Elementary OS, thoughts

Feb 28, 2015 min read

Two months ago I left my beloved window tiling manager dwm and gave an entire new system a try, Elementary OS.

Elementary OS is a beautiful and minimalistic OS based on Ubuntu, with a neat integration between apps.

I’ve been using DWM for about three years and I am very happy about it, but It comes a time when you just want a smooth integration of the environment and not just using the terminal, which I still use 90% of the time. Maybe I’m just getting old. :-)

Design is something most developers have problems with, and having someone taking care of that for me is just great. I really like their design philosophy.

Although there are some improvements I’d like to make if I had time, the first one is adding email aliases in Geary(email client) so I could use my email aliases to send with different accounts without the need of adding them in the client (like gmail does).

I started learning Vala (the programming language which all Elementary applications are built on, from GNOME), and added some UI changes to the correspondent glade view, I think it is a nice practice for me even if this change is not accepted by the Geary team, although It’s still a work in progress and not one of my top priorities.

In many places I’ve seen people don’t like Elementary because they say the interface is like Mac OS X, I think that’s a trivialization of Elementary teams effort. I think Elementary has more things in common with Desktop Managers such as GNOME and they are doing an amazing job trying to make a great minimalistic UI.

Saying that, for me the most important thing about Elementary is that It’s Free Software (as in freedom), that’s the main point, and we need to give them credit for their work, to them and all people that make the Free Software community bigger, wider and heterogeneous.

It’s very likely I’ll go back to my beloved ArchLinux and dwm (or switch to NixOS the purely functional GNU/Linux distribution), because the thing I value the most about desktop or tiling managers is when they are out of the way, and the speed, I expect everything to be as fast as my terminal, because otherwise I am wasting time. As a developer I am always trying new stuff and the last version of packages, that’s something It’ll make me go back probably. But I am a terminal guy, what can I say.

Anyway I find this new shiny, minimalistic and easy to use interfaces a good thing and a step forward for the GNU/Linux community. If you are looking for a GNU/Linux OS with a consistent UI, a great integration between applications and the system, you could give Elementary OS a try.