Last time I switched OS was back in ’13 when I installed Debian Wheezy on my Dell Ispiron 14R (you can read about it here). Back then I switched from Ubuntu (10.04 I think) to Debian 7. About a couple of days ago I bought a Samsung SSD, so I thought I might also test another Linux Distro. After talking to some friends I decided to give Elementary Os a try.
Elementary Os is a Ubuntu based distro, with OS X appearance. The current version is named Freya (0.3) and is based on Ubuntu 14.04. The first eye catching feature is the design, very nice colors, windows, transparencies, icons. Pretty much what you would expect from a distro that calls itself “a OS X alternative”. It is pretty fast and lightweight, considering it provides little default programs (eg: It doesnt come with GIMP by default or any office suite) and many of them are their own. For example, the default text editor is ‘scratch’ (simitar to gedit), the file manager is called ‘pantheon-file’, etc.
Unfortunately, these alternative programs does not work very well. Scratch often freezes when it fails to open a file, when gedit does not. Pantheon-file has an overall nice performance, however there are some lacking features & odd behaviors, usb drives does not mount automatically, you cant preview a file in the trash, and selecting multiple files by Shift + Mouse Click can be really challenging (I’m not kidding).
There are some several other issues, some inherited from Ubuntu, such as failure to login from GUI after an update, wifi randomly disconnecting, the greeter (login screen) not showing the secondary monitor correctly, etc. I haven’t been able to assert this (due to lack of a battery benchmark) but I’m pretty sure it has worse battery life than Debian, but don’t take my word for it.
It is a really appealing OS showing great potential, with a great team of designers behind it. I wouldn’t recommend installing it yet but I do advice following it closely, since its not far away for being a great distro, but those few issues pointed up before deter me from futher use of this OS.