Core OS 7 is now available and is the same old desktop quality

The default for the primary desktop is OS 7.

Essential OS 7 builds on everything the previous version did right.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

one day, Primary operating system It was the go-to Linux distribution for the desktop. However, when my first purchase System76 desktopI moved from Elementary OS to pop! _OS And she never looked back. Oh, sure, I sometimes crave the elegance, simplicity, and seamless look of the Essential OS (Pantheon) desktop, but there are certain aspects that made me not consider going back.

One of the problems was the unreliable sound when using serious recording equipment. This, of course, wasn’t so much an Elementary OS problem as it was PulseAudio. Unfortunately, Elementary OS 7 seems to be sticking with PulseAudio for now. This can be seen when issuing a file Contract information command, which will include the following in the output:

Server name: pulseaudio

Well, I’m not about to judge Elementary OS by its problematic audio server. Instead, I want to examine what it gives to the new user.

In this light, Elementary OS is a great desktop operating system that can be used by anyone of any skill level.

also: Is Elementary OS Your Best Linux Distro?

However, there are issues that are likely a product of this first release in the 7.x series. I will highlight these a little bit.

But first…

What is the primary operating system?

I know this isn’t a popular comparison in the Linux community, but Elementary OS is close to it mac As you will see in the open source world.

Essentially, Elementary OS is an Ubuntu-based desktop operating system that is tracing its own path. It is one of the most well-designed Linux desktop operating systems on the market. With a user interface more user-friendly than almost any operating system, Elementary OS is incredibly easy to use. And not only is it easy to work with, but it’s just as beautiful as well.

The mention of macOS is intentional, as the desktop environment in Elementary OS, Pantheon, is very similar to Apple’s desktop operating system. You’ll find a dock, top bar, desktop menu, and system tray. All of these pieces come together to make a well-balanced, easy-to-use interface.

The good news is that the developers behind Elementary OS chose not to make any drastic changes to the desktop with version 7. In fact, at first, Elementary 7 could easily be mistaken for the previous version. For those who already love the operating system, this will be welcome news. For anyone who has never tried Elementary OS, you’re in for a treat.

What is the difference in version 7?

In simpler terms… not much but enough. Many of the changes are incremental, such as improvements to the AppCenter, where you’ll find better app descriptions and an easier path to updating to the latest versions of the tools you’re using. It’s also now easier to sideload apps from alternative sources like Flatpak. Fortunately, Flatpak installs out of the box. The only caveat to this is that Flatpak is not integrated into the AppCenter, so all Flatpak installations must be done via the command line.

Another very welcome new feature is the addition of GNOME Web 43, which includes support for creating web apps that will appear in the apps list. To use this feature, open a web browser, point it to a site for which you want to create a web app, click the gear icon, and then click Install site as a web app. Once created, you can open this web app from the list of apps.

Other improvements include:

  • Fewer installation screens.
  • Automatically detect mouse use and offer to automatically switch to left-handedness.
  • The Mail app now offers a more modern look and supports Microsoft 365 accounts.
  • The To Do app now has offline support.
  • Multi-click modes are now supported in the file manager.
  • The Music app has been completely rewritten from scratch, making it faster to queue and play audio files.
  • Power profile management is now available with a performance mode for devices that support it.
  • Custom terminal commands can be configured for hot corners.
  • The Welcome app has been redesigned and includes help choosing a desktop theme, enabling Night Light, configuring housekeeping (automatically deletes downloaded files, old temp files, and deleted files), linking online accounts, browsing the AppCenter, enabling automatic updates, and faster access to the system settings.
Initial setup application for the operating system.

You can easily customize your Elementary OS experience from the onboarding app.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

How does Elementary OS 7 work?

One thing to keep in mind is that I’m running Elementary OS 7 as a virtual machine, which is not an ideal testing environment. However, the OS performed like a champ. Apps opened quickly and smoothly, updates were quick, and animations were very smooth. As far as performance is concerned, the difference between Elementary OS 6 and 7 is pretty obvious, with 7 running smoother and faster.

The warning

There was one caveat to using Elementary OS that has haunted the distribution for quite some time… the lack of apps in the AppCenter. Open AppCenter and you won’t find likes LibreOffice. In fact, in the Office section of the AppCenter, you won’t find much in the way of office suites. And since LibreOffice isn’t available as a Flatpak app, there are only two options for getting the most popular open source office suite installed… via Snap (not installed out of the box) and manually.

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This also raises a problem for me. After the first upgrade, AppCenter crashes continuously. Any time you click on a category it will pause and then crash. And then, after a while, AppCenter won’t open at all. Even after a reboot, AppCenter refused to work. I could search for and click on individual apps, but the curated categories were a bit of a bust.

Return to LibreOffice. The way to install it looked like this:

  1. Install Snap with sudo apt-get install snapd -y.
  2. Install LibreOffice with sudo snap install libreoffice.
  3. Sign out and sign back in (so that the LibreOffice entries appear in the list of applications).

If you are OK with using the command line, installation is simple. However, it shouldn’t be too much work to install an office suite. I would suggest that the team either include Snap in the next version and integrate it (and Flatpak) into the AppCenter or simply make LibreOffice available for the AppCenter. Either way, an Office suite should be considered a must (although most people use cloud-based tools now).

Other than that caveat, I’ve found Core OS 7 to be an absolute treat to use. This comes as no surprise, given how much I’ve loved the OS for years. The development team is in a “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” situation and they’ve done exactly what it took. Elementary OS 7 is an absolute gem of a desktop operating system that’s suitable for any user of any skill level (especially if you don’t rely on a traditional client-based office suite).

If you’re interested in trying Elementary OS 7, Download the ISO fileCopy it to a USB drive (using a tool like unetbootin) and enjoy the simplicity of one of the most elegant desktop operating systems on the market.

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