papyros-laptop

Computer Stuffs

In search of linux distro with beautiful desktop

21 Oct , 2015  

This list is sorted based on my personal preference and anticipation.

  • Solus Operating System/Evolve OS

This distro is definitely on top of my list. Why? Because I agree with Ikey Doherty (the creator), The looks in Chrome OS is just beautiful and it just works. This distro is made from scratch with its own package management. It features Budgie, a new desktop environment developed by Ikey to resemble the beauty of Chrome OS. The name might be confusing to some because if you search Linux distros related to Ikey, you will find SolusOS, Evolve OS, and last but definitely not least, Solus Operating System. So what are they? SolusOS is the first operating system developed by Ikey a few year ago and it is no longer being maintained, so it is not related to Evolve OS/Solus Operating System other than being spiritual predecessor. Evolve OS was the name of this new operating which Ikey is currently developing to have a resemblance in look to Google’s Chrome OS, but just only after the Alpha was released, Ikey found some trouble regarding the name and he decided to rename it to Solus Operating System. Go check the post in the project’s blog to learn more about it (and why I keep writing full “Operating System” words after Solus).

Solus Operating System itself was scheduled to be released on Oct 1st, 2015 but suddenly there is no news or trace of it. Apparently Ikey posted on his G+ page that he had health issue which delayed the development. Since the beginning I’ve known that I shouldn’t expect to much for its development since it really is Ikey’s personal project, he develop it himself, and learning from the fate of SolusOS. But I hope that this distro will be given the chance to at least reach one stable release. I hope him well soon and make this into a reality. Just look at how beautifull it desktop is.

solus

  • Papyros

Papyros is a new linux distribution (extremely new, it hasn’t even reach alpha yet) with desktop designed around material design framework. I believe that statement is more than enough to justify why this pre-alpha distro is in this list. I mean, have you used the skinned-vanilla experience of Android Lollipop? As a Nexus 5 user, I believe Lollipop must have brought a huge changes to Android. Suddenly I feel Android’s interface is the most beautiful to be available in mobile OS. I love beauty so much that I’m determined to have the most beautiful looking thing on every things. I’ve tried several beautiful Android launchers but ever since Material Design came into my Android life, I settled with Google Play Launcher. So it definitely is going to worth all the wait until this distro reach stable release.

papyros-laptop

  • Elementary OS

The most stable distro in this list. Elementary is widely known among all Linux geeks and its name is synonym with beautiful desktop. Whenever you mention the name to a Linux person, the first thing that comes to their mind would be beauty. I’ve switched several desktop environments during my adventure with Linux. I’ve tried Gnome, KDE , Enlightenment and various distros in search for a beautiful dekstop. Elementary is the one OS that I settled down. Since the other distros in this list are experimental/unstable, Elementary is the is definitely my primary¬†distro installation. The current release is called Freya (version 0.3) and it features a dedicated desktop environment called Pantheon. I don’t need to talk about this distro any more, just try to Google it’s name and you’ll find a lot of writings dedicated to its beauty.

elementary

  • Haze OS

A hidden gem which I found along the road during my pilgrimage for the most beautiful Linux distro. Haze OS is not as experimental as the other operating systems listed above. Those of you who are familiar with Gnome Shell will feel at home. Judging from the look, you have to appreciate the developers. They did great work in creating quite a beautiful desktop without having to actually alienate current Gnome users.

haze

  • Ozon OS

When you heard that Numix¬†(the creator of those cute and beautiful icons and wallpaper for your Android and Linux desktop) has decided to really dedicate their time into a new OS, what came into your mind? It definitely and without doubt will be beautiful OS. I mean, even long a go when I still use Ubuntu or Linux Mint, I used Numix’s icons. Nitrux S.A. and Numix decided to gave birth to Ozon OS. The OS is still in beta and like Haze OS above, the desktop is familiar with Gnome Shell.

  • MeeGo

I decided to put this poor little boy in this list as an ode to the old project. The philosophy behind this OS is different from the rest of the entry. MeeGo was born from the merge between Moblin (an OS developed by Intel) and Maemo (by Nokia). This was supposed to be the Operating System of everything, starting from computers, phones, and in-car entertainment system (sounds familiar to you Android?). It even was supported by The Linux Foundation. I don’t know what happened or why Nokia messed up so bad with this, in the end this OS was only officially finished for N9 with code name Harmattan. But by that time it was already almost game over for Nokia, Android is all over the place and N9 is extremely pricey.

In the end Linux Foundation decided to take it over with Samsung and reboot the project as Tizen (the official successor) which successfully released as Samsung’s phones and smart watches OS. In parallel, several ex-Nokia employee decided to continue the dream of MeeGo and fork it into Sailfish OS (the spiritual successor). They managed to released a phone under Jolla! brand and even successfully crowdfunded a tablet version.

Both Sailfish and Tizen don’t mean anything to me though, because they decided to abandon the one reason why I fell in love with MeeGo in the first place, the desktop environment of MeeGo for netbook.I remembered installing it in my laptop and fell in love right away with its cartoon-ish look. I always love cartoon looks, so this is purely personal preference. I know some people hate them. Even the project website is now redirected to Tizen, I can’t download the ISO any longer and I feel melancholic just by writing this last entry.

Do you have another suggestion for the list? Please do let me know! My pilgrimage is far from over.

Satrio G. Nugraha

Satrio is a self-proclaimed technology geek. He is currently employed by IBM Indonesia as an IT Specialist which handles IBM xSeries servers, IBM zSeries mainframes and multi vendor network devices. He listens to various kinds of musics (he personally believes that music should not be put into boxes such as genres and everybody is free to listen to whatever kind of music whenever they feel like it).

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