back to article A low-key good experience for Thor-oughly new penguins: Elementary OS 6, aka Odin

The elementary OS team recently released its first major update in nearly three years, elementary OS 6, or "Odin" as this release is known. Odin is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and as you would imagine for an update three years in the making, brings a slew of changes. Elementary desktop The desktop look (click to enlarge) …

  1. katrinab Silver badge

    The problem with Linux isn't that the icons look a bit different. People cope with icons changing every time a new version of Windows comes out, unless of course that version of Windows is version 8. Also, ChromeOS is basically Linux, maybe not GNU/Linux, doesn't look anything like either Windows or Mac, and people manage find with it.

    The problem is lack of application support. The basics are there. But the more niche applications, not so much; and most people have a niche requirement, though obviously not the same one as other people.

    Also, try installing software in Windows; I think you will find it is a *lot* more difficult than any of the alternatives out there.

    1. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

      Ever since I first played with Linux and installed software from a software repository I loathe the way you need to do things on a Windows box.

      Every time I got a new Windows box I spend hours or days visiting the various websites of various software makers to download the installers for everything I want. And that's basic stuff:

      * media - VLC, no question

      * text editor - everything is better than what comes along with a fresh Windows

      * browser - the same

      * PDF - getting better over the years


      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        You might want to look at It's been years since I last used it, but I remember that you are presented with a long list of popular applications (such as VLC, 7zip, Firefox, Magic ISO etc etc) against tick boxes. Simply select the applications you want and proceed to download a single installer that installs all the applications you chose. I seem to recall that it just installs the applications and not some of the cruft that a native installer will dump on you if you neglect to uncheck a tick box.

        Other readers here may have a more up-to-date opinion of Ninite* that they might care to share.

        *EDIT: corrected Minute back to Ninite - an autocorrect error.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          The first thing I install on a new Windows machine is chocolatey. You can do this from a Powershell oneliner. Then you get something very similar to pkg or apt get for installing everything else, or at least stuff you don't have to pay for.

          1. Pete Smith 2

            ^ This.

            I do the same. I have my preferred choco file, and just throw it at a blank PC + Chocolatey and I'm away.

    2. Adair Silver badge

      But then you could make exactly the same argument for someone moving from Linux to Windows, or, in fact from any OS to another OS---they all have their own niche software and system characteristics that some people value highly whilst the masses are oblivious.

      As always: choose your tool wisely, learn to use it, don't whine.

  2. Ganso

    "a Flatpak-only app store is the future"

    Ugh, no hoverboards or Mr. Fusion, and then this. The future sucks.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "a Flatpak-only app store is the future"

      Though there is currently a musical production of Back to the Future on in London that is lots of fun, according to a critic from the Times.

      Yeah, I know, not as much fun as a hoverboard, I'm sure. But then I'd likely fall off and break my arm anyhows. Hmm, a broken arm doesn't seem too bad compared to what might happen if an enthusiastic tinkerer tried to mod a Mr Fusion unit.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "a Flatpak-only app store is the future"

      It could be worse. It could be Snap.

      I looked at Flatpak briefly. It requires that a Flatpak system be installed for the particular OS including the window manager. There was an version that seemed from the description to fit my case. It didn't.

      As far as I can seen all these schemes seem to be a means of exchanging one lot of dependencies for another. Putting a directory with the application's dependencies in /opt is as effective as any but it's an old idea and, therefore, not shiny. Sigh.

    3. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

      Re: "a Flatpak-only app store is the future"

      Yeah, I want a refund!

  3. PhilipN Silver badge


    Careful there. Unfortunate provenance. The moniker given by IBM to its attempts to run Win32 programs on OS/2. If memory serves MS responded to each iteration with some new code to block Odin --- so what else is new?

  4. Ian 55

    "This reviewer generally recommends that newcomers test the Linux waters with either Ubuntu Mate or elementary OS, depending on whether the person is coming from Windows or macOS."

    Quite right too.

    I still don't understand why the latter (and this) like having a menu of programs on the bottom of the screen, when losing usable height is more of a pain than losing width on widescreen displays. Having the menu on the side is the one thing that Unity got right.

    1. LionelB Silver badge

      "losing usable height is more of a pain than losing width on widescreen displays"

      For you, maybe - not for me. Application menus also commonly sit in/alongside a taskbar - and the fact that text runs horizontally in my locale thus becomes relevant.

      For what it's worth, I run a minimal window manager (Fluxbox), configured so that application (and other) menus pop up on a keystroke, along with a minimal taskbar and desktop pager, and a set of monitors (Gkrellm) occupying a narrow vertical bar. (And no desktop icons - useless for me, as they'd almost always be obscured by windows.)

      Personally I never got on with anything in Unity, but of course your mileage may vary - and that's the point: the great thing about Linux is that you get the choice of a desktop configuration that works for you.

      1. Ian 55

        The first versions of Unity were.. ok on netbooks with their short wide screens, and it was on these it was first introduced on. After that (and on anything else) urgh.

  5. Zolko Silver badge

    FlatPack -vs- AppImage -vs- Snap

    Would El Reg write an article once that explains the difference between these 3 (are there others ?) standalone software packagers ?

    1. Liam Proven Silver badge

      Re: FlatPack -vs- AppImage -vs- Snap

      Didn't see this comment before.

      Is this any help? :-)

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