Elementary OS

Elementary OS and why I ditched Mac OSX.

Posted by Kirk on 4 January 2016

I had a fairly mature set up on my late 2012 Mac Mini, but after a recent fresh install my thunderbolt port became bricked and the USB ports were misbehaving randomly ejecting, without any hope of fixing it with out a full logic board swap-out.

After being very disappointed with the specs on the new Mac Mini and after pricing a 21.5" iMac with a Fusion Drive and a full complement of RAM I decided that it was going to be extortionately expensive to stay with my favourite OS - OS X.

The solution in the end was build my own kick-ass system for about the third of the price and go with Windows. Well I built my system, but I missed the control I had with OS X and the great software available. Windows software choices haven't really changed a great deal since I first migrated to a Mac six years ago.

Well enter Linux, after some research and trying a few distributions I stumbled upon an article about a new distro - Elementary OS. I installed and I have not looked back!

The Low-Down on Elementary OS

Elementary OS is an Ubuntu based GNU/Linux distribution, which started as a theme and application set for Ubuntu. From eye-candy themes and wallpaper it has turned out to be an independent Linux distribution. It inherits many legacy features of the standard Ubuntu OS and shares Ubuntu’s software Center for package management. Elementary is known for its lightweight nature it's low demand on resources that makes it easy to run on old PCS and yet a simple and effective user interface, beautiful themes and wallpaper serves makes it an attractive and one of the best Linux Distributions for Linux beginners.

It uses Midori as the web Browser, Plank as the dock, Pantheon as Desktop Environment Shell, Scratch as the text editor, Gala(based on Mutter) as the window Manager, Pantheon Greeter as the Session Manager, Geary as the email client, Maya as the Desktop Calendar, Noise as the Audio Player, Audience as the Video Player, Pantheon Files as the file manager and other applications that have been tweaked for use with the OS.

Features of Elementary OS Freya

  • Supported File System : Btrfs, ext4, ext3, JFS, ReiserFS and XFS.
  • Installation : Graphical
  • Package Management : DEB
  • Default Desktop : Pantheon
  • Architecture Support : x86 and x86_64
  • The Latest Versions of:
    • Gtk+
    • Openssh
    • Openssl
    • Python
    • Samba
    • Vim
    • Xorg-server
    • Perl
  • Powered by Linux Kernel 3.16
  • Uses grub 2.02 beta2 (Latest stable release of grub is 2.0).
  • Uses systemd (204)
  • Comes with a Beautiful set of themes and wallpapers. * * Attractive design and appearance.
  • Installation is straight forward and simple.

An Interesting Fact

Freya was initially named Isis by Daniel Foré, the project leader (Freya being the old Norse equivalent of the Egyptian goddess Isis). It was subsequently renamed to ‘Freya‘ to avoid any association with ISIS. It is based upon Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Download the Elementary OS 0.3 Freya ISO here.

It is absolutely free to use Elementary OS. Free as in beer as well as free as in speech. If you want to donate to this worthwhile project click on the amount ‘Pay and Download‘. You may add custom amount, if you want. If you don’t want to pay to freya at this time you may just download and install by entering '0' in the custom donation field.


So far I'm really enjoying using this distribution and I intend to write more on it with some tips for tweaking this OS including installing a solid suite of development tools.

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