A new version of elementary OS, a popular Ubuntu-based Linux distro, is available to download.
The elementary OS 7 release is built on top of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. This affords the distro a solid and stable foundation on which to build-out its bespoke elements, like the Gala window manager, Pantheon desktop environment, and various GTK-based first-party applications.
In a blog post to introduce the update, elementary founder Danielle Foré says elementary OS 7 makes it easier for users to get the apps they want (like those distributed through ‘alternative’ app stores like Flathub), and ’empower’ them by adding new features and settings.
The Pantheon desktop environment boasts few changes, but the user experience in elementary OS 7 is buffed through the addition of new config options. These include a much-requested way to disable “single click” folder opening in the Files file manager app.
Users can now assign terminal commands to hot corners; make use of power profiles (including a new power saver mode); adjust screen brightness by scrolling the power icon; and edit the distro’s default keyboard shortcuts to craft key combos that suit their own tastes.
The UI is also improved though an extensive refresh of the default icon theme.
Software management (including system updates) in elementary OS is handled by AppCenter. For this release, the utility better communicates ongoing tasks; supports gesture navigation; lets users manually check for updates; and improves the appearance of software listings.
On the application front, Code text editor picks up dark mode support and a full-height sidebar; the Music app is rebuilt from scratch; Terminal allows custom color schemes; Tasks works offline; and the unified inbox in Mail works with Microsoft 365 accounts.
Performance is another key area of improvement in elementary OS 7. Developers “spent quite a bit of time” tracking down the causes of slowdowns, reworking old code, reducing latency, and improving responsiveness across the distro as a whole — nice!
Download elementary OS 7
You can download elementary OS 7 from the elementary website. Unlike traditional Linux distros that offer a download link elementary put their ISO behind a “pay what you want” mechanism.
While users are encouraged to pay for the download (the money is used to fund development of the distro) it’s not a strict requirement; enter
0 as the custom amount to download elementary OS 7.
It’s not currently possible to upgrade from elementary OS 6.1 to elementary OS 7. Those on earlier releases can read through the official upgrade advice on the distribution’s GitHub.