elementary OS 6.1 is Now Available

Posted on December 20, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Linux with 18 Comments

Elementary today announced the availability of elementary OS 6.1, the latest update to its Linux-based distribution.

“Just over four months ago we announced elementary OS 6 Odin with new ways to be in control and express yourself, a slew of innovative new features, and a focus on gettability and inclusivity,” elementary founder and CEO Danielle Foré writes. “So far, OS 6 has been downloaded from our website over 250,000 times, and as always, that’s not including downloads from third parties or direct downloads via torrent that bypass our download page.”

Elementary OS 6.0 was released back in August, and since then, the firm has supported it with monthly OS updates. But elementary OS 6.1—codenamed Jólnir—is a bigger functional update for existing users that combines the changes in the previous monthly updates and adds new features that focus on addressing feedback, adding office productivity functionality, and expanding hardware compatibility.

Key new features include:

AppCenter improvements. AppCenter provides over 90 curated apps to elementary OS users, and it offers improved discoverability, improved performance, and new category and app info page layouts.

Desktop improvements. The elementary OS window manager has been updated with a redesigned Alt _ Tab quick window switcher with bigger icons, window titles, and Dark mode support. Dialog boxes feature a new animation and dim the application that triggered them. And the File Chooser portal has been improved with new capabilities when opening a file.

Installer. The elementary OS installer gets some bug fixes and a few small changes, such as the ability to name the PC during setup.

System Settings. Elementary has made various updates and fixes across display and scaling, sound, keyboard, and other settings.

Office productivity improvements. Mail, Tasks, Calendar, Web, Files, and other productivity apps have all received various updates and fixes.

Hardware device support. Elementary works with various PC makers to provide elementary OS on their hardware, and it is working to ensure that customers can get version 6.1 as quickly as possible. Elementary also benefits from upstream developers who target Ubuntu, and this release includes various fixes related to that work.

You can download the elementary 6.1 release from the elementary.io website.

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Comments (18)

18 responses to “elementary OS 6.1 is Now Available”

  1. bats

    As I am preparing for a "post-MS Windows" world, I will be looking into this OS, as well as Zorin. As web technologies continue to advance forward, computer operating systems are no longer important or necessary for the "common" home user. LOL....Microsoft knows this and I am sure they have known this for quite some time. Heck, even Bill Gates knew this back in the 90's before the "Order 66" on Netscape was executed. In my household, I just need one desktop OS, so I'll look into Elementary, as well as Zorin. Then for everything and everyone else, it's ChromeOS.

    • MoopMeep

      I don't know.... I went to CompUSA and they had a giant stack of SUSE linux for when that was going to take over...... and I forget how long ago CompUSA went out of buisness. I don't know, just seems like people always talk about how Linux is going to take over and how mobile devices are going to make game consoles obsolete but that sutff never seems to happen.

      • proftheory

        It's not that GNU/Linux isn't capable of replacing Windows or MacOS its that the Hardware and Software wasn't all there. Hardware is less of a problem than it used to be but software is still a problem.

        For some if Microsoft 365 were to be ported to Linux then they would switch. LibreOffice is very good but it isn't MS 365. I run Fedora dual boot with Windows on all my systems but Windows is the main OS simply because I can't find some software for Linux to replace them.

  2. truerock2

    elementary OS 6.1 is designed to compete against Apple MacOS.

    It is not designed as an alternative to Microsoft Windows.


    • Brazbit

      250K... Apple sells that many Macs in just under 2 weeks (2018 numbers).

      So even if it was aimed only at MacOS* that would leave a lot of room for growth. Unfortunately it is Intel only and with Apple taking Mac to their own chip architecture that is a dead end market. Still they could grow for years on old abandoned Macs.


      *It isn't, they target Windows directly in the first slogan on their page "The thoughtful, capable, and ethical replacement for Windows and macOS"

  3. angusmatheson

    one If my best friends told me “linux is Latin for everything is harder” - LMAO

    • nsemrau

      How cool! Do you also habe something to say that actually adds to the conversation here?

  4. justme

    @Bats - Echoing the comments of others - if you are a Windows migrant, have a look at Zorin which also provides a polished experience like Elementary does. It is tailored more to those who are moving away from Windows.

  5. spacecamel

    I have this distro running on an old MacBook Air. Much better than a Chromebook. If you want to go to the "dark side", this is where I would recommend looking.

  6. ianhead

    Still looking forward to seeing some Linux write ups here since you mentioned you would be looking at it. I'd very highly recommend giving Zorin OS a try too, it's very obviously putting all of its efforts into being a polished user experience like Elementary does, though it's perhaps a little more specifically aimed at people coming across from Windows.

  7. jimchamplin

    To me nothing beats good old Debian or FreeBSD. It's fun sometimes to spin up a mega-basic system on an old notebook and go command line commando for a while.


    But for people who need to get stuff done, Debian with GNOME or KDE Plasma is perfect.

    • hrlngrv

      Gnome 3 and KDE aren't my favorites. When I want as lean as possible, nothing beats Openbox alone or at most with tint2. Otherwise, I prefer MATE and LXDE for that early 2000s look & feel. Great thing about Linux is LOTS of choice.

    • red.radar

      When wanting to go command line commando, Gentoo can be fun to tinker with. They have good documentation and it is a decent platform to learn the inner architectural workings of linux.

  8. longhorn

    Not a great distro for Windows users apparently. I haven't tried it myself.

    For Windows users Linux Mint or Zorin should be more familiar.


    "Okay then, who is it fit for? Basically anyone who's never used a computer in their life and all they need are basic apps and don't care about UI familiarities."


    https: double slash old dot reddit dot com/r/linux/comments/raqsmz slash can_we_please_stop_recommending_elementaryos_to/


    You can switch old to www if you want the new version of reddit.


    • ianhead

      Yeah, for users who have muscle memory built up from Windows or MacOS, I think it is wrong to recommend Elementary. It's really a power users distro but with a focus on aesthetics, that has a very different workflow, and it expects you change your habits to accommodate it.


      I think it actually works very well once you get your head around it, but for people who just want to switch and bend the OS to their habits, Zorin or Pop OS are much better choices.

  9. red.radar

    I realize you about to be bombarded with different variations of " have you considered to try this distro "


    I just wanted to call out System76 and PopOS. Mainly because it stands out in the market as a nice turn key solution. I have had positive experiences with PopOS in my post windows evaluations.

  10. Bart

    Paul, in your previous article about Elementary you mentioned this to be a contender for a review of a Linux OS.

    Have you decided yet?

  11. hrlngrv

    Why pay attention to elementary OS? Because it's simple?


    Pantheon is a joke compared to Budgie, but to each their own.