Yes, I know elementary had accumulated quite a fan base since it first hit the scene some years ago. I don’t know where it was exactly in the Linux Top Hits but it was never that far up! For a reason I suppose. Actually more than just one reason. But we’re getting into that soon-ish. The reason its so far up the charts is because the elementary devs just released a new version, 0.4.1 and it’s all the rage right now in the scene. That is due to the devs knowing how to do marketing and shit and how to press your buttons.
And how to sail along the fine line between legality and scam. 😮
Anyway, get on with today’s Linux distro review we shall, shan’t we? Your first contact with elementary OS is, as usual in the Linux-verse, per its splendid homepage, which does really look fine …
What already gets me in a grumpy mood is the description line: A fast and open replacement for Windows and macOS. What the? Why are they downplaying their own Linux distribution so much? Linux is so much more than just a mere replacement! Alternative maybe, upscaling, evolution, next level, or just BETTER! Yes, that’s how you should sell your Shit to us! Replacement … pfff.
And then, oy vey, already in the clearly visible parts of the site we’re getting an ultimatum: You wanna pay 25 or 10 Woolongs? Or are you such a cheapskate you think you get away with 5? Only then we notice the Custom box where we can just fill in our prefered amount of null Woolong. After a dozen or so failed tries, finally the download starts. Whoopdeedoo! \o/ This is, at least in my critical mind, already reason enough to turn my back on this distro and never come back. But I know my journalistic duty and take one for the team and download the rather huge ISO file. 1.5 GB isn’t gigantic but still larger than most other Linuxes. Why there is no option for a torrent download escapes me.
Anyhoo, the download goes reasonably fast, and so does the installation. Nothing out of the ordinary as the installation software is just a welldone mix of others. Nothing to complain about. Oh, btw, what strange beast is this elementary anyway? You guessed correctly: The millionth Ubuntu offspring, how creative. Oh right, they must have surely done something extraordinarily clever with that tired old mothership if they dare to ask for money for their spin. Let’s not forget the leaders of the pack, the original Ubuntu, as well as the closest family Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Ubuntu MATE don’t come at you with an aggressive E-begging scheme first thing. Not even the fukn Numero Uno, the really payworthy Linux Mint dares to ask for money. Of course they all have options for you to donate to their distro, somewhere hidden on their websites. Clem and his Minty crew are also happy when you purchase one of the nifty Mint Boxes. But none of those other distros asks for funding so directly in-ya-face as elementary.
Okay, with all that outta the way, let me calm down a bit (please pause your reading experience for some minutes now) and then let’s see what’s so special and extra-goody-gud with elementary:
Ok, they have an AppCenter with a carefully curated assembly of additional softwares. We gotta admit, these things can be a bit crowded and full with shit in other distros. Let’s not even start with Arch Linux’s infamous AUR, which contains probably every peace of open software ever conceived on this planet. Use at your own risk. In that point, elementary is an exemplary good boy. Well done, you.
On the other hand, that’s not really setting elementary so much apart from other distros. What else are they so fukn proud of, then? Oh yes, the programs elementary ships with right out of the box.
Look guys, all distro managers have different ideas of what you need and what you don’t need. So every distro comes with a unique choice of programs (or apps, as you youngsters call them) outta the box. Some come with a rich plethora of stuff, others are rather sparsely populated. In any way, it’s no problem and only takes a handful minutes to delete and install all the shit you want/need. That doesn’t make elementary special in any way, shape or form.
So maybe there are some other worthwile points to convince me why I need to install ele … and pay for it as well?
Apart from that I gotta admit their website is amazing. With subsites for Support, Help for Developers and a Shop where you can buy shirts.
In that regard, self-important marketing, other distros can learn a thing or two from elementary.
So, but now … what is it with ele, what makes it so special. How the eff does it work? Well, this Linux comes with its very own Desktop Environment, Pantheon, which for me looks pretty much run of the mill, decently customizable but nothing to write home about. Also it’s not the fastest desktop ever. That may be due to MiniMe’s slowly getting a bit long in the tooth … but didn’t they claim ele was good for older hardware?
Conclusion: This is already the 4th time I try to figure out what makes elementary such a beloved Linux distro. The last three times only made me hate this shitty distro even more. And when Trap wrote about it it was more about installing ele on a Virtual Machine, no idea what she thinks about this distro specifically. I’m just angry at this shite … and even more angry at myself. I had totally forgotten that after my last article I swore to forget about ele and never mention it again in this blog. Woah! Stupid me. 😮
Fact is I find elementary one of the fuckuppiest Linux distros ever, well-knowing that I’m not an expert and not a scale for anybody to base their opinions on. Je sui housefrau, ya know. So I can’t say with 100% certainty that ele is really that bad. And I know and acknowledge it has its good sides as well. At least the intentions of the devs were good, I hope. And for a n00bie with absolutely no experience in the Linux world it might even be a very nice operating system. The typical overwrought, overstressed, overworked millennial of 2018 maybe doesn’t want the total freedom, self-destination, political correctness and fairplay philosophy of our old-folks Linux distros. They want ease of use, no thinking, no options, just click-and-receive-bacon instant gratification. And for these people Elementary OS might be exactly right. Sorry, I’m too old and my standards and expectations are on a higher level, so I don’t play nice with millenials and their toys.