elementary this week announced the availability of what it says is the biggest update yet to its Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, which brings ease of use, pleasant aesthetics, and a commitment to privacy. It’s called elementary OS 6 Odin.
“It’s been a long road to elementary OS 6—what with a whole global pandemic dropped on us in the middle of development—but it’s finally here,” elementary co-founder Cassidy James Blaede writes. “elementary OS 6 Odin is available to download now. And it’s the biggest update to the platform yet! With OS 6, we’ve focused on empowering you to be in control and express yourself, continuing to innovate with new features, and making elementary OS easier to get and more inclusive.”
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New features include more pervasive support for multi-touch throughout the system, including touchpad gestures; a redesigned notification system, a new Tasks app, support for firmware updates from several PC makers (including Dell, HP, and Lenovo), and major updates to built-in apps like Web (the web browser formally known as Epiphany), Mail, Calendar, Camera, AppCenter, Files, Code (a coding editor), and Terminal.
elementary OS 6 also adds a schedulable and customizable new Dark Style with 10 new accent colors to the system and the default and system apps, new sandboxing technology for enforcing privacy and security, and a new Portals feature to control inter-app communication, and it AppCenter and some default apps now use the modern Flatpaks container format.
There are also numerous desktop and window management improvements, including updated window and desktop menus, expanded multitasking settings including window tiling, and easier screenshotting. Elementary OS 6 also marks the arrival of a simpler new OS installer that’s been in the works since 2018 and can be configured by PC makers of all sizes. On the accessibility front, OS 6 adds a new Universal Access indicator to display toggles for the Screen Reader, Onscreen Keyboard, Dwell Click, and other accessibility tools so that they’re easy to turn on or off as needed. The system also adapts for those with vision needs, offers text and system scaling, and comes with other accessibility advances.
You can download/purchase elementary OS 6 Odin from the elementary website. If you’ve been following along with my desire to start up a series about Linux, it’s worth mentioning that this is one of my top contenders and is a system I’ll be evaluating soon.