from this. On the other hand, I do not know how it is
perceived by new users. New users have heard that Linux is great because
it is free. They install elementary OS and then they
see the payment requirement when they want to install some apps It may not be that obvious for new users that
one can place 0 into the price field. Maybe having an install and fund button side
by side would be a little more fair. All in all, I think elementary OS is a great
distribution and I do not regret installing it on my laptop. It does have many issues but most of them
can be fixed as you can learn from my video on 15 things to do after installing elementary
OS. It is on your screen right now. Click on it to watch. Thank you

42 thoughts on “elementary OS in 2019

  1. I imagine that a window you make full screen being moved to a new desktop comes from Mac. Since elementary OS seems to mimic Mac, it makes since that it does that

  2. Actually does look good, but I don't think I could switch to Debian/Ubuntu base after using Arch for last two years.
    This does look quite a lot like Mac OS too. 😛

  3. 9:28 if you have 2 windows open for the same app use scroll wheel/gesture on the icon of the app it will switch between windows

  4. i still don't have very many problems with elementary os juno for my hp 2000-427CL just only followed your one video just to get 3rd party apps to show their status icons the rest i just use DConf configurator and elementary tweaks/gnome tweaks to adjust things even added a few macbuntu things from noob's lab's site then left it at that other than making the volume settings go up to 160 just for the heck of it to get extra volume since the speakers are good its just in some situations for movies with VLC player ya need a lil extra loudness that's stable sounding and doesn't get distorted other then that i have enabled some MacOS like features as well for hot corners also i did find the hidden dark mode in gnome tweak or elementary tweaks or some other tweak that gets added in the settings app

  5. Started to really like Pop!_OS for better icons and I tinker with the desktop to be, more or less, like shown here. The rest is nearly the same.

  6. Very nice. I like that you show pro and cons. I dislike that there is no option to enable minimize and maximize. It should at least be a option in settings if he or she should want to use it. And no dark theme. I don't like the light theme. And I don't know if this is still so, but when you install Elementary extensions, after each new release it's removed.

  7. That problem with Bluetooth/wifi after suspending and logging in is a perennial problem. But I can assure you that it doesn't happen on all hardware. I guess it is more of a hardware problem rather than software. HP/ Compaq or Dell laptops never show this problem. I'm using them for a very long time now. But Lenovo and Acer laptops have these problems. All this I am saying is according to my experience over the last decade or so. That is why I prefer NOT to buy Lenovo or Acer laptops for Linux.

    This is a great video! Very sensible of you to do this after prolonged usage. I'm sure many people will find this useful for their decision to make Elementary OS their main distro or not. Keep up the good work, ALU!

  8. I am a new linux user i have used elementary for sometime but it had many problems in my laptop i finally switched to linux mint and i prefer it.also i had some problems when i wanted to install driver for my AMD proccesor in linux mint

  9. having the maximize and close buttons on a window on opposite sides is prob the stupidest thing ive ever seen and they still haven't changed it. Yes i know how to change it but it's the single reasons why i never install Elementary. Its just a small team that supports it and that shows EVERYWHERE in the OS.

  10. Elementary OS looks good. But everyone is not a fan of TOP BAR, TITLE BAR. That Gnome style top bar is waste of space and there no ALWAYS SHOW DOCK/Panel option. These are the two reason many people don't use Pantheon DE. It's 2019, nobody likes weird designs (think of close and minimize button).
    On there home page they say "replacement for Windows and macOS". LoL. It's an open lie. Pantheon has nothing similar to Windows and macOS. These developers should stop thinking about werid style. The only thing Pantheon is good for, it's performance. It's much faster and smooth than Gnome.

  11. Elementary OS is a great distro but it doesn't play well on my Thinkpad with the docking station and it doesn't play well with Bumblebee

  12. I hate that everything is so flat white/gray and blocky. I don't like the icon theme either. I think the dock and the top bar are stylistically mismatched and don't make sense together (why is the top bar black and transparent, but the dock is off-white and opaque??). Don't get me started on the fact that the maximize and close buttons are on *opposite sides* of the title bars from each other. Furthermore, I think the "X" and arrows for close/maximize are ugly. I don't understand why the desktop was designed to lock the user out of options. Dan thinks users don't want options, but that's seemingly inaccurate. Win10 has color theming for the taskbar and title bars built in. Mac OS has a dark theme. Deepin is renown for not having a lot of options, but even they have a dark theme and choices of icons, plus you can choose between an application menu or a dashboard. Pantheon is so confusingly restrictive. I can't imagine how few people would look at it and think, "Well, that's how I would have themed it, so it saves me the trouble." That's their whole target audience. People who love how restrictive Gnome 3 is, but might do a couple little hacks to it. What's the point?? If someone is so scared of their computer that they would never want to touch colors or themes, how on earth would they have wound up using Linux?? I guess Elementary has several thousand users, so it's none of my business. People like what they like.

  13. You are so right on all the issues you have with Juno. Really a pain when apps don't open shutdowns closing apps. I went back to peppermint 8 and 9 . Glad i did

  14. Removing the minimize button is a stupid design choice. This is acceptable for mobile OSes, that run on small screens, where the user generally does not deal with multiple open apps, but not for a full desktop environment, where you should be able to switch between several open applications.

    For them to say that you don't need the minimize button because their applications open in a flash just make them sound ignorant and pretentious.

  15. I tested EOS back in 2013 iirc, with Luna. Was great but I liked Zorin OS better… Or Mint. Have you tested Zorin OS 15 launched in June?

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